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International Student of the Year

The University has chosen Dochka Hristova as its International Student of the Year for 2011.

Alan Mackay & Dochka

Dochka met with Alan Mackay, Director of the International Office, to receive her prize.

In her winning essay, Dochka - who graduated this year with a first class degree in politics and economics - talked about the many different aspects of University life that she became involved in since moving to Edinburgh from Bulgaria.

Dochka ultimately hopes to use her studies to become involved in Bulgarian politics.

“After the communist regime broke down, the Bulgarian transition towards democracy has faced many political, economic and cultural challenges. I would like to be part of the movement to reform the Bulgarian democratic transition, and bring it to a successful end!”

Dochka Hristova

International Student of the Year 2011

Dochka’s time

From Fresher’s week, when she joined the Equestrian Club, Ballroom society and Argentine Tango society, Dochka showed that she wanted to engage in all aspects of University life.

In her first year, to complement her studies, she joined the Politics, Economics and Philosophy societies, allowing her to listen to well-known speakers such as Eric Maskin, the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Economics.

She also became a class representative in Philosophy, and sought to improve essay submission procedures and library book availability for her classmates.

In her second year, as well as being awarded the Simon Gray Prize for work in Politics, Dochka joined the Model UN society, participating in conferences across the UK and Europe and allowing her to develop her public speaking.

Dochka then took advantage of the University’s foreign exchange programme to spend a year at the University of Pennsylvania, using the opportunity to travel across the US and work in its International Office to help students seeking to study in there.

On her return to Edinburgh, Dochka became a resident assistant at one of the University’s halls of residence, where she helped first-year and exchange students to acclimatise to the University.

She also sought to introduce rickshaws as new forms of green transport on the University campus, in order to combat climate change and provide part-time jobs to students.

Prior to starting a Masters in Global Governance in Diplomacy in Oxford, Dochka completed a month-long business internship in Beijing.

The internship - recommended to her by the University's School of Economics - gave her the opportunity to study Chinese while working with a company that helped Chinese entrepreneurs start up their own businesses in Beijing.

Awards like these are important because they inspire, motivate and drive students to explore their fullest potential while at university, and they are a recognition not only of how much students have taken away from the university, but also how much they have given back in return! It is a real honour to be the recipient of this award.

Dochka Hristova

International Student of the Year 2011

International Student of the Year

The International Student of the Year award recognizes and rewards the valuable contribution that international students make to the University, the local community and to Scotland.

The winner receives a trophy and a prize of £500.

Previous winners include:

  • Nirupa Puliyel, an architecture student from Delhi, who won in 2008
  • Liapeng Matsau, a PhD Sociology student from South Africa, who won the 2009 award
  • Evelyn Buchner Santos, a Brazilian student in Mechanical Engineering, who won in 2010

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