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Top Tips for Future LSE Summer School Students

A blog article from Summer School student Linus Weber.

Summer School student Linus Weber

5 min read

Top Tips for Future LSE Summer School Students

Seize the opportunity

I found out about the LSE Summer School from a friend who attended it three years prior to me. I had never been to summer school before, so it was not something I was really looking for, but, for the first time in years, I did not have any work to do during summertime and the more I read about the Summer School, the more interesting it seemed.

So, why did I decide to apply? First of all, when I realised I could experience LSE and take part in such an incredible academic community and environment, I just had to take my chance! Living in a dorm, eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner in London city centre, and making new friends from all over the world in 30 degrees Celsius, in a foreign language I can master and learn more about at the same time, in a country I find fascinating.

Being able to combine summer, fun, and studies at one of the leading universities in the world, with so much history and so many possibilities attached was really enriching. Both personally and professionally, it is all about taking the chances life hands you. I think it is better to take a chance and possibly regret it than not take the chance and never know what it could have turned out to be.

Adapting to a new university environment

The university system in Austria is very different from the British one. During my course in Austria, I study multiple subjects during the semester that usually consist of three or four lectures per week, which are not compulsory, and normally one or two classes where attendance is mandatory. The lectures and my grades are completely dependent on one final exam. The classes are graded based on participation, presentations or written assignments.

Based on my experience at Summer School, the British system gave me a much fairer chance of proving what I know and what I had learned in the course. Furthermore, I received constant feedback from the professors, as well as the opportunity to improve at the things I did not understand.

The professors offered valuable tips and encouragement throughout the course. I was not used to having professors who knew every student's name and background, but the professors I had at LSE truly made an effort to get to know all of us. They were positive, welcoming, and inspiring, and they made us feel comfortable, even though the topics and tasks were sometimes outside of our comfort zones.

For each class, it was important to read the syllabus, the reading list, be enthusiastic, and contribute. Our performance was graded based on midterm and final exams.

Familiarising with the unfamiliar

Before leaving for LSE, I wondered about the social aspect: would it be difficult to get to know other students? Would I be the only one who came to London by myself, without having anyone else there to rely on? It turned out to be easier than I could have imagined. Most of the students came on their own and were interested in getting to know other students and making new friends. You are almost never alone on campus except when you want to be. Having my own room made it possible for me to be by myself. If you want to be alone and concentrate on your studies, you can go to your room, to one of the many study spaces in the various buildings or to the LSE library. And if you want to make new friends, you can just sit down at a table in the dining halls and introduce yourself.

Besides studying, I explored Oxford, Cambridge and Brighton. In addition to that, I got the chance to see my favourite football team Manchester City in a Premier League match. Moreover, I experienced a lot of what London has to offer, such as Borough Market, Camden Town, Tate Modern, the Tower of London, Notting Hill, to name a few.

I came to London without knowing anyone, and thanks to living in the LSE residences and taking part in a lot of the social activities the school offered, I left with new friends from all over the world.

Funding the LSE Summer School experience

Another crucial aspect for prospective students is the financial situation. I personally come from a country where education is free, and LSE is not. I paid approximately £9,000 for two courses, accommodation, and living expenses. The cost of the room was about the same cost as the tuition for the two courses.

Most students had saved money to afford the tuition, while others were supported by their family or employer. LSE offers a number of Academic Directors Scholarships for Summer School applicants that show passion for, or exceptional promise in, the areas of Sustainability, Development, Responsible Leadership, Technology, or Media & Society.

Is the experience worth the investment?

It was a large amount of money to spend on six weeks, but I worked hard to realise and accomplish it. It was an experience of a lifetime. I really learned so much from professors and fellow students, established new networks, and gained new friendships. Furthermore, the experience helped me to develop myself personally, academically, and professionally.

This blog was written by one of our 2022 Student Ambassadors, who are here to share their stories and help you understand the summer school experience at LSE.

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