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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

KUOK Foundation Undergraduate Awards Part II

Posted by BooNBoX

Yeah, this is the second part (read KUOK Foundation Undergraduate Awards Part I) and it will be about my experience since I stepped out from STPM. After my STPM examination, I was having fun all the time. Yeah, fun as in I enjoyed the life while working part-time and doing research for my future. I know it was kind of late to do research that time but at least I did it. And it was a long story before I ended up with KUOK’s financial assistance to enable my studies in Singapore.

I applied a lot of scholarship applications, and looking through almost every possibilities that I can further with my STPM certificate that I would get later in March 2006. To make dreams wonderful, I even stepped out from my box to look beyond to overseas studies though it was not possible in the sense of financial status. I remember I had no intention to study in Singapore before that. I just wanted to apply to every university that was possible as one option for my future path. So I sent my application to Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) in Singapore. I will describe more on the Singapore studies in my next post concentrating on these topics.

Then it was the “gan zheong” time (nervous as in cantonese) when the results released. After celebration (for other people… lol) life returned back to normal and I continued with my research on scholarships and etc. Then it was my aunt that passed me the advertisement from the newspaper (SIN CHEW JIT POH if not mistaken and I believe KUOK Foundation will publish in English and Chinese major newspaper) and it was KUOK Foundation. So I sent my results slip to request for the application form. At this stage they will filter the applications as you need to achieve some expectation before you can even get the form!!

I got the application form a few days later and I started to fill in the details. The closing date will be very soon as it would be 2-4 weeks after the release of STPM results. At that moment I still skeptical of filling in my first choice of university but somehow I ended with NTU but I did attach another list of courses of NUS and local IPTA that I had registered, just as a back-up. After getting all those documents done I sent it back and pray.

So while waiting for the annoucement of the second round, I had my SAT II and tried to involve in some activities to stronger my portfolio. One more thing, KUOK is very strict in the process as they would call any family members or the referees you’ve provided to confirm thedata you’ve filled in the application form. My mother even scolded me because she was so afraid that anything she answered would affect the outcome. It was around early of June that I received a letter from KUOK asking me to attend for the interview. I was so touched! Why? It has been a long story. Since my ‘perfect’ results in my SPM, I was heart-broken after being turned down by EVERY scholarship application (JPA, Petronas etc..) and I did not even get the chance for interview. Somehow KUOK asked me for this interview and I really appreciated that. I knew I need to do the best to earn this. This was the first chance I got and maybe the only and so I would not give up so easily. Honestly I was a little bit relieved because I believed what I did during this long holiday would somehow made my application appearred stronger to the interviewers.

The interview was held at Kuala Lumpur city centre’s golden traingle area, near Bukit Bintang to be exactly. When I reached Wisma Jerneh at almost 1050H, my father said that he would like to accompany me into the office. Aha! Couldn’t deny that it would certainly add some pressure to me. My heart was pumping in acceleration. After showing my ID and original certificates. I sat down with my father and wait for the call. There were only two older man sitting there and I believed that they were accompanying other candidate. While waiting for the interview, I was so afraid as this was my first interview. I was so fresh in this kind of function. I did not know what they would ask. Whatever… You wouldn’t want to put your feet into my shoes at that moment. I knew it was useless to sweat and I still managed to get the names of the interviewers from the receptionist. She smiled at me as to comfort me (or really smiling caused I was so freaked out). Then it was then the moment I heard my name being called.

“DO NOT PANIC! DO NOT PANIC!!” I kept on repeating to myself. I saw an old gentleman and a lovely lady and I greeted them with the names I got before. This is the game of impressing. It depends on how much you could impress them. I tried to figure which style to answer to their questions. Serious? Or with some humor? I realised that I did not have the time hence I just stick being myself. I forgot what have they asked my for the first few questions but I remembered that I was freaked out that I stucked in the mid way. The interviewers were very nice as they realised my nerves and so asked me to relax. I explained that this was my first interview and taking opportunity to thank them and KUOK for giving a chance. So I apologized, took a deep breathe, adjusted my seat, cleared my throat and asked permission to speak again. It was smooth afterwards.

