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George Mitchell Scholarship: FAQs

  • What type of person gets selected for the exchange?
  • This opportunity requires academic achievement and demonstrated community service plus a sense of adventure and the maturity to conduct yourself as an ambassador for your college, family, and community. The opportunity to go to another country is rare in the community college setting. The benefits of the exchange include the high honor of winning this scholarship and putting international experience on your résumé. Both will set you apart from your competition as you move forward in your chosen career.
  • How do I apply for the exchange?
  • See your Dean of Students/Enrollment Services first. Then see the online application and updated information. If you have additional questions, you can contact Dorry French, George J. Mitchell Scholarship Exchange Coordinator, Center for Career Development: 699-4899, dfrench@mccs.me.edu.
  • What college would I be attending in Ireland?
  • MCCS scholarship recipients attend Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). UMS scholarship recipients attend University College Cork (UCC). These have been our partner institutions since the inception of this exchange in 1999.
  • Does the exchange count for credit?
  • Ideally, yes. However, the difference in course offerings at CIT can make credit transfer to MCCS difficult. You must talk with your Dean of Students/Enrollment Services and your faculty advisor to see how the program you select in Ireland fits into your college program here. For the application, you need only select a major and course possibilities. If you are awarded a scholarship, you'll need to determine with your advisor the specific courses you want and what you would be required to do to receive credit for them on your return. Course choices may change once you get to Ireland, but planning ahead is still advisable.
  • When is the best time to do the exchangeas a freshman or senior?
  • Both first- and second-year community college students may participate in the exchange. This exchange should not delay your graduation, though that is a possibility. You can also participate in the exchange if you graduated during the previous year.
  • Can I choose which semester to go?
  • Yes, if your exchange is for one semester, you can choose whether to go for fall or spring.
  • What financial support does the scholarship provide?
  • The scholarship covers your tuition, books, and fees at the Irish institution, provides a living-expense stipend equal to $900 per semester, and includes an allowance for on-campus meals. In addition, the Maine Community College System provides a travel grant of $1,000. You will, however, need your own funds to begin the semester, since your CIT stipend won't be available immediately.
  • Do I need to have my own money?
  • Yes. You will need your own funds at the beginning of the exchange, because it will take awhile to establish an Irish bank account and receive your CIT stipend. You will also need your own funds for entertainment, gifts, and travel. The best way to access your own funds is through your home bank's ATM debit card. Be sure your bank ATM card can be used at ATMs in Ireland and wherever else you want to travel.
  • How do I apply for a passport?
    Please see travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. If you don't already have a passport—valid for at least six months beyond your return-home date—and you are selected for the exchange, you should apply for your passport as soon as possible. If this is your first passport, you need to apply in person and bring with you all required documents: 1) two passport photos*; 2) a valid driver's license or photo ID; 3) your birth certificate with a raised town or state seal and date (the date it was filed, received, or recorded) or other proof of citizenship; and 4) check, cash, or money order for the application fee. [*If selected for the exchange, you’ll need two additional passport photos for your CIT Student ID.]
  • Do I need a visa as well as a passport?
  • You do need a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date you will return home. You do not need a visa. However, since you are staying more than 90 days, you will need to register with local authorities. The International Office at CIT will help.
  • How do I get to Cork?
  • You can make your own travel arrangements or ask the Exchange Coordinator for help. Once you arrive in Cork, CIT's International Office will help you get settled.
  • Where will I stay at CIT?
  • Most likely you will stay at an apartment/dormitory that may house many international students. Accommodations are usually in co-ed suites: single bedrooms, bath(s), kitchen, and lounge.
  • How many classes do I have to take?
  • You must take a full load of classes. Hours will vary by program, but may equal 25-30. This sounds like a lot compared to 12-15 hours at a community college, but has not been a problem for previous Mitchell scholars.
  • How do I plan my classes?
  • Be sure to visit the college Web site at www.cit.ie for general information and http://modules.cit.ie/ for the list of programs and courses. If you are selected for the scholarship, contact the Center for Career Development. Through CIT, the Center can put you in touch with a faculty contact for the program you want. It's important to begin that process as soon as possible because identifying a contact can take weeks, and CIT faculty are unavailable during the summer.
  • Can I participate in sports or other clubs?
  • Yes. There will be lots of opportunities. Check the CIT website for what's available. Joining clubs and playing sports are wonderful ways to make friends and experience Irish culture on a deeper level.
  • Can I travel while I'm there?
  • Yes. You need your own funds to travel, just as you need your own funds at the beginning of the exchange and for entertainment, off-campus meals, and gifts. Travel is easy by bus and train, and you may find willing travel companions among your suite-mates and other friends.

Applications must be emailed or postmarked to the Center for Career Development by midnight, February 15, 2014. Hand-delivery by the deadline is also possible. However, if the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, or if the Center may be closed for bad weather, hand-deliveries must be made during business hours before February 15.