SCHOLARSHIP…how to get it?

I am one of New Zealand Development Scholarship (NZDS) awardees for academic year 2011-2013. The NZDS scholarship is a full-time postgraduate scholarship which is available for candidates from selected developing countries, including Indonesia, my beloved country.

For Indonesia itself, it only gave to 10-12 awardees annually. Fortunately, the amount has been increased almost 500 % this year, although there is no dependant allowance anymore. However, if you want to bring your family, don’t worry, the NZ government will allow your dependant to get work visa easily.

If you are interested to apply, you can see the description in this link :

For Indonesians, you can click this link :

Since I have gotten the scholarship, many people ask me how to get one. Some of them are satisfied with my answers, some are not 😀 That is way I write this article to help providing information about a process to get the scholarship. But please remember, this is based on my experience, this is definitely not a ‘cookbook’…I believe that everyone will have their own unique experience.


1. First thing first. If you want to study in English-speaking country, you MUST learn English. No excuse. (This is why I wrote in English not Bahasa, if you are too lazy to read this because of the language, how will you accomplish your study which will be completely in academic English?)

You should have TOEFL/IELTS results. All of the scholarship will have their own requirements for application.

Based on my observation, with TOEFL 500/IELTS 5.0 you can start to apply the scholarship, such as ADS :

In Australia and New Zealand universities, the minimum requirement for IELTS is 6.5 in average with no individual grades are lower than 6. But in my school, University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry, the requirement is higher with IELTS 7.0 in average with no individual grades are lower than 6.5.

2. Join the scholarship community, for example Facebook group, website, blog and mailing list. They will give you a lot of valuable information. Dedicate yourself in minimum 1 hour daily to browse them.

3. Read the scholarship carefully. Read the requirements and make sure you are eligible. Do what they want, if you can, do more. For example, if they want you to attach 2 letters of recommendation, give them more. You also need to ‘sell’ yourself in your application.

4. Remember the deadline! There will be useless if you are late. Before you send it, check your application once again. Give yourself time to check it. Make sure you already fulfil all of the requirements. Organize your forms and your attachments. Make them neat and tidy.

Finally, I believe in the power of pray. I have a habit to pray during my process, starting from when I read the advertisement, when I am completing the requirements, when I send it, and when I am waiting for the results. It increases my confidence. I believe with the miracle and I believe when someone wants to reach his/her dreams, the universe will help.

So, happy hunting guys! I am hoping this article helps 😀


(was) a scholarship hunter

(Photo courtesy of Adriana Sau).