Latin American graduate students Agustina and Gabriela share their experiences of studying at LSE.
When we first started brainstorming for this blog post, we realised there was a lot of ground to cover; from our motivations to come to LSE, to the advantages of studying here and the great rewards of living in London. Although we realise we may not completely convey all of the nuances of our experience, we’ll at least try to convey the highlights of our experience as Latin Americans, one Argentinian and one Mexican.
Admittedly, our first motivation to come to LSE was the fact that the particular discipline (MSc in Media, Communication and Development) we were interested in studying was available. While there are some excellent examples of quality and innovative education available back home (thankfully!), the advantage of LSE is that there are programmes and specialisations that are seldom found anywhere else. There are some clear benefits to studying in a top ranked university in the Department of Media and Communications which is renowned for its research capabilities. The fact that the School is in London didn’t hurt, either!
One of the biggest differences of studying at LSE is the cultural diversity you’ll get to enjoy from your international classmates. Surprisingly, and according to recent data published, only approximately 3% of students at LSE are Latin Americans. But, hey, they say magic starts when you leave your comfort zone! Spending a year in London is a great opportunity to venture into other cultures, but also to foster and strengthen your own national and Latin American identity.
Being a foreigner has also meant we get to be ‘ambassadors’ for our countries. We are both involved with our national student societies – the Argentinian Society and the Mexican Society – as Communications Officers, where we get to create campaigns to promote and raise awareness on the issues that are relevant to us. It has also proven to be a great way to create a ‘safety net’ for when you miss home. We’ve all been there. Trust us, it helps to talk to someone that understands exactly what kind of spicy street food you miss.
Challenges? Other than the hard working hours, you mean? We believe the real challenge will come once we graduate, when the time comes for us to transform the knowledge we acquired at LSE into contextualised actions for Latin America. A great way the School has helped us in this regard is by exposing us to practitioners and thought leaders who are working in the field and share the challenges they face in real life.
‘Latin America’ is often used as a shortcut word to refer to a whole subcontinent. And while there are many things that are similar, Latin America is a word that encompasses a plethora of different worlds within it. Similarly, our experiences as Latin Americans at LSE are as unique and distinctive as the countries we come from. Don’t be scared to make it your own!
About the guest writers
Agustina El Idd is currently studying the MSc in Media, Communication and Development. She holds a BA in Communications from Universidad de San Andres in Argentina. Before coming to LSE, she did research for a financial institution in Argentina. When it comes to London, she loves going to the theatre, concerts and exploring the wide availability of Sunday brunch options.
Gabriela Rubio is also working towards the MSc in Media, Communication and Development. She holds a BSc in International Relations from Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico. Before starting her degree at the LSE, she did international communication for a consultancy firm. She believes London is best explored by foot, with a wandering eye for markets and an adventurous stomach for food.