The struggle of a Farmer’s son to pursue a Masters in Law in the UK

The struggle of a Farmer’s son to pursue a Masters in Law in the UK

As he moved to the final year of his law degree, his senior suggested he pursue a masters degree from the UK in Human rights Law. However, due to the funds, he was hesitant. Through his senior, he got to know of the fully funded Chevening Scholarship offered by the Government of the UK. This scholarship covers tuition fees, accommodation charges, and flight fares. The added advantage of this scholarship is that it gives monthly stipends too to the students.

This is the story of Deepak Chatap and the struggles he underwent to pursue a Masters in Law. He grew up in Central India which is considered a geographically underdeveloped area. Moreover, this area is infamous for ultra-poverty and farmer suicide. He was born and brought up in Chandrapur District in Maharashtra in the family of a farmer wherein he completed his Class 12.

He witnessed struggles for fundamental rights while growing up. His family did not receive fair prices for agricultural produce. Moreover, his area had a lack of road connectivity, a primary healthcare system, etc. Above all, it was difficult for him to pursue his higher education abroad as his primary education was in the vernacular language.

The Inspiration and drive to pursue a Law degree

Deepak had never thought in his dreams that he would pursue his master’s studies in law in the UK. His family has been actively involved in the farmers’ movement. From an early age, this motivated him to bring social change. Thus, he decided to pursue law. Fortunately, he was able to secure admission at a prestigious Law College of the Indian Law Society situated in Pune.

He started the PATH initiative when he started pursuing a law degree from Pune along with other like-minded law students. Before the National Green Tribunal, he and his peers filed a case related to pollution in the Arabian sea. This resulted in water purification work. Meanwhile, in order to enrich constitutional values among youth, he was bestowed with a fellowship by the CORO India organization.

As he moved to the final year of his law degree, his senior suggested he pursue a masters degree from the UK in Human rights Law. However, due to the funds, he was hesitant. Through his senior, he got to know of the fully funded Chevening Scholarship offered by the Government of the UK. This scholarship covers tuition fees, accommodation charges, and flight fares. The added advantage of this scholarship is that it gives monthly stipends too to the students.

Method of earning Chevening scholarship

Graduate students with two or more years of work experience can access this scholarship. There are no age limitations for availing themselves of this scholarship. In the application process, the application, interview, and selection phases are crucial. The application link is usually open from July till November.

Four 500-word essays must be submitted by applicants about their leadership, program of study, networking abilities, and the reason why they wish to study in the UK. A thorough evaluation and selection process must be undergone by all Chevening applicants. However, only for the chosen applicants, Interviews were set up. Last year, from 60,000 applicants across 160 countries, over 1,600 scholars were picked.

Applicants must have extensive work experience in their field of study in order to qualify for this scholarship. In his case, for over five years, he had been working in the Human Rights area as an intern and legislative researcher. He was also a founder of a non-profit organization. From community lawyering for marginalizeed communities, he had obtained positive results.

He wrote a book on farm laws. He had also developed an online course on constitutional morality. To several non-profit organizations, he had also provided pro bono legal assistance for which he had shown proof. On the whole, there must be alignment between the extensive work experience and the proposed masters study.

The admission process at SOAS University of London

The most crucial step is to finalize which course and university you want to pursue your higher education. The first step includes proper research. One must identify the courses and universities that align with their career goal. Following that, the second step includes researching the course eligibility criteria and application deadlines. These details are generally featured on university websites.

After this process, it must be ensured by every candidate that their documents are assembled in a place. Such documents include curriculum vitae, a personal statement explaining their academic and career aspirations, academic transcripts, IELTS assessment, one professional and one academic letter of recommendation and a valid passport.

Before submitting your application, you will have to wait for the decision of your university. This process might take from several weeks to a few months depending on the number of applications submitted and the program. In his case, he received a waiver for the IELTS exam. He also received an unconditional offer from the university. With the help of his friends already studying in the UK, he was able to do this process.

Diverse, interesting, and exciting culture of London

As an Indian student, his first day and week in the UK were exciting. He had the opportunity to go through new experiences. He was fascinated by the new culture. Moreover, he had to adapt to the new lifestyle, climate and food habits. These were completely different from what he was used to in India, his home country.

