Saturday, February 28, 2015

KPM Bursary & JPA Scholarships 2015

Do not miss! Click here for the most complete list of 50+ scholarships 2015 available for STPM and SPM 2014 candidates
  1. 9 March 2015: Kuok Foundation Berhad Singapore Polytechnics Diploma Awards
  2. 9 March 2015: Ajinomoto Post-Graduate Scholarship for ASEAN International Students 2016
  3. 10 March 2015: JPA Scholarship for Overseas Studies (Germany, France, Japan, Korea) 2015
  4. 10 March 2015: Bank Negara Scholarships: Bank Negara (Pre-University) Kijang Emas & Kijang Scholarships, Bank Negara Malaysia Undergraduate (Honours) Scholarship Awards, Bank Negara Postgraduate Scholarships (Master and PhD)
  5. 15 March 2015: Maybank Foundation Scholarship Award 2015
  6. 16 March 2015: PETRONAS Scholarships 2015 / UTP Scholarships
  7. 16 March 2015: The Star Education Fund Scholarship Awards
  8. 16 March 2015: Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) Scholarship Awards (Biasiswa Suruhanjaya Sekuriti)
  9. 17 March 2015: Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) Overseas Scholarship Programme
  10. 30 March 2015: Shell Malaysia Scholarships (Overseas / Local)
  11. 31 March 2015: Singapore's ASEAN Scholarships for Malaysians: Pre-University One Scholarships
  12. 2 April 2015: Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Pre-University Scholarship Programme (Local)
  13. 2 April 2015: Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Undergraduate Scholarship Programme (Local)
  14. 7 April 2015: Genting Malaysia Scholarship Award
  15. 15 April 2015: Tuanku Abdul Rahman Scholarship (BTAR)
  16. 30 June 2015: Education Ministry Bursaries (Bursary Pelajar Cemerlang SPM Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia KPM)
  17. 36 Scholarships for IPTA Undergraduate Students
  18. Throughout the year: Intel Malaysia Scholarships
More scholarship openings available at 50+ Most Prestigious Scholarships for STPM & SPM Leavers (Biasiswa Pelajar SPM & STPM).

JPA Scholarships 2015 (Biasiswa JPA)

JPA Scholarships 2015 (Biasiswa JPA)
Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) invites eligible candidates to apply for the engineering special programme to pursue studies in Germany, France, Japan and Korea.

This scholarship is for 2014 SPM Leavers who wish to pursue their engineering studies in Germany, France, Japan and Korea.

Successful candidates will be required to attend a preparatory course in colleges set in the country before pursuing studies abroad.

Deadline of JPA Scholarships application
10 March 2015

Who is eligible for JPA Scholarships (Biasiswa JPA)?
The eligility criteria for this scholarship is summarised as below:
  •     Malaysian citizen;
  •     Not more than 19 years of age (20 years old for Remove Class students);
  •     Having good health and not suffering from critical illnesses such as hepatitis, AIDS, HIV, etc.; and
  •     Obtained at least A- grade in eight (8) of the following subjects:
    •         Malay language;
    •         History;
    •         Islamic Studies or Al-Quran and As-Sunnah Education or Syariah Islamiah Education or Moral Education;
    •         English language;
    •         Physics;
    •         Chemistry;
    •         Mathematics;
    •         Additional Mathematics; and
    •         at least A- grade in any one (1) subject.

How to apply JPA Scholarships (Biasiswa JPA)?
The application will be opened on 4 March – 10 March 2015 only. Kindly visit www.jpa.gov.my to apply.

For more information or question regarding JPA scholarships 2015, contact penawaranlsp@jpa.gov.my or 03-8885 3670 / 3398 / 3564 / 3489 on every working day from 9.00am to 4.30pm.

KPM Bursary 2015 (Tawaran Bursary Biasiswa Pelajar Cemerlang SPM 2014)

KPM Bursary 2015 (Tawaran Bursary Biasiswa Pelajar Cemerlang SPM 2014)
Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (KPM) will be offering automatic bursary to Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2014 candidates who obtained outstanding results of 9A+ and above to undergo preparatory courses before continuing their undergraduate studies in local or foreign universities.

This KPM Bursary will cover costs of pre-university studies such as Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), matriculation studies, the International Baccalaurate (IB), A-Levels, or other foundation courses provided by the Higher Education Ministry.

