Scholarship by the Sea

Congratulations to Royal Alexandra and Albert School student Varvara Tzoanou who has won a special Merit Award scholarship to study Psychology at Aberystwyth University.

Like many Year 13 students across the country, Varvara was considering a number of universities before deciding on her first choice.

Varvara came across Aberystwyth University quite by coincidence. She explains, “Two of my teachers happened to mention the University in the same week. I felt that I had to look it up, and when I did, I saw that it ticked a lot of boxes. It was the campus university in a small town that I wanted, and it was close to the sea. Being Greek, I love being close to the sea and knew I had to visit.”

Aberystwyth was certainly not Varvara’s original choice. “Initially I had plans to go to Edinburgh University, but it didn’t feel right. When I attended one of their Open Mornings, it wasn’t what I expected.”

So Aberystwyth became the clear front runner. Varvara then decided she wanted to sit their Scholarship exam and approached the School’s Exams Officer to see if this was possible. “Ms Richardson was happy to arrange everything. I had to sit two 1 ½ hour exams, one in Psychology and the other in Education and Childhood Studies. I tend to be pessimistic; I certainly didn’t think I would get a Scholarship.”

But that was exactly what happened. “I couldn’t believe it,” Varvara said. “It was actually a dream come true. I found the university I want to attend and now I have a Merit Award. It’s more than I could have hoped for.” An additional bonus is that Merit Award winners also receive an unconditional offer to the university, meaning Varvara has a guaranteed place.

Headmaster Mark Dixon said, “We are very pleased for Varvara and happy that she has secured a place at her first choice university. Her Merit Award scholarship is both proof of her academic ability and of her dedication to her chosen subject. We are always keen to see students succeed in whatever path they choose and aim to provide all our students with guidance to help them make their next step, be that university, an apprenticeship placement, or employment.”

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