As the final year of my undergrad zoomed by (and on Zoom too!), I was keen to sort out my plans for post-grad. I completed my undergrad in Ottawa, Canada and had the opportunity to gain experience as a research assistant with my university. The research experience was incredible and confirmed my feelings that I wanted to pursue further education and the opportunity to undertake a master’s. The only decision left was what to study and where!
During my undergrad I lived at home with my family and knew I wanted to push outside of my comfort zone and study outside of my hometown for my master’s. I had visited London before on vacation and loved how vibrant the city was. I’m loving city life in London so far; around every corner is a new cultural or historical experience to be had.
Additionally, I knew for future career opportunities London was the place to be for an IR graduate— the number of think tanks and NGOs based in London is impossible to count! Some of those that interest me the most include Chatham House, Amnesty International, or REDRESS.
Situated in Central London, surrounded by amazing arts and culture venues, a stone’s throw away from the Thames, and significant historical sites, I couldn’t wait to explore LSE’s campus and neighbouring area. The central location was a big plus in making LSE my number one choice.
Other, more academic reasons, why I chose LSE include its reputation for rigorous academic study, and the university’s focus on the social sciences. When studying at a typical university it can feel like social sciences take the back seat to STEM subjects, which is why studying at an institution like LSE appealed so much to me. Being surrounded by students, academics and educators focused on explaining the causes of things was an environment and discussion I wanted to be a part of!
Since arriving at LSE, the university has exceeded my expectations for the level of support and guidance available for students, as well as the number of extracurricular activities and opportunities on offer. Be sure to check out LSE student blogs for a more in depth look at these, for instance, a blog on student societies, or the LSE Archive, or Language Centre. The ability to study a non-degree language course was also a bonus for me, as someone who is working towards their fluency in French.
My First Choice Programme
I completed my undergrad in Conflict Studies and Human Rights; IR felt like a natural transition. My academic interests lie in understanding issues such as refugee crises, human rights concerns, and political violence—and the international systems intersection with them. I had heard through the student grapevine that MSc IR at LSE was a strong program choice, and after looking into the programme more it quickly became my top choice.
When considering a program it’s best to look out for the modules you will be taking and make sure they align with your academic interests, as well as the professors and course conveyors who will be guiding your academics. Looking at the IR course schedule, I felt there was a perfect mix of focusing on theory alongside interest specific courses which focused on my aforementioned interests.
If trying to decide on which masters programs to apply to is causing more stress than excitement, I would recommend reading student blogger Abbie’s blog for further advice.
So far I have immensely enjoyed studying my masters at LSE and wouldn’t change my programme decision whatsoever. I’ll continue to chronicle my master’s experience here at LSE, which will hopefully encourage you to take the leap and apply for your dream programme.