Audrey Febrina was the only participant from Indonesia who was awarded the Reach Cambridge Summer Program Scholarship last summer; together with more than 120 students from all over the world, these students had a chance to experience campus life in the University of Cambridge, England.
Congratulations Audrey. We are proud of you. “I felt proud of myself for working hard to get the scholarship. I have learnt to be more independent as I was on my own in a foreign country during the program. The program helped me to be a more confident person and be more aware about different cultures and nationalities allowing me to build an international network of friends. Studying at Ichthus where there is diversity among students and teachers helped me fit in easily with my peers while I was there.” – Audrey Febrina; grade 12 student
I’ve always been interested in science and engineering; it has also been a dream of mine to study in a top university in the UK due to the high quality of education and many top ranked universities there.
In the pursuit of this dream, I did some research and found out about the Reach Cambridge program that offers aspiring students a chance to experience campus life in the University of Cambridge. This summer program brings together aspiring students and top scholars from all over the world to one meeting point, that is, the University of Cambridge. In this program, we will be exposed to life on campus, there will be excursions and trips, leadership development and opportunities to learn from top notched professors and meet famous personalities.
As excited as I was to apply for the program, I realized that there was a significant hurdle to it – the program cost. A good program doesn’t come cheap which made me realize that the cost at British pounds 7295 excluding living cost, would be prohibitive for me. Nevertheless, never giving up on my dreams, I decided to apply just the same, “What is there to lose?” The application was quite rigorous; a slew of documents and essay writing was required. Personal essays, letter of recommendation from school, personal video, school results and transcripts. I enjoyed the process of application anyway as this will come in handy as a practice for future university applications.
The essay question, “If you had a billion dollars to invest in your country, what you would invest in and why?”
I struggled at the beginning on how to get started and had to do some research to make it an intelligent writing. I researched on the economic development of Indonesia especially in the area of infrastructural needs. Once the engines started, I couldn’t stop. It was actually fun and insightful to read about the economic needs of my own country and I wrote about the need for renewable energy, infrastructure, and telecommunications in Indonesia, and how funding in these sectors could vastly improve the country and living conditions here. After all the preparation and submissions, all I could do was to pray and wait for the results. I was hopeful yet bracing myself that the application may not be successful
I prayed and waited for the result, and on the first week of December I received an email to attend a scheduled interview with the selection panel. The interview was an interesting experienced, while I thought I had prepared well for the interview, the butterflies in my tummy did not go away. I thought I stuttered in the interview and my opinions were not clear but on the other hand, I thought I didn’t fare that badly. I explained to them that this is a dream of my lifetime but I would need financial aid to be able to experience this wonderful program.
A week passed without any news and an eagerly awaited email popped into my email account and…. I was accepted!!!! And with a full scholarship – tuition fees and living expenses. I was most elated yet grateful and humbled. Thank God, thanks to my teachers who gave me a good recommendation and most of all, there is no loss in trying and on never giving up. I was a bag of mixed emotions, – Excited, nervous, worried yet eager. This will be an amazing experience. I can’t wait to meet new people and learn many things this summer. I would like to end my little sharing with an encouragement to all my friends and anyone who is reading this. There is nothing to lose in trying. You will never know. Keep your pace, do your research and remember there are no short cuts. Practice, research and hard work to go for any interviews well prepared. Keep your cool, stay calm and say a joke or two during the interview… after all “what is there to lose?”
Feeling blessed and grateful,
Audrey Febrina; Grade 12 Student.