Studying a master’s or doctorate outside of Spain is out of reach for many. Accessing the best universities is not always cheap and living abroad is an extra expense that many families cannot afford. Therefore, the Mutua Madrileña Foundation it helps the children of its members with a good academic profile who choose this option, but need a push to carry it out and has just awarded 40 new postgraduate scholarships to further study abroad.
This is the case of Claudia Tato who, thanks to the help of the Mutua Madrileña Foundation, is going to study the Master’s Degree in Human Neuroscience at the University of Turku, in Finland. Tato assures that, without the scholarship, it would have been very difficult for him to access these studies. “My family, like many others, has been greatly impacted by COVID […] so this scholarship has been essential to be able to carry out my studies ”, says the student who explains that, although the university in Finland is free, the cost of living is one of the most expensive in Europe.
Cristina Boers, graduated in Biochemistry, would also have found it very difficult to pay for the master’s degree in Neuroscience that she is going to take thanks to the Mutua Madrileña Foundation, at the Free University of Amsterdam. “I had a little money saved, but in a few months I would have had to start working to pay for the master’s degree and the flat,” says Boers, who knew from a young age that she wanted to dedicate herself to something related to science.
To them and to 38 other students with excellent academic records, the Mutual Foundation has awarded scholarships of 12,000 euros per year for periods of one or two years.
A parity scholarship
This year, 60% of the scholarships were awarded to women. Like Rocío López, who, thanks to the Mutua Madrileña Foundation, will be able to study a Master’s Degree in Information Systems Management and Digital Innovation at the London School of Economics.
“I am sure that the master that I will take will be very interesting and useful for my professional career. His international environment will allow me to study with young people from all over the world and discover new cultures ”, says López visibly excited about the new stage that, she hopes, will open the doors to a good professional future:“ I certainly believe that this master’s degree will allow me to take carry out the international professional career I want ”.
The opportunity to fulfill a dream
When Claudia Tato is asked what access to the scholarship has meant for her, the answer is clear: “For me it was the opportunity to fulfill a dream.” The student was clear that she wanted to pursue her graduate studies abroad. “All my efforts have been aimed at making this idea possible, but sometimes hard work is not enough and we need some more help to enable us to make our dreams possible,” explains Tato, who can now study a double degree supplement at Psychology and Criminology that he studied at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid.
The student explains that her master’s program “is focused on learning to use neuroimaging techniques in research, which I want to do in the future.” A program, he assures, of high quality and oriented to practice. “The master’s degree itself”, he says, “puts you in contact with the best researchers in this field in the city”.
The experience of living in another country
Both Tato and López emphasize the importance of being able to live an experience in another country. “Knowing, debating and sharing opinions and ideas with students from all over the world is very enriching,” explains López, who has not yet started his postgraduate degree.
Tato, for his part, confirms his expectations from Finland: “What stands out most about this experience is talking with my colleagues, each one from a part of the world, from Canada to Australia, passing through Holland, Russia and Indonesia and seeing things so different that they have learned so far ”. The same thing happens to Boers, who in just three weeks in Amsterdam, says that he has met dozens of people: “I’ve only been here 2 weeks and I have taken good friends and experiences with me. So these two years promise a lot ”.
The preferred destinations
This year, Europe has been the preferred destination for scholarship recipients. 70% of them will study in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark. In its 16-year history, the foundation has invested more than 11 million euros in 660 scholarships. The Foundation awards 10 of them to the arts and humanities area, 10 to the social and legal sciences, 10 to science and health sciences and another 10 to engineering and architecture.
To be eligible for these grants, the student must have completed the degree for less than four years, and his or her father or mother must have been at Mutua Madrileña for at least 20 years. Thanks to that, Boers found out from the information that Mutua Madrileña sends to mutualists: “An SMS arrived with information on graduate scholarships. It was incredible news and I immediately applied for it ”. The selection of candidates is made based on criteria of excellence.