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THREE STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING A SCHOLARSHIP

89% of Colombian students don’t reach B1 (threshold) or B2 (advanced) English knowledge needed for graduate studies abroad.

Applying for a scholarship will always seem like an arduous or confusing task. What level of knowledge of another language do you need is the most uncertain and mysterious aspect. Not to mention the paperwork: who to talk to, where to go, how long does it take. But, don’t worry, we’ll explain in three simple steps what to do, in order to apply to a scholarship without it being pure torture.

English: B1, B2… What does it mean?

First, it’s very important to know that all English speaking Universities abroad require scholarship candidates to have, at least, a B1 level of English.

According to European standards, B1 level means people can understand the main ideas of a text, are able to talk about known situations like work, studies, social life, and also can produce simple texts in regards to things that are known to them.

B2 level, on the other hand, refers to people that understand in a more complex way, the situations described in level B1.

Bilingualism numbers in Colombia are not the best, they place the country at 42 amongst 63 countries, according to EF EPI, that measures English speaking levels across the globe. This is why we highly recommend you study and prepare yourself, before to applying for a scholarship that requires the use of the language.

Don’t let paperwork and documents work against you

Documents needed vary depending on the institution offering the scholarship, but these are the ones that they’ll generally ask for:

• Application: it’s required by the University or organization that offers the scholarship as a first step to participate in their appeal. Remember to fill out completely, and with very clear handwriting.

• Degree: you must deliver copies of what they ask, if its your undergraduate degree, or any other.

• Official transcript: it must include your GPA for your undergraduate studies.

• Professional experience certificate: it must be issued by the companies or organizations where you have worked, detailing work functions.
• Copy of you national ID
• Language certificate: the score needed varies depending on the institution you are applying to and the test you take, but the average for TOEFL is 80 points, and 6.5 for the IELTS. These tests must be taken at an institution authorized and prepared to provide the exams.
• Letter of commitment to return the country of origin: students must present a letter stating that they have no plans to apply to a different migrant status other than “student”, and their commitment to return to their country of origin once their planned studies and scholarship are finished.
• Essay: on occasion, they may ask for a short purpose essay, on why you want or deserve the scholarship you are applying for.

How about trying it now?

Icetex numbers show that in 2013, 813 scholarships were granted. In 2014, from 3341 applicants, 1502 were preselected and finally 801 were granted scholarships for studies abroad.

Eveery year different instituions open applications for various scholarships in very well known and important Universities arpund the world. Here are some of them:

Icetex: in charge of managing all the scholarships granted by the Colombian government.

OEA: grants scholarships for MA and PhD studies, conducing to a University title.

Fullbright: grants scholarships for MA, PhD and research studies.

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