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Meher George Abrao

April 30th, 2020

Living the Non-Campus Life


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Meher George Abrao

April 30th, 2020

Living the Non-Campus Life


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Student Ambassador Meher George Abrao is here to bust myths about city university life. It may seem strange to talk about onsite university living during a pandemic and life may never be the same again when we return to our physical central London campus. However, when lockdown is over and we can once again meet in person, we have lots of things to be hopeful for.


It’s around that time of the year when you’ve now heard back from universities that you applied for. If you’re deciding between London universities and non-city universities, a big dilemma you’re faced with is choosing between the campus and non-campus life.

There’s a very common belief that city universities are not as fun, there isn’t much of a community feel and the torture of figuring out which tube-line to take is an unforgivable nightmare to deal with in London.

I’m hoping to bust at least some of the myths about city university life, so read on to find out more.


Is LSE really a non-campus university?

Let me begin by breaking the boundaries of the stereotypical campus. Sure, LSE has no gated area, or a beautiful lake with little ducks walking around, but saying LSE has no campus life is a tad bit unfair.

Unlike most London universities, we have the advantage of a single ‘campus’ within the city.

None of LSE’s buildings are more than a 5 minute walk from each other. We boast of a gorgeous library, beautiful cafes to wind down at, clubs and societies that keep your events calendar overflowing, and pubs to catch up with mates from university.

If you’re missing the greenery that a campus has to offer, we have our little Lincoln’s Inn fields right on ‘campus’ (pictured below) to grab a coffee or a book or a quick snack with your classmates.

LSE’s halls of residence, whilst not being within a gated campus, gives you all the options that any other campus university would offer. From a large range of locations, meal provisions and tenancy length options – you’re really spoilt for choice.

We also have access to not just LSE accommodation but also University of London halls, where you might share a wall with someone from UCL or SOAS.

We celebrate everything– from Valentine’s Day to Halloween, Chinese New Year to Diwali,  International Pancake Day to Hot Chocolate Fridays. When there’s no excuse to party, you can be sure to have a movie night in or pub crawl until dawn on your calendar, and the best part of it all – with no gated campus – London really has no limits.

Of course, everything varies from one hall to another but during my time here, if there’s one thing I’ve never heard, it is a student from LSE halls complain about boredom.

…best part of it all – with no gated campus – London really has no limits

The whole city is your campus!

A non-campus university in the heart of London gives you the best of ALL worlds.

Looking for something cultural? You have the best West End shows within walking distance. From Mamma Mia to Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables to Lion King, and Matilda to Harry Potter, you couldn’t miss these even if you wanted to.

I’d even suggest dropping the traditional culture and taking an afternoon stroll between lectures to Covent Garden or Piccadilly Circus and cheering on some talented street performers.

History lovers and museum enthusiasts couldn’t possibly get bored with the world’s best museums. Most of them entirely free to students, at your doorstep. Tate Modern, British Museum, The British Library, The National Gallery are all a stone’s throw away from LSE.

It’d be rare to go a week or two without passing by Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square or St. Paul’s Cathedral. Even a quick drop by to Buckingham Palace wouldn’t take you longer than your lunch break.

Miss that big campus feeling of cycling from your dorm room to your classes or having that little campus bus taking you from one place to the other?

I know that London’s transport system can seem a bit daunting. When I first moved here, nothing made me more nervous than entering Holborn station during rush hours.

At the end of the day though, even mastering the London underground and public transport can give you a sense of pride.

Your dream job might be just around the corner.

Whether it is a networking session at Goldman Sachs or mentoring day at Teach for London, being in the heart of London, you don’t need to miss an opportunity to stamp your resume because of distance.

My favourite part of London campus life

How often at a campus university do you get to change up your lunch options from the 5-6 cafes available on campus?

At LSE, if our amazing list of cafes are not enough to beat those Monday blues, walk on for 10 minutes to Leather Lane Market or take the tube to Borough Market. Not only do you have everything from Greek to Thai and Mexican to Italian, you will also meet some of the friendliest faces manning the stalls.

A quick chat and you might just find out something new about a culture you only read about.

Still not convinced?

In all, if you are still unsure of whether non-campus life is for you, remember that LSE is just as inclusive and exciting as any other campus university. But without the gates and boundaries of your traditional campus university.

You certainly have no limits on the fun or the opportunities that a city like London has to offer.


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About the author

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Meher George Abrao

MSc student - MSc Management & Strategy 2019/20

Posted In: Choosing LSE | The Student Lens

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