Government of Ireland – International Education Scholarship (GOI-IES)

Today, Education abroad is more of a business deal than means of knowledge.

Fees and living costs demand both Savings and Education loan. The sheer amount of money invested in Education makes the otherwise enjoyable period of Education, extremely stressful for students. It turns Education into a ‘Business’, Fees into ‘Investment’, Period of Education into ‘Incubation Period’, Salaries into ‘Return on Investment’ and lastly Knowledge into a ‘Product’ for sale. In the due course, the purpose of gaining knowledge is killed.

Fortunately, my purpose was kept alive by the Government of Ireland – International Education Scholarship (GOI-IES). GOI-IES offers free education and a stipend for living expenses. I received GOI-IES for the year 2019-20 to pursue Masters in Data Analytics. The GOI-IES made my Masters experience enjoyable and stress-free.

However, the application process for GOI-IES was difficult. The process was difficult because there was hardly any information available online regarding GOI-IES. I had to reach out to previous year recipients of GOI-IES for my queries. Most of them didn’t reply, probably due to the huge number of texts received from other applicants like me. And now, even I am not able to reply to everyone. Hence, I am writing this article.

In this article, I have explained the Eligibility and Evaluation Process of GOI-IES. Further, I have discussed how to write Personal Statements, what should be the content of Personal Statements and other tips.

I am sure this article will answer most of your queries. More importantly, it will boost your chances of receiving the Scholarship and getting the prestigious tag of ‘International Scholar’.

So let’s dig in….

1. What does GOI-IES offer?

GOI-IES offers a Full fee waiver and 10,000 Euros stipend for one year. This one year can be:

  • Final year of Under-graduation OR
  • One year of Masters degree programme OR
  • One year of Research Programme (Research Master’s or PhD)

So basically, if you receive the Scholarship for your one-year Masters programme; you don’t have to pay any fees and will also receive 10,000 Euros stipend for living expenses (Yay…!). The Scholarship can be granted for ANY discipline of study like Engineering, Social sciences, Music, Management, Finance, etc.

Link for Application and Call letter:

2. Eligibility Criteria:

  • Nationality: The applicant MUST NOT be from EU/EEA or Switzerland (i.e. NOT from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
  • The candidate should have atleast one admit from Irish Institute.

3. Evaluation

The Application is evaluated and marks are allotted out of 100. The distribution of marks is as follows:

  1. Three Personal Statements (15 * 3 = 45 marks)
  2. Two references (15 Marks)
  3. Academic qualifications, achievements and/or work experience (40 marks)

3.1 Personal Statements:

I received multiple texts on Facebook, WhatsApp & Instagram regarding Personal Statements. Therefore, I am assuming that most of you might be struggling with Personal Statements.

There are three questions which you need to answer in 500 words each. I have explained the following:

  • Different parts of the question
    • How to approach each question
    • Few ideas/suggestions to get going if you are stuck

But before that, please read below mentioned six tips for Personal statements:

1. Make it Personal

Make it very very very personal…! By personal I mean, the reader should associate the answers with only one person, that is you. The reader should get a feeling that he just ‘met’ you. He ‘knows’ you. For this, write incidences of your life, your emotions, your passions, your values. Don’t write generalised answers.

How do you make sure your Answers are personal and not generalised?

Test: Suppose you are a working professional and are applying for a Masters in Data Analytics. Ask yourself: Do these Answers apply only to me or do they apply to every other working Professional applying for Masters in Data Analytics?

If you get a YES…You are good to go…!

2 .Answer every part of the question:

Every question is composed of various sub-questions or parts. Give equal justice to every part.

3. Support your claims:

If you make a claim support it with prior experience/activity or specific future plan.

Example: Instead of writing ‘I wish to use data science for humanitarian causes’; articulate it as:

  • I have worked on a Data Science project which was aimed towards predicting monsoons to address agricultural distress OR
  • I want to study Data Science and then work on predicting monsoons to address agricultural distress

4. Don’t write TOO fancy goals – be realistic

5. Maintain Consistency:

Maintain consistency in Personal Statements, References and Academic history/Work Experience. If you mention certain project/volunteering/work experience in Personal Statement, mention it in Work Experience. You are building your case. Don’t write contradicting aims, experience, etc.

6. Keep your field of study as the central theme:

Your answers are like a Necklace. Every point is a bead in the Necklace. While your intended field of study is the thread that connects the beads and keeps the necklace together. Almost every aspect of your answer should be linked to your field of study.

7. Experience of Social Service/Humanitarian/Volunteering work is gold. Mention it.

Questions for Personal Statements:

Question 1: The benefit of becoming a GOI-IES Scholar; to themselves (personally and professionally), to Ireland, as well as their country of origin. (15 marks)

The question mentions the benefits of becoming ‘GOI-IES Scholar’. However, the utility of GOI-IES is limited to expenses and fees for Education. So the question is more about the benefits of studying your intended programme. Frame your answers accordingly and replace the ‘intended programme’ with ‘GOI-IES Scholar’ ( :- D).

There are four parts of the Question. Allot around 125 words for each part to give equal justice to the four aspects.

