Student Exchange Program Scholarship

Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2008 11:41 am
Hi.I'm planning to apply this scholarship for a student exchange program.It's the YES scholarship and it is a merit based scholarship awarded to outstanding students who obtain good grades and show a strong interest in the USA.However,there are only 40 of them.
So,these are the criteria that I have:

-Obtained a credit for the Australian Mathematics Competition

-I'm a Head Student

-Straight A student- I was the class valediction for 2 years

-took part in the Chess Competition(district level)-under the Indoor Games club

-1st place in the Moral and Ethics quiz(district level)

-Active St.John member-qualified first aider(with certificate)

-Got a certificate for reading the most books

-Vice Secretary of the English Language Society(2004/05)

-Attended School Integration Camp

-Full attendance to school for this whole year

-took part in the National science Challenge(national level)-had to stay for 1 week in a university and conduct a university level research(I'm 16 by the way)

-Attended Creative Writing Course

-A volunteer at the SPCA(Animal Shelter)

-Currently learning French(Delf A1)

Interview skills
-I attended an interview to qualify me to attend a camp and the interviewer told my teacher I could really speak my mind and she seemed impressed.She asked me questions on teenage problems and about the country's astronaut.I gave my opinion,Finally,I got accepted to that camp.I also went for the prefect interview in school and that's about it)

So,do you think I can ace that interview?Most importantly,do you think I can get that scholarship?The scholarship selection depends a lot on the interview though.

Thank you!=)
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2008 11:47 am
@Passionate dreams,
I don't know much about the process but it sounds as if you have limited interviewing experience. Fortunately, that's fairly easy to remedy. As in, practice! Alone in front of a mirror. With your parents. With your friends. Just have them ask you all sorts of questions. Boring ones, interesting ones, funny ones, ones you know the answer to, ones you don't, ones that can't be answered, and listen for their constructive criticism.
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2008 02:49 pm
@Passionate dreams,
Passionate Dreams,

My thought, having taught English in the USA, for 30 years, is that you have broad interests (good) and strong motivation (also good), but that you need to focus on interview skills AND what's going on the the U.S. As the exchange program is going to pick students who show a strong interest in The States, you need to bone up on the important news here. One way in would be to read at least the major articles that begin on the front page of the New York Times (on-line addition) every day. The nytimes.com edition of the paper has a free subscription. You simply fill in a few blanks, and it will start appearing in your e-mail inbox. Another good source for news of the U.S. is the BBC on-line news page, in the section marked "Americas." Currently, you might want to give most attention to stories having to do with the economy, education, health care, and the upcoming election of a new president. I suggest the New York Times because it is the most serious (and, usually, the most accurate) of easily-available American newspapers.

As for the interview skills, they are just that: skills. You can master them quite easily with a bit of practice. The program you want sounds academically oriented; therefore, if there is anyone you know who has recently taken (or, ideally, given) a university admissions interview, ask if he or she would be willing to run a pretend version for you. If you could do this with even two or three people, that would be a big help. Ask them to slant their questions towards some important information about the States. Even if you don't know such a person, one or more of your high-school teachers would likely be able to give you a make-believe interview. A History teacher? An English teacher. A teacher who has traveled or taught or been in school in the States?

For 20 years, I was in charge (in the northern half of Maine) of the interviews that high school students sat for with alumni/ae for admission to Yale College. I can assure you that, for selective colleges and programs (and the program you seek sounds highly selective), the interviewers are asked to make the interviewees as comfortable as possible, not bombarding them with them ridiculously difficult questions, but, instead, giving them an opportunity to demonstrate what THEY know. You are very likely to be treated extremely politely. Do have ready a couple of significant questions about the U.S. to ask the interviewer; that will confirm in his/her mind your strong interest.

Hope this information is useful to you. Best of luck!

P.S. Our younger daughter spent an exchange year in a high school outside of Brisbane. She loves Australia and looks forward to going back for a long visit.

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