ISSS has the pleasure of featuring one of our sponsored students from Chile in today’s blog post. Nicolas Emilfork is a doctoral student in Music Performance. He has gained recognition for his classical guitar skills and is regularly invited to perform at official university events.
In 2009 my government created a scholarship program, called Becas Chile-Conicyt, to earn graduate degrees in the best universities of the world. I applied to the University of Texas at Austin for two reasons. First, Professor Adam Holzman, one of the best classical guitarists of the world teaches at UT. The second reason was the quality of the university. In 2010, I obtained the scholarship, got married to Magdalena, my wife, and traveled to Austin in August, 2011. After playing concerts in many countries, I was here to study a graduate degree. I have had the opportunity be part of one of the best guitar studios in the United States because of the quality of the performers, competition prizes, and the high selection to be part of the program and I have had the chance to play chamber music with different musicians. Currently, I have a flute guitar duo with one my colleagues.
At the beginning of 2013 I thought about the possibility to stay in Austin to study the doctoral program. I won the scholarship of my country once again, and currently I am finishing my first doctoral year under the guidance of Professor Holzman.
This time in Austin has been incredible. I have played in different places, I have been prize winner in a guitar competition, and I have had the chance to keep contact with my home country through concerts and cultural columns that I write. This journey has been an incredible experience for me and my wife because we have developed a new life in this country. We live in an incredible city that gives the chance to have an amazing life quality. Overall, The University of Texas at Austin has provided me a whole experience that includes musical, cultural, and social elements. I cannot say that I am the same person that arrived three years ago. The university changes you, because it gives you new perspectives, new knowledge, a cultural diversity, and a strong consciousness about your role in your academic field and the world in general.