The benefits of becoming a GOI-IES Scholar:

  • To Themselves Personally
  • To Themselves Professionally
  • To Ireland
  • To Country of Origin

Possible Content:

Benefits To Themselves Personally: No financial strain (Obviously…!), desire to explore new land, experience multi-culturalism, diversity, Irish culture, etc.

However, that’s not all. Let it reflect the REAL you. Mention how European values match yours, how you always dreamt of walking on busy Irish streets. Do not shy away from mentioning any other honest reason like Ireland offers more freedom to women than my country (one of the GOI scholars mentioned it …!), better standard of living, religious freedom, etc.

Benefits to themselves Professionally: This part should revolve around your field of study.

Example: How it will bring a change in your professional life? What opportunities will Ireland provide you?

Further, how you can contribute to the field of study? What role scholarship will play in your professional life? Long-term plans in the field of study (Research, start-up, etc).

Benefits to Ireland (tricky one)

This is a tricky one. One way to approach this is to do some research about Ireland. Identify problems/scope/need in Ireland with respect to your field of study. Suggest how you can tackle these with your field of study. (This is how I managed to answer this question)

Example: Dublin in Ireland is facing an acute shortage of housing. Hence, by pursuing Construction Management I can help address this problem…(explain how)

Caution: Don’t Exaggerate. Example: I wish to do Construction Management and solve the ‘entire’ housing crisis in Ireland (Even if you can do it, it should sound realistic to the Evaluator).

Benefits to the Country of Origin:

Similar to the previous part; benefits to Ireland. However, instead of Ireland, you must consider your Country of Origin and follow same pattern.

Question 2: How they will extend themselves beyond their project/studies to become actively involved in Irish society in order to maximize their academic/cultural exchange experience and to raise awareness of the GOI-IES scheme in Ireland and beyond

There are two parts to the question. How will you extend beyond project studies to:

  • Involve in Irish society in order to maximize their academic/cultural exchange experience
  • raise awareness of the GOI-IES scheme in Ireland and beyond

Involve in Irish society in order to maximize their academic/cultural exchange experience

Fundamentally, Society is nothing but people. Show how you can be actively involved with Irish People. ‘Beyond Studies’ gives you a scope to present your extra-curricular/hobbies and other interests.

Show how you can use hobbies/interests for academic/cultural exchange. For Example: Join local bands, sports groups, history clubs, share food recipes of your Country, groups – volunteering, humanitarian, travel, hiking groups, history groups, reading groups, participate in Irish festivals, events, etc

It will be great if you can show how in the past you have participated in such events/groups/activities in your country.

Raise awareness of the GOI-IES scheme in Ireland and beyond (Largely a Cliché Answer)

  • Blogs, YouTube, Facebook
  • Meetups, conferences, etc

Question 3: The extent to which they have a long-term interest in Ireland and how they will promote links with Ireland during their time as Scholars and also after as Alumni (15 marks).

This question has two parts.

  • The extent to which they have a long-term interest in Ireland
  • how they will promote links with Ireland as Scholars & Alumni

The extent to which they have a long-term interest in Ireland

Focus on ‘Long-term’. Simply answer ‘Where do you see yourself in next 10 years in Ireland?’ (A typical HR question).

  • Mention if you wish to settle here
    • Start your own venture/work in MNC
    • What you will be doing in your field of study after 10 years?

How they will promote links with Ireland during their time as Scholars and alumni

Promote links by Networking with people – you are a ‘representative’ of your country. If you network well, you are actually promoting links with Ireland. Describe various social groups you can be part of and how you can forge a meaningful relation.

As ‘Alumni’: How can you be connected to your college?

  • Alumni club, guide students, etc

Lastly – blogs, YouTube channel, etc.

Writing good Personal Statements is half the battle won. For the other half, we have Two references and Academic qualifications, achievements and/or work experience.

Tips for References:

  1. Ideally, references must be obtained from Professors or Employers. They must know you with respect to your field of Study. Example: The professor who taught you or who was your Project/thesis guide. Immediate boss or employer.
  2. The more renowned the person giving reference; the better it is. Example: Senior most Professor, Employer at a high position, Minister, etc
  3. Specifically, mention it is for Scholarship – don’t use the one used for seeking admission

Tips for Academic qualifications, achievements and/or work experience:

  • Achievements: Mention ONLY significant or noteworthy achievements.
  • When you write about your projects (especially for technical courses) mention the purpose of taking up that project. Example: My final year project was virtual screen touch implementation which was aimed to allow differently-abled persons to interact smoothly with devices.

I hope the article answers most of your queries related to the Government of Ireland – International Education Scholarship (GOI-IES). If you have any other queries you can always contact me on Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn.

 Ireland is a beautiful country with lovely people. I fell in love with Ireland; I am sure you will fall in love too. All the best for your application.

Hi, I am Rajas. I am studying Master in Data Analytics at Dublin Business School. I am in Dublin as GOI-IES Scholar 2019-20. Previously worked as Probationary Officer at State Bank of India.

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Instagram ID : rajasgodbole

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