One and a half years ago, I started on a path that I was unsure of where it might take me: my application to the Chevening Scholarship.
How would I secure a place in such a competitive scholarship? What was possible for me to achieve? How would it be possible (by using only 2000 words and a 40-minute interview) to be awarded one of the places available, amongst 60000 applicants? These are some of the questions I had in mind while I was applying for the Chevening Scholarship. Insecurity and fear were some of the feelings that appeared during my application; but they were not the ones that prevailed.
Preparation for a Chevening Scholarship
Planning and preparation are essential phases of studying abroad. It is the starting point for those who dream of living an international experience. The Chevening Scholarship selection process lasts approximately 9 months. However, my preparation started around 12 months before arriving in York. I was very enthusiastic of the idea of having access to more than a financial support. I wanted to be a part of this network of young leaders from all over the world that had the same core values that I did. Passion for knowledge, combined with willingness to break the status quo and create new futures for our societies.
Do your research!
While planning to study in the UK, I started to look into scholarship opportunities, Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had the financial conditions to afford my studies and living costs. I was fascinated with the idea of developing my leadership skills and building a solid network for my career. The application process made me reflect upon my trajectory. I was thinking deeply about my storytelling of the past and drawing a doable career plan for my future.
Chevening is much more than a scholarship. It is a unique opportunity of building bridges between your past, your present and your future!
Arriving in the UK
After arriving in the UK, I discovered a new world of possibilities and innovation. Another positive aspect of being a Chevening Scholar is the network I am building with other international scholars. We met before the lockdown restrictions and we can share our previous experiences and future goals and learn with each other. I am able to learn with the diversity of backgrounds, countries, ages and field of studies. We always share how different our contexts and experiences are. It doesn’t matter if we are discussing international politics, activism or neuroscience; we are always learning with each other’s views!
Some final thoughts…
My Chevening journey so far has been affected by the pandemic (as everyone’s lives are). However, I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity of being awarded this gift that allows me to use this chaotic year to improve my skills while studying abroad. If you consider applying for a scholarship, don’t be afraid of the uncertainty. Don’t be afraid of the apparent bureaucracy of the process. Don’t be afraid of the competitiveness. You are competing, first of all, against yourself. Insecurity can be part of the process (remember all those questions I posed to myself in the beginning); but it cannot limit yourself! Therefore, do your best and take as much as you can on preparing for achieving your goal. I hope your Chevening journey can be as life-changing as mine.