Scholarships & Competition

How to Win a Sponsored Student/Youth Program Abroad (Highly Requested)

Most people who know me also know that one of biggest passions is traveling. But when I travel, I always want to make it about learning. I do not enjoy traveling for mere sightseeing as much as I enjoy edutraveling (traveling with the purpose of education). Luckily, I have been to many places around the world to learn, to share and to give back to the communities. The fact that most of my trips are sponsored makes me occasionally and constantly receives emails or Facebook messages from (typically) Indonesian fellows that I never met in real life. These are my trips so far:


1. Hult Prize Regional Competition Shanghai (13-14 March 2015)

Head of delegation for ANU team, competing 39 other teams from different universities worldwide.

Sponsored by College of Asia Pacific and Crawford School of Public Policy ANU.


2. Summer Research Intern – ForestAction Nepal in Kathmandu (December 2014 – January 2015)

Conducting several field studies to observe the implementation of Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) in different districts in Nepal, write publication by comparing theoretical learning in classroom with the real implementation on the ground.

Sponsored by Allison Sudradjat Prize: I am one out of four Indonesian recipients to receive a prestigious 2013 Allison Sudradjat Prize to be used for personal development to strengthen bilateral relationship of Australia and Indonesia.

 

3. ASEAN Young Professional Volunteer Corps, Hue, Vietnam (24 Nov-6 Dec 2014)

Selected as Indonesian representative for conducting an environmental project along with 23 other fellow volunteers from 10 different ASEAN, fully

Sponsored by the Brunei Government.

 

4. Conference of Australian Indonesia Youth (Causindy) (September 2014) in Jakarta

One among fifteen-selected Indonesian delegation.

Sponsored by the organizer.


5. Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) June 2014 – July 2016 in Canberra, Australia

Full scholarship to continue a master of Environmental Management study at the Australian National University from Government of Australia.

Sponsored by The Australian Government.


6. International Week Bulgaria (24 May – 1 June 2014) in Sofia, Bulgaria

Indonesian participant (representing Indonesian Student Association for International Studies), organized by Sofia University.

Sponsored by the organizer.


7. International Week Vienna (11-18 May 2014) in Vienna, Austria

Indonesian participant (representing Indonesian Student Association for International Studies), organized by Vienna School of Economics and Business (VU)

Sponsored by the organizer.

 

8. Asian Youth Forum 2013 (May-June 2013) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Indonesian Panelist, held by The Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC) & Asian Youth Council (AYC).

Sponsored by the organizer.

 

9. Study of the United States Institutes (SUSI) Alumni Workshop (March 2013) in Singapore

Top three alumni project out of 40 presented by participants from 10 Southeast Asian countries.

Sponsored by US Department of State.


10. Study of the United States Institutes (SUSI) (July-August 2010) in Montana, USA

One out of five selected Indonesian participants for Student Leaders on Global Environmental Issues in University of Montana, Missoula.

Sponsored by US Department of State.


11. My Summit G-20 Youth Summit (June 2010) in Toronto, Canada

Official participant along with G-20 Summit, held by Canada Government with Global Vision Canada.

Sponsored by Unggulan Scholarship Department of Higher Education Indonesia.

12. Asian International Model United Nations (AIMUN) (April 2010) in Beijing, China

Head of Indonesian Delegation in Peking University – Beijing, China.

Sponsored by Dean of Faculty of Social and Political Science and Rector of University of Indonesia.

 

13. Peace Scholarship Award (August – December 2009) in Melbourne, Australia

Full scholarship for one semester study abroad in Swinburne University Melbourne.

Sponsored by Peace Scholarship Consortium. 

 

14. World Leadership Conference (WLC) (June 2009) in Singapore

Selected participant, organized by the Environment Challenge Organization (ECO) Singapore.

Sponsored by Departure Abroad Scholarship from Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs Indonesia.

                 It is inconvenient for me to reply the question one by one so I decided to make this post to answer the question. How to get it? Frankly I do not have a secret special recipe. All I can do is to provide what I did so far to be in the position where I am now. These are kinda common sense too, but if it could help people reaching their dreams, why not?

1. Engage

Since the first semester of my undergraduate degree, I have been actively involved in various voluntary activities mostly on education and environmental issues. This led me being sent to an exchange program in Australia in 2009. There I kept doing voluntary work for different organizations. The next year, I was awarded a summer study scholarship to study about Global environmental Issues in University of Montana through the US government scholarship (this was due to my active engagement on environmental related activities). Even after working full time, I keep trying to find a way to do contribution to the society. So in 2013 I established and run sustainability project, Youth Ecopreneruship (YEP), aims to reduce youth unemployment while growing environmental awareness (www.yepcamp.org). Now that I am a student again, I found ways to get engage with communities by joining ANU Postgraduate Association for Research and, Crawford School Student Association and ANU 180 degree Student Consultation.

Yes I love volunteering. I love spending my time doing something good for others. I love organization. I love networking and meeting people. I love the ideas that born from meeting those people and moreover implement the ideas into projects. And its not only me, sponsors also love people who contribute to the society. So I can say it’s a mutual love that brings me around the world. 😉

To give you some ideas, here is list of voluntary work I did so far (outside of my work with my organizations):

  • Stage Coordinator, National Multicultural Festival Canberra (13-15 February 2015)
  • SET4ANU, Orientation Leader, The Australian National University (February 2015-present)
  • Translator for End WTO Campaign by La Via Campesina, Denpasar, Bali (1-7 Dec 2013)
  • Organizer for Indonesia Readers Festival (IRF) workshops, Jakarta (9 Dec 2012)
  • Organizer for Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Ubud-Bali (3-7 October 2012)
  • Teaching volunteer for International Humanitarian Foundation (IHF) Jakarta (July 2012)
  • Organizer for Amazing Race Jakarta from Global Vision Junior Team Canada (August 2011)
  • Indonesian language teaching staff in Point Cook Primary School -Australia from Indonesia Student Association in Australia (December 2009)
  • Organizer for “Ride to Work 2009” held by Bicycle Victoria (September 2009)
  • Organizer “The Breast Darn Show” and “Pink Ribbon Street Appeal” by National Breast Cancer Research Australia (Oct 2009)
    Teaching volunteer for Community Development Program by UI Students Executive Body (Aug 2008 – June 2009)
  • Teaching volunteer for House of Study by IR Students Association FISIP UI (Jan – August 2008)

2. Persistence 

I got rejections. Yes many times. But I never give up and I keep on trying. I am persistent by nature and I am not scared of rejection. For me it is just part of learning. But I am picky when it is about applying for a program. I would not apply something that is out of my league (seminars on ICT for example it is just not my stuff). In today’s modern society, there is millions of information available on the Internet about programs that might suit you. Just give a try. There is no harm on trying. If you failed then it is just not for you. Try again, never give up. There is always opportunities wait for you out there.

3. Knowledgeable 

I have a big passion on environmental issues and I keep being on my track. I try my best to be knowledgeable on my field by pursuing master study on environmental issues, constantly updating news on environmental related stuff and keep myself surrounded by people with the same interest with mine so we can easily exchange information. The knowledge on an issue that you are passionate on will just reflected perfectly during the interview. People can easily judge when you really understand the issue and when you are really into it.

4. Networking

Yes you need recommendations from people that knows your ability and competence. Yes you need to keep good relations with anyone without exception. You never know when you will need their recommendation. And yes if you can prove to people that you are competent in your field, they would not hesitate to recommend you to join a program even when you do not ask for their recommendation.

I hope this post give you some courage to apply for your dream programs. Remember the most important thing is not about what you learn from the program you join but what you can give to others. The knowledge that you gain will not be useful unless you share it to your fellows and unless you implement the ideas comes out of the program for good causes.

As Christopher McCandless said “Happiness is only real when it is shared”. 😉

Me during Hult Prize Competition in Shanghai May 2015.

Good luck lovely peeps!

Love,

Olivia

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