Thursday, 22 October 2015

How I Got a Full Scholarship to Medical School

Hi there! Ni hao! (Trying out my Chinese hehe)
To any Caribbean people reading, I'm going to explain how I ended up in Taiwan, in med school, and not paying a cent.

So let's rewind back to 2013 when my cousin, who actually received the scholarship and went to Taipei (Taiwan) told me all about it. Of course I was ecstatic to know that there is an option for me to finally fulfill my dream of becoming a medical doctor.

Fast forward to 2015 and it's my year of graduation from Undergrad! (Man, time flies huh?) I had finished my degree in December of 2014, so I was waiting on graduation in May of 2015. This provided the perfect time for me to apply for this scholarship as I was back in my home island (St. Lucia) and I could have dome all the running around myself. The scholarship was offered by the Government of Taiwan, and is called the ICDF (International Cooperation and Development Fund) Scholarship. The deadline of submission /admission for 2015 candidates was the ending of February into beginning of march.

ICDF Scholarship info here.

With my HORRIBLE memory, here are the things I remember doing at this time:

•Fill out the scholarship application and write an essay saying why I need the scholarship and how it will benefit my country

•Fill out an online application to the actual University

•Submit 2 or three passport photos along with the scholarship application

• Do a chest x-ray and get some blood tests done

•Wait for a response

(N.B for those applying, just go ahead and get about 20 passport photos done to save yourself the hassle.. you'll need a lot of those)

Fast forward some more, in the month of June/July and I got a confirmation email from the University saying that I got accepted to study my post graduate in medicine! You guys, I was feeling all the feels within a space of one minute! Excited, nervous, scared, happy, sad, everything! Within this same week, I got confirmation from my Taiwanese embassy (who represent ICDF) that I had been successful with acquiring FULL SCHOLARSHIP to study at my selected school. Of course, I had everyone's whatsapp blowing up because I was telling them the good news. Well mainly family, as I still had a lot of paper work still left to be done.

The next step from that point was applying for my United States Visa, as we would have been transiting through New York, then to Taiwan. Since I had been in Trinidad at this time, (I stayed there after graduation in May). Since Trinidad has a U.S embassy, I went ahead and applied, getting through within 2 weeks with a Transit visa.

The sad time came for me to leave Trinidad (and my boyfriend) to go back home and handle some more things for the scholarship.

First thing I did when I got back home was to go pick up the medical form from my Taiwanese embassy and get it filled by a doctor. I already had chest x-ray results from before so I had to do over some blood tests and get a physical done. In addition, I had to fill out some application forms for the Taiwanese visa, which, like the U.S visa was going to be stamped on my passport. Of course I had to submit one or two passport photos with each document.

If I can remember correctly, that was all I had to do. And at this point I was going up and down to town, doctor, embassy, health center, lol everywhere. Oh and yes, I did pay for all the tests and stuff.

Fast Forward even more to the end of August and I was packed and ready to go! Among all St. Lucians going to my school, there were 5 of us.
Time to leave! this is my family.. Surprisingly, I didn't cry... thought I would lol




The 5 St. Lucians (in this particular school) There are more St. Lucians in other schools

Oh, I should mention, not all Caribbean Islands are eligible for these scholarships, so please check with your government or their website. There is also the MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Scholarship.

Thanks for reading! Catch you later! ♥