In their own words: tips from our Cheveners

With interviews for the prestigious Chevening Scholarship currently underway in embassies and British High Commissions around the world, Birkbeck’s 2021 Cheveners share their experience applying for the prestigious UK government scholarship and offer tips for the interview.

photo of the 2021 Chevening scholars

Birkbeck’s Chevening cohort, 2021

  • The best advice is to read your essays and try to tell them to different people who can ask you more about them. You have to be very sure about what you want to tell, about your story. This is the most important thing.Adriana Marcela del Aguila Panduro, Peru

  • I read up on everything I could find about Chevening itself, then went on to read up about some of the alumni to get a sense of the calibre of people associated with Chevening. Then I thought critically of what I intend on doing with my life after the opportunity with the skills and qualifications if I were to be a successful awardee. Simphiwe Madlanga, South Africa

    photo of Chevening scholar Maria Laura Zerain

    Maria Laura Zerain by the Thames

  • The best advice I can give to applicants for the interview process is to practice in front of a mirror to be able to have good body language and above all feel and trust the content of their essays since this will allow them to flow when answering the questions.Maria Laura Zerain, Bolivia

photo of NIna Perunovic, Montenegro

Nina Perunovic, Montenegro

      In my interview I highlighted a few things:

  • Why I chose the course: before applying I carefully went through module descriptions, CVs of the professors and expected learning outcomes. Also, it is important to pay attention where a knowledge of particular modules can be applied.
  • I described why I chose a specific university (Birkbeck, University of London) by pointing out the benefits of studying there including the broad range of international students, the benefits and flexibility of evening classes, the high percentage of working professionals, convenient and attractive location etc. It is just as important as the program itself.
  • I also wanted to outline what I will be doing both with respect to short term and long-term goals. In addition, I wanted to express my interest on why I am passionate about the program I chose. I concluded by highlighting the commitment to my community and my country after I return. Additionally, my advice would be…
  • Demonstrate sincere passion for your chosen program. Passion is the only thing you cannot fake. At the end that is difference between having a job and having a career.
  • Be honest and humble about long term goals and your contribution to the community. Do not despise small beginnings because “a journey of thousands of miles begins with a single step.” – Nina Perunovic, Montenegro

    When I was applying for Chevening, I talked to former alumni
    . Some said it was a very complex process but simple.
  • I remember doing visualisation meditation thirty minutes before my interview.
  • My Number one tip would be to hug yourself, because you have already done a really good job.
  • Second, for the interview, I created a folder and named it ‘Practice, practice, practice and be spontaneous.’ So, be ready for the questions, but during the interview go with the flow.
  • Number three, do as many mock interviews as you can. Ask your family members, friends and even pets to listen to your thoughtful plans about the future and country.
    Khatuna Goguadze, Georgia  

Further information  


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