2016 International Student Scholarship Winners
TravelInsurety International Student Scholarship
Paul Midgley – Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” – Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”.
As I sit waiting, these words ring loud and clear in my ears. A definite path awaits. A year of hard work, testing and transcripts leads to this moment: the moment that will define the next four years and, perhaps, the rest of my life. Refresh, refresh, refresh. Every time I click the button, my heart rate shoots up. Every time I click the button, I become less and less hopeful. Click: “Your Application Status Has Been Updated.” Click. My heart skips at least two beats. Ecstasy or anti-climax awaits. “Congratulations! You have been accepted into Dartmouth College, Class of 2018” To use a cliché, time stands still. Bizarrely, the smiley face emoji stands out to me – an ironic, modern gesture that seems so unsuitable for expressing the momentousness of this decision in my life. I manage to croak something through to my parents next door. I show them the page, unable to tell them in my state of dazed deliriousness what I’ve just read. There is a moment of total, shocked silence as everyone begins to comprehend what has happened. And then, finally, we celebrate. And I’m still celebrating today.
It was a Sutton Trust-Fulbright programme for non-privileged state school students that gave me the opportunity to apply for Dartmouth. That programme, and the moment on December 14th 2013 when my application was accepted, made me realise that, however far away something seems, however unlikely, it is always within reach. Two years at Dartmouth College has only reinforced that belief. So, perhaps fittingly, that profession that everyone sneers at as a career option – no money, lonely, and how on earth are you going to get noticed? – is the road I want to go down: becoming a writer. It is no coincidence that I chose to open this essay with a quote from Robert Frost. Not only is he a personal favourite and role model of mine – and, incidentally, a Dartmouth alum - but he also embodies the spirit of the writer. From humble beginnings and countless jobs to fund his family, Frost continued to believe in his work. Now he is one of the most celebrated poets of all time. Like Frost, I believe in my ability. It is no secret that becoming a writer requires tireless persistence, numerous rejections and – the tricky part – relentless funding. I might have to start from scratch. I will almost certainly fail more than I succeed. But I will persist, like Frost, and I will follow my heart.
Studying in the US has given me a chance. Three years ago, I couldn’t have dreamt of being given an opportunity like that. And now, I see no limits. Becoming a writer sounds fanciful, but it is what I want in life. It is, in Frost’s words, “the road less travelled by.” And your scholarship could make all the difference.
BETiNs International Student Scholarship
Frank-nelson Muhande Musemate – Drexel University, Pennsylvania
“Education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world”-Nelson Mandela. From a tender age, I have always been fascinated by tall buildings. Ginormous structures such as the Burj Khalifa are made a reality through the fusion of technology, creativity and innovation. I am currently studying civil engineering in order to participate in similar megaprojects. I consider infrastructural development as the third most important success factor in any economy. I hope to become a licensed engineer and revolutionize the construction industry by starting a consulting firm that will invent cost-efficient and sustainable engineering designs. Thus enabling emerging economies to afford the ever-increasing infrastructure and manufacturing project costs.
“To those who much is given much will be required”-Geoffrey William Griffin. Up to this date those wise words have defined my personality and motivated my involvement in community service. I was born in Kenya, which is an emerging economy that is faced with challenges such as poverty, illiteracy and inadequate health facilities. I have taken part in voluntary activities aimed at helping the needy, educating the masses and conserving the environment. I hope to establish similar initiatives that will provide assistance to the less privileged. In order to address the issue of illiteracy, I hope to partner with organizations from developed nations that will help sponsor students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Additionally, I intend to take part in environmental activism initiatives to help alleviate the current global warming issue through encouraging afforestation and recycling programs.
A major distinction between a developed and developing nation is the existence of sound legislature and high literacy levels. I feel very privileged to have experienced both and I appreciate their role in the success of any economy. While at Drexel I have been fortunate to serve on different leadership levels. I intend to use such knowledge and skills to rise to future leadership positions that will afford me a platform to make proposals that will improve the lives of people. I plan to help establish societies and organizations that will push for incremental change in the manufacturing, healthcare, education, construction and energy industries through research and development. Most importantly, I hope to support foundations that will sponsor needy students to pursue further education. Thus improving their quality of lives and of their dependents.
Herbert Hoover once said: “Engineering is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of imagination emerge through the aid of science. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer’s high privilege.” I realize I have very ambitious goals which I believe are attainable through my diligence. Being considered for this prestigious scholarship will be a step further in the realization of my goal of becoming a licensed engineer through affording me the funds for partial payment of my tuition, accommodation and purchase of academic material. Consequently, making it possible for me to fulfill the engineer’s high privilege of having a positive impact on the environment.