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Last Updated: July 28, 2023, 14:34 IST

Selecting a university purely on the scholarships they offer may not lead to the best outcome from a career perspective. Choose at least 2-3 universities, say experts. (Representative Image)

Selecting a university purely on the scholarships they offer may not lead to the best outcome from a career perspective. Choose at least 2-3 universities, say experts. (Representative Image)

Experts say students need to start building their profile during school with consistently high academic performances, achievements in sports, music, extra-curricular activities, voluntary/ community work to increase their visibility to study in Australia

Scholarship Guide

Studying abroad can be financially challenging for many meritorious students who often opt out due to the expensive course fee, visa charges, accommodation and food expenses. Therefore, scholarships help many to pursue their dreams.

News18 ‘Scholarship Guide’ brings the best and most prestigious grants for Indian students to study in Australia, with most of them covering flight tickets, accommodation and course fee; and some also providing stipend.

Preparing for a top scholarship should start not after but during school, say experts. When it comes to top universities abroad, especially in a place like Australia, the college authorities look at student profiles, which not only include academic score but also extra-curricular activities. These days, universities want thought leaders who can vouch for themselves and justify why they deserve a seat in the highly-competitive scholars’ group, believe experts.

Abizer Merchant, Director (India and Sri Lanka) at Macquarie University, says some of the criteria considered by Australia-based universities to shortlist an application does not just end at consistent high academic performance. Universities also look for achievements in sports, music and other extra-curricular activities, work experience, languages and leadership skills.

“Most scholarships are merit-based but also consider other extracurricular activities which can be captured in a well-written and concise Statement of Purpose (SoP) or CV. Most students do not provide information beyond their academic performance or submit an SoP with their application. It is also important to read the selection criteria and address the same in the SoP. If you have relevant work experience or have done an internship, recommendation letters from your employer are worth including,” said Merchant.

ALSO READ: Scholarship Guide | Shah Rukh Khan, JN Tata’s Among Top 8 Grants to Study in Australia

Echoing similar views, Ankur Dhawan, President, upGrad Abroad said students need to start building on their skill sets since school. “Most of the universities ask students to submit a Statement of Purpose stating why they are better (qualified) for the scholarship. The reason for this cannot be economically weak. Students need to go beyond academics and start making most of their time during schooling to build a strong profile. Their activities and thoughts need to define how the university classroom will be lacking if they do not have a student like them,” said Dhawan.

Proving such statements become usually tougher for students applying for undergraduate courses as most of them prepare for Class 10 and Class 12 boards. “Students at IB get advantage as internship opportunities, publishing papers are part of curriculum. Students studying at CBSE affiliated schools also need to build on their profile. This can be either by working with an NGO or finding a problem in their community and then looking for a solution,” said Dhawan.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While it is a wise move to seek help, however, depending too much on others and not personalising your SOP can be a big mistake.

“Biggest mistake students make is depending on a counsellor to apply for scholarships and not even looking at applications filed for scholarship. Many SoPs are written by a counsellor. If one cannot write their own story in their essays, it becomes difficult for others to build a case for them too. Colleges too can identify such applications,” said Dhawan.

Merchant advised students not to shy away from applying for as many scholarships as they can. “It is important to select 2-3 universities which offer the course of your choice and then look at the scholarships they offer. Selecting a university purely on the scholarships they offer may not lead to the best outcome from a career perspective. The Australian government website — studyaustralia.gov.au — is also an excellent source of information on scholarships.”

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