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How I Got My Scholarship to Study Politics in New York

27th May 2014 Posted by: Student World Online

MAHAM Javaid, from Pakistan, studied politics at New York University in the United States. She spoke to Student World Online about the Falak Sufi scholarship, which has funded her two-year master's program in Near Eastern studies.

Maham Javaid is now an international journalist

Student World Online: Thanks for talking to us Maham. What and where did you study before you came to New York University (NYU)?
Maham: I took my GCSE exams in Karachi at the Karachi Grammar School and then I did my undergrad in social sciences from LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences.)

SWO: Why did you want to study abroad?
Maham: I wanted to study at NYU's Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies because I had heard much about the critical thinking skills they offer to teach their students and that is something I wanted to learn. 

SWO: Why are you interested in political science? What would you like to do as a career?
Maham: I am interested in political science because I want to be a journalist and one of my beats is politics. 

SWO: Tell me about your scholarship?
Maham: It is called the Falak Sufi scholarship and was set up to honour the memory of a student on the Near Eastern Studies program who died tragically in 2008. The scholarship supports students from countries with a majority Islamic population in South Asia who might not otherwise be able to obtain a graduate education.

SWO: How did you find out about the Falak Sufi scholarship and why did you apply?
Maham: I found out about it through a former Kevorkian student and I applied because I wanted a graduate education and a chance to research Pakistan further and this was perfect. 

SWO: What was the application process like and why do you think you were successful?
Maham: The application process was quite difficult, I had to gather all my documents, take the GRE and the Toefl and write two separate essays. I think I got in because my recommendations were great and because my published work is impressive. These were my two outstanding features. Everything else on my application was ordinary. 

SWO: How much is the Falak Sufi scholarship and what does it cover?
The scholarship is US$24,000 a year. It covers full tuition and living expenses. The travel from Pakistan and back is on my own expense. 

SWO: What are you learning on your program and how will it help you professionally?
Maham: I am learning so much! I am learning how to question everything and everyone. And I am learning how to read critically. I am learning different ways of thinking and different ways of approaching a problem. I am learning that opinions are never right or wrong, they are merely opinions. I am learning that most of the world's crises are man-made. 

SWO: If you hadn’t got a scholarship would you still have been able to afford to study abroad for your master’s?
Maham: Absolutely not. 

SWO: What is it New York like? 
New York City is a great place to be. I am so grateful to be living here. 

SWO: What is it like being an international student in the US? Is it an expensive place to live?
Maham: It's a very expensive place to be, but it's all about budgeting. If you're smart enough to get into NYU, I think you'll be smart enough to budget, so don't worry!

SWO: What do you want to do after you graduate?
Maham: Well my aim is to be a conflict zone reporter for an international media agency. 

SWO: Do you have any advice for political science students thinking of studying abroad?
Maham: Keep an open mind and you will learn more than you can imagine. 

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