Brazilian who studies at Minerva gives tips for those who want to apply

Minerva Schools at KGI, in partnership with Fundação Estudar, is offering a scholarship worth US $ 10,000 a year for 4 years to an accepted student for the class that starts in September 2021. The selection process is done completely on the Minerva website and includes several challenges (mathematics, creativity, text interpretation, among others), sending school transcripts, and analyzing extracurricular achievements. 

To apply for the scholarship, the student must apply through this link until the 15th of March and, subsequently, apply for Financial Aid until the 22nd of March. The student will be automatically considered for the scholarship in partnership with Fundação Estudar, without the need to send additional documents or essays. Read more about the school below!

The first time I heard about Minerva was in a Facebook group that brings together Brazilians interested in studying abroad and students who are already studying abroad. At the time, I was looking for information on how to do the application and, among all the universities, Minerva stood out to me from the beginning. A student at Mineva had posted that the application was open, and the way she described Minerva was unlike anything I had ever heard about universities.

After researching more about Mineva, there were three reasons that made me decide to apply:

First , at Minerva there is a lot of focus on giving students problem-solving tools and examples of scenarios in which they could apply such tools. This is what we call applied knowledge - it means that what Minerva teaches is less abstract and more contextualized. Knowing that I could learn while understanding ways to apply my learnings to solve real problems caught my attention from the start.

Second , at Minerva there are no lectures and all classes use a method called active learning . This means that the teacher has the role of facilitating, engaging and involving students in discussions. In this way, most of the class is centered on students, who stop listening passively to the teacher and assume a more active and critical role in the learning process.

Finally , the possibility of living in 7 different countries and experiencing the cultural immersion of Minerva's global curriculum counted for many points. During the four years of graduation, students live in San Francisco (United States), Seoul (South Korea), Hyderabad (India), Berlin (Germany), Buenos Aires (Argentina), London (England), and Taipei (Taiwan) ), in that order. Consequently, students need to stretch culturally and break several stereotypes. At Minerva, it is possible to experience this culture shock from day one, as all students live together - in my case, I share my days with colleagues from more than 50 different countries.

After understanding more about how Minerva worked, I researched the financial aid , as this was an important point for me. Minerva grants financial aid to its students and, at the time of application , I received an email saying that Fundação Estudar offered a special scholarship for students applying for Minerva. This scholarship was essential for me, since it greatly increased my chances of going to college abroad, once it was accepted for the Minerva class of 2022.

The Application

The application - like the university itself - is different from traditional American applicaiton . SAT and TOEFL grades are not required and Minerva has its own way of assessing students' skills through challenges (the challenges ). The challenges were more natural and fun than I expected and I completed most of the application in less than 4 hours. It is totally possible to complete the entire application in just one day, but I decided to do it in two days since one of the challenges could give me a good advantage, if done well. This challenge in particular is the part where candidates write about 6 achievements ( accomplishments), personal or academic, of which they are proud. As space was limited, it was challenging for me to write everything I would like with a few characters.

What I found most interesting about this challenge was that I felt that Minerva did not want to see only my medals or awards, but in fact the person I was. For this reason, I have listed very diverse accomplishments such as speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, participating in the Latin American Leadership Academy social entrepreneurship bootcamp in Colombia, and becoming the first of my family to graduate from high school. I felt that there was no wrong answer - and in fact there is not. In the end, I liked the result and it became the most striking challenge in my application .

Advice for candidates

For anyone who is applying or planning to apply, my five pieces of advice are:

1 - Be yourself!

Minerva really wants to know who you are, not just how many awards you have. Be sure to quote your passions, explain why they are important to you and how you intend to explore them at Minerva.

2 - Make your application in a calm and uninterrupted place

The application is natural, but you will have to think hard during the challenges to give your best. After all, you will be competing with more than 20,000 people for a place at the university with the lowest acceptance rate in the United States, according to the US News ranking .

3 - Send all documents as soon as possible!

I asked my counselor to send my transcripts ( transcript ) as soon as I started my application . It is essential that Minerva has all your documents and I advise that transcripts , as well as documents for financial assistance, be sent as soon as possible. Make no mistake, this bureaucratic part takes more time than we planned!

4 - Follow Minerva on social media!

One way to understand what it's like to study here is to follow Minerva on social media. Minerva is very active on Facebook , Medium and Instagram and often offers lives , texts, interviews and photos, which convey what the students experience is like. In addition, there are several videos on YouTube . When I was applying, I watched all the videos in the “Global Immersions” series to understand how immersion in other cities worked and how I could better prepare myself to take advantage of the opportunities in each city. The Minerva website is also an excellent source and covering the part of academics and financial aid. I advise candidates to read the entire site!

5 - Get in touch with those who already study here!

Get in touch with those who already study here! As Minerva is a new college , I was able to get in touch with at least one student from each Minerva class. I talked with Brazilians and non-Brazilians and it was essential to understand what the experience and immersions in cities are like from the students' point of view. In addition, I really enjoyed seeing that the Minerva community is very receptive and several people are willing to talk. This was all essential to prepare me for all the news that Minerva offers and that run away from everything we know about higher education.

My first semester and expectations for the future

Now I am studying my second semester at Minerva and I keep several memories of everything I have done so far. Among my favorite memories are:

1 - The various banquets we organize!

Christmas and Thanksgiving suppers were my favorites.

2 - The countless 10: 01's we had!

10: 01's are a tradition at Minerva and take place almost every Sunday. Basically they consist of dinners where students from a country cook typical foods and make a presentation about the country of origin. 100% cultural immersion and lots of delicious food - and for free! Because of 10: 01's I have eaten typical foods from more than 10 different countries in the last 5 months.

3 - Start this year 2019 by camping with 10 other classmates in Northern California.

It was the first time I was so cold (think twice before camping in the winter in really cold places!), But I would repeat the experience without a doubt! While camping with my friends, I had the chance to recover my energy and prepare to start a new semester, while realizing that Minerva offers much more than a diploma or academics: here, what really matters is the experience and the bonds you create while learning about the world.

Life at Minerva is very dynamic, and every day there are a thousand things to do, in addition to classes. If you want to know more about my experiences, access this link where I list more cool things I learned and lived!

About the author

Bárbara Machado is a student in the Class of 2022 at Minerva Schools at KGI. Passionate about business, technology, economics, education and entrepreneurship, Bárbara founded the Minerva Startup Society (or simply MSS) a society formed by and for Minerva students who love and want to learn more about entrepreneurship. Bárbara is currently looking for experiences and learning in the area of ​​finance and machine learning .

The  University Minerva  , in partnership with the Education Foundation, is offering a scholarship that covers the four - year degree course at the institution. The scholarship includes the student's tuition and housing costs, and may

reach 40 thousand dollars. The application is made in rounds, and the next deadline ends on March 15, for the group that starts in September.  It is necessary to do the process through  this link , which will indicate that you knew the

Minerva through Estudar Fora.

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