Carolina Foundation: my experience winning an scholarship to study a Master’s degree in Spain

Carolina Foundation: my experience winning an scholarship to study a Master’s degree in Spain

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My Colombian friend Tshamanny won a full scholarship from the Carolina Foundation to study a Master’s degree at the University of Jaén in Andalucia, Spain. The scholarship was excellent because it covered all the study and living expenses including tuition, travel insurance, plane tickets, meals and money for expenses such as food, internships and study materials.

In this post he tells us everything we need to know if we want to win the Carolina Foundation scholarship. You will know which are the main characteristics of both the scholarship and the university such as eligibility, application process, how was Tshamanny’s experience, conclusions and recommendations. 

The Carolina Foundation offers scholarships for: Postgraduate, Doctorate and short postdoctoral stays, Continuing Education (mobility of Brazilian and Portuguese professors), Entrepreneurship and Institutional Study Programs. You can read more information in this article Carolina Foundation: win a scholarship to study in Spain.

In 2014 Tshamanny quit his job to embark on a trip, and since then he has been in more than 40 countries without having to return to a “stable”job.

If you want to know more about this and other projects abroad I recommend you to visit his blog “Te Quiero Mostrar” and follow him in his social networks:

If you love to travel and do it with a purpose I recommend you to check in the blog the following sections where you can find more experiences in which you can participate!

Also, you can find applications for scholarships, internships, job positions, volunteer projects, contests, entrepreneurial support and virtual courses in the Scholarship Finder!

Fundacion carolina beca para estudiar en espana

1.Characteristics

  • Type of program: study abroad (Master in Renewable Energies)
  • Location: Jaen – Andalucia, Spain
  • Websites:
  • Requirements:
    • Country of origin: The person applying for the scholarship must be a national of any Ibero-American country (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela; in addition to the three countries of the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Spain and Portugal) and must be resident in one of these countries.

    • Undergraduate degree related to the program area.

    • Good academic average score (greater than 3.8 out of 5).

    • Work experience related to the field of study.

    • Note: The specific requirements of the Carolina Foundation depend on the program of study and university to which you want to apply.

  • Duration: my exchange was 1 year but it can be from minimum 3 weeks to 2 months in the case of summer courses, to maximum 3 years in the case of doctoral programs.
  • Application Fee: non
  • Finance: the different scholarships offered by the Carolina Foundation have different coverages. There are scholarships that partially cover the costs and others that fully cover them. My scholarship was excellent as it covered all the costs of study and living expenses including the following:
    • Registration fee: Approx. 1900 EUR.

    • Travel insurance: Approx. 350 EUR.

    • Roundtrip tickets Bogotá – Madrid: Approx. 700 EUR.

    • Maintenance: Approx. 350 – 500 EUR per month received in kind in the form of:

      • Accommodation in student boarding house.

      • Food 3 meals per day provided at the boarding house.

      • And transportation from boarding house to university

    • In addition, the scholarship included a monthly grant of 750 euros, of which about 100 euros was spent on extra expenses such as meals not included, outings of university practice and study materials. The rest was saved for travel, going out once in a while and then paying the costs of issuing the title. This way I didn’t have to work during my studies or use other financing methods.



1. Application Process

The Carolina Foundation scholarship application process is open from December through March, but you can create your profile on the foundation’s platform, from where the entire procedure is performed at any time. Now I’m going to show you the scholarship and college application process.

a. Carolina Foundation Scholarship Application

Fundación Carolina
  • In the programs section you will find the different areas of study to which you can apply. In this step you should analyze the programs that fit your profile and select the ones that best suit you. Once you have found the ones you are most interested in, click on them and click the “Request” button to submit your application, as you can see in the following screenshot:
Fundacion Carolina
  • Once you have applied, the platform will give you the option of assigning a priority to each program, here I advise you to give priority 1 to the one that best fits your profile and work experience and to continue with the next 2, 3, 4 and 5 following the same criteria.
Fundacion Carolina beca estudiar espana
  • Once you have selected the 5 programs and assigned your priorities, the application process is over and you only have to wait until you are notified if you have been selected for the interview before the scholarship award, this usually takes place in May.
  • Otherwise, if you were not selected to continue with the selection process, you will receive an e-mail notifying you of the rejection of your application.
Fundacion Carolina beca estudiar espana
  • If you were successful and got the opportunity to have the interviews, after the interview, you only have to wait for notification of the award or non-award of the scholarship through an e-mail sent directly to you by the foundation in which you can accept or reject the scholarship.
Fundacion Carolina beca estudiar espana

b. University Application

  • Once you have been awarded the scholarship, you must complete the registration process at the university following the specific instructions given on the university’s website.
  • Once your registration process has been completed, you will have to contact the foundation to carry out the visa process, they will give you the pertinent instructions and will cover all the expenses related to this process.
  • With the visa already granted, you will be assigned tickets and will be given your medical insurance and other necessary items for your trip.

