Anna Házas, the student and two-time winner of the Kürt Foundation Secondary School ‘Student of the Year’ award, joined Milestone Institute in 2018 because she knew from a young age that she wanted to study abroad. In addition, she had long felt that the expectations of her secondary school are not challenging enough for her, despite the fact that her high school’s curriculum does not follow that of a traditional Hungarian school system but offers elective classes including democracy, political science and philosophy. This allowed Anna to already familiarise herself with Milestone Institute’s system. Induced by her school modules, she became very interested in social sciences and was able to broaden her horizon in this field at Milestone. According to her, during her first summer term at Milestone, she spent her summer days on the beach reading her mother’s sociology books, taking every opportunity to further expand her knowledge. Anna has entered several essay competitions during her years at Milestone. The essay she submitted to the 2020 Immerse Education Essay Competition in the ‘International Relations’ category got shortlisted and earned her a partial scholarship to one of the University of Cambridge Summer programmes. In her essay, Anna analysed one of the Russian president’s, Vladimir Putin’s, quotes and presented evidence that it was a simple example of a certain type of hypocrisy that tends to be one of the key features of Putin’s politics.
Furthermore, during her time at Milestone, she was an active member of the Model United Nations (MUN) Society and was introduced to new disciplines, including social anthropology, political science and sociology, which helped her narrow down what she was really interested in, making her realise what she wanted to study at university. So, Anna will continue her studies at the Liberal Arts and Sciences course of the Amsterdam University College (AUC). However, it was a long road to arrive to this decision.
Anna applied to four different countries – England, the Netherlands, Canada and Austria – and even considered the USA, but it would have been too much energy, so in the end, she did not apply there.
Unfortunately, because of Brexit, she was almost certain that she would not be able to study in the UK, as the situation regarding scholarships and financial support was very uncertain. Nevertheless, she decided that she would not miss the opportunity to apply to the University of Cambridge and four other universities in England, including the University of Edinburgh and the University of Manchester, University College London and Royal Holloway – all with a sociology and politics focus, some even combined with German – because she still hoped that EU students would be able to study there on the old terms, and she would have regretted for the rest of her life if she had not applied at all. In Cambridge, she had two interviews but unfortunately, she did not get through in the last round and did not get an offer. On the contrary, Anna received offers from all the other four universities and fulfilled them all, but unfortunately, she had to turn them down because of Brexit. Thus, the Netherlands became her new desired destination. She applied to three places in the Netherlands, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) for Political Science, the University of Leiden for International Studies and her final choice, the Amsterdam University College (AUC) for Liberal Arts and Sciences, where she will also study a language – German. The latter includes a six-month semester abroad, which Anna liked very much, helping her to stick with this course in the end. As there is a housing crisis in Amsterdam, Anna’s decision was also made easier by the fact that the Amsterdam University College provides dormitory accommodation to its students for the duration of their studies, so she does not have to worry about that.
Toronto was also very appealing to Anna, and the Lester B. Pearson Scholarship – which is awarded to 37 international students each year and financially supports them for four years – was extremely favourable for her. The purpose of this scholarship is to help future young leaders by lifting them up from where they live and where they would not necessarily get the education that the University of Toronto would give them. Here, Anna applied for a degree in Political Sciences, and an extra perk of the university would have been that she would have been able to continue her hockey career, which she has been pursuing in her home country for almost ten years. Anna was accepted to the University of Toronto, but unfortunately, she had to turn it down due to not having received her scholarship funding. Austria was also a possibility, as the CEU’s Culture, Society and Politics course seemed to be a great fit for Anna because it covered all the disciplines she was interested in, not to mention the fact that she could have practised her German – acquired in her primary school – in a native Austrian environment. She was accepted to CEU – she even received a preliminary admissions decision from the dean -, but with many of her Milestone friends going to the Netherlands and the flexibility of the Liberal Arts programme in Amsterdam, she was increasingly keen to study in the Netherlands – and she was not alone in this, as Brexit had changed many students’ original plans -, so Anna eventually ruled out CEU as her future university.
After this long and eventful journey, Anna will start her university years in the Netherlands in a few months, giving her the opportunity to learn about sociology, political science, inequality and much more from a new perspective, as well as live in a new country, build relationships and explore the world. We wish Anna good luck and congratulate her on her fantastic results so far!