Welcome :)

Hello and welcome to my humble blog:)

My name is Daniela and I’m a 17 year old schoolgirl living in Zagreb, Croatia. Besides being a typical high school student, I have a passion for animals, movies, music and good food (only eating – I cant cook to save my life). In my short spare time I have between after school activities and studying, i can usually be found out with my friends or being bitten by our evil black pet cat.

I enjoy reading, Christmas time and going to the movies – its almost like therapy to me – and usually find it very difficult to introduce myself. Well, that’s pretty much the basic information about me in a nutshell.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

How did I apply for the scholarship?

I am proud to say that, despite Mother Natures best attempts to make it hard on me, I have successfully survived the first day of school. The last three weeks of desperately needed relaxation are OVER and it’s time to dust off my books and get back to work. To lead us into this semester, as previously mentioned Mother Nature decided to compensate for the snow-less winter holidays we’ve had so far, by piling three weeks worth of snow on us - all at once, resulting in the worst snow storm in 117 years !

Despite the fact that it two hours instead of the usual half hour to get to school, I must say the weather is actually making me happy. It’s just a shame it didn’t fall a week ago, when I had time to enjoy it.  But hey, better late than never, right? (I better make sure not to say that in public, all the people running late for work will kill me!)
Anyway, I’m finally home, cuddled up in my warm dressing gown and sipping on a cup delicious green tea…Time to get to the post.

I thought I’d start off my series of posts by telling you a little bit about how I came across this scholarship.  As we all know , scholarships are not easy stumble upon nowadays, but when you live in a country like Croatia, coming across an opportunity to help you enroll in a foreign university is the equivalent to coming across a pot of gold.
The idea of studying abroad may be something many students dream about, but is, in fact, something only few achieve. Why? Because students generally, are rarely provided with the information necessary for them to succeed…or even worse, the information is there, but it isn’t made accessible.

It’s the same thing with scholarships – the range of scholarships offered to high-school students in Croatia is not only extremely limited, but also very poorly advertised. To clarify with an example, remember that pot of gold I mentioned? Well, its like looking for that random pot of gold, without a map or any guidelines, only to find, after all your effort, a single penny hidden in the pot.

I first started checking out the whole scholarship situation a few years back when one of my professors told me about a scholarship being offered by some agency to participate in a language course in Harrow House.

The details of the scholarship, including the name, slipped my mind,  so I looked up scholarships when I got home that day, hoping to find out information not only about that particular scholarship, but scholarships in general.

 I wasn’t very successful. Of course, I couldn’t really do much without the name of the actual scholarship, but I did, however, manage to find a list of scholarships being awarded by the city of Zagreb and Croatian government. The list was surprisingly short. I realized that none of the scholarships were fitting since most of them targeted minorities or had some sort of legal obligation bonding me to Zagreb for the next however many years, limiting my options quite a bit. Rather discouraging to say the least.

So I went back to the drawing board, did a little research and found out that many private companies and organizations award high-quality scholarships to students interested in studying abroad and that BHV Education, the agency arranging the Harrow House contest, was, in fact, such a company. Despite not getting the scholarship, I’ve been following their work and site ever since.

In November I decided to go to their international education fair for the first time. Since “matura” (thw Croatian equivalent to SAT's ) time is getting closer and closer, I thought it was time I started checking out my options more seriously and seeing what I can do to achieve my dream…besides finding out loads of useful information, I got to talk to some helpful people who helped steer me in the right direction regarding university and, as if that wasn’t enough, I also got the chance to apply for the CATS College scholarship.

That brings us to the present day. Wow, this is turning out to be an insanely long post.

(Don’t worry, ill cut it short now) So, what‘s the point of this HUGE post? Well, I’ve had my fair share of struggles trying to come across a chance like this, and I happened to have learned a thing or two along the way…It’s all about looking in the right place. If you’re in search of a scholarship, I suggest you check out private and non-governmental agencies and their offers as well as the government funded ones, since their usually much less advertised and of a better quality. Even if you don’t find something for yourself right away, I’ve found that with the right amount of research and persistence, you’re bound to come across something sooner or later. So don't lose hope!

Anyway, I guess that’s it for today (I promise to try to keep the posts shorter from now on!). Hopefully people in the same situation will find the information from this post useful and I wish you all lots of luck:) Until later!

To make up for the insanely long post I’ll leave you with a photo …. This is just to prove we had the worst snowstorm in 117 years – meet the family snowman! (yes, thats me...in my dressing gown...just went to hug him good night:) )