Methaporn Singhanan is a Chevening Fellow at the British Library for the academic year 2022-23. A PhD candidate at Chiang Mai University in her home country Thailand, she is currently researching Manuscript Textiles in the Library’s Southeast Asian collections.
The first 5 things to do when you return home from your Chevening year
Congratulations on completing your Chevening Award! It's now time to begin the next stage of your journey as Chevening Alumni. But what should you do first when you return home?
Here are our top tips on making the transition from Chevening Scholar to Chevening Alumni after studying in the UK.
Get in contact with your local Chevening Officer
Once you return home, your Chevening Officer at your local British Embassy or High Commission will become your main point of contact. Get in touch with them to let them know that you’re home, as they will be a useful resource for finding out about local events and opportunities.
You can find your local UK diplomatic mission here.
Join your local alumni association
Chevening Alumni Associations are the best way to make professional connections, attend exclusive networking events, and support the Chevening programme in your country. They’re a great resource for getting to know fellow Chevening Alumni in your country, whether they studied in the UK in 1992 or 2022.
The local Chevening Alumni community will be thrilled to hear about your Chevening year and welcome your ideas. You will immediately feel at home with your fellow Cheveners – Myriam Stern, 2011 Chevening Alumna
The alumni group map can help you find your local association.
Find an alumni subnetwork
The Chevening Alumni Alliance has created thematic networks for Chevening Alumni based around specific career fields and identity groups. These subnetworks can be a great way to connect with fellow alumni with similar interests around the globe.
Browse the Chevening Alumni Alliance Subnetworks here.
Leverage your Chevening Award
For the 2022/23 scholar cohort, only 2.39% of applicants were successful in being chosen for Chevening. Don’t shy away from mentioning this when talking to potential employers – it is a big achievement and something you should be proud of.
Don’t be afraid to use the Chevening brand and the Chevening community as an asset when networking back home – Vanja Kljajevic, 2016 Chevening Alumna
Read more here on how to to use your Chevening master’s degree to boost your career.
Be patient with yourself
Once you return home, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to readjust back to life in your home country. Some scholars experience what is known as ‘reverse culture shock’, which can happen when a person returns to their home country after spending time abroad.
Things may feel different to how you remember, and it might take time to adjust to a different way of life. Don’t hesitate to reach out to fellow alumni or your local Chevening Officer if you’d like to chat through how you’re feeling about this transition period.
Take a look through the Chevening New Alumni Handbook for advice from real Chevening Alumni on how to deal with reverse culture shock and more.
If you weren’t selected for the 2023-24 Chevening cohort, you may be wondering where you went wrong. Here is the top feedback our reading committees had about this year’s applicants.
From working in diverse teams to using effective communication, these six courses have been specially selected by the Chevening Alumni team to help you improve your soft skills in the workplace.