Written by Guest blogger
My name is Trine Olsen, I am a current BU student studying a Master’s in Forensic Anthropology and am originally from Denmark. Being from Denmark means that you are in a pretty unique situation – your studies at BU will be almost certainly funded by the Danish state. This is enough to survive on, but if you would like a little extra in your bank account and want to secure a great start, scholarships are an excellent option.
I personally ended up with an extra £3,500 in my account which helped me with travelling, getting settled, and buying books for my course. Although it takes some time and work, it is worth it in the end. If you think you might want to apply for an extra scholarship, here are some tips from me to you!
Applying for scholarships takes time
Your application will suffer if you don’t work it through thoroughly. Rushing the research and application details might ultimately result in your application being denied, and thus, no scholarships. During the time I worked on my scholarship application, I spent over forty hours researching scholarships, writing and perfecting my cover letter, and getting all my documents in order. Once the ground work is done, you won’t have to spend nearly as much time and effort going forward.
There are several ways to find scholarships and many to choose from, especially when going overseas. Most scholarships are straightforward and apply to most students, though you can also find scholarships that have conditions such as gender, hometown, family ties, field of study, etc… Many of these types of scholarships are very specialized and have few applicants. If you fit any unique criteria then don’t hesitate to utilize it. I found most of my scholarships on www.legatbogen.dk, which is also a great source for budget and cover letter examples. Google is also certainly your friend for more resources.
Keeping things in order
It can be difficult to keep everything in order when applying for scholarships. I organized all the scholarships I applied for in an Excel spreadsheet and kept it up to date with application dates (keep an eye out for those!), progress, and feedback.
Laying out a budget
Having a realistic budget is important when sending out applications. They expect that you have put some thought into what you need the scholarship money for and require that you use the money on the areas you have budgeted for. Essentially – no beer binges – unless it’s in your budget, of course!
A good cover letter is vital
Your cover letter is perhaps the most vital part of your application. You will have to make it clear why you are worth spending money on. It is important to get to the point as fast as possible, because these people do nothing but read applications all day. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. You are awesome! You decided to venture out into the world to study, and you’ve probably worked hard to get where you are. Let them know!
Remember, the world is your oyster, but you must open it yourself! Good luck!
Written by Trine Olsen (Denmark), MSc Forensic Anthropology