Scholarships in Australia
Scholarships for Studying in Australia
Australia is an expensive place to live and study, especially compared to Nepal. Being awarded a full or partial scholarship will definitely help you meet the costs of tuition and day-to-day living. The most prestigious (and valuable) scholarships are very competitive, but if you meet the selection criteria they are definitely worth applying for. Here are some tips for applying for, and landing, a scholarship for studying in Australia, as well as some first-hand advice on what it’s like to study in Australia on a scholarship.
What’s it like to study in Australia on a scholarship?
If you’re fortunate enough to win a scholarship then well done! There’s no doubt that Australian scholarships are generous, and can save you so much long-term stress (and debt!) But it can still be challenging to live in Australia on a scholarship alone.
Scholarships generally cover your costs, but don’t leave you with much left over at the end of the week. Australia is an expensive place to live, and food and rent costs will easily take up most of your stipend. Be aware that receiving a scholarship isn’t a ticket to wealth. You may need to work part-time or rely on savings to make up the difference.
If it’s possible for your course of study, select a smaller, cheaper city to study in rather than Sydney or Melbourne, which can be very expensive. You’ll find your scholarship goes a lot further, and you’ll be able to focus more on your studies.
How to increase your chances of success when applying for a scholarship
- Check the eligibility criteria carefully.
While it is worth applying for any scholarship that you are eligible for, you must check carefully whether you are really eligible. The institution will definitely notice if you’re not eligible in some way (such as if your IELTS scores are high enough), and your application will be rejected. You don’t want to waste your time.
- Apply with plenty of time to spare.
Australian scholarships have strict deadlines, and it often takes a lot of work to gather all the necessary documents. Check, double-check and triple-check deadlines, and make sure you have plenty of time to submit everything.
- Take some extra English classes ahead of time.
To apply for scholarships for study in Australia you must demonstrate that you have a high level of English competency. This isn’t just a bureaucratic hurdle; if your English isn’t of a high enough standard, you will struggle with your studies and not do well. If you’re unconfident, take extra English tuition well ahead of applying for scholarships (up to one year is ideal) to ensure it’s the best it can be.
- Ensure that you’ve included every single thing asked of you.
Check that you have included everything that the application asks for before sending it off. The instruction booklets for applying for scholarships can be long and complicated, but they are also comprehensive. Following them exactly will give you the greatest chance of success.
What you need to know about the Australia Awards
The Australia Awards are perhaps the most prestigious and sought-after scholarships for studying in Australia. But not just anyone can apply. These awards are meant for a specific type of student who can demonstrate concrete experience, knowledge and benefit to Nepal.
The goal of Australia Awards is to specifically improve education, governance and microentrepreneurship in Nepal. This means that when selecting awardees, the Australian Government is looking for evidence that students will take what they learn in Australia and use it in their home country (Nepal) when they return home.
Australia Awards are for Master’s Degree study in Australia. They are full scholarships that cover return airfares, tuition and a contribution towards living costs. However, not all living costs will be covered, and Australia is an expensive place to live, so if you’re planning on applying for an Australia Award, you will need to make sure you have a way of making up the difference in cost.
Applications are especially encouraged from women, ethnic minorities, people from remote regions of Nepal and people with disabilities. This is because these groups are typically underrepresented in education and governance in Nepal. At least 50% of awards will be given to women, so if you’re eligible, you should definitely apply! The English language requirement is also slightly lower for women, to give them an extra boost, and in recognition of the fact that women in Nepal are given fewer opportunities to excel in education.
Slightly different priorities are announced for the Australia Awards each year. In 2018, the priorities are Gender, Inclusion and Disability Water Resource Management, Education Health Livelihoods and Economic Development Governance (for Government of Nepal applicants only). If your previous studies have revolved around these issues, 2018 may be a good time for you to apply for an Australia Award.
Applying for a scholarship to study in Australia is hard work in itself, and that’s before the study has even begun! If you’re unsuccessful on your first attempt, carefully reflect on what you may have done well (or not so well) in your application and revise it for next year. The process of applying can actually be beneficial to your study goals, as it can help you clarify your aims in life and to know where your strengths lie. Good luck!