Experiences and Application Tips with Australia Awards recipient Patricia Aliño

Mindanao Map (Manila Bulletin)

Patricia Aliño is a Filipino from Davao City, in the Philippines. She is currently studying at the University of Sydney through the Australia Awards Scholarship taking up a her masters degree in Peace and conflict studies. She works for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process – the agency mandated to oversee, coordinate, and integrate the implementation of the comprehensive peace process in the Philippines.

We talked to her about her experience studying in Australia and what she loves about living in Sydney.

What has been your experience studying in Australia?

Having the opportunity to study in Australia has opened my eyes to a different world of education and has fostered my growth both professionally and as a person.

I have a new-found love for research which i am excited to pursue in the future. I am excited to interact with more people and engage in more meaningful discussions both in the academe and with society in general.

What do you love about living in Sydney?

Living in Sydney gave me the chance to know myself better.

It gave me lots of space for reflection and self-improvement that allowed me to be more comfortable in my own skin. Having the chance to interact with people also paved the way for me to rediscover my passions, and gave me a clearer path as to the direction of my life. Furthermore, the diversity of people gave me a sense of belongingness.

It was both an adventure away from home, as well as a journey towards one’s self- a life-changing experience I will always be grateful for.

What are your top tips for applying for an Australia Awards Scholarship?


Be clear on your motivation for applying as it will both help in your application, as well as surviving the demands of your scholarship. ask yourself,

“What is it that I can offer and bring back to my country from the degree that I am planning to pursue that others cannot?”

 Tip #2: PASSION

It is important that what you wish to do is already connected or related to what you are currently doing and that it is something that you are passionate about. because that passion will show in your application essays, and in your interview.

Being away from home and not having the support system you are accustomed to is a struggle, but when you are passionate about what you are doing you will make it through. as Nietsche once said, he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”

Tip #3: FAITH

Once you have ticked all the boxes, filled up all the forms, and submitted all the requirements, have faith. Faith that in the end, what is meant to be will be.

We sometimes take so much upon ourselves to accomplish all that we want, that we forget about a higher being out there. as a friend once told me, ” just do what you can, give it your best, and at the end of the day, leave space for grace.”

Good luck!

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