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How, where, why and what of scholarships

At a time when the entire student community from around the world is striving to go to the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Europe for higher studies, what is barring you? Finances? Well, if you are someone who has a colorful academic background, money should not be a factor deterring you from dreaming big and making it to the most prestigious colleges of the world.

How? Scholarships! In fact, scholarships are a very necessary item on the 'must-have' list of any student planning to go abroad for further studies – except the super-lucky ones with private funding. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of scholarships for you on offer (mostly for post-graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral courses) that can translate your dream of studying at Oxford, Harvard or Princeton come true. However, the catch lies in, first, knowing about the scholarship and, secondly, unearthing the right scholarship from among the maze of information on scholarships available on the net. EduMedia, through this article on scholarships, tries to streamline and put into perspective the jungle of information just for you.

Extremely competitive scholarships

If you are one of those with a never-say-die attitude, then you should go all out for the scholarships listed below. Be warned that they are extremely competitive but, at the same time, the very best in the world. If you can sweat enough to become the recipient of one of these, take our word, your life is made.

 Rhodes Scholarship
The Rhodes scholarships, one of the oldest and most prestigious international fellowships, were initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902.It now attracts outstanding students from the Commonwealth, Germany, and USA to Oxford University. Indian Rhodes scholarships are awarded on an All-India basis. Six Scholars are elected from India every year. For information, check: http://www.rhodesindia.com

 Chevening Scholarships
Chevening is the UK government's flagship scholarship scheme, aimed at future leaders, opinion formers and decision-makers. The programme is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and managed by the British Council worldwide, supporting over 2,300 international students annually to study in the UK. For general information on the British Chevening Scholarship Programme, visit web site:
http:// www.chevening.com

World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program
In 1987, the World Bank, with funding from the Government of Japan, established the World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (WBGSP) for graduate studies in subjects related to economic development. Each year, the Program awards scholarships to individuals from World Bank member countries to undertake graduate studies at renowned universities throughout member countries of the Bank.

The Program's objective is to help create an international community of highly trained professionals working in the field of economic and social development. The objective of these Programs is to prepare the participants for effective policy-making roles in their home countries and regions. For information visit: http: //www. worldbank.org/wbi/ scholarships/

Erasmus Mundus Scholarships
The Erasmus Mundus programme aims at improving the quality of higher education in Europe and at promoting intercultural understanding with third countries. It has a budget of EUR 230 million for the period 2004-08.

Erasmus Mundus programme is addressed to third-country graduate students/scholars who apply to and are accepted by selected Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses. Students apply to follow the Course, scholars apply to carry out teaching and research assignments and scholarly work in the institutions participating in the Course. You can get complete information regarding the program at: http://www.delind.cec.eu.int/en/eco/erasmus_mundus.htm

Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships
This is an annual scheme made available to all Commonwealth countries by the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission. The India programme is managed jointly by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU, UK ); Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India and the British Council. The award is given for Master's/M.Phil/ PhD/ six-months clinical training/Fellowship.

Contact:

For Scholarship

Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD)
Department of Education
External Scholarships Division
A-1/W-3, Curzon Road Barracks
Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001
T: +91-11-338 6401

For Fellowships


University Grants Commission
Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi -110001
T: +91-11-323 3895

Fulbright Fellowships
The Fulbright Program is designed to promote cross-cultural interaction and mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. It offers the grantees opportunities for intellectual, professional and artistic growth and has created a large academic and cultural network around the world. United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) has administered the Fulbright Program in India since 1950 and has awarded approximately 7,400 Fulbright fellowships to Indian and U.S. nationals. It has also administered approximately 8,250 fellowships funded by the U.S. Government under such programs as the Faculty Research Abroad Program, Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program and Group Projects and Seminars Abroad Program.

For further details visit http://www.fulbright-india.org or contact USEFI offices in Chennai, Mumbai or New Delhi .

Others
Besides the prestigious scholarship programs listed above, there are many other scholarships offered by countries from around the world through the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Education under the Cultural Exchange and other Programmes. The subject fields are generally chosen for those areas, facilities for which are available in the donor country and also keeping in view the national needs.

For complete information check: http://www.education.nic.in/htmlweb/scho.htm

Those seeking to go abroad for higher studies should also be informed that most US, European and Australian colleges themselves provide scholarship. It is up to the student to do the necessary research and find out such colleges.

With technology on our side, the best way to go about looking for information is through the net. Many of the embassies or their related offices also provide valuable information. For example, a visit to the USEFI in India provides all the information that you need regarding education and scholarships in the US. Hence, it is important for the students to explore these options too.

How to find scholarships that are right for you

The worst way to apply for scholarships is by using the so-called “shotgun” approach. This is where you blast out an application, often hastily written, to every scholarship that you find. Unfortunately, this approach will most likely result in a pile of rejections.

To win a scholarship, you need to be selective in the application process. This means that for every 10 or so scholarships you find, you may only end up applying to one of them. But how do you find the scholarships that are right for you?

Start by throwing your scholarship net far and wide: To find the right scholarship, you need to have a lot to choose from. Search the Internet, scour scholarship books and talk to your counselor. Your job is to find as many scholarships that you could apply for.

Look for scholarships within your interests: Instead of finding scholarships that match your interests, why not look at your interests to find scholarships. If you're interested in computer graphics, check out all of the makers of the software and hardware that you use for awards.

Read newspapers properly: Newspapers often announce scholarship winners. Use this information to learn about scholarship opportunities.

Start eliminating scholarships that don't match you: Look at your list of scholarships with the idea of eliminating those that simply don't match your background and talents. Don't feel bad since each scholarship that you remove means less time wasted and more time you can spend on scholarships that you can win.

Prioritize your scholarships: After you have eliminated the obvious awards that don't match you, the next step is to prioritize the awards that do. You will need to be familiar with each scholarship and understand the goals behind the reason for giving the award.

Consider timing: There's more to your life than applying for scholarships, which means that you will need to consider deadlines when deciding which scholarships to apply to. You simply can't apply to every scholarship, and you'll need to use this as another way to prioritize.

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