For a long while I have had my eyes on International Space University (ISU) and their Space Studies Programme (SSP). I have been aware of ISU through my various networks among UKSEDS and SGAC. I have heard a lot of very positive feedback about the experience.
I read that this year’s SSP had unexpectedly been moved from Brazil, instead to ISU’s Central Campus in Strasbourg, France. In February, I then heard about a new round of funding by the UK Space Agency, available for ISU and for me, this year, it sounded like the perfect time to apply.
After completing the required application in March, I waited for a couple of weeks to fund out if I had been shortlisted for interview. On 27th March, I received an e-mail from the UK Space Agency stating:
Congratulations on being shortlisted for the International Space University 2013 year entry…..
You have been invited to attend an interview at the UK Space Agency in Swindon on 17 April 2013 (time tbc) to compete for this funding.
As I was in living and working in Vienna, with plans made to travel to Berlin during that time, I couldn’t make the interview in person. I was happy I could instead have a telephone interview which took place on that date. I had mixed feelings of how the interview went and anxiously awaited for the result.
On 26th April, while meeting with my uncle in London, I received an e-mail which I had to read several times before the news sank in:
I am pleased to inform you that the ISU Funding Committee is prepared to offer you a scholarship in the amount of 16 500 Euros towards your total tuition of €17,500 for SSP13. This scholarship has been made possible thanks to the generous support provided to ISU by:
European Space Agency UK Space Agency scholarships
I really could not believe my eyes. Later I confirmed this and paid the remaining 1000 Euros to confirm my place. I really hadn’t expected to receive the complete package of funding. I clearly could not turn down such an amazing offer for a fantastic opportunity.
As I write this, I have now confirmed my travel arrangements and have completed pre-registration. Next week I will attend a “UK Briefing for ISU”, including a tour of Inmarsat in London. Yesterday I received the SSP13 handbook which is making this experience all the more real. I really can’t wait a few more weeks.