If you’re planning to complete your Master’s in the UK as an international student, odds you’ve heard of the Chevening Scholarship. This UK Government’s award program for international students is sought-after due to its rigorous selection procedure. The cohort I was in (2018-2019) comprised more than 68,000 candidates from 168 nations; however, only 1 800 of us were selected! Chevening scholars enjoy professional and academic advancement and numerous networking opportunities and the UK culture, and long-lasting positive connections between the UK. We also get to be part of the only alumni community! What’s not to love?
The process for selection lasts about one year and includes an interview, application, conditional offer, final award, and pre-departure shortlisting phases. It’s true that the selection process requires a lot of mental and emotional endurance But don’t let that keep you from taking advantage of this life-changing opportunity.
I’m pleased to have gone through the process and am currently enjoying my Master’s degree in the UK. If you’re considering applying for your position, Here are some suggestions that I have learned from my experiences!
#1It’s not only about you.
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Chevening would like you to apply the skills you learn during your time in the UK to contribute back to the country you grew up in and develop your career.
Keep in mind that scholars have the image of Chevening and their country of birth. Therefore, they’re encouraged to think beyond themselves. This is the reason we can’t be allowed to stay in the UK right after we finish our studies (instead, we’re required to return to the UK and continue to work for at least two years).
#2Verify the eligibility criteria (Chevening Scholarship)
It’s surprising how many people ignore this simple prerequisite. You’ll need at minimum two years of work experience as well as an undergrad degree that is equivalent to an upper-second-class 2:1 honors degree in the UK.
Ensure you check the admission requirements when looking at programs and universities since it is helpful to apply for these courses simultaneously. It is important to note that some universities could have non-refundable application fees.
#3Examine the timeline (Chevening Scholarship)
The Foreign Commonwealth Office releases a schedule for the selection process every year. Follow their social media accounts ( @CheveningFCDO) to ensure you do not miss important details. It is essential to be present at specific times (e.g., the interview or pre-departure briefing); therefore, it is essential to keep your travel plans under control.
#4 Research, research, research! (Chevening Scholarship)
You can opt to take three similar courses offered by different universities or apply to three distinct programs at one institution. Any recognized UK university and program is acceptable, as long as it’s a one-year, taught a postgraduate course that can lead to a Masters’ degree. It is impossible to change your course in the future, and this is your only chance to choose a course that is compatible with your personal development goals.
#5Make your writing persuasive, with consideration and a sense of humor. (Chevening Scholarship)
The essays you’ll be asked to compose will form a crucial element in your admission. Consider what you would like to convey, and be confident in your abilities! I was initially thinking about applying for a position in public policy and governance rather than journalism; however, I soon realized that I couldn’t convince myself that the field was the right choice. If you cannot convince yourself of the arguments you’re providing in your essay, What can you do to convince the panel?
To write specific essay topics, consider different angles to the subject instead of simply making the obvious point. In the section on the leadership of my essay, the most straightforward way to go would be to write about my leadership abilities and how I have benefited from them. Instead, I focused on how outstanding leadership can encourage and aid in developing human capital. Use your own experiences when needed, but keep your examples brief and let the word limit guide you to keep it short. In the case of plans for after-study, you may want to mention the efforts made by the UK in your home country, which are in line with the subject you are studying.
#6 Don’t duplicate, don’t cheat!
The staff at Chevening are interested in knowing the person they are as an individual, not only your credentials and plans. Don’t let someone else compose your essays since the interview will focus on your points in these essays. Beware of giving repetitive answers also. It’s easy to fall for this trap since the essay questions are linked. Make sure to write your essays to complement one another and follow the same flow.
#7 Prepare to create
It’s simpler to justify the courses you are already engaged in in the field of study. However, Chevening does not hinder you from taking an alternative path to your current path to your career. If you’re considering a change, you need to justify why this will benefit your future and how you plan to handle it. Discuss your academic or professional background and mention any relevant experiences that led to this conclusion.
#8 Select your referees very carefully
Many applicants select one academic referee and one professional It’s okay to give two professional referees instead. I approached two bosses whom I believed were more knowledgeable about me than professors who may not remember a student they taught years ago. Get your references’ names on your application because if you get into the interview stage, your referee letters must be sent before the interview date.
#9 Check if you need language qualifications
I’m not able to help you here as I was not exempt from this obligation. However, I know that applicants must provide evidence of their language proficiency (unless exempted) and three required documents by a specified time frame to be eligible for a total award. If you’ve put off taking the tests for your language qualifications until after receiving your conditional offer, make a plan to get your results before the deadline.
#10 Don’t delay
Like all applications, don’t leave things until the last minute. Online applications may be slow as the deadline draws nearer, and you should try to make sure you are in order before the deadline.
If you need more advice, I’d recommend keeping your eyes open for workshops by Chevening. In certain countries where Chevening is a requirement, the British Embassy holds workshops that feature previous scholars and guest speakers. I attended one in Malaysia and learned some insider secrets about the factors that make a practical Chevening application. I hope you get these ideas helpful and don’t intimidate by Chevening because the reward is worth the effort. Best of luck!