Srabasti Sarker (Bangladesh, UWC AC 2011-2013)
It was only several months ago that my father informed me about United World Colleges. It sounded quite fascinating although at that time I was completely uninformed about the prominence of the United World Colleges. So I sat before my computer and browsed it in the internet. I learnt that every year these colleges take students at full scholarship, partial scholarship or full payment based on merit. Immediately I took the decision of trying out for it. Already a student of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, I was confident enough that I would definitely get a place at full payment or a scholarship.
Whilst I was galloping through the website gulping the information voraciously, the sight of National Committee grabbed my attention. This gave me the link to the website of National Committee of Bangladesh. There I found the e-mail address of Mr. Sirajuddowla who was the president of Bangladeshi National Committee. Instantaneously I sent him a mail enquiring about what subjects the aptitude test will be taken on and how should I prepare myself to sit for it. In addition I also asked him as to what scholarships were available.
I received an immediate response the next day from him informing me about the fact that they were yet to know that how many scholarships would be given to them. However he did guide me regarding the aptitude test. I was informed by him that the aptitude test would be taken on Maths, English and General knowledge according to the ordinary level syllabus. He also acquainted me with Jessica Tithi Roy who was the vice president of Bangladeshi National Committee and notified me that all my further enquiries would be answered by her. This was a huge blow to my exhilaration, for as far as I knew ordinary level syllabus was much harder than middle years program and perhaps would happen to be a huge roadblock to my success. In addition I was also very weak in general knowledge being that sort of person who never looks into newspapers or keeps any track of what is going around throughout the world.
Nonetheless I did not lose hope. Since the day I happened to know about United World Colleges I started keeping track of each and every event that was going around throughout the world. Even when intense pressure from school would suck out even the last bit of energy from me, I would glance through the newspaper or watch the BBC or CNN news. Simultaneously I also kept sending Jessica mails asking her about the updates and in the course of that I eventually got to know about which colleges offered scholarships or places.
Then came the time when the application form of the aptitude test was collected by my father and was handed over to me As I was preparing myself for the aptitude test besides school studies, the days were gradually elapsing and finally the day of the aptitude test appeared before me. My father accompanied me to the examination venue. I was literally trembling thinking that all the other candidates were from ordinary level curriculum and the test questions would be much easier to them in comparison to me. Finally when the test paper was given, I completed the math part first because to be honest that was the easiest part of that question paper. General knowledge part was easy too. However the part where I faced the most amount of difficulties was the English grammar part. I would not say that my examination went very well as I knew that I made quite a lot of silly mistakes. Nevertheless I was called for interview after a few days which went quite well. But I was not expecting to get any place since I had not done very well in the written examination.
I went through severe depression for few days. I would cry in silence so that no one could catch me crying. In addition I deactivated my facebook so that no one could ask me whether I got a place or not since there were numerous people on my facebook to ask me that question as I connected with students from various UWCs to ask them questions about the aptitude test and the interview. Gradually when I started recovering from my depression, one day I checked my mail ( a usual checking which I do everyday), and there was a mail with subject ‘UWC scholarship’. My hear started pounding. I clicked on it with my tentative hands and ‘THERE WAS THE LETTER CONFIRMING MY ACCEPTANCE INTO THE ATLANTIC COLLEGE FROM THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE!’. Only I knew what pleasure that letter gave me. Tears started rolling down my cheeks. All my depression disappeared in a moment. Inexplicable joy mesmerized me. Thank you ATLANTIC COLLEGE for considering me suitable for your college. I will give my level best and will never prove you wrong…..:)