LSE

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Study in London but Where?

As the hub of the UK, London is an unparalleled environment in which to live and study. It is a centre for government and law, Europe’s leading financial market and a style setting centre of cultural life. As a student in London, you can enjoy a unique experience in one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world.

Whatever your interests or appetite you are bound to find something to suit your palate in this unbeatable multicultural city. Numerous universities in the area boast particular subject areas as their specialisms, which allows you to benefit from the expert knowledge of a world-class institution. For example, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is the leading social science institution in the world, with many of the world’s leading experts in their fields and cutting edge research. The School offers courses not only in economics and political science, but also in a wide range of social science subjects.

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Free-Falling on LSE

When I received the admissions letter in 2005, Harvard was already a familiar place. Even before I applied, I had visited the university, checked out the campus party scene, attended information sessions, met my admissions officer, and gotten involved in the Cuban student group events. I thus began my undergraduate career with a fairly accurate sense of what awaited me in the next four years.

 

Arriving at LSE

My introduction to LSE was contrastingly abrupt. Before I knew it, classes arrived and I saw myself in Houghton Street absorbing everything for the first time. Of course, I was unprepared for the rushed course selection process, and the unavailability of professor and course evaluations as a public guide for students did not make the task easier. I was surprised to find that there were virtually no British people in my classes, as the majority of my classmates came from other European countries and North America. The school calendar shocked me; my unthinkable number of holidays included two months to study for finals!

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LSE: The Libya School of Economics

The fact that LSE professors (including former LSE director Sir Howard Davies) formally advised the Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi and received thousands of pounds in research grants as compensation did not come as a big surprise to me.

Many academic institutions and individual scholars offer consulting services to governments around the world, sometimes even encouraged by their own governments. The controversy does not lie in these services per se, but rather in the disputed ethics of serving dictatorial and repressive regimes.

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London, I Choose You

My initial intention was to seek a job after I graduated from Harvard. In fact, I decided to pursue a Master’s only after realizing that most of the jobs in which I was interested (mainly positions in large multinationals and international non-governmental organizations) required years of professional experience or a Master’s degree.

Continuing my studies in the United States had a number of potential advantages, including the familiar environment, the costs and the proximity to my family. However, I had my heart set on Europe. I had spent my last summer in university conducting thesis research in London and Madrid, an opportunity that allowed me to travel around Spain, France, Ireland and Italy. This was my first long trip to Europe and the beginning of my love affair with the cultural and historical richness of the Old Continent and its peoples.

Maria's picture

Beginnings of a New Life...for the Fourth Time

Hello everyone!

My name is Maria, and I am a Master’s student in International Relations at the London School of Economics (LSE). London is the fourth city that I can call a home. I was born in Havana, the capital of Cuba, and moved to the United States when I was 14 years old. My high school years were spent in the Sunshine State city of Miami before I headed to the much colder Cambridge for a wonderful college journey at Harvard University. Last May I graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor’s degree in History, not long before I would pack my bags once again to begin yet a new life in London.

It has already been six months since I arrived in the UK and my experience so far has been much more than academic. In fact, it would be fair to say that the highlights of my time in London have been surprisingly crafted outside of the classroom, when I was traveling, meeting people from the most diverse backgrounds, getting absorbed into the enrapturing chaos of London, and really understanding the words of the great British essayist Samuel Johnson: When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.

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