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      03.07.2003 14:24
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      There are lots of companies and charitable organizations who offer scholarships and funding to students going abroad to study, but what about if you’re off on a work placement? You’ll no doubt be paid a salary of some kind, but more often than not it’s fairly low. Who do you turn to for a bit of extra money in this case? The answer, I found, was Leonardo. The Leonardo da Vinci program aims to promote availability and quality of training among the European member states, and improve the options for students wishing to take up work placements abroad. The scheme has been running since 1994 and is currently in its second phase, and over €1 billion of funding was made available for the years 2000-2006. Though it’s a Europe-wide set-up, the scheme is administered at a local level, and you apply to the offices nearest to your university. In my case all my dealings have been with the Contact Partnership (link below) who sort it out for the 4 Manchester universities. To apply you need to be currently enrolled on, or a recent graduate of, an institute of higher education, and going abroad for work/training for between 13 and 52 weeks. Some places of work such as universities and embassies are not eligible, but most corporate businesses are. It’s a somewhat strange set up for an academics related “scholarship” because it has nothing to do with your performance so far on the course. I could have failed my first two years but, assuming my uni were still letting me go abroad, would still be permitted to apply and, most likely, be accepted. Equally, there is nothing in the rules to say that you have to go on to pass your placement year (we had to submit work to uni in order to be allowed into our final years. And yay, I found out yesterday that I’m through) nor that you continue with any remaining aspect of your course when you return. But, the sooner you apply for the scheme the better as they do not have unl
      imited funds, and it is possible to apply before your placement starts. I didn’t know about the set-up until after I’d moved to Germany though, so it was autumn before I started filling in their forms. Getting money from the organization is not as simple as ticking the box that says “I’m on a work placement abroad. Send me my cheque”. Instead, after the usual personal contact details, the forms ask for information on your placement (firm, mentor name, duration, what you’ll be doing) and then leads on to numerous open questions about what you hope to gain from the whole experience. You also need to give them an estimate of your incomings and expenditure for the coming placement period, from any pocket money or salary paid by the company to your rent and bills. From all these details they will determine whether or not you are eligible for a grant, and how much it will be. Not everyone who applies gets a payment, but take care with the application, write what you think they want (without lying!) and you should receive something. The forms need to be signed by you as the applicant, your placement company and also your academic institution, so I filled them in here and sent them back to UMIST where one of our lovely secretaries filled in her section and forwarded it to the Contact partnership. A few weeks later I had confirmation that I would be receiving an award, and after less than a month a deposit had been made into my UK bank account. The payment comes in two parts – the first is a basic maintenance grant which supplements your earnings. The second is a payment for various cost incurred – you can claim for return flights from the UK to your placement and back again, insurance you’ve taken out for the year and, in some cases, language course costs. Amounts vary depending on where you are and what are you are doing (and, I don’t doubt, how sucky your application was) but I ended up with more than £2
      000 for my first payment – not bad for an hour’s form filling. The second installment simply goes off the receipts you produce, and they will pay pretty much anything within reason. Obviously flights need to be economy rather than business class, and the insurance shouldn’t be too expensive, but they won’t quibble over a few pounds. I sent off my receipts in the spring when I’d managed to book my flight home, and again, the money appeared fairly quickly in my account. My only problem was that I was thinking about doing a language course over here but was later told I wouldn’t be eligible for a refund of the costs because there was a “major language aspect as part of my degree”. This is not true in my mind. I have 2 hours of German a week in the UK, compared to half a dozen or more hours for “proper” German students: my course if computation and linguistics based, and the foreign language aspect is very much tagged on the end. I was slightly put out that I’d only been told half way through the year that I couldn’t claim back costs for this, but I wasn’t going to argue considering how much I’d already received from them. Plus, the course I’d applied for ended up being cancelled, so though I didn’t get to go to the night classes I had planned on, I wasn’t out of pocket either. During the year, I’ve not had to do much more for the set-up. In order to gain the money you have to promise to write a final report on your placement, and to fill in a few worksheets as you go along, but neither of these things encroach too much on my day-to-day life. I don’t have to keep a diary detailing exactly what I’ve done, nor do I have to fill in lots of forms on a daily or weekly basis – half an hour every couple of months keeps me on-top of the requested assignments, and prevents me from having to spend my first few days of freedom back in the UK fillin
      g in the info I should have done during the year. I’ve estimated that by the end I’ll have spent about £5 on photocopying and Postage (20 page forms sent from abroad aren’t light or cheap), and given them maybe half a day of my time. When you think that I got several thousand pounds and free flights and insurance for this, it seems like a pretty good deal. My contact with the Manchester office has always gone well. The staff are friendly and efficient, and though there don’t seem to be many of them, I’ve never experienced even the slightest delays. They are excellent at acknowledging everything, and I regularly get letters popping into my letterbox of the “Thank you for your application / Your application has now been processed / A deposit of £x has been made into your account” kind, so I always know where we’re up to. I know I’ve been lucky because our Leonardo center is not over-subscribed. Many people don’t know it’s there, and others simply cannot be bothered to fill in the form which can look pretty daunting from the outset. As a result, those of us who did apply got very generous grants – though the amounts will change from year to year, and from local body to local body. If more eligible people have applied we would probably have got less, though fewer applications wouldn’t have made that much of a difference to me as I was very close to the upper grant limit, despite being on a relatively well paid placement. Leonardo grants are available no matter what university you are at, or course you are studying, and as long as you’ve never had such a grant before, or have worked full time for 12 months or more, you will probably be eligible. My advice would be to apply, even if you’re not sure. If you’re not suitable, they’ll just tell you, and if you are, you’ll have bagged yourself a nice lump sum to help you out during your placement.
      If you are thinking of taking a work placement in Europe contact your university to find details of your nearest Leonardo center. If you’ll be studying rather than working, Erasmus grants are available. For more information see: www.europa.eu.int/comm/education/programmes/programmes_en.html www.thecontactpartnership.ac.uk

