Goalpost Schools

On your own, at LSE

Natalya Roy. Photo: special arrangement  

It has been exactly one year since I packed my bags and got into a flight to London, clutching important documents in one hand and my dreams in the other! Having grown up in a small town in Kerala, I was excited and nervous about life in a big city and studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

The college is located right in the heart of London, a short walk away from some of the most iconic locations. True to LSE’s motto, ‘rerum cognoscere causas’ (to know the causes of things) and the school’s mascot, an industrious beaver, students are encouraged to be inquisitive, hardworking and immerse in research-based learning. The life outside classroom is vibrant with more than 200 student societies that include cultural, political, academics and sports, and LSE is a great place to meet people with shared interests and learn some new skills. The LSE student union is one of the oldest in the U.K. and is very active in representing and campaigning for students. Students also get to attend public lectures by global leaders and influential figures hosted by LSE regularly. The past speakers include Kofi Annan, the Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi, among many others.


London is very multicultural and an incredible city to live in and study. There are over 300 museums and galleries to tickle your interest in art, science or history and over 1000 parks for a picnic. You can enjoy music concerts, sports events and theatre or try a cuisine from the other end of the world. Living in London is a ‘learning’ by itself!

It is natural to experience a culture shock or feel lost amongst super-motivated peers in class. Students are expected to review large amounts of academic literature and critically think and write about them, especially at the postgraduate level, and this may seem stressful to those new to the U.K. education system. The accommodation halls are spread across the city, so one may be away from one’s classmates. It is also important to know there is no system of ‘spoon-feeding’ or even ‘campus placements’ at LSE. Students are completely on their own to make decisions or seek job opportunities. However, a wide range of excellent student services are available for students to consult, should they wish to avail advice.

I believe these situations teach students to be independent, fend for themselves, seek advice and make important decisions early on in life. It’s been a transformational experience for me. All information you may need, including eligibility and scholarships, is available on the LSE website. You can also email the department, attend an online-chat or go for LSE summer school to find out more.

The writer is pursuing Master’s in Management at the London School of Economics. Email: natalya.roy@gmail.com

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Printable version | Jul 22, 2021 9:11:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/school/on-your-own-at-lse/article7800116.ece

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