KPM Bursary Closing Date
30 June 2015

Eligibility Criteria for KPM Bursary
  •     Malaysian citizen;
  •     Not more than 18 years of age (19 years old for Remove Class students) on 31 December 2014;
  •     Obtained 9A+ and above in SPM 2014; and
  •     Enrolled in one of the following preparatory courses:
    •         Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM);
    •         Matriculation;
    •         Foundation courses provided by IPTA;
    •         International Baccalaurate (IB);
    •         A-Levels

How to Apply KPM Bursary
  •     The Online Application System of KPM Bursary (Sistem Aplikasi Online Bursary) for SPM 2014 candidates will be activated on 4 March 2015;
  •     Outstanding SPM 2014 candidates who got 9A+ and above are required to check and update their details in the system at www.moe.gov.my.

All enquiries regarding KPM Bursary 2015 (Tawaran Biasiswa Pelajar Cemerlang SPM 2014) should be channeled to 038321 7086 or email at bt.bursary@moe.gov.my.


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Friday, February 27, 2015

Top 8 Survival Tips for International Students in Malaysia

Guest post by Edith Hayden (Share you education tips with 30,000+ Malaysian students)

Being an international student in Malaysia, remember a few vital things. It is alright to be nervous when you’re abroad for higher studies. People get the jitters even while applying to universities in their homeland. Mingling with new people, trying different things, and forming a new pack—everything initially blends into a spine-tingling, throat-parching moment of apprehension.

But after meeting the other freshman students, you’ll be able to cast aside the stress and explore the enjoyable side of being one of the international students in Malaysia. This article throws light on the simple ways to make your academic life abroad pleasant and fruitful.

International Students Study in Malaysia
International Students Studying in Malaysia / PicCredit

1. Pack wisely.

Prepare to meet a lot of people. Tons of international students flock to Malaysia each year, providing you a multi-ethnic atmosphere to live in. In 2010, a survey conducted on 199 institutes in Malaysia revealed that 86,923 students in those institutes hailed from Iran, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Yemen and other countries. This will allow you to thrive and expand your outlook. Make friends that are worth sticking to till the final year. Alumni network in a cosmopolitan setting as such has a lot of benefits.

2. Communicate as much as you can.

Being an International student, you are bound to stir people’s curiosity and tackle questions about your background, schooling etc. Smile to people, be polite, exchange Facebook IDs and have an “ais kacang” when you’re having a discussion. The syrup-topped ice will act as a coolant any time the fellow-freshman dealings bog you down. And remember, it is OK to share your canteen table with strangers as long as they seem polite and safe.

3. Steer clear of substance abuse.

Malaysia has strict rules against illicit drug use and it may even attract death penalty. So, avoid it at any cost.

4. You are not alone.

Remember, your fellow students are also on the same footing here. Don’t hesitate to say hello and get assistance as long as you need to get used to the local markets and food habits. You may feel a little alienated being around locals ceaselessly speaking “Bahasa Malaysia”.

But, do your bit to fit in. Show interest in what they’re talking about. English is known to all and they will smoothly interact with you. Sharply contrasting many other more anglicised neighbouring countries, most locals here openly exhibit emotions. Expect simple, clear-cut answers when you’re talking to your new friends around the academic neighbourhood.

5. Take a break.

The country has a plethora of stunning tourist spots. So, when your head is heavy with assignments and you need to soothe your nerves, go out. Try the moist rainforests, long beaches, caves, mountains and waterfalls which are not more than a few hours away from the major universities.

The diverse geography draws travellers from all over the world and you will enjoy special holiday-break privileges just a stone’s throw away. When you are tired of dealing with too many project papers, permit yourself for a cool escape to Langkawi’s white sands. You can also sail across the tropical islands in Kota Kinabalu for an unforgettable vacation.      

6. Save more.

Living cost is relatively inexpensive compared to countries like USA, Australia and UK. But big cities also offer sky-high luxury and expensive hotels which you should reasonably brush aside considering your college tuition fees and off-campus living costs.    
 
The transport fare, local restaurants, mini markets to malls, Malaysia offers great options for international students. With a $40 dollars-a-month gym subscription and $50 USD transport passes, an international student in Malaysia can enjoy quality living without burning a hole in the pocket. In a regular, low-cost restaurant, $3 USD can bring you 2 square meals. Surfing net would not require more than $20USD a month.  

Start to invest. This is mandatory for all university students to allocate at least $15 USD per month as health insurance which includes hospitalisation and medical treatment when necessary.
In a nutshell, the money required for basic things as food, clothes and lodgings ranges between $3000 to $4000 dollars. This applies to both on-campus and off-campus living costs which ensures better savings for future.

