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Hanseul

April 30th, 2023

Dear international student who’s about to begin a new chapter

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Hanseul

April 30th, 2023

Dear international student who’s about to begin a new chapter

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

9,047km. That’s the distance of the flight from South Korea to London. If I convert that distance to the duration of the flight, that would be a minimum of 14 hours, even if it was to be a direct flight. In September 2022, a whole new chapter of my life began with such a long flight. I had no idea where my decision to study at LSE would lead me, but I took the risk. As an international student, I would like to share my summer of 2022 right before I moved to London alone for the first time in my life.

Nervousness

Before I applied for the student visa in the summer, everything seemed unreal to me. Since I took a gap year, I spent a whole year with my family in Korea after graduating high school. I was used to spending quality time with them and to staying within my comfort zone. Once I obtained my visa in August, it hit me. I’d never lived apart from my family before, and I’d never left South Korea before. On the one hand, studying at LSE allowed me to live out my academic dream. But on the other, this meant that I had to take a huge risk that I was not (both physically and mentally) ready for. When I told my acquaintances that I would be heading to London alone that September, everyone told me that I was insane. Yes, I’m a wheelchair user who struggles to do physical activities on my own (until now) – and that heightened everyone’s concerns. Although I pretended to be confident in front of others, I, too, was nervous about this somewhat reckless challenge.

Contact the school as you see fit

To calm down my nerves, one of the first things I did was to contact LSE. Yes, it may sound weird, but I had to. Firstly, I declared my disability to the LSE Disability and Wellbeing Service (DWS) via email once I firmed with LSE. Although I had indicated my disability in the UCAS application form, I had to discuss what specific assistance I needed for the duration of my degree. I also provided them with medical evidence from the rehabilitation hospital in South Korea, which was necessary to book a wheelchair-accessible room in the High Holborn Residence. Once I declared everything regarding my disability and necessary support, both the DWS and the LSE Accommodation team liaised with the rest of the School to discuss other support needed on campus and throughout the course of my studies, including Central Exam Adjustments for my 2023 Summer Exams. Through several virtual meetings, a virtual room tour and campus tours, and ongoing discussions with the occupational therapist, I managed to set the best conditions to move in and live by myself. If I hadn’t communicate with LSE earlier regarding my circumstances and requested support, I would have struggled to study whilst living alone.

Believe in yourself

Here comes the most important point. Above everything, just believe in yourself. Although life may present you with a series of unexpected challenges, you’re stronger than you might think. If you can’t believe in yourself, trust LSE which selected you. The School selected you for a reason. At the end of the day, you’ll encounter pleasant surprises as you discover yourself and meet new people. The world will be your oyster. Of course, you might be homesick for the first few months in London, and may still feel like you’re a cultural outsider. However, trust me. You’ll have invaluable experiences that cannot be bought. Don’t worry too much about your life in London in advance, but just believe in yourself and make memories with the people you love, before you begin a brand-new chapter in your life.

About the author

Hanseul

Hello, I'm Hanseul from South Korea! I'm currently a first-year undergraduate studying International Relations and History. Apart from my academics, I enjoy writing about my daily life as an international student in London, listening to Kpop and reading.

Posted In: Applying: Undergraduate

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