Produced by kdanceydowns
Anirudh Bhardwaj, an MA Producing Film & Television student from India, tells us his scholarship story…
Getting a Master’s Degree in Film was something I always joked about, never seriously considering leaving a budding production company of my own back home in Mumbai to struggle in a foreign country earning a degree that I didn’t feel I needed. In fact even when I was filling out my application to universities in the UK, I wasn’t really serious about actually taking up any offers. Having confessed to this you can imagine how far getting any sort of scholarship was from my mind back then.
After completing my undergraduate degree with a distinction, I started my own production company in Mumbai and worked for two years doing small corporate ad films and short films. In this time I realised that I needed formal training if this was something I wanted to take seriously. As the size of the projects grew, so did my mistakes and in April of 2014, I took my first serious look at taking up any postgraduate offers that came my way.
I was adamant that I wanted my degree from the UK and more adamant that it be from one of the top universities for my field. I narrowed it down to BU for its unique blend of film theory and practice which was something I was specifically looking for.
It is very expensive for an Indian student to come and study in the UK. The only way I was going to be able to afford it, was if I got a substantial scholarship. I looked up the list of scholarships on the BU website and had a detailed discussion on this subject with the BU representative at the education fairs in India at the time. I knew this was going to be a major hurdle as the amount of international students applying for scholarships is quite large. Having gotten my acceptance letter from the university, I applied to all the scholarships that I was eligible for, hoping to bag at least one so as to ease some financial pressure.
It was a very tense few weeks that followed as rejection would mean I would have to make do with an MA that was not from one of the top universities for my field. As it happened, I was awarded an almost 50% scholarship in total which gave me some breathing space financially and also gave my confidence a huge boost, which was an equally major thing, as living alone in a completely foreign country is a daunting task.
In hindsight, I feel that my prior experience in the field was a major reason for me getting awarded the scholarship. Another advantage I had was that I had done my undergraduate degree from a college that was affiliated to BU and having completed that degree with a distinction held me in good stead.
Life at BU has been a roller coaster ride. As a Master’s student, you get thrown in the deep end from the get go and that carries on as long as your course does. That isn’t a bad thing though, as you become accustomed to making the best of any kind of situation. The course is quite intense and time flies. It feels like just yesterday that I was doing my Induction Project, but in truth it was way back in September of last year.
My number one tip for anyone looking to get a scholarship at BU is to have a good amount of experience in their field of study. Grades, Distinctions & IELTS scores help, but I feel that for a Master’s application, it is imperative that you have enough work experience behind you to be able to hold your own in a conversation with your peers.
Anirudh is currently studying MA Producing Film & Television and was awarded the Postgraduate International Partnership Scholarship Jai Hind College, India and the International Partnership Scholarship Jai Hind College, India.
Jai Hind College is a current education partner with BU and therefore offers scholarships to any current student or alumnus of that College.