Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Formerly the Monterey Institute of International Studies


Abhilasha Sharma, Merit Scholarship Recipient

What were your financial concerns about studying at the Institute?

Tuition fees and living cost in Monterey were two of my main financial concerns about studying at the Institute. As an international student, I didn't know if I would be eligible for scholarship funding. Luckily, I received a merit scholarship because I was considered for it automatically when I applied to the master's degree program.

How did receiving a merit scholarship influence your decision to attend?

The merit scholarship was an important factor that influenced my decision to attend MIIS because it provided a lot of support to me financially and made it possible for me to pursue graduate studies at MIIS.

What is your program of study?

I am doing a dual masters degree in Public Administration and International Policy Studies-concentrating in Conflict Resolution. I was awarded a merit scholarship for 3 years to do both of my master’s degrees and without it, it would have been financially challenging to complete both of them.

Did you receive any other form of aid other than the merit scholarship?

Other than the merit scholarship, I received institutional work-study aid, which helps me with my living expenses.

Do you feel that your investment in your education at the Institute is worth the money?

Yes, I feel very positive that my investment at MIIS is worth the money. Especially since I am staying to complete a dual degree and my scholarship was extended for that.

How do you cover your expenses of living in Monterey?

I cover my living expenses in Monterey through my institutional work-study aid. I work 20 hours per week on campus.

What is the most expensive part of your life in Monterey?

Living cost and food expenses are the most expensive part of my life in Monterey.

If you had some extra money, what would you spend it on?

If I had some extra money, I would spend it on more healthy food and on books.

What are some things you do so save money living on a student budget?

I live near campus to save transportation cost and I spent more time to find housing with cheaper rent. I also make my own lunch from home and occasionally buy fruits and vegetables at the local farmers market.

What would you like to say to other students considering applying to the Institute, who are concerned about the cost of attending graduate school?

My suggestions for students who are concerned like I was about the cost of attending graduate school, is to apply for every possible scholarship. Especially the merit based scholarship because it does not require any additional application - for me it was a big financial support. In addition, taking advantage of on campus job opportunities and research opportunities will help students with their living cost and food expenses.