Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Diari Ramadhan 1433

2.45 am: Bangun sahur
3.20 am: Subuh
4.00 am: Tidur
8.00 am: Bangun, siap pergi office
10.00 am-5.00 pm: Work
7.30 pm: Masak for berbuka
9.00 pm: Berbuka 
10.00 pm: Maghrib
11.00 pm: Isya' and terawih
12.00 am: Tidur

A bit tight at night, 10 sebab me being a sleeping baby mesti nak tidur jugak before sahur. And disebabkan Isya' pun pukul 11, maka bila terawih tu rakaat nak hujung-hujung tu kadang-kadang macam di awang-awangan (if you know what I mean). But all in all, it's been a good Ramadhan so far. 18 hours? Passed!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Don't you worry, there my honey

We might not have any money. But we've got our love to pay the bills.

-You and I; Ingrid Michaelson-

Well we know that's unrealistic. Yolah sangat love boleh bayar bill. I stull love the song, nonetheless :P

Motifnya nak cakap pasal scholarship lagi and ada kaitan dengan 'don't worry' tiba-tiba teringat lagu tu lol.

OK let's get serious.

So another question I discussed with a friend not long time ago was regarding pursuing PhD but having enough fund/secured scholarship for Master level only. Fret not my dear, you are not too far from achieving your dream :)

Biasalah kadang-kadang kerenah birokrasi kan. Certain sponsors just want to sponsor up to Master level kononnya taknak take the risk if their scholars can't complete the PhD studies. Or that you've saved money just enough to enrol to Master studies.

Go for the Master studies. Masters in the UK usually takes a year or 2 semesters and in the last 3-6 months you'll be attach to some lab doing some research (speaking for science-related field). This is when you get to know people and potential supervisors for your PhD. Ask them if they have spots available for PhD studentship in the next academic year. And, going back to what I mentioned in my previous post, apply for the international student scholarship. By being a current student (studying Master), you increase the possibility in securing the scholarship, plus you'll get recommendations from people from within the university (your Master's lecturers/potential supervisors). Another thing is that they give discounts for tuition fee for returning students (ex-Master, now a PhD student). Win-win situation I guess?

This might sound obvious but hey I learned about it from my friends here who went through the experience, so not so obvious lah, at least for me :P

So don't worry about not having enough fund. Love can pay for school, NOT! There's a way, you gotta dig deep! Hehehe *get what the title is all about now??*

I can only think of another entry about this whole scholarship thing. So to keep this going I need your help to give me ideas/ask questions. I might not have answers to them but I will try to find them for you :) Help me help you, deal?

Till then, Salam.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

James Bond.

Education. Opportunities. Educational opportunities. These two have been my favorite subjects over these past few years. Whenever people bring up these topics to me, I immediately light up and feel so eager to engage in the discussion. Tee hee hee. *semangat habis* 

I've got quite a lot of questions from my friends but much to my delight, I've also received Facebook messages from acquaintances asking for information/advice on these things. Admittedly, I only know a tiny little fraction of the gazillion information out there, but when someone sent me a message telling me he got an offer to do PhD and thanked me for the advice/tips I gave him through this little space of mine, I felt really honored. I'm sure he first thanked Allah for He's the one who made it happened, but the fact somebody took my words seriously and gained from it, I couldn't be happier. Alhamdulillah.

So on one fine night (which was tonight), while having shower (if you know me I usually have my Eureka! moments in the shower), I decided to do this more seriously. If one person could benefit from my advice through private Skype sessions or Facebook messages (with my limited experience and knowledge, which may be outdated in certain cases :P), I might as well share it here so that more people could benefit from it, InsyaALLAH.

So let's cut to the chase. 

Where can I find scholarships that are not bonded? (The question was intended for postgraduate studies)

It comes down to where you want to pursue your studies and what level-Master/PhD. 