7. Keep your humour alive and kicking!

Laughter doesn’t need a language.  It is the best remedy for any moment of awkwardness. This will also provide a comic relief to your struggle and occasional sense of isolation. Even if a taxi-driver refuses to turn on the meter, don’t argue. Shrug it off with humour and check another one. If wearing shorts be a magnet for a lot of shooting stares, respect local sensibilities and be careful next time. Just a drizzle of light-hearted humour can ward off many stern looks.

8. Tingle Your Taste-buds

Malaysia offers a wide gamut of multi-national delicacies as Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes. An international student in Malaysia shouldn’t miss out on Bakuteh( Simmered Pork-ribs), Hokkien mee( Chinese yellow noodles) and Fresh River Prawns. Even street-side eateries offer light, healthy and delicious options to pick from. If you’re an avid western foodie, McDonalds, KFC, Subway and Burger King can satiate your appetite in major cities.

Diverse cultures, luscious landscapes, affordable tuition fees, and lavish food options, an international student in Malaysia truly has reasons to rejoice and say “Terima kasih”!

Edith Hayden is a marketing research analyst currently working with an essay review and analysis companies providing students with education tips and tutorials.


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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Top 50 Malaysia Scholarships 2015 Openings for STPM & SPM 2014 Result Holders - Apply Now!

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SPM 2014 Results Release Date (Tarikh Keputusan SPM 2014): 3rd March 2015
How to Check SMS 2014 Results Using SMS: Type SPM space IC number space index number Send to 15888

FREE for a limited time: Get 50+ Scholarship Offers via Email

30,000+ students like you have signed up for FREE scholarship updates!
What's next after you get your SPM 2014 results which will be out soon? Other than visiting the countless education fairs/edu fair/pre-university expo and various college/university open days to determine which pre-university programmes suit you best, you should definitely apply all these prestigious and competitive pre-university and undergraduate scholarships right away before their closing dates!

CTRL + D to bookmark this post and check back often. The scholarship list and dateline will be updated daily. Thank you for the sharing this post on your Facebook, it is now trending and very popular among students in Malaysia. Sharing is caring. Help us help others. Leave a comment if you want to suggest any scholarship opening not listed here and we will update it accordingly. Good luck and best wishes for excellent exam results!

Thank you for reading www.Malaysia-Students.com If you find this scholarship list useful, please forward it to your friends and family, siblings and all students in Malaysia Share our blog posts on your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ Link to us from your personal blog!

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Top Malaysia Scholarship Offers 2015 (Tawaran Biasiswa) and Closing Dates

1) 27 February 2015: Yayasan Tenaga Nasional (YTN) Scholarships & Convertible Study Loans
Discuss YTN scholarship with other applicants here / read more about YTN scholarship interview experience here
Yayasan Tenaga Nasional (YTN) Scholarships

2) 28 February 2015: Biasiswa MyBrainSc Scholarship 2015
Ask question on MyBrainSc scholarship here
Biasiswa MyBrainSc Scholarship 2015

3) 9 March 2015: Kuok Foundation Berhad Singapore Polytechnics Diploma Awards
Ask question on Kuok Foundation Berhad Singapore Polytechnics Diploma Awards here
Kuok Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship Awards

4) 10 March 2015: PSD Scholarships for Engineering Programmes Abroad (Biasiswa JPA Untuk Lepasan SPM 2014)
Discuss JPA scholarship with other applicants here / read more about JPA scholarship interview experience here
Biasiswa JPA untuk Lepasan SPM: Permohonan Tajaan Program Khas Jepun, Korea, Perancis dan Jerman

5) 10 March 2015: Bank Negara (Pre-University) Kijang Emas & Kijang Scholarships
6) 10 March 2015: Bank Negara Malaysia Undergraduate (Honours) Scholarship Awards
7) 10 March 2015: Bank Negara Postgraduate Scholarships (Master and PhD)
Bank Negara Malaysia Scholarships

8) 15 March 2015: Maybank Foundation Scholarship & Sponsorship Awards 2015
Discuss Maybank Foundation scholarship with other applicants here / read more about Maybank Foundation scholarship interview experience here
Maybank Foundation Scholarship & Sponsorship Awards 2015

9) 16 March 2015: PETRONAS Scholarships (Program Penajaan Pendidikan PETRONAS Untuk Lepasan SPM 2014)
Program Penajaan Pendidikan PETRONAS Untuk Lepasan SPM 2014

