What Fellowship did you get and what does it involve? I was awarded a study scholarship from the DAAD, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. This is an organization associated with the German government that as part of its mandate gives money to foreigners pursuing a graduate degree in Germany. Every month until my program is complete, I receive a stipend of around $1000 along with some added benefits such as flight expenses and partial tuition. On my end, I just have to go to the random events that they put on every once in a while. These usually involve food, so I cannot object.
What motivated you to apply for a Fellowship? I wanted to do something exciting, unconventional, and ideally outside the continent after college. I just did not feel like I was ready to live the “normal life” of staying in America and getting a job or going on to more school.
What was the hardest part of the Fellowship applying process? It was quite challenging to find the time and energy to write the essays the various fellowships requested of me, especially when I had school, my thesis, medical school applications, and just general life (don’t forget to stop having fun simply because you’re busy; Gustavus is incredible) competing for my time. In the end though, this hard work opened up the door that I eventually traversed through.
What was the most rewarding part of the Fellowship applying process? Obviously, it was getting to know Alisa Rosenthal. She has high expectations, but she’ll be there with you every step of the way. I can’t imagine anyone else doing as great a job as her at helping students make these truly life changing decisions. Second to that, it would have to be finding out I got the scholarship which meant I would be spending my next year in Germany. I remember not being able to stop smiling. It was pretty wonderful.
Do you have any advice for people applying? Put your heart and soul into it. You have to really want it if you’re going to have a shot at these highly competitive scholarships. But think, if it works out, these people are giving you free money. That’s a pretty incredible deal.