Some award applications ask you to submit a proposed plan of study. You should take this as an opportunity to research your options; in order to be truly confident about you’re proposing, you need to be aware of what else there is out there.
There needs to be a very clear sense that this is not just a good but a great fit for you—that you could not get this experience anywhere else.
Here are some questions that you need to be able to answer before writing your proposed plan of study.
I’d recommend trying to answer all of these questions, then using your notes to draft your proposed plan of study. You don’t have to answer all of the questions in the actual statement, but you should know the answers in general.
Let’s say you’re interested in being a screenwriter, and you want to do a degree in screenwriting in London. The selection committee will immediately want to know why here, rather than another place that, on first impressions, seems more suitable—a school in LA, for instance. Is it because you have a particular affinity for British filmmaking? If so, you need to know the work of British directors, and have something to say about the sensibility you’re interested in absorbing. Or is it because a particular institute has alumni you’re interested in following in the footsteps of? Avoid generality in your answers. This is not written “off the top of your head,” but the result of careful and diligent research. You need to avoid general arguments as to why study abroad is valuable, as well as the go-to cultural references that everyone knows—for instance, tweed jackets, high tea, a city home to all the writers you love etc. These broad cultural terms are often out of date, anyway. You need to show you’re not just culturally nostalgic, but thinking precisely and strategically about your educational career.