10) 16 March 2015: The Star Education Fund: Scholarship Awards 2015
Discuss The Star education fund with other applicants here / read more about The Star education fund interview experience here
The Star Education Fund Scholarship Awards 2015

11) 16 March 2015: Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) Scholarship Awards (Biasiswa Suruhanjaya Sekuriti)
Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) Suruhan Sekuriti Scholarship Awards

12) 17 March 2015: Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) Overseas Scholarship Programme
Ask question on PNB scholarships here
Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) Scholarship Programme

13) 30 March 2015: Shell Malaysia Overseas Undergraduate Scholarship Awards 2015
14) 30 March 2015: Shell Malaysia Local Undergraduate Scholarship Awards 2015
Ask question on Shell scholarship here
Shell Malaysia Undergraduate Scholarship Awards 2015

15) 31 March 2015: Singapore's ASEAN Scholarships for Malaysians: Pre-University One Scholarships
Singapore ASEAN Scholarships for Malaysia

16) 2 April 2015: Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Pre-University Scholarship Programme (Local)
17) 2 April 2015: Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Undergraduate Scholarship Programme (Local)
Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Pre-University and Undergraduate Scholarship Programme (Local)

18) 7 April 2015: Genting Malaysia GENM Scholarship Awards
Ask question on Genting scholarship here
Genting Malaysia GENM Scholarships


19) 15 April 2015: Tuanku Abdul Rahman Scholarship (BTAR) 2015
Biasiswa Tunku Abdul Rahman (BTAR) Scholarships

20) 30 June 2015: Education Ministry Bursaries (Bursary Pelajar Cemerlang SPM Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia KPM)
Discuss KPM bursary with other applicants here / read more about KPM bursary scholar's experience here
Bursary Pelajar Cemerlang SPM Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia

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Upcoming Scholarships Opened for Application Very Soon

The closing dates for the following 2015 scholarship applications to be announced soon. Want to be the first to know once these scholarships are opened? Enter your email into the form above to subscribe.

21) March 2015: Yayasan Khazanah Global Undergraduate Scholarship Programme
22) March 2015: Yayasan Khazanah Watan Undergraduate Scholarship Programme
23) March 2015: Yayasan Khazanah Cambridge Undergraduate Scholarship Programme
Yayasan Khazanah Nasional

24) March 2015: Elena Cooke Education Fund (Sunway Education Group & KBU International College)
Elena Cooke Education Fund

25) March 2015: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad Scholarships (Biasiswa FGV)
Biasiswa Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad Scholarships

26) April 2015: UEM Group Berhad Overseas Scholarship Programme
UEM Group Berhad Overseas Scholarship Programme

27) April 2015: MMC Corporation Berhad Scholarship Programme
MMC Corporation Berhad Scholarship Programme

28) April 2015: Yayasan Telekom Malaysia Talent-A Scholarship Programme (Program Biasiswa YTM Talent-A)
Program Biasiswa YTM Talent-A

29) April 2015: Nanyang Siang Pau Scholarships (南洋商报大专奖学金计划)
Nanyang Scholarships (南洋商报大专奖学金计划)

30) April 2015: The 2015 ASTRO Scholarship Awards
Astro Scholarship Awards

31) April 2015: Kuok Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship Awards: KUOK KENG KANG SCHOLARSHIPS for Undergraduate Studies at MALAYSIAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
32) April 2015: Kuok Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship Awards: KF HALF-LOAN HALF-GRANT AWARDS for Undergraduate Studies at MALAYSIAN & SINGAPORE PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
Kuok Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship Awards

33) April 2015: PIDM Undergraduate Scholarship Programme
PIDM Undergraduate Scholarship Programme

34) April 2015: Samsung SMART Scholarships
Samsung SMART Scholarships

35) April 2015: GAMUDA Scholarship Awards
GAMUDA Scholarship Awards

36) April 2015: IJM Scholarship Award Programme
IJM Scholarship Award Programme

37) April 2015: Sin Chew Daily Education Fund 2015
Sin Chew Daily Education Fund

38) May 2015: AEON Malaysia Scholarship Awards

39) May 2015: Hong Leong Foundation Pre-University Scholarship Programme: ROAR Education Development Programme
40) May 2015: Hong Leong Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship Programme
Hong Leong Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship Programme

41) May 2015: United Malacca Berhad University Scholarship Awards
United Malacca Berhad University Scholarship Awards

42) May 2015: Great Eastern Supremacy Scholarship Awards
Great Eastern Supremacy Scholarship Award

43) May 2015: Maxis Scholarship for Excellence Awards
Maxis Scholarship for Excellence Awards

