April 27, 2015, by International students
School of Computer Science High Achiever Scholarship
I was about to come back from Birmingham to Nottingham in the Christmas holidays. Sitting on the station bench, waiting for my friend while I checked my email on my cell phone, I was wondering why there was still an email from my school’s communication officer during the holidays when I read the email. Its subject was the School of Computer Science High Achiever Scholarship and in the email the writer congratulated me for being awarded the School of Computer Science High Achiever Scholarship.
I read it several times because I got confused; I never applied for such a scholarship. I showed it to my friend and she confirmed that I got a scholarship then told me that I should feel delighted instead of confused. The time showed that we should board the train and I felt like I wanted to roll on the floor up to the platform because I was happy. I felt so happy because I thought this scholarship would help me a lot in terms of living costs, since I still hadn’t managed to find a part-time job yet.
Once I sat down on the train I remembered that I had asked my program director whether they have a scholarship for my course and she replied that at the School of Computer Science there is no scholarship for MSc Management of Information Technology. There are scholarships for MSc Information Technology or MSc Computer Science and in MSc Human Computer Interaction for students with a first in their first degree. The feeling of happiness slowly vanished. I thought, maybe the communication officer mistakenly sent an email to me.
After I got home, I was still hoping, I googled “School of computer science high achiever scholarship”. The result led me to the School of Computer Science webpage. It is clearly written there that “No application form is required for these School postgraduate taught scholarships” and exactly the same information as my program director said, it is only available for students in MSc IT or MSc Computer Science and in MSc Human Computer Interaction. I did not want to feel disappointed, I assumed that the email was addressed to someone else.
Two weeks later, I received an email from the school communication officer that the cheque was available to collect from the School Office. Without questioning, I came to the office the next day with my student ID, ready if she said that she mistakenly sent an email to me or if my name was not enlisted in the list of awardees. Fortunately, that was not what happened. She took an envelope, gave me a piece of paper, pointed her finger to my name in the list then asked me to sign next to my name. I spotted in that paper that there were three other people from my course that were awarded. So this was real, the email was not wrongly addressed.
I opened the envelope and read the letter once I got home. It was from the Head of School, Uwe Aickelin. Being selected as one of three awardees made me feel honored. For me, it was not only about the money; rather it enhanced my confidence and helped me have a more positive outlook on life in general. Before getting the surprising letter, I had started to feel worried because I had not been able to get any part-time job even after three months being in the UK. When I started to overthink how I would to survive in the UK, it seemed like the universe helped me to achieve my dream through this scholarship, just like what Paulo Coelho said, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
Meredita Susanty, an international student from Indonesia studying MSc Management in Information Technology at the University of Nottingham.