Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I opened my hotmail today (which I barely check because nobody ever really Emails me there anymore) and I had two Emails from my university scholarship office. For some reason the admissions office still uses my hotmail address, which I had on my original application for the MA programme, even though I now have a university Email address with them (which I used on my PhD application). Anyway, I wasn't expecting to see any real mail in there, but when I saw two Emails back to back, each with the name of one of the two scholarships I applied for to fund my PhD in the subject fields, my heart dropped to my feet. I only applied to two because as an international PhD student I was only eligible for two. One is a research scholarship offered by my university to students across all disciplines, and from what I've heard there are only about six of these available. The other is the Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme, which is an award from the British Government but administered through the university (and students are chosen directly by the university), and there is also a very small number of these awards available at my university - again only around six or so. Students can only get one award or the other - not both.

Anyway, I opened the Email with the university research award in the subject with my heart pounding. Unfortunately, "...I am sorry to inform you..." Oh well. I knew that with such a limited number of scholarships available, it was a long shot. I went back to my inbox and without any expectations I opened the ORSAS Email, seriously preparing myself for another rejection. But this time, my eyes fell on the words "...I am pleased to inform you..." It took my brain a few seconds to register what I was reading. Then it hit me.

I got it!! I got funding for my PhD! The first thing I did, after squealing it out to P who was sitting next to me watching TV, was Email my supervisor to share the good news with her. I wasn't expecting to find out by Email - I thought I would have to wait till my friend in London who has the key to my flat checks my mail for me at the end of the month. So this was a wonderfully unexpected surprise, and P is taking me out to dinner tonight to celebrate. Boy do I feel a load off.


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