3. My experience

a. Background

 

Since I was at the university studying Environmental Engineering, I dreamt of traveling the world and while I was in the last semesters of my degree, I learned about several programs that offered scholarships to study a Master’s degree abroad.

I found the study abroad scholarship programs very interesting as well as a good opportunity to travel, get to know different cultures, learn different things and strengthen my professional profile. I didn’t apply to any program at the time because I had other priorities and didn’t consider myself eligible: I had no work experience and haven’t completed my undergraduate degree.

b. Mi first application

 

After graduating I worked for two years and after that I applied for the first time to the Carolina Foundation scholarship.

At the time I considered that the scholarship should be complete, because in addition to financing my trips I wanted to avoid a big debt.

On that first time none of the programs I applied to accepted me, I think my mistake on that time was that my profile was not enough in line with the programs I applied to.

The Carolina Foundation platform allowed me to apply for up to 5 Master’s degree programs related to my field of study and prioritize them from 1 to 5.

One of the details that could have made my application unsuccessful is that I prioritized the Master’s degrees from the most recognized universities, despite the fact that my undergraduate degree was from a not very well positioned university; I also applied to programs that weren’t suited to my work experience.

c. My second application

 

The next year I applied again. I had a slightly developed more my professional and job profile and corrected those errors from my previous application, so I prioritized under-recognized universities whose admissions requirements fully matched my profile.

In May 2015, about two months after sending my application and while traveling through Guatemala, I received an e-mail notifying me that my application process was successful and asking me to have an interview in Bogota related to one of the programs I had applied for. Although it was not sure that I will be awarded with the scholarship, I stopped my trip and returned home.

About a month after the interview I received an email informing me that I had won one of the 2 scholarships for the selected program, so after continuing with the process which included the visa processing, I packed my suitcase and went to Spain with all expenses paid.

fundacion carolina beca para estudiar en espana

4. Location

 

My studies were at the University of Jaen in Jaen, a small but welcoming city of Andalucia, Spain. This city is the capital of the province of the same name, characterized by its abundant olive groves, its mountainous landscape and its imposing cathedral.

I was also able to travel to several countries in Europe including Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Malta, Turkey and Morocco.

fundacion carolina beca estudiar espana malta
Malta

5. General Opinion

Pros

  • The scholarship benefits are quite good and complete, I practically didn’t have to take money out of my pocket when it came to studying.
  • The programs offered by the Carolina Foundation have good academic quality.
  • The program that I studied in spite of being full-time allowed me to have enough free time to travel.

Cons

  • The program which I applied to, didn’t give the option of choosing the place of staying or food, this was a bit annoying, since the assigned place was far from the University (30 – 40 Minutes by bus – for a small city is enough) and the food was based on fried foods like much of the food in Spain (it affected my health a little).
  • You have to come back to your country of origin after completing the program.
  • You have to spend a year in your home country an this can reduce your job opportunities, especially when your program has a better opportunities in developed countries.
Fundacion carolina beca estudiar espana

6. Recommendations

  • To win the scholarship: What I highly recommend is to choose a program that fits as closely as possible to your professional profile. Give that program the highest priority.
  • To enjoy the experience: Don’t stress out about the studies, get organized and try to create the most free time. I believe that the most valuable thing about studying abroad is to live in a different culture and have the opportunity to travel, live experiences that make you grow as a person and meet new friends.
  • Life post-study exchange: Your return post-exchange will depend on how you felt during it. On one hand, if you missed your home and felt at some point that you wanted to come back, then your return will be easier and you will enjoy your “daily” life with pleasure. But on the other hand if you didn’t want to return, your “return to reality” may not be so pleasant, but all you can do is simply adapt, live in gratitude, find ways to live similar experiences in your own city and enjoy the current life you have at home.
  • Working life post-Master’s degree: In my case, I decided to focus in my own projects, such as my blog and a project I am currently working on (in which I want to apply part of what I learned in the master’s degree and other things that I have learned in my travels). But I know about cases of people to whom the master’s degree has opened many doors and who are now working in better corporate jobs than they were before taking it.
  • Other recommendation: Take care of your diet and overall health during your exchange period, in my case I had a bad experience due to the change of diet and other environmental factors and I had a period of considerable discomfort, so if you want to enjoy your experience to the fullest, stay healthy, take care of your diet and exercise.

In the Study Abroad section, you can find more experiences of success cases winning scholarships to study abroad! If you had a similar experience and want to inspire others to apply please send an email to pilar.noriega@thelifestylehunter.com

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