Chevening Scholarship is achieveable

Only few days had passed since I returned from one of my most adventurous trips - Chevening year in UK.

It seems that I lived all my life during this time. There was everything: new friends, tears, trips, regrets, achievements, long nights and short days, different mentalities, new discoveries and love…

To say that I had changed is to say nothing. This is definitely not the end but only the beginning of my new life. Chevening experience had awakened me: the world is full of possibilities and the life is too short to catch them all.

But the way to Chevening Scholarship was not easy at all. It took 2 years for me to get it.

In 2013 I was accepted to the university but didn’t receive any funding. It was a serious test for my resistance to fails and obstacles.

But considering the amount of already invested nerves and money I decided to apply for much more scholarships next year. DAAD, Erasmus Mundus, several national scholarships – I saw everything. Despite Chevening is famous for its elitism, I applied for it too. As long as I knew people who applied for it 10 times and didn’t get the scholarship, Chevening was rather my extra variant.

To be hones, I was familiar with Chevening Scholarship from 2011. I just tried to fill out the form and to write motivation letter not even pretending for anything.

According to the forum discussions, the invitation to the interview must come in January. Since I received nothing, I decided that I was not selected.

But I was enormously surprised when I received an invitation to the interview in March. That meant that I was selected for the next stage.

The interview lasted about 40 minutes. Let say, it was not the hardest one in my life in terms of the topics discussed. But it was definitely a good test for my English speaking skills. Probably because of difficulties in this I doubted in my success.

But the happiness comes when you don’t wait for it. I received my provisional selection letter at the end of May.

There are always a lot of nuances in my life. This time was not an exception. According to the scholarship application requirements, I had to indicate 3 priority universities. My choices were: The University of Nottingham, Oxford Brookes University and The University of Greenwich. Despite my first choice was The University of Nottingham, administration adopted Chevening scholarship for Oxford Brookes University. I didn’t have any documents for it at all. This meant that I had to start application process anew. So…. that was the time for practicing my communicative and diplomatic skills. And I did it!!! God was on my side those days.

There were a lot of formalities after – medical form, final selection letter etc. But generally this was insufficient for decision making process.

Result: 2-year efforts resulted in my selection for Chevening Scholarship, Erasmus Mundus program and national scholarship. Of course I chose Chevening.

A bit of info: If you are also applying to foreign university or funding – I can help. Samples of motivation and recommendation letters, scype consultations are available for symbolic payment.

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A bit of formalities: The opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the article author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Chevening Scholarships programme or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The main thing learned from this Chevening year: to be successful one must be dare enough. Dear enough to pretend for something privileged and not simply accessible. Of course, the skills and knowledge of the pretender must also be high. But the best things in the world not always belong to the cleverest people.

But don’t think that education abroad is a year of vacation and everyone will want to employ you after that. It is VERY hard and intensive work. No job offer came to me automatically after graduation. I made about 70 applications to get at least one positive answer. I suppose that one must prove his professionalism and persistence each time during his life.


by Zoia Pavlenko (Ukraine)