For most people living anywhere around the world, it is considered to be a great privilege to be able to study in a country that has high-quality education and state-of-the-art technology to encourage the use of the best learning practices across various streams. Bangladeshi students who wish to go overseas to receive higher education will most often opt to go to Australia than anywhere else; partly because their weather and climate quite closely resembles ours, and also because of the world-class education and numerous part-time and full-time job opportunities available there. Simply choosing a university and a course is not always enough, particularly when it comes to an Australian tertiary education. For many aspiring international students from Bangladesh, studying abroad may just remain a dream as Australia has some of the most exorbitant tuition fees in the world; and it could be quite a hefty sum of money that would be required for study and other additional expenses. If you have your heart set on going to Australia for a higher education, then there are alternative ways in which you can arrange funding for yourself. A number of government-funded, institutional and organizational scholarships are available to students from a multitude of different backgrounds, be they related to race/ethnicity (giving privilege to the minorities), merit-based, performance-based, or even a bursary or stipend that allows the student (in certain cases may also include spouse and other dependents, like children) to pay for studies, textbooks and other study aids, leisure activities and sometimes even a return trip to the home country. If you search long enough, you should be able to find a scholarship that best fits into your needs. Here are just some ways in which you can try your luck at getting a scholarship [fully/ partially funded]:
1. Apply for Multiple Scholarships Simultaneously
Remember the story of the milkmaid who daydreams about the life she could have, and loses all the milk trying to imagine the wealth she could have in the future? The moral of her story was that you should never put all of your eggs in one basket. In order to give yourself the best and most realistic shot at achieving your dream of studying in Australia, you should apply to more than one desired scholarship at a time. Even if you have narrowed down a university and specific course, you could always get in touch with the Dean of the department to discuss the scholarship options you afre eligible for. For example, say that you have applied to a university and received a partial tuition fee waiver based on past academic performance. If you also ask around about funding and find out that you have the IELTS score necessary to get you a departmental scholarship, which will be added to the tuition fee waiver. You should apply for both in order to maximize the benefits you can enjoy.
2. Join Scholarship Portals and Community Groups
In this digital day and age, there is a lot of information out there, but not all of it is always timely or accurate. If you want to know more and do research on what types of scholarships you can get in Australia, join some of the best international scholarship portals and/ or Facebook community groups. This will allow you to get in touch with other like-minded individuals who wish to go to (or have already successfully gone) to Australia with a scholarship funding their education in part or in full. Not only that, but you will also receive regular newsletters with information on the best scholarships in Australia; and how you may be able to apply for and receive one of those.
3. Do Your Homework Carefully
Scholarships have always had a steep demand and a comparatively skimpy supply. Looking for one that particularly caters to your career or academic goals might be very difficult or time-consuming to find; and the search may not always end up being fruitful. Do not get frustrated and lose hope, keep asking peers, seniors and juniors who also got scholarship about their experiences, and make sure you explore all options before you decide on one, or if the option is even worth it, really. You might be amazed to see the number of places where just the right scholarship might be waiting for you.
4. Write an Application that is Appealing and Persuasive
Imagine that you are a child asking your parents to increase your allowance. For you to be able to get actual results in the scenario I gave you, your argument for the increment will need to be justified with logic and positively sway your parents’ decision in your favour. Similarly, your scholarship application, much like you university application; will need to be articulate and presentable, urging the readers to be willing to pay for your education to help relieve some of the monetary burden on you. It has to be a balanced blend between an emotional plea for help, and the logical reasoning behind what sets you apart from all of the other scholarship applicants. At the very basic level, try to avoid spelling and grammatical errors in your application—and make sure your application is thorough and coherent.
5. Send in a Well-Rounded, Timely Application
Before you even think of applying for a scholarship, make sure you check the eligibility criteria to see if you are a good fit. If you are, then make sure your application has all the relevant details and supporting documents (including details about academic and/ or professional referees, if required), as well as a letter of offer and past employment records. If you are applying for a government/ organization funded scholarship, adding the letter of offer will put your application a notch above the rest. You should also send your proof of proficiency in English with your application (IELTS, TOEFL, or, in some cases, a degree which has been completely delivered in English, if it is acceptable). Finally, the key to giving yourself a solid chance at getting the scholarship is ensuring that your application reaches the appropriate authority well before the deadline, or else all that effort will have been useless.
6. Have a Professional Approach
Just because you have access to the internet, you do not have free rein to be inappropriate online. For you to be considered eligible for any scholarship, any and all of your profiles on the internet should appear professional and clean-cut, as well as avoid containing inappropriate content of any kind. In case you are not sure about how your profile should be, look for professional templates for profiles on search engines like Google—they should be readily available. Even while you are sending in applications by e-mail, regular mail or via any other correspondence regarding scholarships and funding; try to maintain professionalism from the get-go.
There are some web-based scholarship portals that host periodic essay contests to give out scholarships to a few lucky winners; however, most of these are applicable to students from Western nations. A plethora of avenues are open for international students looking for scholarships to study in Australia. You have to remember to be professional, persistent and thorough in your search; and precise and meticulous in your application. Some part of getting a scholarship is dependent on luck, but with all the above pointers; you can at the very least, begin to tip the scales in your favour.
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