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OPPORTUNITIES magazine Maximize Yourself

Blue Card: Here’s how to work in Europe Free Money: Understanding Scholarships

Career Break: Fellowships for older workers

Educated and Ambitious? Europe wants to Hire You In late spring of this year, the European Parliament adopted a measure to help deal with the problem of an aging population and declining highly skilled workforce; the so-called Blue Card. Following the example of Countries in other parts of the World, Europe wants skilled immigrants to help alleviate shortages in its labour market.

Currently, only 1.7 percent of the European working population are skilled immigrants, compared to 3.2 percent in the United States. The success of the United States Green Card has undoubtedly played a role in influencing Europe's efforts to attract top talent. The success of immigration programs in Canada and Australia has also played a role in influencing Europe to rethink the immigration issue. Both nations are aggressive in the pursuit of skilled foreign workers and utilize points based schemes to attract overseas help. These schemes score applicants based upon factors such as education, experience, and age.

Europe needs 56 million immigrant workers by 2050 While the European Union does not use a well-defined points based system, it has provided details of some requirements for applicants. Foreign workers wishing to receive a blue card will likely have to have a valid joboffer. In addition, they will be required to have earned a degree from a bona fide educational institution that took at least three years to achieve or to have at least five years of experience in the relevant work sector.

In return, blue card holders will have access to social programs such as pensions and health care. They will also be allowed to move to another member state after 18 months if he or she obtains a job there. Family reunification is also allowed after six months, with spouses having the ability to work as well.

The goal is to better harmonize the 27 different immigration policies to help stem a looming demographic crisis. Studies have shown that Europe will have a shortfall of 20 million workers by 2030 if current trends continue. Member nations will have two years to implement the blue card -- although some nations, such as Ireland and the UK, can opt out of the program. p

Free Money for Study: Understanding Scholarships


unding university studies in today’s world requires substantial resources in terms of money and time. Depending on the university

you intend to join, a masters or doctoral degree will cost you between half a million to three million shillings.

Since not everyone can afford these amounts of money, some universities and organizations make available scholarships - money to pay fees for students at various level of study. There are various types of scholarships, each with its own criterion and eligibility. The main types are: (1) Merit scholarships: These are given on the basis of academic, athletic or artistic merit. These merit-based scholarships are awarded by universities for academic achievement. The universities may give the awards based on GPA or scores in tests such as SAT and GMAT. In addition, you may be required to write an essay stating your study and career goals. Some Universities automatically consider all applicants for merit scholarships while others require applicants to make a separate scholarship. Merit scholarships are renewed subject to the student maintaining a certain grade during their course of study. (2) Need based scholarships: Some universities award scholarships to qualified students who cannot afford the fees for study. In addition to demonstrating need, the candidates are expected to fulfill other conditions as well.

(3) Athletic Scholarships: High quality athletes can attend university free of charge if they can beat the highly competitive application process. Universities especially in the US award scholarships to top players in athletics, soccer and basketball among many others.

(4) Diversity Scholarships: Sponsors (universities and industry) use scholarships as a way of attracting students of diverse abilities and nationalities. An example is the NestlĂŠ MBA Scholarship at the IMD Business School in Switzerland. The scholarship aims to increase the number of women from developing nations entering senior management. Who gives scholarships?

There are numerous of organizations that offer scholarship awards to students. These range from universities to private organizations, Companies: Companies offer scholarships to attract and retain employees, support the communities where the business is located, and encourage entrants into the business's field of work. This is becoming common in Kenya with Equity Bank being the best known example. Religious Organizations: Religious organizations often award scholarships to help their members afford the cost of college. If you and your family are affiliated with a specific religious group, check with your local group about the availability of scholarships. RATTANSI? How To Win a Scholarship

Sponsors can have a variety of goals in offering a scholarship. Some companies offer scholarships as a form of community development, to invest in the future of the communities where they are based. Others offer scholarships to

help retain current employees and recruit future employees. Colleges may offer scholarships to recruit a talented and diverse student body. Colleges may also offer scholarships in specific majors to encourage students to enroll in underrepresented majors (e.g., scholarships for women and minorities in science and engineering). Membership organizations tend to offer scholarships to promote their field or the mission of the organization. Other scholarships may be established to honor the memory of someone who has passed away, to provide a legacy that perpetuates his or her There are no specific rules to guarantee that you will get a scholarship, but there are various strategies to boost your chances. These include:

Recommendations: Get letters of recommendation from teachers, guidance counselors or leaders in your community. They should talk of your skills and leadership skills etc. Get involved in your community or in school activities or in your church. If your time is limited due to personal circumstances, working to help with family expenses is also an advantage. Prepare a personal essay: Every university will require an essay that outlines your personal profile and your goals. Do not wait for the application time but start early. This will help you to clarify your goals and priorities. Ensure that your application and the supporting materials contain all the relevant information the committee needs to evaluate your candidacy. The committee only knows what your application and your letters of recommendations tell it. Write an application that highlights the aspects of your background that match the sponsor's goals. Search: Begin researching scholarships that match your criteria. Use magazines, books and websites.

Once you have the scholarships for which you want to apply, keep track of the deadlines. Create a chart to keep on top of all dates. It should have: 1. Scholarship name and phone number 2. Date application must be received by scholarship committee 3. Date you requested the application 4. Date you received the application 5. Date application with above package was mailed 6. Date you called the Scholarship Agency to verify they received your application package


There are numerous scholarships today and the internet has made it easier to apply for them. In addition to the tips given above, if you remain focused and persistent you will eventually get a scholarship to study for your dream career.

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