- Hey guys, welcome back to my channel.
I'm filming from an amazing cottage today.
We're in Yosemite which is a national park
We're spending a weekend here but I know
you're waiting for more educational videos
and I know that a lot of you guys are willing
to apply to American universities and come here
to study 'cause I know that this place
is really inspirational and I'm gonna show
you what's around and it's so beautiful
and I hope you enjoy it too.
Today I'm gonna talk about a scholarship.
That's gonna help you cover all of the admissions
costs associated with getting admitted
to an American university so if you're interested,
I'm gonna tell you a story.
Back in 2014 when I had this dream
of studying in the US I realized that there
is a lot of money I need upfront just
to go through the process.
Like let me just show you what it takes
to apply to American university.
First you need to take all of the tests.
An an average TOEFL costs from 150 to $200
depending where you are.
GMAT is over $200.
GRE is pretty much the same.
SAT is a little cheaper, again it depends where you are.
The prices vary from country to country
but it ranges from like $50 here in the US,
I think $60 up to $100 if you're somewhere abroad
and sometimes you even need like GRE subject
and SAT subject and you do not even know
if you're gonna get accepted but you already
need to pay like $500 out of pocket,
but this is not it.
Like the next step is applying to universities
and the application fee ranges from zero
'cause some universities would allow you
not to pay the application fee or pay like a small
fee of $30 the University of Florida I think
has like $30, but if you're applying to top
universities it's $250 each and sometimes
people are asking me hey Marina could I apply
to like 10 or 20 universities?
Of course you can if you have that money.
I didn't have that money, 'cause when I sat
down and calculated okay so the exam's around $500
the second thing regarding the exams that I realized
was that all of the GMAT dates in Saint Petersburg, Russia
were booked when I was in my application process
so I had to go to Finland which is next
to Saint Petersburg, it's six hours by bus,
but still only Helsinki had available dates
so I had 300 more dollars of the cost of the total trip.
Then I made a list of universities that I was
going to apply to and it was like, I don't $600 minimum.
So yeah, it adds up.
You might end up paying from $1000 up to 2500
which is again a lot because you do not even know
whether you're gonna get accepted and that was
I was like, I didn't have that money back then
and I found out about a scholarship,
and this is not an ad.
This is like me sharing what helped me hop
on the way of admissions to the US.
The scholarship is called The Opportunity Award
and it's awarded by an organization, it's run
by the government called Educated USA.
So I found out that this is this Opportunity Award.
What it means.
Basically they cover your application fees,
your exam fees, they cover everything that's associated
with the application like I had to travel to Helsinki
they covered that.
If you get accepted to an American institution
will full financial aid they're gonna cover
your flight, they're gonna give you money
for the first month or your life, and they're
gonna cover your visa expenses which is like extra
2000 or $3000 depending on where you're going,
where you're flying from.
It's a lot.
But it's not like they give this scholarship to everyone,
They give it only to people who they think have good chances
of getting full ride scholarships from American
universities so basically the application process
for me was to listen to their lectures,
like they have I think it was 10 lectures.
They were online and at that time I didn't believe
I'm gonna get it so basically I switched on the lecture
and I would do something like work and stuff
I didn't really listen to it but it's really basic
like they're talking about what is Bachelors?
What is Masters?
What is GMAT?
What is SAT?
Like explaining all of the definitions and terms,
and then after that for you in order to apply
for the scholarship you need to have listened
to all of the lectures.
Sometimes they would have like in-person meetings
sometimes so you would just submit your personal statement,
why do you think you're gonna get a full ride
scholarship from an American university?
They ask you to find at least five to six universities
in the US who provide full financial aid
to international students and they ask you
to show your results.
Your GPA, if you won any scholarships,
if you've taken any English language tests.
So you have to be an academically strong student
to apply for that, to receive that.
You can apply with like any background
but they're gonna select the best ones.
But I found out after I applied
is that there were only like 20 applicants
'cause not a lot of people believed
in themselves and the application process
In terms of like there's a lot of documents
involved, like even finding those five universities
that provide full financial aid, like took me two weeks.
So I applied.
It happened, I think I applied in the beginning
of September like in the last day when I was supposed
to apply like deadline was that day.
I did everything frantically like trying to find
the last couple universities, trying to write
the personal statement like scanning all of my diplomas
and I submitted it and then nothing happened.
It was September and at the end of September
I was like okay, I'm probably not gonna get it
and if I don't get it then I don't have money
to apply to American universities
and I just forgot about it and then October 28th
an email comes and it says you have been
selected for an Opportunity Award
and I'm like okay, wow.
My first deadline is January, it was like January 7th
and I realized oh my god this is it.
I need to start getting ready for my exams.
It's a tough exam and it took me like two months
to prepare in this like very short period of time.
TOEFL and then find the universities that provide
financial aid because the universities that I submitted
the committee that selected me actually told me
that those universities do not provide full
financial aid, only one that I've selected had it
and they told me to find five more.
It was rough.
It was rough two months but for me like if you're
still doubting whether you should apply or not,
I think this is a goal trigger.
So what do you need to do is actually
go to your local Google or whatever, go to Google,
Google Education USA plus your country
or your city or your town, find out if they provide
Opportunity Award in your country
and apply for it.
I think they give it out twice a year
and if you're lucky enough you get it
and they cover everything and it's also like
for me it wasn't only the money, it was the support.
'Cause I was alone in my city and I thought I'm
the only one from Saint Petersburg who's going
to American universities and trying to get
this financial aid 'cause I've never known
anyone who received full financial aid
and I was like oh my god should I even try or not?
And I did it, and I got it, and it was life changing.
And this is what I highly, highly recommend
you guys to do if you're still at the beginning
of your application process, go ahead,
check out Education USA.
Even if they don't have Opportunity Award,
I'm sure they have a lot of lectures and free classes
that you can attend.
In Saint Petersburg they had like a small library
with all the books that you could use
for free like GMAT prep and stuff.
So please go ahead, research it,
and maybe you are lucky enough, lucky as me
get a scholarship and continue
with your application process.
That was it from me for today guys.
I hope you enjoyed this video and of course
do not forget to ask me questions in the comment
below because they inspire me a lot in terms of topics
for my next videos.
Thank you so much and I will see you soon.