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How to prepare for the Stevenson Exchange Scholarship interview

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Following our recent post explaining how to apply for the Stevenson Exchange Scholarship, we will now guide you through the most important part of the process: how to prepare for the interview.

The Stevenson Exchange Scholarship aims to promote friendly relations between students of universities in Scotland, Germany, France and Spain. It does so by providing funding to students who are undertaking work or study placements abroad, to enable them to fulfil their objectives during their time abroad.

The application process consists of two key stages: the written application, and the interview. This guide will focus on how to prepare for the interview, but you can find more information on the written application here.

What is the format of the interview?

Following the successful submission and acceptance of your written application, you will be invited to a formal face-to-face interview. The interview is usually carried out in-person However, during the Covid-19 crisis the interview was carried out online for the academic years 2019-20 and 2020-21. It is expected to revert to an in-person format the following year.

The interview will take place in front of a panel of 3 trustees. These trustees are academic staff at the universities participating in the Scholarship, including the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and St Andrews.

The interview will last approximately 10 minutes, and it’ll be over before you know it.

In terms of the dress code, it’s important to dress smartly to show you’re passionate about performing well in the interview and that you’re a responsible and organised person. Remember, you want to come across as someone who is capable of representing Scotland in an ambassadorial role while abroad.

What will I be asked in the Stevenson Exchange Scholarship interview?

The first thing you’ll be asked is to explain a little bit about yourself and the course that you’re studying. It’s as simple as introducing yourself and telling the panel what degree you study, and what courses you’ve sat within your degree. You might even want to mention in a sentence or two why you enjoy your current studies and why you’re going to study abroad as part of your degree.

In the main part of the interview you’ll be asked to outline some of your plans while you’re abroad. It is important to highlight how you will engage with local and other international students, and how the money will help you accomplish this.

A good approach when preparing for the interview is to think about any interests you want to pursue while you’re abroad, and how you will get foreign students engaged in these activities. For example, if you’re a keen skier, talk about organising skiing trips for local and international students. And, of course, mention that the Scholarship would make this task far more achievable.

You may also want to talk about any cultural activities you wish to organise, such as a language exchange, an international cuisine night, a traditional sports gymkhana, and so on. Of course, as you are representing Scotland, Scottish culture, food and tradition must feature heavily in these plans.

These are just some examples, the opportunities are almost endless. The most important thing is that you plan to engage with students from around the world and bring a Scottish perspective to the table, in whichever way you think is best. Also, don’t be shy to talk about the money will help you accomplish your aims. That is, after all, why you’re here.

These are the most important tips to bear in mind when thinking about how to prepare for the Stevenson Exchange Scholarship interview. Good luck!

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