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Scholarship essay

eastcoast

Disclaimer: as i've asked questions in the past to the forum and received so many negative and unhelpful answers please only respond if you have a genuine suggestion. 

I am an architecture student who transferred into the program as an undeclared major. Because of this I now pay almost double the tuition as my other classmates each semester because of state rules. I am applying for a scholarship (one of the only ones my school offers that I am eligible  to apply for) that is a study abroad scholarship. There is a new study abroad program in Paris that is begin offered specifically to our class. So teachers from my program will be having class abroad. 

I have traveled in the past with a family friend who doesnt want to travel alone and takes me along at no expense to me. That is what interested me in architecture in the first place. I visited Paris many years before I became an architecture student. I am interested in living abroad for a semester because I know how valuable those opportunities are. The tuition of the paris trip although nearly double the normal tuition is almost the same as what I would pay anyways. Even though I know the expense of traveling abroad VERY well, I would like to try for the scholarship because any assistance in is helpful. 

My question is what would be a good way to approach my essay for the scholarship given that I have traveled outside the US before. 

I feel like i am at a disadvantage to getting a study abroad scholarship because of my past travel experiences. Because many people already know that I have traveled, I believe it looks like I can afford the trip myself but rather my past travel opportunities have all been because of someone outside of my family that I did not have to pay for. It feels like I am one of the few that falls in the category of not receiving financial aid based on my parents income, because many of my classmates are getting grants (large grants) that are used towards the trip. 

I am just looking for ways to enhance my credibility as a future architecture professional and as opposed to my class mates and many study abroad  programs I am not centered around just the traveling part. 


 
Feb 8, 18 2:11 pm
JLC-1

What you are not telling is what's the stated purpose of the Paris courses, which could give you a good hint for your essay. But a good essay on Paris would be the transformations that took place in the 80s and their later impact in the world of architecture, it's always good to know the ins and outs of history. 

Feb 8, 18 2:38 pm  · 
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eastcoast

thank you for your reply. The courses in paris are no different than what is being taught in school at home. They are just looking for applying the things we learn to a tangible experience. The scholarship essay is just a statement about why you want to go.

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JLC-1

so? why do you want to go?

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thatsthat

How do you know this committee knows about your past travel experiences?  I would not mention it, but focus on 1) what makes you unique in needing this scholarship and 2) why the Paris program fits into your future goals.  Honestly, unless the scholarship is need-based, I would leave out any discussion of paying 2x the amount of other students and other money troubles.  Is there a specific topic that the Paris trip deals with that you are particularly interested in?  That would be very helpful.  (For instance, in a past studio maybe you did a project about urban interventions and Paris has a strong history of urban interventions.  Something like that.)

Feb 8, 18 2:45 pm  · 
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thatsthat

Also, I did a summer session abroad in Paris and it was great! If you go, you'll have a lot of fun!

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Andó

Hi eastcoast,

this sounds interesting. I'm an architectural graduate, and for the past 8 months I've been living off of scholarships from my national Arts Council. I am doing a variety of different pieces of research to explore how I can expand my practice. This is just to say I've sort of gotten my head around what is required.

1. Applying for scholarships requires that you communicate a remarkable level of specificity. It's ALL about this word. I could ask you why you want to go there. But this isn't hugely helpful. The question is WHAT is there that will allow you develop your practice as an architect. You need to identify your focus area of interest, and justify the trip based on its contributions to your practice. Are there particular paintings or sculptures in Paris that you need to study? Certain works by architects? The history of the city's urban design? I don't know what your interests are. But you need to identify them first. Then see how these interests are applicable to time spent in Paris.

2. People. Are there certain people in Paris (or the area) that interest you and are working directly on what you're interested in? Professors or practitioners? You could suggest that you are working on your own research project which you will develop into a research book on your return. Could you meet with these individuals to discuss your specific area of interest, and transcribe the meeting as part of your specific piece of research.

3. The word RESEARCH is key. Short of getting into research methodologies: think about things you can do to develop your area of interest. I've mentioned both existing artefacts in the city and people above. Is there anything else? What about the culture of life in the city of Paris? Is living this culture somehow relevant to embody the the experience of people in that city (to get you closer to understanding their unique perspective): say if you were exploring the paintings of Toulouse Lautrec, would living in Paris for a number of months be a useful way of getting to know the reasoning behind his work better. 

If you want to get the scholarship, take it seriously and frame it as a piece of research. And also you can do it! I agree with you: I do see far too much negativity on these forums towards fellow architects; it's a shame there isn't more of a culture of mentorship and respect in the profession.

If you need any more advice I'm happy for you to message me.

May 21, 20 9:59 am  · 
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Formerlyunknown

Since this thread is 2+ years old (resurrected by a spammer), the OP has presumably earned or lost this scholarship by now.

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Andó

I feel like I've been scammed of my time.

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Formerlyunknown

If someone comes here in the future looking for info on scholarships, it's still informative. It's always good to check the dates - sometimes the threads are 15+ years old already, so people fall into giving advice to "students" who, if they are students now, are students only because they graduated, got licensed, ran a firm or two into the ground, became thoroughly disillusioned, and retreated to academia again to pursue their new-found passion for criminology, or history of textiles, or textiles in criminology...

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