Sixth Form Student, Dasha, accepted to University of Pennsylvania on Full Scholarship

Posted on:

23 May 2024

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Upper Sixth student, Dasha Knurenko, has been accepted to the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in America on a full scholarship, majoring in Comparative Literature and minoring in Environmental Humanities and Law and Society.

Dasha, originally from Ukraine, joined the College in September 2022 as a full boarder having received a two-year scholarship to study her A Levels with us from HMC Projects. Having been forced to leave her hometown in Ukraine that year, Dasha and her family were introduced to the College and HMC Projects, a charitable foundation which offers Central and Eastern European pupils the opportunities to study at a British school, through the Ukraine Global Scholars programme.

Over the last couple of years, the Ukraine Global Scholars organisation has helped over 400 Ukrainian high school pupils from modest backgrounds receive more than $62 million in scholarships to attend top boarding schools and colleges across the world. In return, pupils commit to returning to Ukraine for five years to help rebuild and develop the country following the conflict with Russia.

Whilst studying A Level English literature, psychology, and French at the College, Dasha aspired to continue her educational journey at university. With support from our Sixth Form team, Higher Education and Careers Department, and English for Speakers of Other Languages Department, Dasha applied to 20 USA-based universities ranging from large research-based ones such as Northwestern University, smaller liberal arts colleges such as Wellesley College, and those with international campuses such as New York University Abu Dhabi.

In early April, Dasha was thrilled to learn she had been accepted to the University of Pennsylvania on a full scholarship. Having chosen to apply to Penn for its unique combination of pre-professionalism and multidisciplinary aspects to its degrees, emphasis on internships, connections with art and civic institutions, and its urban location in Philadelphia, Dasha hopes the interdisciplinary approach of her chosen major and minor will equip her with both theoretical and practical knowledge, enabling her to contribute to Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction and global integration.

Alongside her degree Dasha is looking forward to further undergraduate research opportunities the university offers, including the Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Programme. Outside of her studies, she hopes to contribute to Penn’s long history of active student social engagement, volunteering initiatives, active citizenship practices, write for the institution’s award-winning student newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian, popularise Ukrainian literature by publishing translations of folklore and stories by Ukrainian writers in the student journal, and participate in creative writing initiatives such as the Penn Poets Society and the Excelano Project.

Speaking of an education at the College, Dasha commented, “Thanks to my education at Bishop’s Stortford College, I discovered new approaches and subjects that have greatly benefited my application. I am very grateful to the teachers and staff who supported and enabled my initiatives, such as the French literary translation contest, the Young House library, the Translated Poetry charity collection, and museum and language volunteering opportunities.”

“During my time at the College and in the UK overall, I also discovered and participated in artistic groups and activities such as the Boundless Theatre Advisory Group and The National Portrait Gallery Youth Forum. These experiences have not only enhanced my application but have also benefited my career aspirations and provided me with important life skills for the future.”

Dasha hopes to participate in Penn’s summer pre-orientation programme which introduces new students to its departments, opportunities, and resources.

The College would like to extend congratulations to Dasha for her achievement, and wishes her all the best for the future.



Posted on:

23 May 2024

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