Top US universities looking forward to enrol this UAE student


Loukos believes that her focus on extracurricular activities and volunteering work helped her score her acceptance letters.

Was it a dream or the universities had mixed up names of the candidates? That’s how Despoina Loukos, a student at the Dubai College, reacted when she got acceptance letters from the top 12 US universities, that too with Dh 2.4 million in merit scholarships.

Top US schools which offered her admission included the Babson College, Emory University and Northeastern University, from where she received Presidential Scholarship totaling $100,000 (Dh367,290).

In an email interview to Khaleej Times, Loukos said: “I don’t think I believed it at first. I remember opening my first two letters, and I got my friends to do it because I was so nervous. But when all my answers turned out to be yes, I thought they got it wrong or they mixed me up with someone else.”

“I was so happy that I had such a variety of schools to choose from, but then I realised how hard it would be to cancel them down to one final school.”

Counsellors from the Hale Education, a UAE-based consultancy focusing on US university admissions, monitored Loukos’ application process.

Peter Davos, founder of Hale Education Group, said: “Despoina has achieved an incredible, well-deserved set of acceptances and scholarship offers. She has even exceeded our own very ambitious expectations and we wish her all the best at Northeastern in the fall. We are confident she will make a tremendous impact on her new academic community in Boston.”

A total of 137 US universities have accepted Hale students from this region.

How did she make it happen

Loukos believes that her focus on extracurricular activities and volunteering work helped her score her long list of acceptance letters.

“Generally I go to a studious school, but I don’t think I study as much as other students do. I focus on my extracurricular activities as well and make sure I have time to do charity work or volunteering. I think that is also part of the reason as to why I got accepted to many universities because I’m well-rounded.

“Although, I could just focus on school, I do have other commitments like dance, even though it’s hard to maintain a balance during exam times, I still make time to do both.” She said that it does get “stressful” in terms of time management and pointed out that challenging yourself consistently is the best way to excel.

Loukos said the hard work she puts into studying, dancing, volunteering and extracurricular activities does affect her social life, however, she manages to make time for her friends.

“It’s a joke within my friendship group. They know not to invite me on Thursdays until after ten, so it does affect my social life. But because I love socialising with my friends I still manage to do it,” she said. Loukos has chosen to attend the Northeastern University, which she found “strong in many different fields”.

Source: Khaleej Times