There comes a stage in life when we have to make important choices in life for our future. Mine was either to continue in studies and research or to stay in my professional journey. In this sense, many parameters come into play: finances, age, career goals, or the life project.
In the first case, one can choose to continue his research in Madagascar, or to pursue abroad. If finances permit, many choose to continue their studies abroad, at their expense. I did not have that possibility, so I needed to find other alternatives: scholarships.
There are several reasons for choosing to apply for a scholarship. I want to share with you the reasons why I decided to apply for one of them.
1.Going to good universities is very expensive especially abroad
Yes, this first reason is really worth applying for a scholarship. Coming from a very simple family and being orphan at a stage of life where education was a must, the only option for me to continue to study was to opt for a scholarship because I wanted to study abroad. It took me time to prepare and find the right one for me but I am glad I did not give up. Applying for a scholarship not only allowed me to study in a Great University with a financial assistance, but also to enter in the real world of academia.
2. To have an international experience
As living in an island, I knew that if I wanted to have an international experience, I really had to cross the ocean (the Indian Ocean) either by boat or by plane. I did not really consider the boat part because most people, especially in Madagascar dream to “fly” and take that “voromby”. But above all, I wanted to expose myself to an international environment and learn to live, work and make friends with people who have different culture other than me.
3. To achieve our personal goals
First, we all have personal ambitions, personal goals to reach, and checklists that we want to see accomplished before our thirties. This checklist, for example, could include travelling to a maximum of countries before settling for a job, or discover other cultures and explore other horizons. Since my first exposure to the “andafy” in 2010, I realized that there is a lot to discover outside that Island which is our home. So among my personal goals, apart from studying, were to discover the world, to know what’s out there. And having a scholarship really allowed me to do so, so I’m forever thankful.
4.To widen our perspectives in developing our community
I need to elaborate this next question more because you might say we do not need to go and study abroad in order to solve a problem and develop our community. Yes, we can bring our contribution to solve a problem, and we actually should contribute in the development of our country without any excuse. The point I want to make here is that having a scholarship deepened my knowledge and my understanding about the area I want to develop, and gave me more power and more tools to actually do my mission as an active citizen. Also, the fact of travelling abroad gave me more the opportunity to discover how things are working there and get inspired from them for my own calling.
5. To know ourselves, challenge, and discover our limits
Going abroad is also a way to know your limits, and why not, overcome them. Indeed, in an environment that is not ours, we tend to surpass ourselves and take risks. This will be done through interaction with foreign students but also during trips to discover other countries and other cultures. For example, thanks to my scholarship, I could experience living abroad alone, far from my friends and family, which was not easy, but not impossible. I learned to discover my own way of studying so that I could set my own schedule, and took the most of it. I did challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone, which was my room, and got to know people. Now, I have friends for life and know that I can always work on myself and become better than yesterday while living new experiences.
6. To improve our chance for a good career
Our CV is the first impression we give to the recruiter. Depending on the employer, having awards can open you doors back in your country. This may be because some employers value international experience. Indeed, your whole journey through your scholarship experience matters and you are more accountable because of what you have gone through.
7. You have nothing to lose
Finally, applying for a scholarship is one of these things in life you can experience without losing anything. Although there seems to be several barriers to reach the goal at the beginning, applying for a scholarship is a process, so you have to be ready for each step, which awaits you. So, there is definitely nothing to lose in applying. On the contrary, you discover other experiences and you challenge yourself for another adventure in life.
To conclude, each person has his or her own motivation to ask for a scholarship. The point here is: don’t make financial problems be a barrier for you to pursue your education because your education matters.
Please feel free to share some other benefits of scholarships you know or have experienced. Sharing is caring!! 🙂