A Long Road to First Fellowship

a pin/Harry Febrian
a pin/Harry Febrian

It’s probably easier to celebrate glorious moment rather than reflecting on the long hard process behind it.

I was once again reminded by this simple fact at the end of my NFP fellowship November last year. The fellowship — fully funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs — last only for 3 weeks, and it was a wonderful one. But behind it, there was 10 months long preparation, and probably much more than that.

It was all started in February 2016, as I first got the information about the course: Producing Media to Counter Radicalisation. It was held by RNTC, part of RNW Media, Netherland.

According to its website, RNW Media is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. Nowadays it transforms into a multimedia organisation promoting free speech in countries where freedom of expression is severely restricted.

I started my application for Netherlands Fellowships Programme in March 2016. It took 3 months to know the result. And with much luck, I was accepted.

First day of class/ Harry Febrian
First day of class/ Harry Febrian

It sounds easy when you put it in words, but it was anything but easy back then. To be honest, I cannot remember exactly how I got known about NFP because there are so many types of scholarships/fellowships that I read regularly and try to familiarize myself with. This particular habit can be traced back to 2009, when I first tried my luck to go abroad by applying to AMINEF Undergraduate Exchange Program and failed miserably: I didn’t even finish the application process, although I’ve got my TOEFL test result already.

To think about it, I owed several people along my line of study in high school and undergraduate that helped to nurture this dream to go abroad, which I still hold very dearly until today.

The AMINEF failure was an insightful one, though. I procrastinated a lot, but it taught me not to give up halfway trying. After that, all I know is trying, trying, and trying, without thinking much about the result. Continue reading “A Long Road to First Fellowship”