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Funmi Oyatogun @funmioyatogun
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In 2014 when I was 22 yrs, I got a fully - funded scholarship to study for a Master's Degree in the UK. I became one of the youngest ever @cheveningfco scholars out of Nigeria. This is everything you need to know about Chevening and how to go to grad school for free!

A Thread.
1. Chevening is now open and this year, there will be thousands of applications from Nigeria and hundreds of thousands from around the world. Before you throw in time and effort, you need to know more about what you can get and what they are looking for.
2. If you become a Chevening scholar, you'll get:

- Tuition
- Monthly Stipend
- RT Airfare
- Dissertation Allowance
- Settling In / Departure Allowance
- Allowance to attend Chevening Events

You'll be able to go to school with absolutely no worries to you or your parents.
3. Truth is, the bigger aspiration comes from the network you build as a member of the Chevening Alumni Network around the world. We jokingly call ourselves the United Nations of Chevening. In Nigeria, our alumni association @CaanNG is doing great things in the country.
4. Chevening is sponsored by the UK Foreign Office and in Nigeria, it is handled by @UKinNigeria. It has been a delight being part of this network. I've also been privileged to interview applicants in recent years and there are some key things I would like you to note. Ready?
5. The scholarship is for FUTURE LEADERS with a STRONG ACADEMIC BACKGROUND. Chevening is not looking for those who embody only academics or only leadership. You need both. The best of the best apply for it and there's no 'connection' way to get it. None. So it is competitive.
6. You will need to show that you have worked for a minimum of two years. You will also need to show that you have graduated from university with a 2:1 (or equivalent) and show test of English. You will also answer serious essay questions that are difficult to fake answers to.
7. You can choose ANY school in the UK offering a 1-yr Master's Program in any course. That's can attend any Master's program in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales on a Chevening Scholarship.
8. I recommend that if you have not applied to a school yet, do it now! You can submit a Chevening scholarship application before applying to schools but you have to list your intended schools on your scholarship form. Why not just start applying?
9. Chevening makes you rank your intended schools on the form:

1st Choice

If you get accepted to your 1st choice, you must go there. If you don't, you can go to the 2nd choice, etc. Make sure you put your top choice as No.1 even if you are yet to gain admission there.
10. If you already have admission into your dream school, put it as No. 1 and fill in the other 2 slots as you like. Try to get the admission out of the way. If your school is asking for a deposit, tell them you are applying for a Chevening Scholarship and ask for an extension.
11. Fun fact a: if you went to undergrad in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc., you will not have to take IELTS. These countries are considered 'English Speaking' and I was lucky to not have to prove my English speaking skills since I graduated from @CUBoulder. Go buffs!!!
12. All the info and documents required from Chevening:

- Valid passport/national ID card
- University transcripts and degree certificates (undergraduate, postgraduate if available)
- Three different UK master's course choices
- Names of two referees
13. Now that you've gotten the vitals out of the way, how do you answer the Chevening essay questions in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd? Only a few hundred people will be shortlisted and only a few dozen will be selected for a full scholarship. Here are tips:
14. Make sure you are already a leader or you are working towards becoming one.

The UK is excited about environment, security, policy, education, innovation, health and so much more. You need to be doing something in your small sphere. Either in business or society or at work.
15. Know how to write clearly and concisely.

Please articulate your thoughts in a manner that is engaging & clear. If someone has to weed through thousands of applications, make yours shine through. Do not be afraid to 'show yourself'. Here's a snippet from one of my essays.
16. Be original.

If you make things up, your story will be inconsistent and unconvincing. And it will show at the time of your interview. Someone once copied my sample essay which I sent as a guide. If you can't come up with original responses, you may not be a fit.
17. Start your application early!

Fam, you can't rush your application in one day and compete with people who have been applying for months. You have till November. Start now. Read through, change answers, edit essays, cross-check, etc. Let your preparation show.
18. Be fearless.

I had policy makers, lawyers, doctors, creatives, specialists and people who were twice my age in my Chevening year. Everyone was the best of the best. Put your best foot forward when answering essays. It may be tedious but you get a lot in return. Be bold!
19. If you get shortlisted, there is an even greater chance of being accepted (about 30%). Please come prepared. I have sat on interview panels where it became clear that their essays were written for them. Be calm and articulate. The interview environment is always relaxed.
20. Talk about the UK and your program at the interview. There has to be a reason why you chose that program and why you want Chevening. There are many scholarships out there and many schools. And don't come saying your parents told you to apply that's why you did.
21. I wish you the very best in your Chevening applications and I hope you're among those #chosenforchevening for next year's batch.
22. If you're looking for an opportunity to run away from your home country, Chevening is not for you. You will be required to return home for a minimum of two years after your program so it is for people who want to seriously make contribution to their home country.
23. Important Info:

The guidelines insist on a 2:1 but I believe that you have nothing to lose by applying if you have a 2:2 and every other qualification. It will cost you nothing to apply if you consider yourself a strong candidate. Bear in mind that competition is stiff.
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