Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The Semester at Sea website was very easy to follow and details exactly what scholarships they provide and how you can apply to them. It also shows you when they've received your application and if you've been approved. That's one great thing about SAS-the website. Although I applied around October, which was much later than many other students, I could still easily turn in all my needed documents with the help of the website. By the way, I spoke to several students who applied as close to about a week before the ship sailed. It's really difficult and strenuous, but it can be done. Getting the visas is definitely the hardest part. Some of the students had a hard time and couldn't get certain visas so they had to visit the embassies in various countries to obtain those. It's just easier to allow yourself plenty of time to get those visas. But anyway, the scholarship applications. I applied to late for the Presidential scholarships - and I highly recommend anyone applying to the program to try to get this scholarship. It looks like a little work, but it pays for tuition so it helps out a lot. And meeting the presidential scholars on the ship, I expected them to be like some kind of geniuses. But they weren't really. I mean, they were smart, but basically the whole idea of the scholarship is to have a really good research project. So if you can come up with one of those and articulate it well, then you have a shot at the scholarship. Only a few people get the full ride so it's pretty competitive. But as for the other scholarships, I applied for Need, Merit, and Work-study and got all three. The work-study I applied for was in the Audio-visual department. They have a work-study for communications, which is more in the area of journalism, but I am more interested in broadcast journalism and I decided audio visual might help hone my skills. But there's also a photographer and videographer position, which looked really fun. So I got the job by, first, sending in the application on time. I wrote down a list of skills I had learned from my classes. Basically, I just looked at what skills were necessary for the application and then wrote briefly about how I can meet those requirements. It wasn't too difficult for me, but maybe it was my specific department. I can't imagine a ton of people trying to work in the AV department. Not very cool. But that was one reason I chose it. I figured that a lot of people would try to apply for the campus store or as office assistants, but I really needed the $4,000 scholarship (that's what you get for a semester term) so I went with the one I thought was the most attainable for me and my skill level. And I ended up getting it, and worked with five other people, and I was the only girl. So if you're a girl looking at AV, you might have a good shot. It you go to the website they give a description of all jobs. But basically all jobs require you to work two hours per day that we are at sea. It's not very much at all. What I did was hang out in the AV booth and provided assistance to teachers who needed help setting up the projector, playing a DVD, any sound or video problems, etc. Then if you work during the evenings, there are usually lecturers or speakers who are either just talking and need microphones, or are playing a PowerPoint so need help with setting up the projector, playing a movie, or any other audio/visual technology support. When you're in the booth and there's a presentation going on, you have to make sure the sound levels are always appropriate so you need to be able to work well with an audio board. You also have to monitor the video, which is much easier to do than write about. But you're basically in control of what airs to the televisions in the cabins, so you have to watch the cameras and switch cameras, just like in a news room if you're familiar with that. The equipment on the ship was lacking a bit, so hopefully that's something they'll update in the future. Overall, the job was a great experience. It definitely helped with a chunk of the tuition. I applied for all the scholarships I could through SAS and then scholarships through my home institution too, in my case KSU. I would recommend the Goss scholarship, which was for $5,000. But apply for all scholarships possible. Some people could use the scholarships from their home institution to pay for the tuition on the ship, so look into that. I'm not sure if KSU offers that because I was never told that, but I know people from U. of San Diego could transfer the scholarships over. The work-study was also great with helping me meet people. I had a really fun time working and talking with new people. I immediately got to know the people I was working with so it helped with making friends. Also, I could do homework when work wasn't busy so it became a time for studying as well. Ultimately, I would absolutely recommend anyone with issues concerning the high price of tuition to apply for all scholarships available through SAS. I didn't think I would get that much, especially need-based, but I did so you might be surprised too. And also apply for all possible scholarships through your home institution. For KSU, go through the studioabroad website and they list all possible study abroad scholarships and typically have one common application to fill out for all scholarships you are applying for. Also, look for external scholarships. Your home university might provide a link to some of these. Although I didn't apply to them because they didn't really apply to my situation or I was too late to apply, looking at those won't hurt. There are a lot of ways to get funding for study abroad and I found a MUCH easier time getting scholarships to study abroad rather than study at home. Good luck!