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How I got a Scholarship as an International Student and why you should apply too!

Are you an International Student who would love a 50% reduction in fees for a Russell Group university? Hear from South Korean student Seohyun Lee on how she received a Vice-Chancellor's Attainment Scholarship and what it means to her.

Lanyon building
The Lanyon Building on a bright day, photo captured by Seohyun Lee

Hello, I’m a first year Pharmacy student at Queen’s University Belfast and I want to share my journey and tips for how I was granted a scholarship as an international student at this UK university.

Queen's offers a very generous scholarship

Before getting into it, I would like to highlight the fact that it is not easy to find a UK university that provides as generous scholarships as Queen's University does.

When I first researched scholarship opportunities for international students, I could easily find certain countries and firms granting student funds for their nationals who are studying abroad. However, that wasn’t the case for me, so I decided to apply for the Vice-Chancellor's International Attainment Scholarship, which at first glance, made me discouraged a little bit by its exquisite title.

What is the Vice-Chancellor's International Attainment Scholarship?

It is a 50% reduction on full international tuition fee rates available to exceptionally talented international students starting full-time undergraduate studies in the academic year 2021/22

There's also an award for postgraduate-taught students.

wall saying believe in yourself

I didn't think I would get it

I became even more doubtful when I read that they only choose 4 candidates, but I knew that I had to do it, and that I had to apply. So, I carefully read and re-read the terms and conditions several times, as well as the guidelines for the submission of the video.

I even bookmarked it on the web browser and went through the page several days a week and wrote down the ideas for the video, trying to organise and structure the content in a neat manner.

How to apply

On the application page for the Vice Chancellor's International Attainment Scholarship, the guidelines for the content of the application video is pretty much written in one sentence:

“Please submit a short 2 minute video outlining why you want to come and study at Queen's University Belfast and how you believe your programme of choice will benefit you in your future career aspirations.”

Although it is such a short guideline, it is the most direct and clear guideline as for what they want to see form their scholarship applicants. So I highlighted, underlined and italicised the key words on a blank sheet of A4 paper. This made me realise that the whole process was an opportunity for me to re-organise and focus on what brought me to this university and course.

The application process helped me envision my future

When I realised that, the lingering fear and doubt in my head that I would fail to get the scholarship, suddenly was flipped to the thought that the effort I was putting in to the application was a great asset to me regardless of the result, because it helped me envision my future and wrapped up my long secondary school journey.

In addition, preparing for the application helped me to cultivate the attitude that I should have for this new chapter in my life.

Book and glasses

Believe in yourself

So, if you are doubting yourself and thinking that you will fail to get a scholarship and that's making you not even try in the first place, why not challenge yourself? Just the process alone of reflecting on your choice of career and ambitions and your choice of Queen's for your university is worthy of the challenge!

I hope these tips are helpful for international students who are preparing to apply for scholarships at UK universities and at Queen’s University, Belfast.

What receiving the scholarship meant to me:

  • THANKFUL - Gratitude for the school and family who supported me
  • MOTIVATED - Writing the scholarship application helped me rethink about my true vision and my own desire and drive for the subject, and when I was chosen for the scholarship, I felt that the vision I had was on the right track and that it will be fulfilled!
  • ENCOURAGED
  • RECEIPIENT now; GIVER later! It won't end with me receiving such a great support, it gives me hope that I can give this encouragement and support back to future generations in return
  • JOYFUL!
  • Made my family and loved ones PROUD!

smiley face on the ground and feet

Find out more

As well as the Vice-Chancellor's International Attainment Scholarship that Seohyun received, Queen's also offers many more scholarships which include fee reductions for family members, 'early bird' fee reductions and Excellence Awards for high-achieving candidates among others. Find out more and search by your region on our scholarships page:

International Scholarships

Vice-Chancellor's International Attainment Scholarship

Seohyun Lee

MPharm Pharmacy | Undergraduate Student | South Korea

I'm an international student from South Korea studying Pharmacy. I was drawn to Queen's because it's ranked highly in university rankings for Pharmacy, it's part of the Russell group, so I was ensured of the quality of teaching and research and its location and beautiful city campus. I like to read, sing and spend time with my loved ones in my free time.

Chat to me and view my latest updates

Seohyun Lee
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