November 13, 2015, by International students

A Journey to the City Built on Knowledge

Benedict Egbon is a Nigerian student studying MSc Civil Engineering (Structural Engineering) at Nottingham, with funding from our Developing Solutions Masters Scholarship scheme.

Benedict Egbon

Benedict Egbon

After three (3) years of ardent, unfruitful and relentless applications, my dream of studying overseas became a reality, thanks to the Developing Solutions Scholarship, through The University of Nottingham.

However, my mysteries did not evaporate overnight. Hence, I remind you of the quote “Knowledge is Power”. Without which, I would not have made this journey. Therefore, in pursuing a scholarship, “Ignorance is not Bliss”.

Getting a scholarship is synonymous with job hunting. This I encountered since my quest began in 2012. Looking through those years, I have been able to discover and put to use different ways knowledge translated into power.

Knowledge can be gained by self-discovery and in other cases, from peers (networking). The latter, I did not explore during those dark and unproductive years.

In October 2014, I contacted my undergraduate course-mate Alfred Chiemeke, who was then studying at The University of Nottingham. He told me good things about the school, and intimated me of the fleet of scholarships available at the school. I gave it deep thoughts and finally applied with some iota of doubt. This doubt was an accumulation of negative feedbacks I usually got from previous applications. Applications that involved many resources (human and material).

Moreover, I have become accustomed to familiar reply: “We received so many good applications. However, after a technical selection process, I am sorry you have not been selected for the award.” More so, a certain application fee of £25 did not do my morale any good. It actually made me become familiar with the international exchange rate. Finally, on the 24th of November 2014, I sent in my application. On the 12th of December, I received an offer letter.

Benedict at our recent 2015 Scholarships Celebration Event

Benedict at our recent 2015 Scholarships Celebration Event

From that point, the determinant factor sprung up. It was funding. However, thanks to Alfred Chiemeke, I applied for the Developing Solutions Scholarship. I began the tedious process of writing a convincing proposal bearing in mind the hard-earned £25 application fee. I looked through the questions repeatedly and checked my responses for grammatical errors before praying and sending my application for the scholarship.

During the waiting period, I experienced so many highs and lows. In the month of February 2015, there was a robbery incident in my house, and I lost most of my documents. On the other hand, I got a part-time job to keep me busy during weekends. This period taught me the virtue called “patience”.

After the calculated feedback period was over without a response, I kept on refreshing my mail account several times within each minute.

Then came the day, 10th of June 2015, when I received the most beneficial and life changing email. For a moment, the negative line from previous applications (“We received so many good applications; however, after a technical selection process, I am sorry you have not been selected for the award”) scrolled through my mind. However, with an increased heartbeat, I decided to open the message. Behold: it was a 100% scholarship.

Immediately, I contacted my parents, who always shared in my dream of studying at the University of Nottingham. They were so ecstatic while I watched the joyous ripple effects the award had brought.

That night, I repeatedly read the email, as I thought I was in a “dream state”.

Benedict Egbon 2

Our Scholarships Celebration Event

The visa application process also came with its scares. In filling my application, I erroneously filled 30th September 2015 instead of September 2016 as my course end date. This I brought to the attention of the interviewer. Thankfully, my fears were put to rest when I received my passport with the UK visa.

In the month of September, I finally made the long-awaited journey to “the city built on knowledge”.

To God be the glory, I have settled in quickly. I am making new friends, learning new things and have made a friend with the weather.

With a grateful heart, I say a big thank you to my friend Alfred Chiemeke (a.k.a Diokpa 1) for sharing his knowledge with me, and to The University of Nottingham for making “yesterday’s dream, today’s reality”.

I am sure that by this time next year, I will be posting my Post Graduate experience.

God bless you all.

Applications are now open for our international and EU masters and research scholarships in 2016.

See our scholarships webpages to find out more.

Posted in Scholarships