Posted by elie
For us Malaysian students hoping to study or already studying in one of the public universities in Singapore, there are a few scholarships that we are eligible for; one of them is the ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship.
In this article, I will talk about how to apply for the scholarship and also what goes on behind closed doors for the interview. I hope that this can help anyone who is interested to study in Singapore as this is a bond-free scholarship (you just have to serve 3 years working in Singapore or in a Singapore-owned company as required for the Tuition Grant).
The ASEAN scholarship is open for citizens from ASEAN countries (except for Singapore). The undergraduate scholarship is administered separately by the 2 universities; National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
So how do you apply for these scholarships? For NUS applicants, we are considered as foreign students (for non citizens/PRs). We do not have to apply separately for the scholarship; the school will notify you if you're shortlisted for an interview. For NTU applicants, after you complete your application online, you can apply for the scholarship using a separate online form. It would be good to ask one of your lecturers/teachers to prepare an Appraisal Letter for you, because after you have completed your scholarship application, you can ask your lecturer/teacher to submit his/her appraisal using the Appraisal Form online with your application number and details.
If you are shortlisted for the interview, you will be notified online and you would have to confirmed your attendance online; just follow the instructions in the email. From here on, I would relate my own experience on the interview process for the scholarship at NTU.
In my case, there were 3 interviewers. The interview was conducted in a meeting room, so there was a huge meeting table between me and the 3 interviewers (Not much of a chance to present your portfolio to back up what you're talking about). The one seated in the middle, directly opposite me, is the dean of Admissions, Dr. Lalit Goel. The other 2 interviewers were professors (but I did not take note of their names or faculty, was too nervous haha).
It was more like a friendly chat but these are some of the questions they might ask (from my own experience and others on the same day as me)
1. Compare NUS and NTU. Which one do you prefer and why?
2. Why do you deserve this scholarship?
3. Tell me more about your ...(extra curricular activities)
4. What have you learnt from ...(extra curricular activities)
5. If we award you the scholarship, but you would have to study your 5th choice, would you still accept the offer?
6. Tell me what and how can you contribute to campus life on NTU?
What I did was, I was polite but most of the time, I was just being myself. The most important thing here is to be confident and be natural! The dean is a really funny guy and the professors are quite friendly!
If you get shortlisted for the interview, be confident because if you're not good, they wouldn't have given you a chance to meet and talk to them right? If you don't, don't despair, as interviews are conducted in batches until June. And there's other options like the Tuition Fee Loan scheme and Work Study Scheme (work on campus and earn $10/hour; you can earn up to $400 per month).
Anyway, I hope that this post will be helpful for you guys!
I was also invited for the ASEAN scholarship by NUS recently. Potential candidates will be notified by email. You will be required to fill in a CV form and email it back to the official. On the day itself, you must bring a photograph of yourself and a portfolio of your transcript(s), certificates and etc. It would also be better if you bring a hard copy of your own CV for your own reference.
The setting is very much different compared to NTU's interview. For the NTU interview, there was 3 interviewers including the Dean of Admissions. For the NUS interview, there was only one interviewer, the Deputy Director. The interview was held in a rather small room, so it helps if you bring a portfolio of your past achievements/projects or even photos. The questions were more or less the same, like "In your opinion, what do we look for in a scholar?", "Do you have the qualities of the scholar that we are looking for and why?" and things like that.
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