Ukrainian student Vyacheslav Polonski's (right) inspirational story of student life in the UK has resulted in him achieving the runner-up position in the International Student of the Year Award, the UK's biggest international student competition. Vyacheslav is studying for a BSc in Management at the London School of Economics & Political Science and is one of ten recipients of a Stelios Scholarship at LSE sponsored by serial entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
Vyacheslav was one of more than 1,200 students, from 118 countries to enter the ninth annual International Student Awards – a major initiative from the British Council that shines the spotlight on international students and their contributions to life in the UK.
To enter the competition, international students were encouraged to write a personal 'letter home' in English, detailing the out-of-class achievements that help make their time in the UK so rewarding.
A judging panel met last month to discuss the merits of short-listed entries from the region. Vyacheslav's letter was judged to be one of London's best.
Vyacheslav said: "It's a great honour for me to receive this recognition from the British Council and I am thrilled to be selected as runner-up for the London International Student of the Year Award. My motivation has always been to 'strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield' and also to use my time and skills to benefit the people around me. The dynamic and thrilling city of London has given me new intercultural experiences, while the LSE broadened my horizon and inspired me to think outside the box. I enjoyed getting involved in new interesting ventures and putting my ideas into practice. Thanks a lot to my parents, my friends, the LSE and the British Council for enabling me to walk down the right path and pursue my dreams."
Yury Bikbaev, Director of LSE Enterprise said: "Vyacheslav's commitment and energy were instrumental in making the inaugural LSE Strategy & Management Consulting Conference a success. He's been working hard to build it into an impressive event it is now, and in this capacity he is a great ambassador of our student community and the whole of LSE."
Stelios said: "We are incredibly proud of Slava and his impressive achievements - including winning a top spot in this important International Student Award. He is an exemplary ambassador for the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation also and I'm sure he'll go far!"
Martin Davidson Chief Executive of the British Council, said the letters home written by the entrants were both poignant and inspiring '"The students have immersed themselves in life in the UK and are making a huge contribution not just to their campuses but to the wider community. The British Council is delighted to recognise their considerable achievements.