This is me with some of my new friends from Chalmers before the Corona outbreak happened.
I started getting an idea of the available scholarships while chatting with international friends during my exchange programme at Chalmers. It was interesting because most of them had been awarded a scholarship or had some sort of support. Some of them were awarded a scholarship administered by Chalmers, others had support from a different institution, and in some cases both or even more. At that time, I was happy to know that, but I didn’t imagine that I would be applying for one that soon. If you are interested in reading more about my experience applying to Chalmers, you can find it in one of my previous blogs.
As I mentioned in that blog, I learned a lot of lessons after failing on my first attempt applying. For my second try, I started preparing before the applications were even open. Not just for Chalmers, but I was exploring and comparing programmes in different universities and countries. As you can imagine, I ended up with a big list of interesting programmes and universities, so I started ranking them. My budget was my main concern, so I started creating different scenarios. I was already saving as much as possible from my previous salary in Mexico, working as a packaging engineer. Based on that I fixed an expected budget also considering selling most of my stuff like my bed, car, TV, speakers, etc. If the tuition fee of a university exceeded it, then my next search was the available scholarship for me. Side note: All universities exceeded my budget.
I went through a scholarship opportunities research, checking the requirements, benefits, limitations, and deadlines of each of them and took notes. That helped me understand what I could expect and the way I would plan. This also helped me support my decision because Chalmers was still at the top of my ranking after all things considered. Based on that, I created personal deadlines for each document I was required to submit, those deadlines were a week before the actual deadline in case something went wrong. Thankfully, I managed to collect everything on time and without any stress.
This strategy helped me choosing to apply for the IPOET scholarship because I met all the requirements, and it offered me a 75% reduction in tuition fee that I needed. It also helped me writing my motivation letter, inspiring me in the way I wrote my background, current situation, aspirations and expectations. After reading information from many programmes of my interest and imagining different scenarios while considering the available opportunities, I could write a more personalized motivation letter. I started writing it while I had all the details fresh in my mind and that also helped me to have it ready way before my deadline.
I might have already spoiled the surprise, but I was awarded the IPOET scholarship. If you read my previous blog, you already know that I jumped out of my bed the morning I received the news. I knew all my effort was paid off and that meant that I could be able to study my master’s at Chalmers. I hope you can find some inspiration for your planning by reading about my experience. I wish you the best of luck!