The heart makes dreams. Plans make them a reality. 2018 MUIDS alumnus Mnasnan Se-amorntham (nickname Nancy) had a big dream that needed a bold plan. Getting a scholarship was a necessary part of it.
“I’ve always been interested in mechanical and robotic engineering. I wanted to study these subjects in a highly developed country and bring back my knowledge and skills to Thailand. I also wanted to expose myself to a different culture.”
“I realized that to accomplish all of this it would be best to get a full scholarship to lighten my family’s burden. I started searching in Grade 11 and aimed high.”
Finding and obtaining a scholarship for any student is a journey, one that is as much about gaining self-knowledge as it is about earning good grades.
“I’ll always remember Nancy as not just a thoughtful and sweet person, but someone who was willing to try things she wasn’t already good at,” Ms. Rebecca Vickers, the head of the MUIDS Art Department, commented. “Art was not her first priority in life, but she always worked hard, and learned a lot in the process.”
After exploring her interests and earning high marks in her classes, Nancy soon turned to the hard and gritty work of finding the right scholarship.
“One of the main challenges of finding a scholarship is the amount of research you have to do: some scholarships require you to apply directly to the university while others require you to apply directly to a government, or even both. I had to be patient and become a more independent person.”
Those qualities served Nancy well according to Mr. Chanon Viriyasatien, Nancy’s counselor at MUIDS.
“I often start the scholarship process with students by asking them a few basic questions, mainly, ‘Where do you want to go?’’ and “Do you know what you want to study?” before making recommendations about where to look for scholarships. I didn’t have to ask Nancy those questions. She had already answered them for herself.”
“As we do for all students, my fellow counselors and I helped Nancy decide on which scholarships to apply for as well as how to prepare and prioritize her applications.”
Most scholarship applications require transcripts, test scores such as S.A.T.’s, TOEFL, or IELTS, and letters of recommendations as well as a statement of purpose and even an interview, both of which give students an opportunity to show who they are as individuals.
“For your SOP and interview preparation,” Nancy added,” you must have a well-defined goal and a significant study plan to show that you deserve a scholarship. Plus, you have to be yourself and dare to be different.”
After applying and receiving three separate scholarship offers, Nancy chose to study mechanical engineering at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST).
“The scholarship I accepted was from the Taiwan government. It’s called the ‘MOE (Ministry of Education) Taiwan Scholarship.’ It is a merit-based Fulbright scholarship that waives tuition fees and provides remunerations such as a living allowance and monthly stipends for a four-year degree. It allowed me to study in Taiwan, which has some of the best engineering programs in the world, and live in a safe and beautiful country that’s not far from Thailand. It also gave me a work permit which has allowed me to work in Taiwan and gain more experience in the real world.”
“I have also gained a lot of treasures from my experiences in Taiwan, not just knowledge from expert professors, but also an understanding of the Chinese language and culture as well as valuable life experiences. Meeting a lot of good people has been great as well. They make my life worthwhile here.”
“Applying for any scholarship is not an easy process, but with enough determination I am sure that anyone from MUIDS can get the right scholarship for themselves. I would not have gotten mine without a lot of help, mainly from my mom who has always supported me as well as Dr. Stephen Coryelle , Dr. Kunakorn Poochinda, Mr. Anoah D. Eberhardt, Mr. Chanon Viriyasatien, Mr. Abel Cadias, and all my other beloved teachers of whom I was unable to mention.”.