QS-Concordia University Scholarship: 2019 Winner
Every year, QS and Concordia University in Canada collaborate to offer a scholarship to one lucky international postgraduate student. The scholarship has this year been awarded to Camelia Layachi, who will now be exempt from paying the international fee rate at Concordia.
We caught up with Camelia to learn more about how this scholarship will benefit her and also to find out her top tips for anyone applying for a scholarship this year.
What are you planning to study, and why did you choose Concordia University?
I have an Interior Architecture and Environmental Design degree and I'm planning to study for a thesis-based Master in Design.
The reason why I choose Concordia and design studies is that I've always been captivated by creative and collaborative environments. In my previous architectural projects, I have always placed a particular emphasis on issues related to sustainability whether environmental or social.
It was, therefore, natural to opt for Concordia, known for being the first Canadian university to issue a sustainable bond and to actively support sustainability culture on campus.
What do you hope to gain from your degree? How will it affect your career plans?
In my home country of Morocco, architectural practice mostly addresses issues within the discipline's boundaries, so few societal and environmental features are being implemented in the design process.
My degree, along with my research, will allow me to come up with design strategies by examining the social dimension of sustainability in order to create a new understanding of sustainable interiors.
How did you find the scholarship application process? How many sources of financial aid did you approach?
The scholarship application process was pretty comprehensive. The questions of the essay encourage you to express your individuality and your motivations which I think are fair selection criteria.
I had very few sources of financial aid, probably due to my lack of knowledge of what steps need to be taken. Applying for financial aid can be intimidating at first but attending the QS World Grad School Tour definitely helped me get the needed guidance.
What was your experience of a QS event like? What were the highlights of your time there, and what would you recommend to future attendees?
I would definitely recommend being well informed about the participating universities, as preparing the right questions can help you save time and get the most out of the QS experience
What difference will this scholarship make to you? How would your plans have differed without this financial support?
My parents have always made significant financial sacrifices for my education. I could only contribute throughout the years by working part-time to cover my expenses and excelling in my studies so that their efforts will not be in vain. The scholarship definitely alleviated the burden and I'm relieved to know I will be able to maximize my graduate school experience and dedicate myself fully to my research.
What advice do you have for other prospective students who are applying for scholarships?
I strongly believe that a hope-filled attitude is a powerful fuel to success. Being self-confident and authentic are the keys to a successful application and you should never sacrifice your personality to fit in.
This article was originally published in July 2019 . It was last updated in January 2020