44) May 2015: The Google Anita Borg Memorial Undergraduate & Postgraduate Scholarship: Asia Pacific
The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship: Asia Pacific

45) May 2015: Yayasan Bursa Malaysia Scholarships
Yayasan Bursa Malaysia Scholarships

46) May 2015: Top Glove Scholarship Fund
Top Glove Scholarship Fund

47) May 2015: The British Council IELTS Scholarships
British Council IELTS Scholarships

48) May 2015: Perdana University (JPA/PSD) Scholarship Awards
Perdana University Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam JPA Scholarship Award

49) June 2015: Loh & Loh Corporation Bhd Scholarship Programme
Loh & Loh Corporation Bhd Scholarship Programme

50) June 2015: Panasonic Scholarships for Engineering Students
Panasonic Scholarships Engineering

FREE! Click here to enter your email to get Petronas Scholarships, Bank Negara Scholarships, JPA Scholarships, KPM Bursary, MARA Scholarships, Yayasan Khazanah Scholarships, PTPTN Education Loan... sent directly to your email!



► Read more on Top 50 Malaysia Scholarships 2015 Openings for STPM & SPM 2014 Result Holders - Apply Now!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Myth Busters - 7 Myths About College Busted!

Guest post by Jessica McCarthy (Share your stories and advices with fellow Malaysian students)

Let us bust some commonly believed myths about college admissions and college life to give a clearer picture to students.

Students who are applying to university or college usually get scared when they hear these statements listed below when they are downright false. Because of this, they either end up with a wrong career or miserable in a 3rd rate or fourth rate college. If you are about to go to college or you are thinking about applying to college, then you should definitely read this article as we have busted some commonly believed fallacies and myths here! Read on:
Debunking college myths debunked

1. Unknown colleges for me cannot be good colleges:

This is a highly believed myth that if I have not heard of the college, it cannot be good. In fact, this is the most wrong statement about colleges because many colleges are known for their athletic programs so they become popular, others are known for drama clubs so they are quite prominent on the television while you are growing up. Good colleges are more than this, and as you enter your adult life you will realize that the names of colleges you had not heard before are quite excellent academic institutions in their own right. So, do not limit your applications to those colleges whose names you are familiar with only, rather search comprehensively for good institutions.

2. Good grades will pull me through to good colleges:

Many students believe that a perfect report card with SPM straight A’s is enough to ensure their admission in their dream college. They can’t be wrong enough! A college admissions officer looks at several things while making the final decision. They look at your achievement, not only academic, but community work, extracurricular activities and skills like leadership skills and ability to work in a team or ability to communicate in a diverse setting too. Moreover, the admission essay you submit also has a lot of weight age. So never believe that SPM straight A’s are a ticket to your dream college as colleges look for a well rounded person.

3. Extracurricular activities will pull me through to good colleges:

As a perfect report card cannot ensure your admission in your dream college, similarly it is very wrong to believe that only extracurricular activities will pull you through to your dream college. Admittedly, these out of class activities do matter as admissions officers look at athletics, debating ability in a potential student, however, they in no way can compensate for good grades because colleges look for a well rounded person as stated before.

4. Only high achievers can receive scholarships:

Many students believe that only high achievers can get scholarships in universities and colleges. This is in fact highly untrue because many universities want their students to continue their studies with them so they offer both merit based as well as financial need assistance scholarships. You might believe this because they think the federal government is the main donor of scholarship funding to student, however, it is the private colleges that contribute a major chunk of financial aid to students who need assistance. So, if you are admitted in a college, it is quite possible you will be able to secure a scholarship on need basis too.

5. High school grades are less important than ACT, SAT scores:

Although, colleges have a strict criteria when it comes to standardized scores, they do not admit students below a certain score, however, this is a complete fallacy that high school grades do not matter as much as scores of standardized test matter. Admission officers look for high school grades and use them as a predictor to your college grades. Moreover, top colleges get thousands of applications per year with perfect scores on these tests, so in order to stand out you need a differentiating factor and your high grades, they need not be straight A’s, can be taken into account when making a decision.

6. I should choose my major before I apply to any college:

This is believed by many students across the globe and this is absolutely false! You do not have to decide on a major when you apply to a college, in fact, you do not have to settle for a major in the first year of your college too. It is a fact that college students change their majors at least two to three times before settling on one option. This is also very wise as you need to choose a major that you are comfortable with, choosing it prior to joining the college is not a very smart move.

