Saturday, December 24, 2016

LPDP Scholarship Journey #1

[Picture Source:]

A good news for every student in Indonesia who is eager to continue the study either to a master degree or doctoral degree, based on the mandate of UUD 1945, at least 20% from The Indonesian Budget (APBN) is used for education function. Some of the fund from the allocation of education function is managed by an institution which is Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). Ministry of Finance of The Republic of Indonesia through LPDP gives a full scholarship to the students. The students can choose to study either domestic or overseas. In my post, I may focus more on how to prepare for applying the LPDP scholarship for the student who would like to continue the study overseas. 

I am still standing to the selection system applied at my time, because, of course, they may create some modifications to the system in the following years ahead to make the system better and better. At my time, there are 2 kinds of selection, administrative selection, and substantial selection. You have to pass the administrative selection first, then you can continue to the substantial selection. 

In this post #1, I only talk about administrative selection, while the substantial selection will be talked in the post #2.

Firstly, the administrative selection. You are not allowed to underrate the administrative selection. Even though they only ask you to submit some documents, but if you fail to meet all of the documents required, you will totally fail. It's no joke if you fail from a very first selection, isn't it? Every information about what kind of documents required to be submitted can be accessed directly from LPDP website (http:/*, replace * with /. From my point of view, here are the most crucial and usually difficult to be obtained by the deadliner student (a student who usually do all the task in the very last minutes):
  1. Health certificate that certifies you that you are healthy, free from tuberculosis disease, and free from narcotics and psychotropics substance.
  2. Recommendation letter. 
  3. Three essays about your study plan, your biggest achievement, and your contribution.
  4. Certificate of Police Record aka SKCK.
  5. English proficiency: minimum TOEFL ITP 550/TOEFL iBT 79/IELTS 6.5/TOEIC 750.
Obtaining health certificate for those three conditions is not a one day service. At least you have to spare for about 5 days to get the examination result. Let me explain this through my experience. I went to a government hospital around Pasar Minggu on the weekday at 09:00. I did the registration and went to a doctor. She asked me to fill a form to know about my health history. She asked me some questions to confirm about what I had filled in the form. After listening to what I have said during the interview, she was able to consider whether I am healthy or not. To examine whether I am free from tuberculosis disease and free from narcotics and psychotropics substance, the doctor asked me to go to the laboratory to give the sample. In the laboratory, the analyst took my blood and sputum, I also was asked to give the urine sample. Then, the analyst asked me to go to the radiology department to have a roentgen examination, she also asked me to come back again to the laboratory in the next day to give a sputum sample taken directly after waking up. The result was able to be obtained after 3 days of analysis, so that's why it requires at least 5 days to obtain the health certificate, from registration, examination, until the release of the examination result.

If you are a full-time student or a person who is really busy every weekday from the morning until the afternoon by your own business, you have to plan to go to the hospital long before it. You have to set the date when you can have a free time to go to the hospital that from what I have experienced, you have to be free for 3 days. The first day to do the registration and do some examinations, the second day to give another sample required, and the last day to take the examination result. One more thing you have to pay attention is that you have to register yourself before the hospital closes the registration. Some hospital closes the registration at 12:00. It means that if you come around 13:00, you will be asked to go home and come again next day. 

About how much you have to pay for the examination, I spent around 500k to obtain the certificate for those three conditions. My friends spent around 1 million, my another friend spent around 300k, so it depends on what hospital you visit. What I have explained before was what I have just experienced to make you able to get the overview of the process, of course, it may be different from a different hospital and different time. Therefore, it's better for you to ask all of the information, for example about the fee, the schedule, the duration, or other things you would like to ask by calling the hospital customer service number. Hence, you can set a plan about how, where, and when you visit the hospital.

Getting recommendation letter depends on who is the person whom you would like to ask. A busy person must be approached far-far away before the deadline. So many unexpected things may happen to constrain you getting the recommendation letter quickly. For example, the person is taking a leave during her pregnancy until labor, the person is having a business trip for 1 month, the person is taking a research activity abroad for 2 months, or other things that may happen unexpectedly. Therefore, at least you have contacted the person 2 months before the deadline to know whether it is possible or not having the recommendation letter from him/her.

LPDP obligates you to have a recommendation letter from a person who is the leader in your institution or your companies. For a fresh graduate or a student, generally, you have to ask your research supervisor or your Faculty Dean. At my time, LPDP didn't tell how many recommendation letters the applicant should get. At first, I only thought to ask my research supervisor to give me the recommendation letter. Then, I asked to my senior who was the LPDP awardee, she said that she got more than 1 recommendation letter. Being confused about how many recommendation letter really required by LPDP, I asked other LPDP awardees, they answered the same, they got 2 recommendation letters, so I quickly asked my Faculty Dean to give me the recommendation letter. My Faculty Dean didn't know me really well, different with my research supervisor who knew me better, you may experience the same thing, as long as you can make sure your Faculty Dean that you are good enough to apply for the scholarship, your Faculty Dean may give you the recommendation letter. So, finally, you will have 2 recommendation letter. 

