'My UK master's is preparing me to advocate for global women's health issues'

Ijeoma was a practising medical doctor in Nigeria before she came to the UK to study.

Ijeoma from Nigeria is a Chevening scholar studying a master’s in Global Public Health and Policy at Queen Mary University of London. She reflects on her journey from being a practising doctor in Nigeria to a master's student in London and what she's learned along the way.

I was a doctor before I came to study global public health and policy in London

I’m a medical doctor and worked in the clinical space for two years before I came to the UK to do my master’s. My professional experience taught me about the types of conditions and diseases people in countries like Nigeria face. Still, I wanted to learn about health and public health from a wider perspective beyond the conditions and diseases themselves.

Ijeoma during a project with Heroes for Her, providing menstrual hygiene products for young girls.

Gender inequality is a global health issue

I founded a network of young humanitarians in Nigeria advocating for women’s health issues called Heroes for Her. It’s a network of young humanitarians leading change and impacting maternal and child health education, empowerment, advocacy and research. We do this through various community projects, from health education projects to campaigns to help provide access to care, such as menstrual hygiene projects for young girls.

To expand my impact, I decided to study further to learn what makes a strong health system, how to recognise and identify public health inequalities and ways to combat them, for example, through campaigning, education and policy changes.

I miss my family but my master's is only one year which makes everything easier

I am a wife and mother of two. My two children are in Nigeria with my husband. I often speak to them on the phone and miss them so much. The master's programme is only one year, making it easier as I can study full-time without taking too much time away from my career and my family.

'I've made it to Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)'.

'With my friends during induction week'.

Queen Mary University of London is one of the best universities in the UK for my course

Unlike most other universities in the UK, Queen Mary University of London offers a course that combines global public health and policy. It’s one of the best in the country. I have learned so much in a short time, and so far, my master’s has been really exciting.

In the first term, I took courses in epidemiology statistics, health inequalities, and social determinants of health to understand public health in general. In the second term, I’m specialising in the areas I’m particularly interested in. So now I’m doing modules covering health systems, theory, policy and political economy. I am also doing a module in global public health, governance and law.

At university in the UK my lecturers expect to hear my voice

In the UK education system, there is a real focus on analysis and critical thinking. At university, my teachers and lecturers expect to hear my voice. They want to know what I think. And challenge me on why I think what I do.

'With some of my coursemates and a couple of plants'.

'It's amazing living near such iconic skylines'.

My coursemates and I have formed a friendship group called the ‘Global Health clan’

In addition to offering a course that suits my interests perfectly, Queen Mary University of London is in London, which was a draw for me.

I love the diversity that London has to offer. I have friends from many different backgrounds, both culturally and academically. There is a group of about five to seven of us from my course. We call ourselves the ‘Global Health clan’. We explore together, from different places to eat and other places to hang out and take beautiful pictures. It feels so good to go sightseeing and experience British culture by living and studying in the UK.

'I can't keep calm. I've been chosen for Chevening'.

A group of Chevening scholars on an outing in London.

The Chevening Scholarship has given me access to a fully-funded UK education

The Chevening Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships you can get to study in the UK and is offered by the UK government. Receiving it has been life-changing for me. It’s fully funded, which is partly why I was able to come to the UK to study.

But there is so much more to the scholarship than financial support. It has transformed everything about me and given me access to so much that I would never have been able to reach without it. Chevening organises a lot of activities and events for scholars. I have tried to be involved in most of them - from networking to leadership to Harry Potter Behind the Scenes.

My fellow scholars are all doing amazing things in their fields. We were chosen for our leadership skills, making an impact in our home communities, clear career goals and future ambitions.

'I am Chevening, among many other things'.

Scholarships and funding

Would you like to turn your dream of studying in the UK into a reality? There are many funding and scholarship options available for international students.

Chevening Scholarships

Chevening Scholarships offers fully funded master's degrees in the UK. Learn more about one of the UK's most prestigious scholarships.

A warm welcome

The UK is a modern society that embraces all ways of life. Everyone is welcome. As an international student in the UK, you’ll feel at home wherever you go.

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