The whole interview, they asked more on WHY YOU CHOOSE THIS COURSE? WHAT IS YOUR FUTURE PROSPECT AFTER PURSUING IN THIS COURSE? WHAT IS THE FIELD OF THE COURSE ABOUT? They would ask about your family financial status. WHY PURSUING IN SINGAPORE? WHAT WOULD YOU DO SINCE THE MONEY FROM KUOK IS NOT ENOUGH TO COVER EVERYTHING?? etc… I almost forgot all the scientific terms but I still managed to threw some simple examples to show impression. I even grabbed the chance to show them what had I done during the holiday to update myself. Talking about my experience working in legal firm, being an internet DJ and showed my article that got published in The Star as a young journalist member in The Star family.

After around 30 minutes, it was all over. I knew I had done a good job though it could be better. However I was so happy when the interviewers asked the clerk to photostat my published article as their reference. Then it was another wait for 1 month plus… when I decided to come to NTU for my bachelor. Studying in Singapore is not that difficult. I brought SGD1,600 as my starting fees and others were all loan. The second day during my orientation camp I received an sms from my family that I got the half-grant half-loan award I was so happy that I jumped around in the crowd. Getting KUOK’s fund means lessen your burden as you won’t need to take large loan to study in Singapore.

After all the legal stuff and finally I received the first instalment. I am glad and grateful that I got this award. (my mom too! She was so worried that I would die of hunger in Singapore if KUOK has not approved the fund) .
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Comments
13 Comments

13 comments:

  1. Your experience in beating the impossible is really inspiring to me as your financial background is similar to mine in some way though yours is better than mine. You can't deny that, can you? :P

    You've had your SAT II during your post-STPM holiday and you went to NTU even before you've been confirmed to receive the half-grant half-loan award. So, have you actually decided to pursue your bachelor's degree in foreign university before the result was announced?

    I even stepped out from my box to look beyond to overseas studies though it was not possible in the sense of financial status.
    If it's really not possible, how could you risk your future by going to NTU? I think you somehow can afford to study abroad even if you don't get the award. Or, were you very confident to successfully get the award finally?

    Frankly, I do not have the guts to enroll in a foreign university if I'm not confirmed to receive this award since I really can't afford the expensive fees. Local university remains my target and I'm glad to hear from you that KUOK Foundation Undergraduate Awards are available for local undergraduates too!

    Another question: are you coming from an English speaking family? I went to the PSD Scholarship Interview and I didn't get the scholarship in the end partly because of my English speaking sucks wasn't good though I couldn't deny that having two 2As in my straight-As SPM results and being a non-native contributed to my failure too. Any suggestion to impress the interviewers during the interview besides the ones mentioned in the post above?

    As far as I know, you're so active in co-curricular activities on top of the young journalist member in The Star and internet DJ, do you mind to share your secrets to become a well-rounded student in both academics and co-curriculum? Hmm, maybe I should apply to be an internet DJ for BrokenEnglish.fm. Come support me! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just brought SGD1,600 and that was all my family can give to me. Ha! Was I rich?? That amount of money considered including most of the emergency funds and savings of my parents. When they gave the money to me... I knew it was bad, and it was all they could support... in the end they still need t survive right??... It was because I really didn't have enough funds by myself, but afterall I knew I was going to survive ... ...

    It is just a matter of how much of work you gonna do whether u got or not getting the scholarships... I planned that if I didn't get the KUOK i'll apply for bursaries or scholarsips available... if still unlucky... then i would try working part time to suppot myself...

    Studying in Singapore is not that impossible. You know that Singapore is a very small country and hence they need foreigner to work for them. And so they give up many scholarships and loans for foreigners students ... ... like me ... though getting KUOK's funds... ... I still took a loan to pay up for my tuition fees. And they are lots more people took up ONLY LOANS ... ... guess what .. they are not tat rich though... do look through al the possibilities ... as i said before this ... DON'T GIVE UP before you try !!! the opportunity is there!!!

    Well, I'm not English Speaking family too ... It's just that I prepared myself for so long and waited for so long and got the chance... well, at least you have the chance for PSD scholarshpi interview .. anyway don't give up ... get excellen results in STPM and believe me there are lots more scholarships waitig for you .. do look around and get more friends other than your school ... becoz it will expose you to more opportunities out there ...