The environment of the university was completely different from his previous experiences. The style of teaching was more interactive. Moreover, the expectations for academic performance were higher. Initially, he found it challenging to move in phase with the academic demands. He also found it difficult to understand the British accent and colloquial language.

However, due to the diversity among students from different nationalities, it was relatively easier for him to build social circles. He was able to connect with both locals and other international students. He also discovered that both socially and culturally, they had many things in common. This helped him feel more at home. Moreover, his transition to a new country was made much easier.

Easier shopping facilities

He was fortunate not to face many challenges in terms of groceries and food. The United Kingdom is a multicultural country. In a city like London, he found plenty of options available. In adjusting to the British diet, he did not encounter any significant challenges. He found the groceries that he needed very easily.

He had a diverse range of options in terms of food by living in London. Moreover, he was pleased to find a variety of Indian restaurants and shops. These places catered to the tastes of the Indian community. Moreover, on almost every street in the city, Indian food was readily available. While studying in the UK, he found it easy to maintain a healthy and balanced diet through these facilities.

Difficulty in finding accommodation

Initially, finding affordable housing near the university was challenging when it came to accommodation. However, in student accommodations, he was able to locate some good options. This made it possible for him to stay within his budget. Overall, as an Indian student in the UK, he adapted quickly and enjoyed a rich and fulfilling experience despite some initial cultural shock.

He received a monthly stipend of £1517 as a Chevening scholar. He had to pay a monthly rent of £600. Moreover, his expenditure on food and transportation was roughly £300. From the stipend, he was able to save £500-600. The locals in the UK were very helpful. From time to time, they guided him in the right direction.

With the locals, teachers and classmates, he also had some heartwarming moments. One of his teachers supported him incredibly. His teacher went further to help him understand the coursework. He was introduced to their culture through some local friends which he made there. He was also aided in exploring the city. Through these experiences, he was able to feel more at home in a new country. Moreover, his time in the UK was made even more fulfilling.

A plethora of opportunities in the UK

He had the incredible opportunity to explore the country as an Indian student studying in the UK. Also, he was able to immerse himself in a variety of exciting experiences. He was fortunate enough to visit the Welsh Parliament which was among his many adventures. He had the opportunity to witness the inner workings of the political system there first-hand.

Moreover, he was awarded the privilege of participating in a leadership skills conference that was conducted at Birmingham University. There, he had the opportunity to meet and learn from 45 young system leaders who hailed from across the globe. This was an invaluable experience. Through this experience, he was able to broaden his perspective. He was also able to gain new insights into different leadership styles and cultures.

Attending the Global Ambedkarite Convention and delivering a speech were one of the highlights of his time in the UK. He found it a honor to connect with like-minded individuals who share his passion for equality and social justice. He also had the chance to express his views on various critical issues that is being faced by the global community.

The Education system of India and the UK – A comparison

Your potential can be maximized by studying for a master’s degree in the United Kingdom. This will provide you with possibilities for academic as well as personal development which is considered the most crucial. In India, most master’s programs in law last two years. However, master’s degrees are provided for one year in the United Kingdom.

In India, the education system is exam-driven. However, the education system in the UK relies on intensive independent research. Through this, students must generate essays and dissertations. This will help them build analytical and critical thinking skills.

He had the opportunity to study with a student population from various cultures all around the world in the United Kingdom. Many of his classmates had prior job experience. They held roles such as United Nations law officers, notable community lawyers, national government officials and domestic court judges. He was able to comprehend legal approaches from several approaches by having connections with such friends.

Also, he was able to gain knowledge of additional worldwide prospects. He found that the Indian education system lags behind in developing the ability of the students in English language competence, academic writing abilities and research. However, all these abilities are necessary for the advancement of one’s career in the era of globalization and will help one pursue their education in a country like the United Kingdom.

Thus, from the story of Deepak Chatap, it can be seen that studying in abroad, especially in the UK can become a dream come true if one has the passion to do so. If one finds out the right university and courses to pursue their education, they can definitely build a better future ahead.

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