Ace that DAAD Scholarship Application
Studying in a foreign country usually attracts high tuition fees and costs of living. International students, especially the majority from Low and Middle-income countries, are usually put off with these high costs eventually giving up on their dear dreams of obtaining prestigious foreign degrees. However, thanks to the generous contributions from well-wishers, organizations and governments who have always strived to bridge this looming gap.
German academic exchange service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst)- DAAAD is amongst the world’s best academics scholarship providers both internationally and regionally. The DAAD sponsors scientists, researchers, students and other professionals to engage in meaningful research and studies that are aimed at increasing knowledge. The organization offers generous scholarships that allow students to fully concentrate on their studies without necessarily having to worry about finances.
These scholarships attract applications from all over the world and so the competition is very stiff for the few available slots. Many people get rejected thus dejected after receiving a regret mail. So, what exactly does it take to land a DAAD scholarship? Many people have been asking about this question. Because I have been successful in this process, I put in here useful tips and nuggets that will allow you to equally go through.
In this article, i will outline what it looks like to go through a DAAD application for a typical master’s student. For other levels of studies, the process could be slightly different but the general guideline here still applies. Be sure to check out with the requirements for the application you are making. Listed are the needed documents. Here we go………..
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)
This is the most crucial document that gives an idea of the kind of person you are. Actually, this is the „dumb“ you. It gives a clear impression of who you are, your achievements and potential. Most universities accepting DAAD applications usually comply with the Europass CV format. Ensure that your cv is as comprehensive as possible, with explainable gaps where necessary otherwise avoid them. Organize your cv to be coherent with relevant work experiences sequentially. Ensure to append your signature at the end
- Motivation Letter
As the CV is a snapshot of who you are, the motivation letter gives the opportunity to further convince the selection panel why you are the right candidate. This document gives you the opportunity to express your strengths while also recognizing your weaknesses and your ability to deal with them, or the „work-in-progress“ you are engaged in to overcome them. So in your motivation letter, describe yourself chronologically. In the first paragraph explain what you studied, your achievements and any research activities (if any) that you were engaged in during your bachelors studies. Next, express your knowledge of the masters program you are applying to. Here you can read and browse about the course content and program structure, period of study and why you think this study program is relevant to you and fitting your (future) career aspirations. After this, talk about your (past) professional experiences including any internships, volunteerings and exchange programs. At this juncture you got the opportunity to further elaborate on how your undergraduate studies was utilised in your professional engagements and how these are in sync with the graduate program you are applying for. As we are all engaged in working towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs), remember to mention those that you have worked on or those you aim to work on upon the completion of the program.
Next, express why you think Germany is an ideal place for your studies and why you are choosing the said masters program in the particular university (Why Germany? Why this University?). After this, express to the selection panel what your plans are afterwards, after completing the said program. Finally conclude with how you envision contributing to the benefit of the society through the knowledge gained and recognize your capabilities to excel in the graduate school such as your technical competence and personal attributes. Append your signature at the end.
- Research Proposal
This is usually asked to gauge your level of awareness in writing/conducting a research. In most cases, it is usually used to assess whether you can coherently/comprehensively write a research paper. It is usually used for selection purposes and the research proposal you submit during the application process does not in any way tie you down to a particular thesis topic during your master program. You can submit a topic on one of the areas you are interested in or about a project you have worked in. Be sure to consult further and wide to present a quality document
- Letters of recommendation
During the application process, most universities require letters of recommendations both from your employer(s) and an academic institution (supervisor). Professional recommendations usually comment on your professional conduct and profile while an academic one will talk about your capabilities and the potential to succeed in a graduate school. Be sure to ask these from people who know you personally and who can objectively comment on your abilities.
- Proof of language abilities
In most cases, when your undergraduate studies were conducted in a predominantly english medium, DAAD application will only require you to hand in a letter of proof from your former university testifying that the language (medium) of instruction was English. In other cases you will need a language certificate, be sure to check this out with the respective university to which you are applying. Mostly TOEFL or IELTS will suffice. Consult with the website of your university on this and be sure to start the process early enough, just in case you may need to take a test.
- Certified copies of certificates and Transcripts
To be sure that your documents are genuine and were issued by your university of study, most institutions will request you to provide certified copies of your documents. This is usually an easy process (at least in my country), and so it should not worry you. Also, confirm from the website of your university on how they would want this to be done.
- Official DAAD application form
Here is where you officially express your interest to the DAAD. The form allows you to choose up to three different courses at different universities. Be sure to follow your interests, check on your eligibility for the courses you are applying to and the university rankings. Here, I would advise you to do a little research before you finally settle down for the universities and the courses to pursue. Here is a list of most masters programs sponsored by the DAAD, look out for more. Ensure to append your signature in the form
Provided above is a comprehensive guideline of the requirements. Check out the university and program to which you are applying should there be any needed additional documents. For PhD and other levels of study, the requirements are the same though the process could be slightly different. Check it out as well.
Thanks for coming and I hope this helps. Share with a friend.