Going to a different country for higher education can be difficult even in the best of circumstances. International students have to navigate different cultures, ideas, customs, and in many cases, languages. When I was an undergraduate in the United States, I did not appreciate enough the daily challenges faced by my international classmates and friends. Now that I have been an international student at LSE for both my master’s and now for my PhD, I understand those difficulties so much better. But, LSE is a great place to be an international student, and goes above and beyond in ensuring we have a wonderful experience.
As an international student you won’t be alone at LSE!
First off, a large majority of students at LSE are international students – close to 70 percent – meaning they are from outside the UK. This places LSE in a category virtually alone amongst world-class universities in catering to so many international students every year. In other words, most LSE students will face or have faced the challenges you might encounter living in a foreign country while pursuing your studies. Remember that is natural and expected you might face some hurdles, but also keep in mind there are many people around you who are experiencing similar things and are willing and eager to help you.
The best bits about being an international student at LSE…
I think one of the best parts about being an international student at LSE is the range of cultures and experiences you come into contact with through the people you meet. When I was doing my master’s, I had friends from Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, India, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Singapore, Switzerland, the US, and the UK. I never experienced anything like that during my undergraduate studies, and it opened my eyes so much, to how people from around the world view the same issues and their different experiences. This might sound cliché, but having this diversity around you does allow you to entertain and understand different perspectives, which is so important in our globalised world. It is also part of LSE’s core mission, and the university does an excellent job fostering those exchanges and allowing you to meet so many different people.
In sum, LSE is a fantastic place to be an international student for these reasons and so many others. If you are from outside the UK, I highly recommend coming to LSE for these experiences. It will open your mind and help you grow as an individual.