Magdalena Doroszko, MSc and PhD Psychology, University of Sheffield
Funding for International Students' Fees
I feel I've been through a fair few hardships in my life, and even though many times it was not easy, when I look back I am very proud of myself and appreciate every moment. I believe that what does not kill you will make you stronger.
One of my recent challenges is collection money to pay the fee for my postgraduate course
(MMedSci in Vision & Strabismus) at University of Sheffield which I am starting at the end of September. I am actively looking for funding, applying to numerous charities and trusts.
I don't feel as though I've been too lucky – I do not meet eligibility criteria to the vast majority of institutions. One challenge was not being a British citizen (I'm from Poland) which seemingly reduced my options. I've also not lived for long enough in the UK, and I've just turned 25 (an age where some bodies have a cut-off point). My prospective university also wasn't able to help me.
However, there has been a bright side – I've managed to receive two grants, one from the Vegetarian Charity, and the second from the Dorothy Johnson Charitable Trust. Their requirements were rather unusual. In the case of the former, I've tried to live an ethical life as a vegan, and for the latter, I lived in Northampton in England for couple of months. Both these factors were part of their eligibility, and I met their criteria.
I found both the Vegetarian Charity and Dorothy Johnson Charitable Trusts by using the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding. Applying for the Dorothy Johnson was quite easy - just the short application form I'd been given received by mail and a personal statement. That was all! Applying to Vegetarian Charity carried more tasks and involved more people. In addition to the standard documents like cover letter, application form, letter of acceptance from my university, I also needed two referees' contact details (to vouch for my vegetarianism) which was more difficult for me, as a newcomer to the country yet. But eventually I managed to do so.
The best advice I can give to students is to listen to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding! It honestly explains and concisely explains everything. I hope that this is not the end of my funding journey as I have applied to many more institutions and I am still waiting to hear!
These grants have been a really great help for me and I appreciate it. I would like to say thank you to all the Alternative Guide team because without you I would not have got this far!