High Expectations for International Fellowships

By Junior Nyengera

In the year 2018, I applied for a scholarship at the World University Service of Canada as a refugee who is staying in Malawi. Unfortunately, I was not successful at that time. I told myself to never give up since trying is better than failing. It takes the whole year to wait for another time for application since the scholarship is provided annually. However, since I wanted the scholarship so much, one year was nothing to me. I wanted this scholarship so badly because it would change my life in a positive manner. I have always wanted to pursue my studies but I have no means in terms of money to make sure that I attend a Bachelor Degree program. After getting this scholarship, I hoped that I could get access to different international opportunities that could change my life.

In 2019, I applied again for the scholarship and I was selected among the people who are supposed to sit for the English test. I was very excited after seeing my name on the list of those who will sit for the test. For those who were selected, we were given two weeks to prepare for ourselves to sit for the test. I could not sleep for eight hours as usual due to the preparation. I made sure to go to the library and read many stories to improve my English and on top of that, I could watch English movies to improve my listening skills.

On the day of the exam, I felt fully prepared that I could not fail the test. Before entering the exam room, I first went to urinate because I was very nervous. The moment I was in the bathroom, I told my inner self that you can do this then I went straight to the exam room. The invigilators gave us the test and it was a two-hour test. After completing the test, I felt like it was very simple. And according to the results that I got in three weeks, the test actually was really simple since I passed with 80%. I was super excited to see these results since they made me reach the interview stage.

The successful candidates from the English test were given thirty days for preparation and I felt so ready since I wanted the scholarship like nobody’s business. After thirty days, I dressed well and went to attend the interview in the morning hours. I was excited after the interview because I answered every question that they asked me nicely. The results of the interviews came out after two months and . . . I was not on the list. I looked at the list for ten minutes to see whether my eyes were not looking but the truth was that I was not there. I felt very bad and until now, I never expected too much after being disappointed with the results.

My thoughts or mind have changed about these fellowships. They are not worth the trouble anymore. In life, I realized that I don’t have to focus on one opportunity. There are many opportunities that I can apply and can make a difference in my life. I have decided to apply for other opportunities that I find online and I hope to successfully find a scholarship in the future. However, there is a difference between the Canadian fellowship and the other ones I am looking at online. If I would be successful in the Canadian fellowship, I would go there to study onsite, while the other ones that I am applying for offer their studies online by international universities.

If you are looking forward to applying for these kinds of fellowships as I am, I would advise each and everyone to avoid too much expectation to avoid being disappointed too much and never give up on applying for other opportunities  if you have not succeeded in others because patience always pays off one day.

5 June, 2023