Olivia Rusu
1 month ago

Studyportals Announces Winners of International Distinction Awards 2020

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Eindhoven, 25 August 2020 – Studyportals awarded its first-ever self-funded scholarship to five aspiring students. The scholarship, formally named the International Distinction Awards, was set up in order to help students finance their studies abroad. Its goal is in line with the company’s outlook on higher education. With taglines such as ‘Dare to change’ and ‘Study anywhere’, Studyportals aims to motivate students to enrich their lives with experience and culture by traveling away from home for their studies.

The 2020 awards consisted of one €6.000 prize, two prizes of €2.000, and two of €1.000.

Applicants were encouraged to apply no matter their background or aspirations. Studyportals ranked their applications based on how ambitious, altruistic, original, well-spoken and enthusiastic the applicant was; how much they were willing to grow as a person; how much of a difference the scholarship would make for them; and how they intended to contribute to making the world better.

The deadline to apply was early July. By that time, the scholarship had gathered around 5,700 applications. After thorough anonymous readings of each motivation letter, fifteen of them were shortlisted by the end of the month and interviewed via Zoom on the 28th and the 29th of July. The five winners were decided upon the introductory interviews.

The lucky winners are five students from diverse backgrounds. A sneak peek of all five is available on the Studyportals YouTube channel at https://bit.ly/2Ese7MG, and the Studyportals website will continue to give updates about the winners at https://bit.ly/3jdGhtA .

The grand €6.000 prize went to the very ambitious Annie, who moved to Malta from China when she was eight years old and has an incredible passion for books. Hardworking as she is, she would spend ten hours a day studying while always leaving just enough time off to engulf herself in stories – both her own and others’.  Studyportals awarded her the money so that she can continue to tell her amazing stories at the University of Edinburgh’s MSc in Creative Writing.

One of the €2.000 prizes went to Anivesh, a human rights lawyer heading into the master’s degree he needs to represent those affected by war crimes and crimes against humanity in Africa and the Middle East. In the past, he has helped rebuild neighborhoods in Nepal, taught children in rural India, and won one of India’s first legal cases about digital rape by defending the victim.

Roki, a passionate and motivational global health student, received the second €2.000 prize to help her finance a master’s in Global Public Health at Imperial College London. She laughs as she explains how much new experiences and travels mean to her: ‘People are like, “can you just stay put somewhere?” But this is what fuels me as a person. This is how I grow up.’ Aside from her passion for exploration, her academic skills shone through when she presented her dissertation at a conference in Oxford as the only undergraduate student there. She hopes to not only continue to inspire people but also build up a proper healthcare system in developing countries.

The €1.000 prizes went to Bianca and Aleksandra. Bianca is a widely traveled anthropologist about to move to Sweden with her daughter. There, she will be studying Outdoor and Sustainability Education at Linkoping University to improve the education system worldwide with her own progressive twist: ‘Kids need to develop and grow in our natural environment in order to protect it. [They’re] being so separated from their natural world that they don’t even realize where things come from, the process of things, and how important nature is for our own survival.’ The importance of outdoor and global education is an ideal she strives to create a better world with. Aleksandra’s dream is to bring change and innovation into the food system – to make foods more nutritious and help developing countries with their agricultural technology. Aleksandra grew up in the Polish countryside, never imagining that she would stray from her parents’ farming world. It was her Polish grammar and literature teacher – a feminist and a philosopher – who nudged Aleksandra onto the right path to find her study programme. She’ll now be attending the Technical University of Denmark to do a Master’s in Food Technology.

After the success of this year’s round, Studyportals plans to continue giving out their International Distinction Awards annually. The application form for 2021 has already been opened on the website, with an extra few months to send in applications and higher prizes to apply for. There will be two prizes in this round: a €10.000 prize to make a larger difference in someone’s ability to go abroad, and a €5.000 as a further help in finances. The company expects the number of applications for this next round to be equally high, if not higher than this year.

About Studyportals:

Studyportals is the global study choice platform, enabling students to find and compare their education options across borders and make an informed choice. With over 200,000 on-campus and online courses from over 3,750 participating universities and over 36 million users in 2019, Studyportals is the world’s leading information source for study seekers. Since 2014, the organisation, headquartered in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has expanded its services and is also covering universities in the Americas, Oceania, and Asia.

Studyportals aims to match students globally with the learning opportunities that fit them best. It helps institutions to optimise and grow their student population through a fully digital channel with transparent results.

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