    Hmm... well-rounded student... sometimes i wondered ... am i ? i'm not those EXCELLENT results student ... when i got to Nanyang Technological University the first plce . i was drowning ... ... sunk into the sea of talents ... ... but after i looked for long while ... ... it is just about the journey of looking a platform to shine!!! so learn as much as you can now so that you'll be more shining later!!! About th DJ thing... haha... juz talking crap ... you won't want to listen to my voice ... ... lol

    Cheers!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What Kuok Foundation is offering is peanuts? I read lately that Ananda Krishnan who controls Astro, Tanjong, Maxis, Measat etc has given out 100 over millions to Malaysians. Astro offers now 300,000 scholarship for each individual

    ReplyDelete
  4. hey dude .. you wanna know what peanuts are KUOK Foundation offering ? Please refer to KUOK Foundation PART I which I had written not long ago.. you can find it under UNDERGRADUATE section ...

    well .. dude ... the amount of scholarship depends on the location and which university you are attending .. yes .. ASTRO may be offering few hundreds thousands to a student for his/her studies but it is because they need such amount of money !! You will have to look through each scholarship offering organisation's goal and purposes of offering such scholarships ...

    good luck with your application for scholarship though!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. i got the interview letter from kuok foundation..may i ask if i need to bring all me certificate for the interview? i had already submited it when i send the application form..
    btw, hv2 wear formal is it? the interviewers is sitting far away or near?
    wat else tat i need to do to impress the interviewers?

    thanks n i hope ur reply soon..

    ReplyDelete
  6. yes, you'll need to bring all original certificates together .. just in case..

    the interviewers will be sitting very near to you.. and wearing semi-formal should be good enough..

    about other impressing actions.. it all depends on you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. i got the course tat was not my 1st choice..n i oso nt much interest in the course...
    so i m goin to answer ques based on the course tat i stated in the form or the course tat government offer me nw?
    very blur....pls help me...thanks...

    ReplyDelete
  8. it depends on the interviewers.. you may ask them to clarify of which course they want to know more.. so you better prepare more on both courses...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just got an offer from NUS to study business.I am totally blur now because i can't really make any decision.
    I have applied for kuok's foundation and until now i haven't get any reply from them yet.My family couldn't afford to support my study in singapore.
    The result for public university is not out yet and i have to give a reply to NUS..
    What should i do?????
    Can i accept the offer from NUS first while waiting for the offer from public uni??.
    If i get the university and subjects that i aimed for in public uni , can i reject the offer from singapore after i agree to accept it at frist.
    Need your advice!! thanks

    ReplyDelete
  10. xiao wen : seriously, go to NUS. NUS beat any of our public unis in rankings, so what's the point of waiting for a local offer?

    plus i think the singapore government will sponsor quite a large part of your fees (you only need to pay 2k-ish sing dollars a year, instead of 20k-ish) but you'll be bonded.

    choose wisely!

    ReplyDelete
  11. To Xiao Wen,

    You can accept the offer from NUS first. No harm doing that and reject the offer at a later date. The results for KUOK Award will be quite late as I got the offer during my first week here in NTU when I was in the Orientation Camp.

    What I can suggest is that, you may try to come down for the orientation camp and try to look around in Singapore and see whether the environment is suitable for you or not. I don't want to compare Singapore University with Malaysia University as the difference might be a little bit different from the point of perspective ... Well, from the academic performances and facilities point of view I do think that Singapore University has huge advantage on these ...

    Financial issue is crucial. You may want to consider it wisely but to be honest with you - if you can get KUOK award and taking up bank loans in Singapore, you will have no trouble at all! I am the example. I stop taking money from my parents even from the first month I stepped in here so family won't carry a big burden on you.

    Be sure to look out for the price hike for the latest incoming freshies this year and take that into consideration if financial issue is crucial for you, but to be honest try looking for alternatives as tuition fees are always not the main concern to study in Singapore as the government will try to attract as many foreign talent as possible. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Is A level qualification accepted? Do they need SPM results? Since i only have O level qualification.

    ReplyDelete
  13. hi there, I wanna ask if I'm going to the orientation camp in NTU, and after that I am not being granted for kuok foundation 1/2 loan 1/2 grant awards and I wish to resign from NTU on the first week of orientation, do I have to pay for the 1st semester tuition fees?

    ReplyDelete

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