One of the reasons I gave my parents for letting me go on exchange was that EF(the exchange organization) offered a partial scholarship of $3000. I really need that money, it would cover spending money for the year, pay for a new laptop or enable me to go on one of the discovery tours on offer from EF throughout my exchange year. I figure my chances of receiving it aren't too bad as I know there aren't that many students going on the program in 2011 from Australia(there was only 7 people from Perth at the orientation meeting I had to attend the other week!). EF only offers the scholarship to full year students so that cuts out a bunch of people as many people wouldn't want to go for the whole year and EF offers short programs for 2-3 months which I assume would be quite popular. Besides the advertising information we've received to convince us to apply for the program I've had no other information sent to me regarding the scholarships, I had to email asking for more details about it so hopefully that means other people have forgotten about it. My writing skills aren't too bad either but I'm really struggling trying to write the scholarship. You basically have to write an essay and incorporate the following questions into it:
. How have your experiences with people from other countries affected you personally?
. What activities have you been involved with during the past two years that you feel will enhance your experience as an exchange student?
. What benefits do you hope to gain from the experience of living in another culture?
. How will the benefits help you with your future goals?
. What qualities do you possess to be a "Junior Ambassador" for your country?
. How will these qualities help you in a foreign country?
I've barely finished the first question which I'm still struggling with. I actually have fairly decent stuff to talk about and I do believe I'm worthy of the scholarship it's just that I want to write it in an interesting way that'll make me stand out from other applications so I'm trying to incorporate humor into it but it's hard when there's a lot of pressure to do a good job on it, it's just feeling very forced at the moment. This proves why I wouldn't want to be a journalist, whilst I like the idea of it all I don't think I'm cut out for the pressure behind it- having to write an article within a certain time frame and doing it on a subject that may be chosen by someone else. What I like about blogging is that I can talk about what comes to mind easily, it flows much better when it's not forced and when there's no looming thought at the back of my mind that if I don't do a good job I'll be letting down a whole company, my boss and may be kicked out of a job.
Did I mention I have till the end of November to get this essay in by? This is going to be a long, laborious process but if I can finish it I think I'm in with a good chance.
I'm off to for my interview at the US consulate in the city to get my visa sorted out, so I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow. Have a lovely rest of your weekend!