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I am planning to apply for scholarships to undertake a Master's course in Europe (I am from Argentina). However, in many applications I notice that students are asked to answer some questions that are not (at least directly) related to academia. Some of these questions could be:

  • Introduce yourself in less than X words.
  • What are your interests apart from your study?
  • How would you contribute to the institution if you were granted the scholarship?

I don't really know how to address these questions, as they are quite vague. Am I supposed to introduce myself from an academic standpoint? What kind of interests that are NOT related to education would be suitable to mention if I am applying for a Master's scholarship? How can a Master's student contribute to an institution (I get this for a PhD candidate, but for MSc...)?

Any orientation regarding any of these topics would be highly appreciated, as I don't really know how universities abroad work in these matters.

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    Where in Europe is this? Cultures are quite broad across Europe, so what they expect will probably differ as well. Do you find these questions in applications all over Europe or are you looking in a specific area? – Jeroen Nov 13 '20 at 6:52
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    Other, more expert people will give proper answers. But I find that a useful exercise is this: place yourself, mentally, in the position of somebody able to award a scholarship. Clearly, if you advertise "FREE MONEY HERE", many people will come. How would you go about deciding who you should give the money to, giving the maximum benefit to the most deserving candidate, but also giving the maximum benefit to your institution? I recommend this exercise because it is a very good way of clearing your mind and understanding what the whole scholarship process is about. – Martin Kochanski Nov 13 '20 at 8:19
  • @JeroendeK I'm applying to Master's in UK and the Netherlands, and these questions (or related) are quite common. I plan to undertake a graduate course in maths and statistics, if that is useful information. – Tendero Nov 13 '20 at 14:40

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