An eye-opening summer adventure

BSc Economics and Management student Fiona Ip on her enriching and rewarding experience at the LSE Summer School
LSE Summer School student Fiona Ip
"LSE was definitely the right choice": Fiona Ip
Tutorials never failed to open my eyes to broader perspectives and that is what I really love about learning

The world of tomorrow will be more competitive and global than ever before. Thus, in the hope of expanding my horizons and exploring the diversity of cultures, I decided to extend my learning through the SIM Global Learning Summer Abroad Programme, which was only made possible upon receiving the LSE-SIM Scholarship. With the support from the school and guidance from my family and friends, this summer adventure finally became a reality that I had long waited for.

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) clearly emerged as the best choice for a Summer Abroad Programme. As I first set foot in the Old Building of LSE, it felt surreal. I was completely in awe and in love with the architecture of the school. All I knew was to keep an open mind and embrace the following three weeks in London. I was quickly introduced to the campus, breathing in the academic vibrancy and witnessing the world-class learning facilities such as the extensive selection of libraries and various theatres right before my eyes. The libraries have an endless selection of books that helped to keep my mind at ease as I knew that I could access resources which were available at any time.

It was really thrilling to be able to learn from great professors and mingle with students of similar interest. Moreover, LSE offered a different learning environment, where it encouraged classroom participation and interaction. The daily schedule included a 1.5-hour tutorial in the morning and a 3-hour lecture in the day, or vice versa. There were many opportunities for hands-on sessions and lab researches too. These activities helped to enhance my learning, making it enriching and rewarding. I have truly enjoyed my classes thus far.

"Public lectures were nothing short of amazing and were filled with intriguing thoughts and ideas."

Fiona Ip with classmatesThe large number of foreign students studying at LSE offered a myriad of views and opinions, thus I always looked forward to hearing and participating in interesting debates during classes. Tutorials never failed to open my eyes to broader perspectives and that is what I really love about learning. There was nothing to fear about giving the wrong answers as all perspectives were welcomed. There was complete freedom in the ideas and thoughts that anyone wants to bring across. This was very crucial, as it helped me in keeping an open mind and developing the habit of looking into matters from multiple angles. I am thankful for the lecturers who always encouraged and facilitated discussions. Even the lecturers and professors come from many diverse backgrounds, ranging from various parts of Europe to Asian countries.

In addition, there were public lectures from time to time. Some of those I attended include “Where next for London in the tech revolution?” and “Is there a need for new Macroeconomics?” These talks were nothing short of amazing and were filled with intriguing thoughts and ideas. It was humbling to be in the same seating as these highly educated personnel, listening to their opinions as I learn along the way.

"Attending the programme honed and developed my interpersonal skills and provided me with opportunities to apply what I have learnt at SIM in a global context."

Attending the programme honed and developed my interpersonal skills and provided me with opportunities to apply what I have learnt at SIM in a global context. Most importantly, it pushed myself beyond boundaries and strengthened my knowledge in the field of management while venturing into an interrelated area, the consumer behaviour sector. Having taken 'Elements of social and applied psychology' in SIM-UOL piqued my interest in the area of behavioural sciences, thus I chose the 'Consumer behaviour' course. It is my wish to discover more about consumer behaviour and look deeper into the subject. In time, I would love to pursue a Masters in Psychology, thus having more knowledge in this field will definitely give me an edge. It was an honour and a rewarding experience to be able to develop my area of interest here in LSE. The Summer Abroad Programme was indeed an eye-opener and LSE was definitely the right choice.

LSE is also situated in the heart of London, with tourist attractions such as Big Ben, the London Eye, Trafalgar Square and Convent Garden within walking distance. Walking to school has never been so enjoyable with these sights along the way. Borough Market was also along the corner of my hostel, Bankside. Visiting the market was a whole new experience as it was filled with delicious food and delicacies such as ricochet cheese, duck confit bun, fresh oysters … the list goes on. I thought I was in heaven for a moment!

Fiona Ip with Summer School classmatesI spent my free time mingling with other classmates. Coming from various backgrounds, there were endless topics to talk about, discovering more about their origins and traditions. It was really mind-blowing as I got to learn more about different cultures and their norms.

Apart from academic study, I also signed up for weekly fencing classes with the local fencing club. It was really fun training with athletes who were much taller, faster and stronger. Coming from an Asian country, I hardly meet fencers of 1.75m and above, but here in London most of them were giants to me. Imagine my difficulty trying to fence against them! I have certainly learnt a great deal trying to cope and adapt to differences. After all, being flexible is part and parcel of learning, isn’t it?

During the weekends, my friends and I headed out to explore the areas around London. We went on a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath via the LSE Social Programme. It was a long ride but the breathtaking view really made up for it. Stonehenge had perfect photo opportunities from 360 degrees. Our tour guide was really informative and passionate about Stonehenge and Bath. He gave clear explanations and detailed information about it. We also went to the famous boat party. It was refreshing as I have never been to one before and I definitely enjoyed my time on the boat. Lastly, we caught a phenomenal theatre play, The Lion King, and it was well worth every penny.

In conclusion, come to LSE if you can and you will never regret it! Don’t waste the opportunity, grab hold of it and never let go. Let your eyes be awed. Let your mind be renewed and refreshed.