7. College life is not the real life!

Many students believe this and do not take their college life as seriously as they should when in fact this is a complete myth. College life is a stepping stone into your future life. It teaches students the essential skills like time management, financial management and it grooms students for their life after college in the professional world.

Jessica McCarthy is a highly acclaimed content writer in the field of academic writing because of her extensive experience in this industry.  Currently, she is a member of the content writing team at Online Assignment Writing.


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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Application Experience Sharing

Posted by Celine Wan

Note: It’s the MIT interview season and some juniors have been asking me about my interview experience. Though I did not write about my interview experience in this super old and private (now made public haha) diary post, I’d like to share the MIT application process instead so that students can get a taster on how to apply. A lot of Malaysian students do not apply to the USA universities because it is tedious and there is not much guidance on it.

MyMIT Application Journey

Currently: Meh. If only there's a list of all the emoticons The Student Room has, then I'll show you how I really feel like.

Dear self,

It's the university application decisions season, which explains the incessant rambles about universities. Bear with me; I'm all hyped out.

MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology Application Interview Experience
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in all its grandeur

It was Pi Day (3.14) and Tau Time (6.28) in New York when the results were released. At that time, it was about 5:30am over here on the 15th of March; I was asleep.

Remember how I've said that there might be one University that will make me reconsider my Cambridge University offer? Well, this is the one -- MIT: like how Julliard is to Musicians, and Harvard is to Americans. MIT is sort of like a pinnacle of academe for engineers. But sadly, maybe it's because of their strict quota on international undergraduates (due to generous financial aid), that I was inevitably squeezed out from the crowd of MIT undergrad hopefuls, simply because I wasn't good enough; thus, got rejected.

I'm not entirely sad about this, nor am I happy too. In fact it is a mix of contradictory feelings. This is because I've instantly fell in love with the Natural Science and Chemical Engineering Tripos in England and couldn't bear to turn down that offer. Aside from loving the 'other' Cambridge's course structure, I didn't like the prospects of attending swimming and PE classes for a year, because I was told that I'm required to do so in MIT. There were a lot more factors which have caused an inner conflict within me, and though I have to admit that I'm feeling worse than I've expected, since I've predicted a rejection anyway as the competition was one of the fiercest in history, but I still feel rather upset about it because I've put in a lot of effort and hope into it. Still, I concede that I'm not as passionate or dedicated as other people are in the field of engineering because I initially wanted to be a doctor, nor am I better in conveying my feelings in my essays till the admissions officer would have been able to glean some sort of vicarious emotions from me. To add to this, I've only recently know about the existence of MIT (sad case). So for those who fit into any one of these categories which I've mentioned above (love MIT since 19XX or love engineering since 19XX ) but was unsuccessful, I guess that's even more sad.

Don't doubt yourself Celine. Take everything at face value. Plus you’ll never get any offers without risking rejection ☺

Sigh, sometimes, I feel as if I'm a little too harsh on myself. Is being strict unto oneself just an unnecessary burden that one is carrying? Why am I still in prison when the doors are wide open?

Anyway, here is a little blog entry of my journey as an international MIT undergraduate applicant: the hopes and fears as I've masochistically endured the tedium of "myMIT" application. Enjoy:-

Application to become a MIT-ten

It was October 2011 when I've decided to try my luck on this prestigious institution. I kept telling myself that I'm simply buying a lottery ticket: if I get in, then by all means bloody congratulations to myself but if I didn't, then it was just some time and effort that'll be in my expense (how wrong I was to assume as such). I had once doubted my sincerity in applying to MIT until I've read the MIT admissions blog-- it's so easy to fall head over heels for Mitty after that.

Applying to MIT is no easy feat. Here's a brief summary (I may miss out a few trifling things):-

MIT Application Interview Experience

How to Apply MIT

First and foremost, I had to return to my form 3 secondary school to retrieve my PMR results and have them translated to English and then validated by the school principal. Next, I rushed to my form 4 and 5 secondary school to have all of my INTERNAL and external examinations translated, photocopied, and certified. After getting all of my high school records officially sighted and "chopped", I went to Taylor's to find my records of all the internal examinations that I've sat for during my time as a college student there. Of course, this includes my official AS and A levels results but I was required to also obtain all of my internal examinations records and submit them to the admissions officer. As I was also required to give two teacher recommendations (one essay from Science teacher and another essay Humanities), I was having a hard time to decide whom I should ask for help. It was no easy task for their part too, because I had to 'disturb' them multiple times for meet ups and such. In the end, I asked for my Biology lecturer's and English teacher's help.

