Dubai pupil has heart set on US university after landing Dh2.4m in scholarships to 12 schools

DUBAI // A Dubai College pupil has been accepted by all 12 US universities to which she applied – and secured total of US$ 670,000 in scholarships.

Despoina Loukos, in Year 13, said she first found out she had been accepted to Northeastern University with a $ 100,000 scholarship.

“I was definitely shocked,” Despoina said. “I was con-vinced they wrote too many noughts. I took a screenshot so they couldn’t say it was wrong.”

She was offered places at Babson College and Emory University, but chose international business at Northeastern.

“It is such a big school and strong in so many different fields,” Despoina said. “I’ve chosen business but I’ve never studied it at school, and Northeastern will allow me to change my major if I so choose. I also love the internship options.”

Volunteer work last year at a Syrian refugee camp and hospital in Greece helped her understand the plight of others.

“It was so heart-breaking seeing people going through this humanitarian crisis,” she said.

“I wanted to do the best I could do for that week, all the while knowing I could go back to my life. But who knows when they can go back to what they call home – maybe never.”

A ballet and jazz dancer, she did not give it up while studying, setting aside 15 hours a week. “It has been very hard and at times I’ve questioned whether I could do both.”

rtalwar@thenational.ae

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