Applying for the COLFUTURO scholarship?

Felipe Pulido Rodriguez

Durham is a partner of COLFUTURO, this scholarship provides funding for Colombian citizens. If you receive this funding you get a discount on your tuition fee for the duration of your PG programme. There is also a full tuition fee scholarship for one student accepted onto a taught PG programme.

How did you find your COLFUTURO application experience?

I believe the application process with Colfuturo is straightforward; on their website, they explain in detail how the candidates are selected. I carefully reviewed all the information available before submitting my application. Even though it is a clear process, it is also long, and it’s important to take enough time during each of the steps and make sure that nothing is being overlooked.

A programme that greatly helped me was the Semillero de Talentos, which I joined in March 2020. The Semillero offers support for students and graduates who are planning to study a postgraduate programme abroad. During that year, I attended various workshops that they provided, which helped me in different stages of my application, both at Durham and Colfuturo.

How has your time as a student in Durham been so far?

Durham has greatly exceeded my expectations, both the city and the university. The former is stunning; even though I had seen pictures and already thought it was beautiful, the actual fact of living here and being able to walk by the placid riverside or through the historic city centre every single day is a constant joyous experience. Not to mention how easy it is to find hiking routes to enjoy the marvellous shades of nature as the seasons go on. Autumn brought with it beautifully coloured trees in hues of gold, red, orange and green; along with dramatic, breath-taking sunsets, whose purple glow I enjoyed from my favourite spot by the river, where I could admire the shapes of the cathedral and the castle.

Stunning walks by the river

On the other hand, the University enhances our experience by providing much more than education in our chosen programme. If I’m honest, before coming to Durham I read a bit about the wider student experience but was unsure about how that could materialise once I arrived here. However, when the time finally came for me to come to my college, it all burst into life. After the induction week, every other person I met was practising at least one sport, some of which I didn’t even know existed. The best part is that it doesn’t matter how good (or not good) you are, everyone can join and practise with people with similar skills.

Nevertheless, I’m not really a sporty person, so I joined some other societies instead, with over a couple of hundred to choose from, it was nearly impossible not to find most of my interests reflected in them. Truth be told, I had my doubts about whether I’d have the time to attend their various events. There are, indeed, plenty of lectures and plenty of autonomous work, but there’s more than enough time for leisure activities, and there’s always something going on; bar crawls and game evenings (to name a couple of examples) are not restricted to the weekends. Furthermore, Durham is a collegiate university. The college to which you are assigned is a warm community, which offers even more activities to get involved in and develop a sense of belonging.

Is there any advice you would like to give other Colombian students applying for COLFUTURO/at Durham?

Regarding Colfuturo, it’s notable that, with a value of only 5%, the essay is not as important as the other aspects they evaluate; however, it’s enough of a percentage to define whether you get the benefit, so I suggest you give it as much time and consideration as any good essay requires. On other matters, even if you’re not in the Semillero, Colfuturo hosts talks and workshops in which they explain the whole application and selection process; make sure to be there and don’t leave until it’s all clear to you.

When it comes to Durham, it’s worth noting that you will not only be applying for a place to study, but also for a full tuition-fee waiver, so take extra time to make certain that your CV is up to date and lists all of your significant achievements, your personal statement has been proofread more than once and not only by you, your referees are people who know you well enough to talk about your abilities and accomplishments, and both the information provided and the uploaded documents are clear to understand. Do not hesitate to contact the admissions office should you have any questions; they will be able to provide all the necessary guidance using the ‘Ask Us‘ form.

In both cases, be confident. The fact that you are considering applying at Durham and Colfuturo and are taking enough time to research about universities and programmes proves that you are brilliant. Also in both cases, leave modesty behind, be fair to yourself when talking about your abilities and triumphs, let them know how brilliant you are.

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Felipe Pulido Rodriguez

Hi, I'm Felipe and I study MA Translation Studies. I'm a COLFUTURO student (recipient of the full tuition fee scholarship)

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