Hi everyone, as I mentioned before that I came here by an SI scholarship. And because they the application date is upcoming, so I want to share with you my experience about this scholarship.
- My information is based on the 2015-2016 program. Things may change this year.
- This is my personal opinion and analysis. It may not correct.
- SI provided many scholarships. This blog is for the SISS only.
- SISS is a scholarship for studying Master’s program in Sweden. It covers all tuition fee, living cost of around 1,000 USD/month, one time travel grant around 1,700 USD, and health insurance.
- You have to have at least 3,000 hours working experience to apply.
- Application period starts from Dec 1, 2016. Last years, there are 12,198 applicants worldwide, which finally have 427 scholarship holders.
Why the Swedish Institute give a scholarship
Swedish Institute is a Swedish public agency. According from their website, their mission is “gain knowledge and understanding of different cultures, their people, and to promote Sweden and Swedish issues globally.” And giving scholarships to developing countries is one way to achieve that.
SI provide many scholarships as in this list. The one that I got is Swedish Institute Study Scholarship (SISS) and is the main focus of this blog.
Further information can find in the scholarship page.
Who is eligible?
“The goal is to enable the scholarship holders to play an active role in the positive development of the societies in which they live. Ideal candidates are ambitious young professionals with academic qualifications, demonstrated leadership experience and a clear idea of how a study programme in Sweden would benefit their country.
Priority will be given to applicants choosing study programmes with an emphasis on gender equality, sustainable development, democracy, human rights or poverty reduction.”
- A potential leader in his/her country after graduation.
- Bonus points to applicants want to study about gender equality, sustainable development, democracy, human rights or poverty reduction.
- You have to work at least 3,000 hours, but it can be combined with multiple organization.
- Bonus points for work experience in some fields. For example, agriculture, human right, health etc.
- Any age can apply.
- I remember that in my year, they said that GPA is not important (mine is 2.xx). But I can’t find those words in this year’s announcement.
The full detail of eligible criteria can be found here: SISS – Eligibility criteria
What program you can study?
I don’t have a definite answer either. But as far as I saw from the yearbook of the scholarship holders. There’re various programs in nearly every area. So basically I think you can apply for studying in any programs. If you’re qualified, you’ll get it.
Here is the process:
- Apply for the first step. From 1 December 2016 – 16 January 2017.
- Apply for the university at universityadmissions.se. The period is different in each program. There’s an application fee of 900 SEK (100 USD).
- The list of applicants who pass the first round will announce in February.
- At the end of March, the university will announce the selection result.
- At the middle of April, they will announce the list of the scholarship holders.
Therefore, there are 3 possibilities
- The university rejected –> you will automatically not get a scholarship.
- The university accepted, but SI didn’t give a scholarship –> You can study, but you have to find other sources of money. So my suggestion is you should apply for other scholarships during the waiting time.
- The university accepted and get a scholarship –> congratulations!
I don’t know the exact number either. But I can show you some stat from this link: Successful candidates for Swedish Institute Study Scholarships Step 1 and this link: Swedish Institute scholarship recipients 2016/2017.
First, you have to look for which category your country belongs to. My country, Thailand is category 3.
In summary for Thailand (you can change the country to your when you’re looking in the PDF)
- From overall 12,198 applicants around the world, there are 3,481 pass the first round, which is 39 Thais.
- Then there’re 427 scholarship holders in all category, and there are 8 Thais.
- Therefore, the chance is 427/12,198 or 1/28.5. And if you’re Thais who pass the first round, you have a chance of 8/39 or 1/5.
My suggestion is if you feel interested so far, you can download the list of successful applicants from last year and look for which program they tend to give a grant for your country. And how many people they would give.
Please keep in mind that according to their website, this year they reduce the number of expecting scholarship to 335 applicants from all 3 categories, so the competitive rate would be a little bit higher than last year.
Is it hard to apply?
I think the application process for the university is harder. You just have to prepare some essays. You don’t need to take an English test for the SISS (but you have to take for an application to the university). Essays that you need to prepare are motivation letter and letter of reference. Other documents are proof of work and CV.
All of this done by online. You don’t need to send documents via a post.
Further information about application process: SISS – Application procedure and key dates
Is there any limitation?
- You can get only one-year scholarship per time. And at the end of the year, they will evaluate that you should get the next one.
- You can do a part-time job, but can’t exceed 5,000 SEK per month. And you have to inform SI first.
A few last suggestions
- Always looking for other scholarships during the application time. (Although I didn’t do it because I don’t know any other scholarship haha.)
- Please take a look at the list of last year’s successful applicants to get an idea of which program do they prefer, and compare to the program that you want to study.
- I still believe that GPA is not an important part. The most important one is what you have done before in your life. And what you plan to do after study.
- If you get the scholarship. Please apply for the resident permit as fast as you can. This is really IMPORTANT. You don’t need to wait for the status in the website change to admitted. Trust me, I’ve waited before just to find out that it’ll never change. This process takes a long time and I get my permit a week before my travel date. My waiting time is 55 days.
So I think it’s all for today’s blog post. Sweden is really great country. Have an opportunity to study here is really a great experience for my life. I want to use this blog to express my gratitude to SI and KI for accepting me.
And I wish you could get the scholarship to study here too 🙂
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