BTW, Speaking about justice…

Application Process

I’m a British Chevening Scholar for 2009/2010. Fully funded to study for my MA in Social and Global Justice at The University of Nottingham.

If you’re interested in applying for the scholarship scheme, check out the Chevening Website for dates and procedures. On details about the people behind the scene, Gary Fisher’s blog is the way to go.

Here’s what I wrote on Gary’s blog about my experience during the application process and a tip from my friend, who is also a Chevening Scholar at Cambridge.

Everything was done online, good for the environment!

I was on duty to visit remote villages for work, and it was the last day of the application deadline. There was only one old old oooooold computer connected to the internet that I could borrow. I had no choice but to fill in the form and answer the questions on a screen that flickers every 10 seconds. My eyes had almost popped out by the time I finished! Hahaha. So, lesson there: find a good computer that u’re comfortable with! 😛

I get this question a lot from friends applying this year: What kind of answers do they the panel want? I’m not a mind reader, so I don’t know. What I do know is this: truth is always the best policy. I made sure my answers were clear, concise, and showed my personality. It would help if you already have work experience. You will know what you’re talking about and what your future goals are.

My fellow scholars this year come from different backgrounds, doing different programs. There couldn’t be a generic answer like “I want world peace” 😛

On coming and living in the UK:

The Chevening team made sure everything was easy for us. From tickets, visa, where to get allowance on arrival, they even briefed us on what not to bring on our luggages to save space. Many people say that the British weather is horrible. Well, it is almost always cloudy, but we still get a lot of sunshine these days. And the rain (…) No thunder, no big drops of water, mostly misty light rain. At least that’s in Nottingham, where I am.

The people here are very kind and friendly, even more so once you get to know them better. First few hellos were a little awkward. But now I have a busy social schedule that I had to remind myself I still have essays and schoolwork to finish! From tea in the garden with an old lady and her geriatric friends talking about the general elections, to club hopping with younger crowds until very late, and attending Chevening organised events.

And this is what my friend in Cambridge said:

(To prepare) I would suggest that you start to do some research on the programmes offered by different universities here. A lot of universities have exactly the same programme under different names, or vice versa, totally different programmes under the same name. Find a university with a programme that suits your interest as you’ll have to do a lot of programme-related coursework. Writing can be really challenging at times, but if you really like the programme, it will be easier for you to persevere.

It will also be helpful to start to apply to a university/ies and get a/an unconditional offers. Without IELTS result you will usually get a conditional offer. Even if it’s just a conditional offer, it will put you in a better position as you will slightly give the impression that you know what you want to study. I am pretty sure the panel prefers people who have clear idea about what they want to study.

There are some universities which charge you with application fees. Forget those universities. If your favourite university is one of those, you can just apply after you have secured your scholarship. Based on my own experience and some others’, there is always a possibility to get an offer from a university even if you apply in the very last minute but it’s a good idea have an offers from the less favourite ones just in case things don’t work out.

One more important thing, some universities take FOREVER to make a decision because they refuse to take e-documents so you have to send everything by post, and their unbelievably complicated bureaucracy. Here’s another fun thing to do: work on your English proficiency to pass IELTS test with flying colours!

So, there you go! Hope this motivates you to go for it!


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Lishia Erza

Searching for answers about life, these are the ones I have found.

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