My Chevening Journey To Surrey

Studying MSc. International Business Management at the University of Surrey on scholarship is a dream come true but it didn’t just come on a platter of gold; it took a long competitive process. From a pool of over 65,000 applicants, I became one of the 1,500 selected scholars. That’s less than 2.5% of the total applicants. They call us the best of the best.

Upon completion of my undergraduate degree in 2016, I developed an unwavering interest in a master’s program abroad. As a fresh Nigerian graduate, it was unclear to me how to realize it. Considering the cost and the process, studying on a scholarship was my major option. I began exploring scholarship opportunities and came across several ones but the Chevening scholarship stood out as one of the most prestigious and inclusive scholarships in the world. I studied the requirements and realized I was fit for it as I was already doing what it takes to get the scholarship through the work I do in my community and my professional development journey.

Despite meeting the requirements, the process wasn’t all easy. The timeline of the application lasted for about 10 months. From meeting the eligibility criteria to writing 4 essays on my leadership and networking experience, career plans, and compelling reasons for studying in the UK. Scaling up to the interview stage was another big win for me as I was among the 172 applicants selected for interview from a pool of over 7,500 applicants in Nigeria. Which other scholarship application process could be as competitive as this?

As part of the application process, applying for a masters in 3 schools and securing an unconditional offer in at least one of them is worth noting. I applied to three schools and secured admission to all of them. The University of Surrey stood out as my first choice as its application process was straightforward and has some flexible requirements. Alongside other top rankings, the University is also ranked 1st for employability which greatly sparked my interest in the school.

After completing my Chevening online application, scaling to the interview stage, and securing an unconditional offer, the waiting period for the final result was another tough part for me in the application process. Not knowing what the outcome of my efforts in the past 9 months would be and not knowing the exact date for the release of the result was intense for me. During this period I got to learn a new word called ‘trepidation’ a word commonly used by prospective Chevening scholars during the waiting period. Feel free to check your dictionary for the meaning.

Eventually, the results were released, and finally, ‘’I can’t keep calm I’ve been chosen for Chevening’’. The journey was worth it. So you can finally see that those success pictures you see on social media have a long story behind them.

I commenced my travel arrangement immediately and the University of Surrey International Team was supportive throughout the process. From prompt issuing of CAS to pre-departure orientation to airport meet and greet and free transport to my accommodation, the support and hospitality were top-notch. My experience at the University of Surrey in the past three months further points out why the University of Surrey is ranked among the top Universities. I have been exposed to a network of students from diverse backgrounds across the globe. I have made a friend and built professional networks with students and lecturers from all five continents. In fact, I can now be referred to as a global citizen.

I finally got to visit the Tower Bridge in London

With the support I receive from FCDO through the Chevening scholarship and the University of Surrey, I look forward to maximizing the opportunities studying in the UK presents to me. I look forward to harnessing opportunities for personal and professional development. If you plan to study in the UK next year, then I also look forward to welcoming you to the Chevening and University of Surrey community where you are sure to experience more.

Disclaimer: This blog post is based on my opinion and experience and does not represent the views of the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, Chevening Awards, and the University of Surrey.