Unlike most other US universities, MIT does not run on the "common application" (UCAS equivalent). Just like Cambridge's "COPA," all accounts were from a separate body (although Cambridge needs UCAS AND COPA). I was confused about everything at first, because I never attended the US applications workshop and the placement centre said that the US universities are too independent from one another, and thus, hardly share any similarities. Every knowledge I have is through the help of friends who had applied to the US last year and through my own experience (forums etc). I was quite alone in this. To me, to obtain good results in my A levels is probably the easiest thing in the university application process (I'm really bad in personal statements and essay writings).

Then came the SATs.

From an international student's point of view, the SAT is one of the most difficult examinations that I've ever taken. I'm not gifted in languages, maybe it is a curse that most engineers possess. The SAT (II) subject tests were fine, I got decent marks for that, but what I'm referring to is the daunting SAT I. I took Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics Level 2 for SAT 2. Both the SATs took a long time to be completed, but the SAT 1 is as easy as half a day because it's about 3-4 hours. I'm glad that I've significantly increased my SAT scores though. At first, I thought I have pretty decent scores, because my percentiles are 86, 95, and 98 respectively (not in order of whichever sections). Unfortunately, it's not the case if I'm applying for the Ivy Leagues, to the point of me questioning my intelligence and 'theirs.' I guess I'm not cut out as an ideal American University applicant ): [I was very discouraged when I read forums from College Confidential, Brightsparks, ReCom, and The Student Room...]

Edit: US is more lenient to international applicants when it comes to SATs, that's why they have the TOEFL for us non-native speakers :)

My TOEFL: 115/120
SAT subject test: 2390/2400 (meh...I wanted a 2400 :C)
SAT first attempt (october): 1990/2400
SAT second attempt (november aka the following month): 2060/2400

Yes, I suck in English. Just....don't rub it in. I know forums say that it is not "Ivy League standard." But bloody hell, I've only decided to apply to the US after reading Terrence's article/ 3 months before uni deadline so shaddup/shush? ): I STARTED WITH NO CLUE (excuses like a bimb...heh.)

Edit: My friend got into Wharton with a 2040 and plenty of Malaysians with 2300+ in SAT1 didn't get in to all the top universities-- HAH!! (US is really so weird I'm getting scared.. decided not to go there anymore, after the rejection from MIT sigh. Maybe postgraduate lah? I heard it’s easier then.)

I've met our Taylor's assistant principal many times to ask for the principal's details and for the student counselor's recommendation letter. I've also drafted a letter to request for an application fee waiver. Since I'm applying for financial aid, I had to scrutinize my parents too.

MIT Application Interview Experience Malaysia

After submitting Part 1 from 'MyMIT' account, I had to email a MIT alumnus to request for an interview. The interview went smoothly, so I have no qualms about that, and then I proceeded to complete part 2 of my application. All this while trying to obtain stellar grades in the SATs and TOEFL (and of course handling other things). Note that my MIT interview was just a few days before my Cambridge one, so I was shocked by the vast difference between the two's expectations.

When all of the documents were filed and ready to be mailed, silly me entrusted all of my important documents to Pos Laju. In the end, I had to use my colour-photostated copies (the contingent plan…So lucky I had backups for all my documents) as substitutes and sent them via DHL. Part 2 of my application was a string of essays and a list of all activities etc. It had ruined my holidays and Christmas. Enough said.

Once I was done with my MIT application, I was rushed to complete the rest of my US applications. A month later, I created an account in college board to fill in my particulars for a financial aid application. The fact that I have to pay for a financial aid application is very interesting. Soon after that, I've submitted other required documents that are essential for my financial aid application to be processed. That was it. Then came 'the wait.'

The Outcome

I've anticipated a rejection. I know that it would come, because I've submitted an admittedly weak application. In fact, I won't be too surprised if there are more rejections to come. With that bearing in mind, I was unusually calm and slept very early on Pi Day Malaysia time. I was not nervous when I woke up, because with the knowledge that I have already secured a lucrative offer at hand, it's just easier to fall back on something that I've already wanted. As expected-- and after all of that-- it was a rejection anyway (note that the application process took me from October till January...and a bit of February). Slightly upset at most, I believe that my efforts were not entirely a waste. It was a good experience, for America is a very different world to me, with different ideologies and expectations. Do I really want to go to the USA when I've plenty of friends in the UK? Culture shock, liberal arts education, great alumni network, legacy.... Yes— Just not now.

