Meet Kai Prideaux: Hansen Scholar, 2022 Cohort

Kai Prideaux is studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Politics and International Studies. Here Kai shares why he applied for the Hansen Scholarship Program and what he's got out of the mentoring and networking opportunities so far.

I always wanted to study Law at the University of Melbourne – it was (what seemed like) an unachievable dream for my entire adolescent life. When I stumbled upon the Hansen Scholarship I knew it would allow me to fulfil my ambition of moving to Melbourne and studying at Australia’s best, most forward-thinking university. So I nervously rushed to show my high school mentor the next day. She gave me the push I needed to apply, and I am so thankful I did!

I am absolutely loving it, Melbourne is my dream city, and The University of Melbourne is my dream university.

The scholarship is such an impeccable community which is the core of what makes being a ‘Hansen’ so valuable. The scholarship team have done such an incredible job during the selection processes — all the scholars are exceptional young individuals and it’s truly what makes the cohort so special. I would comfortably say that within a few months I have made 50 incredible and like-minded friends whom I continue to build connections with.

Students laughing outside

I was given a peer mentor to assist me and to ask questions prior to moving into Little Hall, and this was fundamental in solidifying my decision to accept the scholarship. I would now consider this mentor a friend, and I am all the better for it. Smaller groups of scholars also share a specialised mentor relevant to their aspirations or interests. I am with a lawyer and lecturer from Melbourne Law School and am so thankful for the opportunity to connect with her.

I am in constant awe of where I now live. Little Hall is so close to the city; I can get on the tram, and five minutes later, I am in the heart of the city.

Little Hall is stunning, with incredible facilities, and I am always using them with friends. However, the best part is being able to live with a pre-installed network of people that I can rely on (the other scholars). It is so incredible to visit our ‘athenaeum’ and meet with other scholars – I find it such a beautiful way to start my day of study and it’s lovely that if you don’t want to be alone, you don’t have to be!

Another highlight of the program has been the formal events. I was beyond nervous about attending them, the first of which was the award ceremony early in Semester 1. After experiencing it, though, I realised there was nothing to worry about. Even when meeting the scholarship patrons and the Vice-Chancellor, kindness and supportiveness were fostered in their every interaction. I was so thankful for the evening, and it was lovely to connect with so many tremendous individuals.

My advice for other students considering applying to Melbourne and for the Hansen Scholarship? Just get the ball rolling!

If you're particularly nervous (as I was), reach out to an academic mentor of some sort or even your parents and just apply. I truly didn’t think that I was going to be awarded the scholarship; however, Melbourne was my dream, so I went for it! I suggest doing the same; you have no idea, the scholarship team will likely see something in you that you may not yet see in yourself.

Lastly, try to relax – the process of showing them exactly who you are and why you are so amazing is going to work best if you are at ease (especially during the interviews). One core thing to remember is that, yes, the scholarship is prestigious and directed by highly influential people; however, their goal is to change lives and to give your academic life a jump start! They have no intention of intimidating you, and they are all extremely friendly – they understand that you may be nervous; it’s so natural and speaks volumes to your character.

Thinking of applying for the 2024 intake? Find out more about the Hansen Scholarship Program, and click below to read other scholars' experiences:

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