From immersing himself in new cultures to being selected as a Social Media Ambassador, John Orimbo shares some of the highlights of his Chevening experience so far.

In the sanctum of introspection, I find myself enveloped by a tapestry of emotions. From the bustling streets of Nakuru City, Kenya to the serene landscapes of Birmingham city in England, my Chevening experience so far has been a pilgrimage of self-discovery, resilience, and scholarly pursuit.

Now allow me to take you on a journey through the highlights, challenges, and moments of growth I have encountered since stepping foot in the United Kingdom.

Embracing the unknown

Arriving in late September 2023, I was greeted with a whirlwind of emotions (and chilly weather).

Having just concluded my Mandela Washington Fellowship 2023 Leadership Experience in the USA in August, I was eager to immerse myself in a new cultural tapestry and academic environment with minimal time for preparation.

From the onset, I encountered some hurdles, one of the most prominent being the search for suitable accommodation.

As a mobility scooter user with specific accessibility needs, finding a place that met my requirements proved to be a daunting task. However, perseverance prevailed and, after months of relentless pursuit, I finally found a place to call home.

Seizing opportunities

In October 2023, I was bestowed with the honor of being selected as one of the 12 outstanding Chevening Social Media Ambassadors, a role that has allowed me to showcase my leadership prowess and empower fellow scholars.

The experience of being introduced in front of a global audience of more than 1,000 scholars at the ExCel Centre in London was truly exhilarating, igniting a fire within me to make a meaningful impact.


Cultural immersion and community engagement

Throughout my time in the UK, I have had the privilege of engaging with diverse communities from Africa, Asia, Europe, and beyond, indulging in culinary delights and participating in enriching academic discourse.

From lively social events to thought-provoking discussions, each interaction has broadened my perspective and enriched my Chevening experience.

Throughout it all, I have gleaned invaluable lessons about resilience, resourcefulness, and the power of community networking.

From the bustling streets of Birmingham to the hallowed halls of academia at my university, each moment has shaped me into a more resilient, adaptable, and culturally aware individual.

As I look ahead to the remaining months of my Chevening journey, I am committed to embracing every twist and turn with courage, grace, and an unwavering sense of optimism. I am also eager to continue volunteering, exploring new opportunities, and deepening my understanding of the British educational system and society.

With each challenge conquered and opportunity seized, I am reminded of the profound words of Alan Watts.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.


Related news

A perfect winter weekend in the UK

When they’re not busy studying, our Chevening Scholars can often be found exploring the UK! Social Media Ambassador (SMA) Esty Nadya recently unlocked the wonders of Scotland on a wintry weekend to Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye.