2013/14 student: Maxim Chantillon from Leuven, Belgium
"Getting to study at LSE was like a dream coming true: it is a university with an excellent reputation at the heart of a metropolis. Before joining LSE I had a strong knowledge of EU Foreign Policy, but not so much on internal policy areas and the PGEU programme offered me the opportunity to focus on both internal and external policies. It is a strong interdisciplinary Master's programme, as one can choose from a wide range of topics. For me the strong ties between the different departments are an advantage: it creates the possibility to build your own programme and to get in touch with different views on the EU during seminars with other fellow students. The excellent staff of the European Institute, which consist of leading scholars in their field of study, are highly supportive to students, and this, in combination with the high number of public lectures and student societies create a perfect learning environment where you can broaden your scope and form your own opinion.
Of course it is not only about studying! The European Institute – and LSE in general – is an international environment, where it is easy to make friends and build contacts with people from all over the world. Once a year the EI organises a trip to Cumberland Lodge for its MSc students; we focused on several aspects of Euro scepticism, but most of all it was a perfect break during the term to enjoy with my friends. As a course representative, I organised a three-day trip to Brussels with my colleague for the other PGEU students to visit the European Institutions and to attend the European Internship Fair organised by the LSE Career Service, an excellent experience to make first contacts with future employers. The LSE Career Service is superb, they help you with everything you need to know and they have a strong network of LSE Alumni to support you.
In summary I can only state that LSE and especially the European Institute lift European studies to a higher level and prepare you in an excellent way for the job market!"
2009/10 student: Natasha Vashisht, Hertfordshire, UK
"LSE's formidable reputation for political science was a major factor in my decision to apply there for a Master's degree. Although I had never studied the EU in depth before, I had come across areas of the PGEU programme in comparative government, international relations and economics at undergraduate level and had found my current affairs and career interests gravitating towards this field. Studying at the European Institute for a year allowed me to pursue a theoretically rigorous approach to understanding the EU that emphasised appreciating different academic perspectives, as well as knowing the key historical developments and institutional details. The programme has a flexible framework, offering the choice of an institutional or international relations focus, as well as the option to take courses from many other departments. Aside from the core modules, I took classes on the economics of European social policy, EU law and the European Parliament, consolidated by frequent public lectures and talks by eminent authorities (for example, the Europe Editor of the Economist). The European Institute's excellent networks means it is a hub of policy discussion and debate, which is particularly important for a field as dynamic as European studies. The Cumberland Lodge trip to discuss whether Europe is fit for the future inspired particularly lively discussions and was a great opportunity for students from different degree programmes to work together in a fun, sociable environment. "
"There's plenty of time to get involved in things other than studying and LSE encourages Master's students to do part-time internships, voluntary work and get as involved as possible in clubs, societies and meeting their fellow students. I had enough time to spend one day a week doing research for a charity and to be a mentor to three pupils at a local school, which was one of the most rewarding experiences of my year. The Careers Service is excellent and their advice definitely helped me to secure a traineeship at the European Commission shortly after completing my Master's – a route that many European Institute alumni seem to take. "
2006/07 student: Antonia Stockinger, Passau, Germany
"Engaging in studies about the European Union, means studying one of the most vibrantly discussed fields in international politics. The excellent reputation of the European Institute's academic staff combined with the numerous public lectures and debates on current topics of EU politics made me aware that LSE is a place where groundbreaking ideas are being developed and dispersed. Getting engaged in these academic and public debates with tutors and fellow students from all over the world made this MSc a truly unique experience. Regarding the design of the course, I particularly enjoyed the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, which enables students to choose from a wide range of courses not only from the European Institute, but also from the Government and International Relations Departments."
"As a course representative in a team of three, we organised, with the help of our course convenors, a three-day long study trip to Brussels for 30 of our fellow students, not only visiting the EU institutions, but as well NGOs such as Greenpeace and Crisis Group. Being part of numerous societies and clubs (Grimshaw Club, German Society, European Society, among others), I had the chance to attend various keynote debates and to meet some of the movers and shakers of the European political sphere (e.g. Nicholas Stern's lecture on the costs to combat climate change). "