The lucky winners of the Mastermind Student Survey

Update
July 13, 2016

After receiving over 2,000 complete responses from students around the world applying for Masters programmes in Europe, we’d like to thank all those who provided us with such a strong information base. We hope to be able to use this data to improve the way admissions is carried out for Master’s programmes across Europe.

From this pool of over 2,000, we randomly selected 8 lucky winners to receive one of a variety of prizes. We’d love to tell you a bit about them and the individual journeys they embarked on when applying to study for their Masters in Europe.


aliceAlice Vigani is a 23-year-old Italian student from the beautiful town of Bergamo in the very north of Italy. When deciding where to study, she remained open minded but was looking for a university that could give her the kind of degree she wanted at a reasonable price and with high job prospects. She never expected to find herself in Helsinki, Finland of all places (especially as she had never been to Scandinavia!) but launched herself into the application process and was soon thrilled to find that she had made the right choice.

Alice is now studying for her Master’s degree in Ethnic Relations, Cultural Diversity and Integration, with a particular focus on social psychology. She advises students considering a Master’s in Europe to look for grants offered by their prospective universities as well as those offered by their home country’s governments or other entities such as the European Union. These grants can really help in the adjustment to a new country in terms of living and moving costs.


allistarAllistar Bongani Volo is a 25-year-old MBA student from Zimbabwe. He is currently studying at the University of South Wales using their online distance learning programme, and expecting to graduate by the end of 2017. Originally unaware of the opportunities to study online, Allistar leapt at the chance to study Welsh university courses from home in Zimbabwe while still gaining the same qualifications afforded to his peers studying physically at his university in the United Kingdom.

One of Allistar’s main concerns in embarking on this study journey was the financial cost of obtaining a second degree. Having applied for and ultimately successfully receiving an online scholarship, his advice to future Master’s applicants is to not underestimate themselves but instead research the options available to you and go for the one that suits you best. Lastly, he is excited and surprised that thanks to his online education, he has been able to meet and interact with people around the world while physically remaining in his current country of Zimbabwe.


aliceFilip Mwale is our third winner. He is currently also studying at the University of South Wales in the MBA program. At 47 years old, Filip had always been interested in studying procurement and supply chain management at a higher level and prioritised finding a CIPS accredited programme. Finding both these criteria through UNICAF, Filip thought that South Wales was a perfect fit for him and was happy to be able to study online from his native Malawi.

He credits UNICAF for having such well experienced and thoroughly qualified lecturers who really amplified his university experience. Having previously gained a degree from a different UK university, Filip was happy to be returning to the UK education system with the aide of a scholarship to boot! He strongly recommends students to look into their own scholarship opportunities to kickstart their educational journeys.


allistarMykhailo Bilaniuk from Ukraine is a 21-year-old finance and economics student who very nearly missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime by deciding to remain where he achieved his Bachelor degree, Kiev. After being inspired to apply to a Masters in Economics and Organization of Enterprises programme at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Mykhailo is now a proud international student living in Poland. Having grown up as somewhat of a globetrotter, studying abroad was a natural and obvious choice for Mykhailo, especially in Poland seeing as he’d already visited several times and spoke the language.

Arriving at his new university, Mykhailo was immediately overjoyed to find the high quality of the education and the wealth of international connections to be made. He places great importance on the spectrum of advantages that can be gained from embarking on an international study experience and hopes to one day use his lessons abroad to improve both himself and his country as a whole.


aliceTerence Aka (also known as Dean) is originally from Cameroon but has followed his dream of becoming a molecular biology researcher all the way to Hasselt, Belgium. At 27 years old, he made the ambitious decision to study in Europe and gained admission to two top choices for his program. Eventually Belgium won out for being the most academically excellent and cost-friendly program – a winning combination for Dean.

Now embarking on a degree in Biomedical Science – Clinical Molecular Science at the University of Hasselt in Belgium, Dean also passionately believes that the experience of studying abroad gives you much more than just an education. While scholarships may help with the reality of financial costs, Dean’s best advice is to make the move abroad to build on leadership skills, empowerment, and capacity to perform. He looks forward to completing his 2-year-long course in Belgium, and many adventures following that.


allistarTom Schons is a blossoming IT Security expert from the small but proud country of Luxembourg. 25-year-old Tom has spent the majority of his academic life studying at foreign institutions but most recently completed an Erasmus exchange program at Institute Eurécom in the south of France. During his time away he was lucky to find himself part of a truly international student group, with open-minded and wonderfully welcoming classmates who made his experience unforgettable.

Although now back in his home university of TU Darmstadt, Tom can only see the positives to be gained from pushing oneself into international environments. He truly understands the value in broadening horizons and recognising that there is no ‘single right approach’ in life, that the real answers are a result of teamwork and collaboration.


aliceVo Vo Htwe comes all the way from Myanmar (Burma), and at 28 years of age has embarked on a Masters of Animal Nutrition and Feed Safety at Kaposvar University in Budapest, Hungary. After achieving a Bachelor in Veterinary Science, he decided his need for a new experience and desire to learn about different teaching and trading systems would lead him to Europe. Although his original top choices were in the Netherlands and Denmark, hearing back from Kapsovar first sealed the deal and secured his scholarship sooner.

Although at first he had to look up where Hungary was on a map, he found the ranking and descriptions to be to his liking and now happily studies in a safe, clean, friendly and well-performing university. Receiving a scholarship for his Masters made living costs easier, but Vo Vo still recommends all future students keep a strict eye on their finances. For the future, he hopes to continue exploring and learning about the world through future travels and experiences.


allistarYusuf Suleiman is our last prize winner, a 37-year-old student of Health Care Information Technology originally from Nigeria.  Making the decision to move to Austria and study at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences was at first difficult, especially when comparing this option to others in the UK, Portugal, and even Iran, but eventually the financial benefits of studying in Austria made the choice clear.

Yusuf is a true advocate for the ease and efficiency by which StudyPortals provides eager prospective students with programme options and comparison tools. Regularly recommending the tool to his friends, Yusuf was glad that it made his information search simpler and easier. Now happily living in Austria, he has discovered the joys of making friends from all around the world, having a good time together, and sharing wonderful experiences when studying abroad.


Thank you to all those who provided us with their thoughtful and original feedback – you are all helping us reform and improve the way that admissions to European Masters programmes are currently carried out.

We hope that over time more and more bright and curious minds, like those of our prize winners, will be given the chances they deserve to explore the world through study abroad opportunities.


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