Writing essays have to be perfect. You shouldn't write your essays carelessly to point out that you are better than other applicants. An essay about your study plan is the most important essay you have to give attention more. Through this essay, the reviewer can see how big is your intention to continue your study. The more detail you write in your essay, the better. It means that you have explored all of the things about your future study including how many credits you will take, what your research plan is, who your research supervisor will be, until what student organization you will join. 

To know how many credits that you will take, you can know it directly in your prospective university website if it's available. If it's not, you can send an e-mail to the e-mail contact provided. To know about your research plan, you can ask your own self, what is your passion? what is the impact of your research to the society? how big is the impact? Is it feasible to be done or not? While, to know who your supervisor will be, you can search some research journal fit to your research interest, then you can see who the author is, after that you can contact the author and ask him/her to be your research supervisor. There is another way to find your research supervisor like what I have done. 

I went to an event named ACBI (Asian Chemical Biology Initiative). The missions of Asian Chemical Biology Initiative are (1) to speed up Asian chemical biology research by fostering international collaborations and by sharing research resource among Japan, Korea, China (the mainland and Hong Kong), Singapore, UAE, New Zealand, and India, and (2) to promote chemical biology in emerging Asian countries (e.g. Vietnam, The Phillippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia) by recruiting and training brightest graduate students from those countries). Specifically, this newly established initiative organizes annual meetings over five years in Hanoi, Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta, and other major cities in Southeast Asia where Asian chemical biology will get together to foster mutually beneficial collaborations and to interview local student candidates (ACBI, 2016).

I came to the ACBI in Jakarta, in January 2015. There are more than 30 professors who came from a various university, various country, and various research field. The committee had set up every student to be interviewed by some professors who is fit to the student's research interest. I was interviewed by 8 professors. All of them were very nice and warm. From those professors, I can determine some professors who were really fit to my research interest. So, if you would like to find your prospective research supervisor, you can come to ACBI. Since it's an annual event, you have to check the schedule, when and where it will be conducted, and don't miss it. 

The essay about your biggest achievement and your contribution is your own self that understand well what you should write. The essay about your biggest achievement is all about your past, while your contribution is not only about your past, what contribution that you have given to the society, but also about your future, what contribution that you will give to the society. Therefore, if you are still a freshman in a college and dreaming of continuing your study after finishing your bachelor degree, you can set a plan, what kind of achievements that you would like to achieve and what kind of contribution you would like to give to the society during your 4 years in the college. So, you can have the materials to be told in your essay.

My suggestion to make your essay perfect is being reviewed by your friends or seniors for several times, revise it for so many times until all of the reviewers said that it is flawless. Every person may have their own opinion, from my point of view and my reviewers, all of three my essays was close to perfect, at least it was not written carelessly. I spared for about 1 month to finish it. I'm not saying that my essays were extremely perfect, I was just trying to make it perfect. If you would like to see my essays, you can ask me through the comment column below and give me your e-mail address. I said sorry in front if the essay doesn't meet your expectation. I believe you can do better than me. Absolutely, you have to write it better than me. 

Certificate of Police Record aka SKCK must be obtained in your origin area. If you are a student who studies far away from your home, you have to come back home to take care your certificate of police record. That's why it is difficult to be taken care for a deadliner student since you have to set a plan when you can have a free time to go back to your home. The police station usually open only in the weekday so you may have to take a permission from your institution to have a leave one day or if you are lucky, you indeed have a free time in the weekday. Other than that, you have to pay attention to what documents that you have to prepare before visiting the police station so they will accept all of your documents not asking you to go back again due to lack of any documents. You can search through the internet to know what kind of documents needed. 

English proficiency must be taking you to spend for several months according to your capability to prepare it. If you are good enough in English and have already had the certificate of English proficiency, congratulation! you don't need to take a long preparation to apply for the scholarship because from what I have experienced, getting the English proficiency certificate was the longest time to prepare among all of the document required. I spent about 3 months to be ready facing the English proficiency test in order to get the certificate. I was taking TOEFL. Before I start to prepare, I took the TOEFL prediction, and it was about 477, so below the target (550). I had to learn more to win the TOEFL, so I decided to learn TOEFL by buying Barron TOEFL books, downloading TOEFL practices and exercises application, watching movies or drama using English subtitle. I learned all of them by my own self without joining any courses. I believe I can prepare it by my own self since I acknowledged some of my friends who were successfully done it also by their own self. I truly prepared for the English proficiency in a full day every day, without being active in the institution or working in a company. I couldn't imagine if I was a full-time worker whether I would be able to prepare for TOEFL or not. In other words, I was truly unemployed, at that time when most of my friends had already sat in a company or institution. You do have to sacrifice something in order to get something more precious. 

