ASEAN Scholarship: My Journey

ASEAN Scholarship: My Journey

ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship is offered to support outstanding freshmen from ASEAN member countries (excluding Singapore). Scholars’ tuition fees will be fully covered (after MOE Tuition Grant Subsidy). In addition, scholars receive an annual living allowance of SGD 5,800.

How I was admitted to NUS with the ASEAN Scholarship

I was admitted to National University of Singapore on January 22nd 2020 (right one day after my dad’s birthday, yay! 😁), majoring in Pharmaceutical Science under Tuition Grant. However, the actual journey was not as simple as you imagined.

I received an email regarding this scholarship on February 5th. The Office of Admissions would like to invite me for an interview session on February 15th at Grand Mercure Jakarta Kemayoran Hotel. At the same date and place, my friends were also invited to participate in the UEE (University Entrance Exam). I was very excited. I even did some shopping to prepare my attire for the interview.

However, the process was not as smooth as I expected. I got another email on February 11th (H-4 interview) that the interview will be postponed and rescheduled at a later time due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, my friends’ exam schedule was not postponed.

At the time of the pandemic, I was still in my school dormitory in Tangerang. I was doing my practical exam (ujian praktik) in February when the situation suddenly became worrying. The number of positive cases in Indonesia skyrocketed in just a couple of days. The school exam (ujian sekolah), originally commenced on March 9th until March 17th was even postponed when it was only two days left. The school was closed and people were obliged to stay home.

After hours of thinking, I finally decided to went back to Banjarmasin. The flight was on March 17th. I am very blessed that I arrived safely in Banjarmasin, knowing that Tung Desem Waringin (a motivator) got infected during his recent flight in March.

I finally received an email regarding the interview on April 24th. The interview was rescheduled to April 30th, 2020 via Zoom online meeting. The bad news was that I did not bring the attire that I shopped for since I thought that I would be going back to my dorm to do the national exam. Turns out the national exam was cancelled 😐 I eventually did the interview wearing my mother’s attire.

I was informed that I was offered this scholarship on May 8th, 2020. It’s only by His Grace that I could be admitted to NUS. This marks the end of my confusion, anxiety, and fear of not being admitted to any university. My parents would not be able to pay the tuition fee if I did not get any scholarship.

At the time of waiting for the re-scheduled interview, I was in a dilemma on whether I should study in Singapore or in Indonesia. I had thought of applying to the Faculty of Medicine University of Indonesia (UI). I even studied for the entrance exam (UTBK or Ujian Tulis Berbasis Komputer). But God answered my prayer just at the right time and I’m really thankful for that.


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