Scholarship Winner Noor Shares Her Experience
Noor entered the Immerse Education Essay Competition back in 2021, and won a place to join us on our Law Academic Insights programme with a 100% fully funded scholarship.
We interviewed Noor about her journey to becoming one of our 100% scholarship winners…
What made you decide to submit an essay for the competition?
“I found out about the essay competition through my school in Pakistan. When I read about the prizes that participants could win I was surprised.
I could see that the essay competition was an incredible opportunity for international students to win a scholarship purely based on merit. More importantly, after doing some more research, I realised that the process for choosing winners was incredibly fair, that everyone would get an equal chance regardless of their socio-economic background, race, nationality, gender, etc.
Lastly, the essay prompts for all the subjects were genuinely fascinating and thought provoking, which made me want to write an essay even if I didn’t win!”
Can you tell us about your essay-writing process?
“I chose my question based on the subject I wanted to study on the course. I chose law because I’ve been fascinated with the legal systems in different countries from a young age, and I knew that the course, as well as the essay itself would help me learn more about my capacity to study law at university.
It took around a month for me to complete my essay.
At first, I would just think about the questions, especially since the question for law was quite a sensitive and nuanced topic; modern forms of slavery in the 21st century.
I wanted to be incredibly careful with my approach towards the question. I spent a few days researching different things I could write about, and once I figured that out, I started formal research. I did incredibly thorough research, reading dozens of articles, essays and actual articles of law in constitutions.
The process of keeping track of all my research was tedious, however my fascination with the topic had me motivated enough to diligently keep a list of all my sources and information.”
How helpful did you find the support provided by Immerse for writing your essay?
“The example essays, tips and rules were incredibly useful in writing my essay. The tips on the immerse education website are easily accessible and quite comprehensive. The only thing I struggled with, was the rules for citations I had to add in my essay, for which I did some external research through the internet.
This might have been because of my lack of experience with citations, especially since I had barely started my A-levels when I wrote the essay. Other than that, I found the tips very insightful, and they definitely played a big role in my winning the scholarship.”
“I was in disbelief. Even when I finally processed the good news and told my parents about it, I convinced myself that it was a scam. I was honestly so skeptical about it, a 100% scholarship, including meals and accommodation via an essay competition? It didn’t sound real, but it was and I’m so glad that it was!
I also think that winning the competition really impacted my self-esteem regarding my academic abilities in a positive way. It helped me develop my confidence in academic writing, and helped me discover my abilities and capacity for academic writing.”
How did you find your experience on the residential Immerse programme?
“I can’t lie, this experience changed me forever, and I am not exaggerating. The academic aspect alone quite literally changed my outlook on my future prospects. I would have never considered applying to law school in the UK before this experience, nor would I be certain about pursuing law. Perhaps, more importantly, this experience instilled in me a deeper sense of international community.
During the course, I made so many friends from all over the world, and I’m
Still in touch with them!
I made some of the fondest memories with my friends at Oxford, from making pancakes together, performing at the talent show, to competing with each other. It was an incredibly enriching experience and the people I met there have definitely impacted me forever. Moreover, our mentors and the managers were incredibly friendly and helpful, I never once felt isolated.
Our tutor for law was an incredible mentor to us, and he made the lessons interesting, fun and challenging all at once.
What would you say to someone who was thinking about entering the Immerse Education Essay Competition?
“The programme has definitely changed my ideas about education. The exposure to a diverse and international community of students, combined with studying in Oxford, and having helpful mentors who shared their own experiences at Oxbridge colleges with us, completely changed my outlook on learning. It made me realise that learning is meant to have healthy competition, and is supposed to be fun and challenging.
Fun and learning can and should co-exist, and there definitely should be a healthy balance between the two.
I would strongly recommend entering the competition, regardless of how you feel about your academic ability. The truth is, whether you win or not, applying is an enriching experience within itself. It teaches you how to be a better writer, and withholding the opportunity to win a scholarship from yourself is hardly fair.”