So maybe I should be glad, because confusions would no longer arise. I guess the 800-year-old Cambridge is where I would be heading without any guilt whatsoever. In retrospect, my confidence to gain an admission had also ebbed away when I saw the video of a girl who has launched her MIT acceptance letter into OUTER SPACE.

To quote Jodi Picoult again:
"It was possible that a miracle was not something that happened to you, but rather something that didn't." - The Tenth Circle, Jodi Picoult
Well, life goes on. It was fun/good experience while it lasted.

"And England it is! O levels, A levels, and now a degree and masters from the same institution! The land of punting (Wizard's Institute of Technology aka WIT) I go!"

gah.

Till then!

Celine.

Update: You can go for a student exchange program to MIT in Cambridge ☺ I’ve met some people who are from MIT studying here right now vice versa.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

20 Advices to Postgraduate Research Students / PhD Students

Guest post by Nachimani Charde

I was a senior lecturer with my bachelor and master degrees in engineering. I had 5 years of teaching experience at colleges and at universities up to degree levels before taking up a research program at UK based university campus in Malaysia -- The University of Nottingham Malaysia campus. Although I have published 20 journal papers (5-ISI, 5-Scopus and 10-Google Scholar listed publications), I dropped out after 2 viva voce exams mainly because of the procedural irregularities of university campuses. Thereby, I strongly believe that my experience will guide the junior researcher to select appropriate research programs for their doctoral level studies in Malaysia.

PhD Comics: The Evolution of Intellectual Freedom
PhD Comics: The Evolution of Intellectual Freedom

20 Advices to Postgraduate Research Students / PhD Students:

  1. Verify the university accreditation with MQA through their online accreditation system.
  2. Check the World University Ranking at THES for university campuses if you demand for world class education. A university and university franchised campuses are entirely different from one another.
  3. International societies’ accreditation play important role for several professional programs. Check your own national policies for accreditations.
  4. Don’t blindly trust any university booklets, brochures, pamphlets and etc. Request for proper information at the beginning of any post graduate programs, as it is very important because any foreign university campuses may upgrade their information system every three years once so any information can be wrongly interpreted (this is not applicable to university campuses who has single policy and permanent database system).
  5. Don’t trust any university statement blindly such as: ‘We are the top 1.5% of World Universities who has campuses in moon and mars’.
  6. Don’t trust any form of recommendations from their own webs and blogs as such things can be created by themselves with undergraduates students.
  7. Free laptop, free wifi, free accommodation, free gym, free food, free girl/boy friend-society will never ensure a quality environment for researchers.     
  8. Check the funding agencies (such as MOSTI, FPGR, e-Science, MyBrain) for their contribution levels if any (careful with scheme such as 70% scholarship but the PhD candidate has to pay 30% of fee out of a 3 years PhD studies. This can be a financial support for the first 2 years which normally lead to a Master of Philosophy level).
  9. Consider annually-renewing contract as if any problem is existed between university campus and PhD candidates, they can cancel your studentship and halt your studies once for all.
  10. Selecting supervisors is an important step in PhD research programs. However, very experienced lecturers with title like ‘Associate Professor’ or ‘Professor’ will normally have broad experience in handling junior researchers. So they are ideal for research supervision but still some senior lecturers have fairly contributed to their student’s achievements in the past. If a supervisor has many publications at ISI level of journals, he/she may train you for high impact journal publications likewise.
  11. Be little careful with any fresh PhD graduate or fresh PostDoct-graduate supervisors who has no single publications at any journals.
  12. Get all your contract, offer, funding related information in black and white- forms.
  13. Record the collections of journal/conference/thesis/etc of your field so later you can use such document when go for thesis write up.
  14. Try with full spirit and I’m sure everyone can get a PhD in their respective research field.
  15. Form national and international discussion forum/ or network so you don’t have to depend on your supervisor for technical advancement.
  16. If any problem comes in during the research years, find solution amicably with your supervisors, otherwise take the matter to university senates.
  17. Never once compromise with examiners selection because any university campus’s person-in-charge can wash his/her hands if anything goes wrong in procedures.
  18. Don’t accept any abnormal procedures or extensive delay as this is what they want to generate cheap academician as for the use of their own faculty. So once submitted a thesis, find a job immediately.
  19. Never give up for cheating attitude of any lecturers or professors as all academician bound by university and national laws.
  20. If further advice is needed, then write to me at nachicharde@yahoo.com or visit www.graduatesunion.info for a PhD exam's case studies.


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