Student Blog

Why don’t you challenge yourself with FALIA Essay Competition?

5min read

Just at the beginning of the year 2023, three APU students were on their way to Tokyo to attend the Award Ceremony as the prize winners of the FALIA Essay Competition. They are:

  1. Amoah Cosmos (Graduate School of International Management, Ghana)
  2. Aziz Abid (College of Asia Pacific Studies, Bangladesh)
  3. NGUYEN Van Anh (College of Asia Pacific Studies, VietNam)* Listed by grade at the time

(For more information, please refer to APU News:

FALIA stands for the Foundation for the Advancement of Life Insurance Around the world whose mission is spreading an accurate understanding of sound insurance philosophy through education, guidance, and support. They have carried out the essay competition for almost a decade to support their mission with the intellectual contribution from international students attending Japanese universities. So, if you are interested in learning more about insurance, honing your writing and research skills, and having a chance to win a monetary prize, FALIA Essay Competition is for you!

However, as a prize winner, I know that writing a long research paper on a quite unfamiliar topic is very challenging. Therefore, I am inviting my peer prize winners who are Cosmos and Abid with their Second prize and Effort prize respectively to share with you some exclusive tips on how to win a prize in FALIA Essay Competition. Without further ado, let’s jump into the interview with them!

1. How did you know about the competition?

Abid and Cosmos: We knew the information through different channels provided by APU. (While it was scholarship information posted on Campus Terminal for Abid, Cosmos was informed by an APU graduated friend and the notice board at the Student Office.)

Tips: Please make sure to check the Scholarship website of the Student Office to get prompt information regarding the competition (and other appealing scholarships as well):

Amoah Cosmos at the Award Ceremony

2. What motivated you to join the competition?

Abid: Though it had no relation to my current studies, I used to do some research about life insurance. Moreover, my father’s relation with life insurance also pushed me to join this competition.

Cosmos: I love to write, and so I saw this as another opportunity to demonstrate my writing skills. Beyond my penchant for writing, insurance is becoming increasingly important given the current world of volatility, uncertainties, complexities, and ambiguity. To be safe, you need to get insured even if the motive is unclear.

Tips: Finding motivation can be one of the most important factors pushing you through the process of doing research and writing an essay. Therefore, if you find it too difficult to come up with a topic that is appealing or feasible, you can always refer to the past prize winners’ topics on the website of FALIA:

3. What values or lessons did you take out of the competition?

Abid:The competition and the prize reinforced my belief in “hard work pays off,” which means that once you put your effort and dedication into something, you will really get rewarded for it and you will get what you deserve. Furthermore, I also learned to be more careful and thoughtful in deciding what content to put where to create a good essay.

Cosmos: After doing the research, I got to know that several issues affect individuals' decisions to have an insurance policy. Many issues are left uncovered. More needs to be done in getting the desired results of propagating insurance across various levels of society.

Tips: People may have different take-away values from any experience, but FALIA Essay Competition truly grants you an opportunity to not only understand accurately and deeply the field of insurance but also fining your research and academic writing skills.

Aziz Abid at the Award Ceremony

4. What difficulties did you have during your writing?

Abid: Like other writers or newbies to research, I had difficulties in doing research and had writer’s block. As there was very little information on a few subtopics, I had to spend more time on research and data collection.

Tips: It is always good to start early. A good paper can never be produced through a night. Hence, always remember to start the process early so you can have time to freely browse for the best topic and collect necessary data.

5. What tips do you have for people who want to win a prize in this competition?

Cosmos: To have a winning paper, there are 3 tips I would like to give:

  1. Start early
  2. Read wide
  3. Try to exhibit confidence in your write-up

Tips: As mentioned earlier, the FALIA Essay Competition is conducted as a way to nourish the understanding of international students about insurance philosophy. Therefore, spending time to teach yourself about insurance and its surrounding problems is significantly helpful for your later writing process.

6. Do you have any suggestions or encouragement for other students to join the competition?

Abid:This competition can be a great opportunity for students to test their writing skills and compare them with students from all across the country. The chance to win a prize and having the whole experience of it can be a good motivation to participate in this competition.

Cosmos:I encourage more students to join. Take up a new challenge and put in adequate effort. You will at least win an effort award of 50,000 yen which is significant enough to defray part of your living expenses.

Writer:I understand that not many people are familiar with insurance, but if you never try, how can you know where it can take you to? So, please be courageous to challenge yourself with this great opportunity. Only by doing so, you are giving yourself a chance to end up on the stage in Tokyo to receive the prize!

Special thanks to Abid and Cosmos for sharing their experience of joining and winning the prizes in the FALIA Essay Competition 2022. We hope that you can take away the necessary information from the above interview to equip yourself with enough information, preparation, and motivation to push yourself through the upcoming challenging but rewarding writing process to win a prize in FALIA Essay Competition 2023.

The system will be opened for information and application from mid-May so please make sure to check it out and START EARLY:

Try your best and good luck!

Anh at the Award Ceremony


Hi! I’m Van Anh from Vietnam. My love of handwriting gave rise to my deep interest in writing. Being a member of SPA, I can finally make the best use of my writing skill to share with other students useful information. Feel free to ask me anything, I’ll try to answer the best I can!

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