Master in the US/UK: I do not know that many local sponsors that are not bonded. I believe JPA only offers their ex-degree scholars to do Master under their sponsorship. It's a bit tricky with MARA because they keep changing their policy from year to year, which all comes down to whether they have money or not in that particular year (sort of) :P. With MARA, even though you are not bonded, you have to sort of pay a fraction of the sponsored amount after you finish (have to double check). CIMB offers CIMB Regional Scholarship where you are not bonded with them but as they say in their website 'you must contribute back to the region by working in any ASEAN country for a minimum of three years upon graduation'. As for Yayasan Khazanah, you have to work with Khazanah Nasional/Khazanah Linked companies or Goverment-Linked Companies (GLC) for a duration equal to the length of your study. Another sponsor which I just came to know about when I started my PhD is Islamic Development Bank. They give scholarships to nationals from participating countries (Malaysia included) and you must be attached to some organizations at your home country when you apply and must return home to contribute to your country.  

However, a great way to have a non-bonded scholarship is to secure International Student Scholarship from the university you are applying to. I think this was my biggest mistake. I always thought it's really competitive to get the type of scholarship so I ended up not applying. Well, belum cuba belum tahu. So while you are applying to the uni, might as well check their available funding and apply to the ones that are relevant for you, in most case the International Student Scholarship. 

PhD in the US: Good thing about doing PhD in the US is, the offer normally comes with scholarship, in which they would waive your tuition fee and they would give you annual stipend (for personal expenses). I am pretty sure you will not be bonded in any way with the offer. Murah hati kan diorang? 

PhD in the UK: Well, unfortunately, UK tak semurah hati US. You need to get some sort of funding before they can offer you admission to their PhD programs. Most of UK researches are funded by private organizations and these mostly are exclusive for EU/UK students. Non-EU students like us must find our own funding, and if you look from organizations from Malaysia, most likely it's gonna be bonded scholarships. But again, you can apply to International Student Scholarship from the university like I mentioned above. 

My advice would be to be proactive in looking for potential sponsors. They are a lot of sponsors out there, you just have to be aware of their advertisements and deadlines. Sponsors open their applications at different time of the year and they advertise in different ways (website, newspaper) so you really have to get on top of things. Take it from someone who always check websites just a few days after they close their applications :P.

CIMB, Yayasan Khazanah and Islamic Development Bank offer scholarships for both Master and PhD at top graduate schools.

CIMB Regional Scholarship
Yayasan Khazanah
Islamic Development Bank
Previous post: PhD: The Process

Salam :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sleepy Friday

Guess what?

I'm gonna put up my Western blot image again! Bahahaha. My blog has turned so nerdy nowadays. Fret not, it'll be colored with interesting posts in the near future *hint hint*

You don't have to understand it, enough to know that these two black and white pictures made me so happy this week! I have been working on it for almost two months, trying to isolate a pure sample, and voila! I finally got it! Alhamdulillah. Now the real challenge begins. But I'll only start to worry about it after I'm back from my holiday in September *wah macam dah boleh bercuti sekarang je kan*

On another note, Ramadhan is just around the corner. It'll be my first time fasting during summer time (kalau dipanjangkan umur). At first when I learned that Ramadhan is going to be in summer, I was like, 'Errrr, boleh ke ni?' But of course lah kena bolehkan jugak kan, takkan taknak puasa kot? Biasalah reaction manusia huhu. When I puasa 1 Rejab the other day, it wasn't that bad at all. Walaupun puasa from 3 am to 9 pm (roughly), tahap kelaparan tu masih boleh dibendung. Takde la lembik sangat bila tiba time berbuka tu. So yeah, lesson learned, tak payah nak mengeluh dulu sebelum cuba :| So sempena Ramadhan yang bakal tiba, I'd like to wish my Muslim readers, Ramadhan Mubarak! *wish macam artis*

Next time I post in here, hopefully it'll not be pictures of Western blots, but something really really different :P

Till we meet again.


Monday, July 2, 2012


Disebabkan kursus kahwin haritu draggy and at times a bit boring, 
played this on my friend's iPad, and have never stopped since then
Sebelum tidur, right after bangun tidur, tengah tengok bola, asalkan ada masa free. Apa nak jadi.