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        27.10.2000 05:59
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        as a graduate who accumulated debts of £10000 during my last degree and so far £6000 in this degree and I still have 3 years study left and 2 periods of elective study to complete, scholarships are a godsend! I will luckily graduate from uni straight into a full time job as most medical students are practically guaranteed to do, but I need the money now, not in 3 years when I am finished studying. My studies allow NO time for part time employment. shop around looking for scholarships and apply to every trust etc with whom you match ANY of their criteria, they can only say no and more often than not will actually say yes. Don't just submit an application form, hand in a CV and if it is an application for money to study abroad or an elective then hand in a formal proposal with a list of aims and objectives for what you want to achieve from this and how the money will help.

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          20.10.2000 03:42
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          The Society for Underwater Technology's Educational Support Fund offers sponsorship awards to undergraduate and postgraduate students, either starting or continuing a degree which embraces at least one relevant component area of marine science, underwater technology or offshore engineering. The grants are open to any student, irrespective of age or nationality. The Society's Educational Support Fund currently pays its sponsorship students up to a maximum of £2,000 per annum for a full academic year. I was awarded a SUT Award for my third year. I am currently a student at Heriot-Watt University. Application form can be obtained from the address below: SUT 80 Coleman Street London EC2R 5BJ UK. Best wishes for a SUT Award!

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            12.10.2000 05:26
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            I am a Chinese student in the University of Sheffield, the tuition fee for international students are £9000/yr, how can I afford it? I got a scholorship worth £3000/yr, so it is much better for me now. The title for the scholarship is China Scholarship, it is one of the International Scholarships here, as I got some Maths prizes in China, I got it. For Home Students, the scholarship in my department is 1000 quids for excellent Academic results you get, quite a good figure anyway. Also, there are some scholarships in the school, but I m not sure how much, but I think different schools have different entries, so it is not that important to specify it. However, if you are university student, try to get some to satisfy your life.

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              27.08.2000 03:25
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              I had a look at this site after reading the reviews on dooyoo. I think it is a great idea in theory, but the freefund site nearly drove me around the bend. There isn't a simple search engine. The site uses the details you supplied to search for sources of funding. This must work really well if you are doing a run-of-the-mill course in a run-of-the-mill subject. When I registered I had to keep clicking the 'other areas of study' course as I am going to be taking a fairly specialised vocational course. The list of scholarships was therefore completely useless as they were covering such a wide range of subjects. I gave up after a while as I got so annoyed! Even amending my details on the profile page did not help. I know there are a few scholarships available for my course which is what makes it so annoying. If I had been able to simply type the name of my course into a box and click a button I would be a far less stressed out woman!

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              16.07.2000 01:13
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              If your are starting a degree course which will lead to a career in law, medicine or some other usefull proffession, then let the RAF take the strain. If you can get on to their golden wheels project you get a salary whilst you study and a job when youv'e finished. For those doing Law this can be a god send, an income and a job. Don't worry if you think the armed forces isn't for you, just get in contact with the RAF (look at thier website or ask your careers officer)and find out more. You'll get all the perks of being in the armed services (travel, promotion opportunities) with out the disadvantages (getting killed). If you are starting a degree course soon then contact the RAF today. I promise you won't regret it. Tally ho!.

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                02.07.2000 17:45

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                www.freefund.com is a well designed site which has been set up to help students find the scholarships they need for further education. It has not yet been fully finished but on the basis of what I have already seen I am impressed. The search facility works quite well and registeration is detailed. Customisation allows you to save the listing of the funds you are interested in allowing you to keep careful track of what you have applied for. Anyone who is looking for funding at any level of education should pay a visit to here. Worth a look around even if your not.

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                02.07.2000 03:42
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                This is a new site, not yet fully up and running, which allows UK and some other European students to search for scholarships and funding for various things, eg. travel, research etc. It is intended for post as wells as undergraduates and is very quick and easy to use. Thye are also currently looking for people to write for them in their magazine. Although it isn't fully working yet (not all the information is present) the trial search I tried came up with lots of scholarships I had never heard of. It's definitely worth a look because most money grants aren't well publicised and some of the more obscure ones which you'll have a chance of getting may well be posted here.

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                  01.07.2000 07:41

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                  For those chemical engineering graduates who want to further their studies into Master or PhD, there are 10 research bursaries available in UMIST, Department of Process Integration. The departmental research work is mainly on process synthesis and optimisation of chemical processes. The research bursary covers tuition fee and also maintenance. The bursary is handsome. For a first year research student, the monthly maintenance will be 595 pound. Upon entering into second year, the bursary will increase up to 660 pound per month and subsequently amounting to 730 pound per month in the final year of PhD. Besides that, you get to attend MSc. lecture in the department without paying any tuition fee. If you are interested in this offer, please visit the website : www.cpi.umist.ac.uk

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                  01.07.2000 06:00
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                  The Israel medical association gives out 8 awards nationally to elective students taking an elective in Israel. Applicants who wish to pursue a short project will be favoured above others. The project can be in any discipline and a letter of confirmation may be required from the host university/college. Awards of around £200 are made. Applications are made by way of a CV, reference and short description of the visit to: Dr Lionnel Balfour-lynn 120 Harley Street, london WIN 1AG

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