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Ben Schuster

April 2nd, 2020

Touch Down in London Town: My Semester at LSE

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Ben Schuster

April 2nd, 2020

Touch Down in London Town: My Semester at LSE

0 comments | 1 shares

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The world as we know it, is undergoing unprecedented change. After arriving from Michigan, USA, BSc student, Ben Schuster’s semester on LSE’s campus was unexpectedly cut short . Ben reflects on his time at LSE.

It’s difficult to distil my thoughts on what study abroad this semester has meant for me.

I’ve learned a lot about myself, more than I ever imagined was possible at this stage in my life.

London is incredible – international, diverse, educated, metropolitan, inspired – you name it.

Arriving at LSE

I’m in love with my classes.

My first night on campus, just settling into my jet lag and after dropping my bags off at my LSE accommodation, I went to a speaker series on behavioural decision science featuring Cass Sunstein.

I’d never heard of him, but he worked in the White House during the Obama Administration and is now the head of Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School.

His talk inspired me to try new things this semester and challenge myself to learn not for the grades or for my career, but for myself.

The next day, I enrolled in LSE’s Foundations of Behavioural Decision Sciences course and haven’t looked back on that decision since.


My other classes have really pushed me to consider my interests outside of business. I’m currently enrolled in Business and Organisational Ethics and it’s by far my favourite class.

Honestly, I’ve been thinking about a future studying political philosophy because of it. After another semester at Ross, though, I’m sure I’ll be onto something else entirely.

Still, the environment at LSE has been unlike any other I’ve experienced in my life and for that I’m very grateful.

My favourite part about the learning experience here is that all of LSE’s classes are based in theory and it’s something I’ve begun to really appreciate.

Maybe we can learn a thing or two from them: when the accounting rules change, those that understand the theory behind them can catch up faster than those that simply remember the rules and regulations.


Travel has also been a hallmark of my experience here. I was able to visit Windsor, Oxford, Stonehenge, Bath, Dover, and Canterbury in the United Kingdom and to Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Rabat, and Marrakech.

I’ve been so fortunate to travel. I’ve really appreciated the ability to take advantage of how close I am to all the places that I’ve only read about or seen through movies.

I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know London.

The Unexpected

I write this in the midst of coronavirus. Several of my friends have been sent home from Spain and Italy and a lot of my trip plans are now cancelled.

It’s so interesting to me how eye-opening this semester has been yet how it can all be ripped away through a simple email.

I understand that the risk of coronavirus is high in the UK, but it’s also high in my own neighbourhood of Cleveland (with 3 cases in my county alone at the time of writing).

My sister lives in Seattle and she’s been dealing with it too. Honestly, I’m not sure where this will go and I’m not sure I want to find out.

I want to take the lessons I’ve learned this semester thus far and apply them to my senior year at Michigan.

Final Thoughts

Finally, I want to reflect on the personal growth I’ve experienced these past two months.

I’ve learned about my interests in philosophy, economics, and policy while also gaining a better understanding of the people that add value to my life.

Being outside of my comfort zone at Michigan has really enabled me to think deeper about the relationships I have with others.

I want to take the lessons I’ve learned this semester thus far and apply them to my senior year at Michigan.

I also want to note that there’s immense value in being able to take a bird’s-eye view of my own circumstances, mind-set, and lifestyle from the U.K. That’s probably my biggest takeaway.

Getting a breath of fresh air and being in a different environment from your own can allow you to answer some of the questions you’ve never found the answers to. For me, that’s the value in being abroad.

We can only hope the circumstances change for the best and I’ll keep everyone in mind during this very difficult time.

We’ll get through this together.

[Please note: this blog post was written in early March 2020, and therefore reflects the events unfolding at the time of writing and not publishing]


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About the author

Ben Schuster

LSE Department of Management/Bachelors of Business Administration at Michigan Ross, Class of 2021

Posted In: Student life | The Student Lens

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