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I need your help with this one.
I come from Lithuania originally, and earlier this year I graduated from the University of Cambridge, where I studied Linguistics. The reason I chose the subject was the possibility of a kind of interdisciplinarity within a single discipline, as it involves looking at a number of very different language-related domains.
Since interdisciplinarity has always been a major part of my mode of thinking and my main interests have revolved primarily around the issues that cognitive science grapples with, I was ecstatic to have been admitted to this excellent MSc program in Mind, Language, and Embodied Cognition at the University of Edinburgh.
Unfortunately, I am quite broke, and all of my money-finding initiatives so far have pretty much failed to show substantial (in other words, any) results. So the logical thing to do would be to decline my offer, and wallow in boundless sadness (because yes, that's how much I want to do this unbelievably brilliant course).
However, last week I decided that would still count as the easy way out, so I bought a rather over-priced Ryanair ticket to the UK for the 8th of September, which is when the course starts.
The plan now is to try and raise the money before the payment deadline on the 3rd of October. If that does not happen, I am simply thrown out of the program, but I will have had absolutely great 2 weeks of study. If, however, I do manage to raise the necessary funds somehow, I will be headed for an absolutely great year consisting of 52 weeks of study.
Tuition: £7 800.
As devastated as I was to find out, this one appears to be truly and wholly non-negotiable for some reason.
Living costs: £4 238.
The lower estimate given on the website for prospective postgraduates is £8 476. However, it includes things like £50 a week for food, for example. Yet my budget for food in Cambridge would rarely exceed £15 a week. The other estimates provided might be more difficult to reduce. Still, sharing a living room with two other people in a very eco-friendly flat (eco-logy/nomy) with no heating + dumpster diving and stuff (ahem), I'm fairly certain I'm not going to need as much. So I've settled for half the lower recommended amount, that is, £4 238.
PayPal fees: £422
They seem to be in the habit of deducting 3.5% from transactions carried out using their website.
Grand total: £12 460
The minimum is £4 040 because 50% of one's tuition fees has to be paid by the 3rd of October (+3.5% for PayPal-related reasons).
If by some miracle we would get past the amount indicated, it would be spent towards things like heating, more hot water and other luxuries in life, hence benefitting at least three more people + usually several random characters crashing the floor.
(Ah, that once-in-a-lifetime true student experience! Possibly more prototypically Eastern European though, I agree.)
Apart from my undying love, eternal gratitude, and amazement at the goodness of humanity, which I will feel compelled to spread as soon as I have the chance, there are also some rather more tangible rewards that you could claim if you decide to help me out. --------->
I've been trying to keep the whole description short so as not to bore you too much with it. Basically, I would be really really really grateful if you were to support me in this in any way.
As in Cambridge, I plan to continue taking part in a number of experimental psychology studies every week, among other things (like, I don't know, busking on the street), so living costs should not be too much of a problem. However, as I might have mentioned once or twice already (ahem), MSc scholarships are nearly impossible to get these days, and so I need your help to cover at least the bulk of the tuition fees.
I could go on to list the various skills I've gained and things I've done (like my summer at Stanford working with James McClelland, my dissertation on aphasia, contemporary dance performances, filmmaking, etc.) to try and convince you that I am truly worthy of all this hassle, but I suppose in the end what it boils down to is simply your kindness and goodwill.
Any contribution is very much appreciated. Or just spread the word if you can.
Select this reward if you just want to donate to the project without receiving a reward.
You will be added to a mailing list where I will link intriguing articles, lectures, ideas, etc. that I discover during my year of study with a (hopefully) short description as to why they might be of interest.
Estimated delivery: 1 November 2014
You will be added to the mailing list AND receive a video of a happy happy me jumping round on the streets of Edinburgh in a rather silly manner.
Estimated delivery: 1 November 2014
All of the above AND a handwritten thank-you postcard from Scotland.
Estimated delivery: 1 December 2014
All of the above AND your name in the acknowledgements section of my final master's dissertation.
Estimated delivery: 1 August 2015
All of the above AND a signed and professionally-bound copy of my MSc dissertation in the fascinating new field of embodied cognitive science, which explores ways in which aspects of cognition are dependent on characteristics of the human body.
Estimated delivery: 1 September 2015
All of the above AND Option-Number-1: In case you happen to be visiting Edinburgh at any point, I could show you round, take you to some cool talks, events and places depending on what you are interested in, and just in general make your stay as exciting as possible; Option-Number-2: If that's impossible, we could have a chat via Skype to discuss key issues in cognitive science such as nativism, modularity, and so on, or just anything at all like the weather, film history or Putin.
Estimated delivery: 1 April 2015