Meet Muna Chaudhary: An Erasmus Mundus Scholar from Nepal
Muna Chaudhary was born and raised in the Terai region of Nepal. He is a talented young student from Tharu community – an indigenous group in Nepal. When he had first left his home to study Bachelor’s of Forestry in Hetauda – another town in inner Terai region of Nepal, he already made a key adventure in his life. His next venture went to next level. This time, he left his country to Finland to start a Master’s Programme in European Forestry. He says that he has won several scholarships in his life and believes that being consistent in hardwork is worth building oneself. Let us follow with some interview-type questions and his responses –
Have you won some forms of ‘scholarships’ earlier than Erasmus Mundus?
Yes, I had won scholarships when I was student of 10+2 level in Nepal. That time, I got Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship. Again, I had won scholarships for my studies in Bachelors Level. I won scholarships also to do a research work for my thesis work in Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Forestry. I also won Idea Wild Award with some equipments required for work in conservation sector. Most significant one for me was an award for getting highest score among that year’s Bachelor’s Degree students in Forestry. The award is called Batukprasad Upadhyaya Memorial Award.
What is your next plan after completing this programme?
I do not have a fixed plan yet. I might continue studying or researching on the topic of my interest. I might also start a job straightaway. I wish to work in Nepal’s forestry sector. Let me see – what unfolds.
What does an aspiring candidate need to win a scholarship?
I think that there are 3 things that make you a good candidate to win any scholarship – motivation, good academic performance, and something that shows you as already an actor in some transformative projects – be it in school, or community, or both.
How can a student do his / her best in academics?
I suggest that the student performs his / her best during examinations. For that, one should start deep reading and conversing right from beginning of the semester. S/he should make notes and go little deeper and critically in every topics. S/he should be able to reflect on the topics in another contexts too. S/he should search for books and academic publications in libraries and make use of them. If they can, they might get guidance from seniors and teachers on advancing academically.
Does a student need to be studious only? Can s/he have hobby(ies)?
Of course, a student should have hobby(ies). In fact, hobbies makes a student mentally healthy as well, which in turn helps the academic pursuit. In my case, I play football, watch series and films.
What is your message to those who might consider applying for scholarships?
My first message is – “If you apply there is a chance; if you don’t, there isn’t any”. Scholarship in a foreign country makes you convenient for you to explore new culture, and geography. If you are not selected in some application, just keep on applying for other scholarships. Do not give up even in the same scholarships programme. I have seen a friend of mine who got selected after many years of trying. To succeed, you might consider preparing yourself for next time, transforming yourself in due time.
You said that you might start working after studying. What can a student from a developing country do to start working in the developed country.
Developed countries use the contemporary knowledge, skills and technology in the work situations. If you update with all these and orientate these to the labour market in the developed country, there is a high chance that you get an employment in the developed country. Language, communication skills, social skills, presentation, and overview of oneself in the organizational settings are equally important.
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