Steps in Getting My Scholarship in The Netherlands (An All-Expense Paid Pinoy Adventure in Europe)

  •  Plan – Mine was to study masters abroad with a Public Policy course.
  • Why? – Because of my work experience and the budding career path idea I was toying with in my head. I wanted then to eventually get involved in the government.
  • What? – I don’t have money! Surprise! Surprise!
  • How? – Find a school that offers Public Policy, scout for possible funding. Google became my bestfriend, still is!
  • Where? – I hear good things about The Netherlands. I searched online and found this Public Policy course in ISS. It took tons of clicks before I got into the ISS website, by the way. There is no escaping it!
  • Show me the money! – I found links at the ISS websites for available fundings, which led to more scholarship websites! Once you start, it will just lead you from one website to another. Stay focused AND keep going! I found the website of the Netherlands Fellowship Program (NFP) and got the requirements for the scholarship. All in the web, you see!
  • Decisions! – Simple, I sat down and began my application quietly in July 2009.

By September 2009, I’ve sent my application to ISS, the requirements are in their website www.iss.nl, all the information you need to know for admission is available in school websites. I submitted the following via email:

  1. Personal essay/letter of intent
  2. Recommendation letter from at least two people
  3. Transcript of Records (TOR)
  4. English as language for teaching certification
  5. Completed application form.

Towards the end of January 2010, I received the admission letter from ISS. My background is in the field of development. My undergrad is Community Development, which is related to the masters in Development Studies with specialization in Public Policy & Management I applied for.

First week of February 2010, I applied for the scholarship through email, I was requested to send the following:

  1. Personal essay/letter of intent
  2. Recommendation letter from at least two people
  3. Transcript
  4. Copy of admission from the Dutch institution
  5. Completed application form

Around July 2010, I received the email from the Embassy of The Netherlands in the Philippines that I got the funding from the Netherlands Fellowship Program (NFP). I almost passed out because I couldn’t scream since my cousins were having their afternoon nap in the living room floor. August 2010, ISS sent me the instructions, followed by the plane ticket to Amsterdam. By September I was already in The Netherlands!

Everything is paid for by the NFP scholarship, including the monthly allowance so you can dedicate all your time to study! If you think this looks so doable, try it and you will see how correct you are! Keep in mind that there are limited slots available for thousands of applicants so you really have to focus, be serious and put your best foot forward! Never ever be late, submit even before the deadline if you are 100% pleased with your own application documents. Go for it and don’t forget to tell me how it goes.

Recap:

July 2009 – I started compiling the application requirements for ISS, the school I’ve chosen for my graduate studies.
September 2009 – I submitted all the requirements needed by ISS for my admission.
January 2010 – I received news of my admission into ISS.
February 2010 – I submitted my application for the NFP scholarship. (That’s right, I was only able to apply for a Dutch government funding after getting an official admission letter from a Dutch school.)
July 2010 – I received news from the Netherlands Embassy in the Philippines that I was granted the NFP scholarship.
September 2010 – I was in the Netherlands.
December 2011 – I graduated and got my degree from ISS in MA Development Studies funded by the Dutch government.

That fast!

Try it, go for it, ace it!

Here are some websites that may interest you in your search:
www.studyinholland.nl : Find out more about the fellowship I got here.
www.eur.nl : The school where I went to.
www.fordfoundation.com : They award scholarships too.
www.opensocietiesfoundation.org : More grants, funds, scholarships!
www.mundusmapp.org : Talk about awesome. Get this if you can!

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