For most students, getting scholarships to study abroad is the most important thing they wish for. However, it is not easy to learn about all the scholarship opportunities available. So this week, LIFT is pleased to share the experience of Rithy Cheatana, who got a full scholarship to pursue her master’s degree in Sweden.
Cheatana graduated from IFL in 2010 with a Bachelor of Education in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and also reached year three at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC). She got an exchange study scholarship soon after graduating that sent her on the Sweden Erasmus Mundus scholarship program (EMMA). This was her first time studying in Sweden.
“The exchange study was in the academic year 2010-2011, and it was quite competitive at that time since there were only a few places in some countries in Europe and there was only one step: pass or fail within one application.”
After the studying abroad, Cheatana finished her Bachelor Degree at DMC in 2012. After graduating, she applied for a Master Degree in Sweden. This scholarship is provided annually to students in many countries around the world.
There are two categories of countries and Cambodia is in category two.
“This one I got nowadays is even more competitive to get since there is no exact number of scholarship places provided to Cambodia. We have to compete with applicants from other countries in the same category.”
With such a great opportunity, Cheatana faced a hard time during the application process.
“For what I got now, first I needed to get the admission from the university and once I got the admission, I could apply for the scholarship. It was hard enough to get the admission to the university, but it was even harder to get the scholarship.”
During the process of applying for the scholarship, Cheatana said she has to be patient in order to succeed.
“I had to prepare all the required documents and send them to the university admissions in Sweden in hard copies. I needed to have the copies of some documents certified and I spent around three months just waiting for the admission results.”
After learning that she was accepted, she went to work applying for the scholarship, which she said did not take as long as the first step. She waited for another month and a half for the final result. Finally, she learned the good news.
Currently, Cheatana is pursuing her master’s degree at Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm along with two other students from Cambodia. In the future, she wants to work somewhere in Europe for a few years to gain some practical experience. Afterwards, she wants to return to Cambodia to become a researcher, or perhaps a teacher.
Cheatana offered some suggestions to the next student who wants to apply for a scholarship abroad:
“Read the info carefully before you apply to find out whether you are eligible or not. Please look for the info about the courses or programs offered, in case there is nothing you want to study in there, so you don’t waste your time.”