The scholarships hunting season is being so active now with quite a few programs call for application. And for those who would like to study in France, the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program, one of the most prestigious scholarships in Europe with enormous privileges, should absolutely be on your wish list. As one of the selected candidates for 2017 program from Vietnam for Economics & Management section, I would love to share some remarks those to me are critical to the success of the application.
This program is annually open for recruitment in middle October and close in early January of the next year; and for 2018 it will be closed on 12 January.
First of all, you need to be admitted and assessed as outstanding by one university or institution in France who will nominate and support you with all forms to submit to the scholarship council. It is not you that can send Campus France your application directly. So the first important step is to make a great impression on your school in order to have them nominate you.
YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE
Secondly, please invest time and effort in preparing your application package which are requested to include but not limited to the below-listed materials:
- Curriculum Vitae
- Professional Project
- Bachelor Diploma and Transcript
- Copy of Your Passport (indentity page only)
- Language certificate (if any)
The most crucial material deciding if you stand out from the crowd or not is the Professional Project which requires you to provide your individual academic and professional plan and explain your choice of study in France in connection to previous ones and future career. The essay should be written in French or English in one to two pages with 1500 words maximum. The most difficult job is to make your essay compelling and be noticed amid all the noise. My experience and advice to you is to tell your distinctive, authentic story which origins from either your professional or personal experiences. Not only does your unique narative provide your readers – the scholarship council – with a vivid picture of your personality and choosen pathway, but also emotionally connects them to you, which keeps their attention to your two-page essay from the start to the end naturally and excitingly. Remember that there’s no interview to assess candidates for this scholarship; the only channel for you to demonstrate your personality, passion and capability, therefore is this letter. But it does not mean you should totally make up something unreal, but tell a genuine story delivering your consistent, targeted and deliberated messages to explain your values and why the investment in you is worth and matches with the program’s mission of shaping future decision-makers. Inspiration for your story can be found from: your true passion that you nuture from childhood, a sore point in your professional work that you desire for seeking the solution, your life purpose/ objective, etc. Spend time thinking about your story thoroughly and do not hesitate to come up with few versions with different ideas and select the one that best sells yourself.
Aditionally, Language certificate although is mentioned as an optional supporting material, but I trust it is significant for the grading process to ensure your linguistic ability which plays an important role in your study abroad. If you are too rush to take an IELTS test with at least 7.0 out of 9.0 (recommended band score for scholarship applicants) or TOEFL test, a TOEIC with over 880 is still good enough. Choose an appropriate option to you.
Last but not least, Letter of Recommendation is strongly advised to include in your package despite the fact that it is not officially required. This is an excellent way to reassure your capabilities through objective lens of a third person. It would be great if you can insert in your package two letters from selected reputable people who have close relation in your employment or academic life. Make sure each letter contributes in sharpening different perspectives of your values. Consider to ask for letter from your direct supervisor, or HRD, or CEO if you have much interaction with these high level managers.
Your application package should be completed and submitted to your school by end of November normally. The school then has time to proceed supporting documents to fulfill the nomination process to Campus France by 12 January. Thus, you can not do nothing more but wait until the week of 26 March 2018 to get the result from Campus France website (French version). A letter of notification will be emailed individually to each scholarship holder in about 3 weeks after the public announcement on website. Keep calm and wait for your letter!
Hope that my sharing above is somehow helpful and that 2018 will see more winners from Vietnam. In the coming article, I will share necessary procedures for Eiffel winners to take from the moment being informed as winner to your departure so that you can better prepare for your trip without much stress and rush. Besides this program, Excellence Scholarship from French Embassy in Vietnam is another alternative to be considered keeping in mind that its benefit is half of Eiffel. Should you have any questions or specific concerns regarding your application, do not hesitate to write to me. Good luck!