To a trip of a lifetime - my adventures in London
To say that past month was exhilarating would be an understatement to the time I spent at the London School of Economics in London.
This summer, I attended the LSE summer school, which is a three weeks intensive program where you can study 1 undergrad/postgrad course taught by the LSE professors. One can choose from a multitude of courses depending on their interest. From economic, management and finance courses, to courses in culture, international relations and law, there is a plethora of choice to cater to all needs and interests.
Owing to my interest in technology, management and economics I chose to study a management course in E-Business. It was essentially about how technology is redefining the business world, and how an organization can use technology to gain advantage in the highly dynamic and competitive market place, which exists today.
In this article, I would cover three main aspects, firstly the application process and funding. Secondly, the academic environment and course structure at LSE and lastly, the social and the cultural aspect.
The Application process
I was informed about LSE summer school, through my school friend. His elder sister had attended the summer school a few years back and was all praises for the same. After a bit of research, and getting great feedback from multitude people, I decided to apply. The application process was simple and fast. The only prerequisite was that the applier needed to be either pursuing or have a college degree.
Unfortunately there is no scholarship which is offered by the university, and hence the full tuition and accommodation fees needs to be born by the students themselves. Please hit me for a more comprehensive and detailed structure of the fees.
The Academic routine and the course
The Academic routine at the summer school was extremely intense. I would have a lecture every day in the morning from 10 to 1. Again, after lunch break, the class would split up into smaller groups to have another hour and a half of tutorials, very similar to the routine we have here at IIT. Even though I had minimal background in management and economics, I was able to grasp the concepts and the credit for the same goes to the LSE professor who would essentially pick up the concept from scratch and over the course of 3 hours discussed it in great detail.
In the tutorial later in the day, we would do case studies of various ecommerce websites, and essentially analyze what made them so successful, alongside revisiting the concepts, which were discussed in the lecture earlier in the day.
The course was assessed through an essay (40% weightage) and a final examination (60% weightage), both of which tested our critical understanding of the course theories, and more importantly how well we could apply it to the real world situations.
The social and cultural aspect
This was definitely the defining factor during my 3 weeks- an opportunity to meet and interact with students from all parts of the world. The LSE summer school attracts 8000 students from more than 190 countries. Commenting on the diversity, a professor during the orientation said that the school attracts people from more countries than the number of member nations in the UN.
LSE organizes various socials/parties where students can interact and get to know each other better. One of such parties was the LSE River Boat Summer Special, which is a cruise on-board London’s biggest party boat. It was breathtaking to see the tower bridge open to let the boat through.
The Dixie Queen on which the boat party was held
Another memorable episode was when I had an opportunity to have a drink with my professor. The first Friday of the course, our professor took all the students out for a drink at the LSE Bar (yes, LSE has their own student operated bar!). The level of personal interaction between the student and the professor was commendable, something which I felt was very different from the situation here at IIT.
With professor Dr Antonio Cordella
One the most fond memory of my stay at LSE, is when 10 of us living in the same floor at our LSE hostel made dinner together, with each person cooking a dish native to their country. The group consisted of Italian, Spanish, Americans and Indians. We Indians somehow managed, with buying ready to eat chicken, heating the frozen chapattis on the tawa, and serving it with some freshly diced onions. Our foreign counterparts were much more experienced at cooking, and did manage to make most of the dishes from scratch.
The dinner was spectacular regardless of the fact that it was more because of the company rather than the food itself.
The customary group photo after cooking the meal
The multi-cuisine dinner. ( The Indian dishes in the left corner)
The three weeks did end in a blink, yet the memories would remain a lifetime.
Thank you LSE for being such a delight.