Second term of second year is a busy one for LSE Geography students. Second year has more coursework than first and a lot of deadlines fall around the same time. However, here in the Geography department (obviously the best dept. at LSE), we both work and play hard. So in week 10 of Lent term lectures are miraculously transported across the Atlantic ocean to NYC. Every year, students and staff of the GY240 (compulsory module for BA Geographers) pack their bags for the concrete jungle.
The trip is generously subsidised by LSE but I would recommend saving up a little before you go for the additional costs of living (eating out etc.) The trip covers topics on migration and NY’s unrivaled ethnic diversity, history and development of the city- planning and regulation, as well as students own research projects on topics of their choice. Although focused primarily in Manhattan, by the end of the week I felt that I knew a lot about the area and had seen right from the south at Brooklyn Bridge and Chinatown to the Harlem in the North.
It was a really nice opportunity to get to know your lecturers and course-mates better. To my knowledge, most years of geography students, because of the small number of students on the course are very tight-knit. There is enough time put in the itinerary for students to explore by themselves or to relax and socialise or meet up with any friends or family in NY.
I really enjoyed the trip because despite naturally being more interested in visiting developing countries, going with LSE meant I experienced New York in a way that interested me. We escaped the normally dull tourist trails and were shown things by our lecturers that were intellectually stimulating and of interest to us. But, I didn’t come back with an ‘I <3 NY’ tee, going out there made me realise actually how much I love where I am right now, London. It made me realise that big isn’t better. It all felt somewhat underwhelming due to the hype of films and the media. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the trip, I really did, but by the end of the week we all seemed ready to come home and to rest, safe in the knowledge that we were back where we belonged.