If you study for TOEFL carefully and diligently, you may find the formula how to answer each question in TOEFL test. After I thought that I was ready to face the TOEFL test, I tried my first attempt to win it. As I felt not confident enough during the test, I couldn't adapt well to the test situation, I was only able to get the TOEFL score for about 546 which means I was lacking 4 points to reach the target. I didn't give up, I evaluated myself what I have to do better in order to reach the target so I started again to learn. My second attempt, I felt better, I felt more confident. The result never betrays the effort. I was able to reach the target because my TOEFL score was 567. I felt so relieved and grateful. 

There are so many forms to verify your English proficiency, not only TOEFL ITP, but also iBT, IELTS, or TOEIC. To apply for LPDP, LPDP allows you to choose which one is more suit with you. Nevertheless, I suggest you, choose the form that is also asked by the university you would like to enter. Most of the universities in Europe don't accept TOEFL ITP, while some universities in Asia still accept TOEFL ITP, so you have to be aware with this. 

In conclusion, if you can prepare well those 5 crucial things which are the health certificate, recommendation letter, essays, certificate of police record, and English proficiency certificate, you may feel relieved. There are other documents needed to be submitted but they are not too difficult to be collected from my point of view. So, you can take a breath for a while after finishing all these five crucial documents. 

I hope what I told about the administrative selection to apply for LPDP scholarship can be useful for you, visit my second post about the substantial selection. I'm sorry if there are any mistakes. If you would like to discuss more about the scholarship, don't hesitate to contact me by leaving your comments. Thank you very much for your visiting. Hope you succeed in obtaining the scholarship. Keep striving and praying!


  1. war byasahh rul, lengkap benerrrr, semoga kebaikanmu dibalas ama TYME aminn

  2. Hahaha lebay banget. Aaammiin, makasih fatwa! Senang bisa bermanfaat :D

  3. Ka nuriiii. Ambil lpdp jurusan apa di jepaang?ah keren bgt kak udh mau ke jepang ajaa, perasaan kemaren baru ketemu di proyeknya pa munim hehe

  4. Insya Allah Transdisciplinary Life Science. Kyaaaa, alhamdulillah. Iya perasaan baru kemarin ketemu di proyek Pak Mun'im hehe. Kamu gimana kabarnya? Lagi PKPA? Kalo kamu rencana lanjut studi, hubungi aku aja hehe, mungkin aku bisa kasih saran sedikit :D

  5. ka nurul boleh liat essaynya tidak ? mau dong ka. menginspirasi banget hwaaaa aku kepengin:)

  6. Halo Ch_shu, boleh banget. Boleh minta emailnya?

  7. Halo kak, Nurul, blog kakak aktif banget saya suka gaya kakak memanfaatkan blog ini untuk terus mengasah tulisan dan berbagi pengalaman. Lanjut teruss kak!

    Dan kalau boleh, saya juga ingin kak lihat essay buatan kakak yang bisa mengantarkan untuk dapat beasiswaa. So may I? :)) Thx.

  8. Halo Dwika, salam kenal. Boleh aja, coba tulis emailnya yaa.

  9. Keren sekali kak cerita yang sangat menginspirasi. Saya mau nanya kak, bagaimana cara belajar kaka selama kuliah di farmasi? Sekarang saya sudah tingkat 4 tp masih bingung tentang cara belajar saya... sedikit cerita materi kuliah saya banyak yang ditugaskan kepada mahasiswa dan dan saya memiliki kebiasaan yg kurang baik yaitu tidak mudah percaya sama isi ppt tugas temen 😁 jd niatnya pengen nyari dulu sumber yang bener. Tapi terkadang karena tugas terus menumpuk akhirnya sampai mau ujian pun proses literasi belum selesai. Akhirnya males2an lah saya:( gimana ya kak mengatasi hal seperti itu?🙏 Padahal saat saya sma tidak seperti ini..

  10. Halo Derp, terima kasih sudah membaca hehe. Dulu saya juga seperti itu, sewaktu SMA sangat perfeksionis, namun setelah menjalani perkuliahan, rasanya tidak ada celah untuk bisa benar-benar all out berhubung tugas-tugas kian menumpuk dan waktu untuk belajar jadi terbatas karena saya tipe yang tidurnya harus 8 jam, kalau kurang tidur, jadi ngga stabil. Awalnya idealis ingin perfeksionis, tentu nilainya jadi terbaik, tapi efek sampingnya, ada tugas yang terbengkalai, yang ibaratnya saking ga sempatnya, nilai jadi jauh dari standar bagus. Yang satu dapat A, yang ga sempat jelas B. Jadi saya belajar menurunkan ego dan mengatur ulang strategi. Intinya, buang jauh-jauh perfeksionisnya, kerjakan sesuai materi yang ada (kalau adanya ppt teman, ya dipercaya aja, kalau sempat kroscek, ya lebih bagus), pasti ga bisa dapat 100, setidaknya bisa lah dapat 85, toh 100 sama 85 sama-sama A. Daripada tugas yang satu bisa dapat 100, yang ga sempat dikerjain dg baik, dapat 60. Sukses ya kuliahnya!


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