Tasting a different way of life

SIM GE student, Jarrett, reports on an opportunity to interact with students from across the globe at the LSE Summer School
SIM GE students at the LSE Summer School
A great, immersive experience: the LSE Summer School
This experience has expanded my horizons and enabled me to be a global citizen and see past my local context

I recently spent my break attending the LSE Summer School, following my first year examinations. It was a great experience where I was fully immersed in the local life and got to interact with people of diverse backgrounds.

Not only did I learn about the theories in my module, “Consumer Behaviour”, I learnt about the history of different countries and the diversity of university students across the world. This experience has expanded my horizons and enabled me to be a global citizen and see past my local context.

This summer was certainly unforgettable and I strongly recommend my fellow students to undergo the same programme. I undertook the marketing module, Consumer Behaviour. The reason I chose this module was because I wanted to study something that is not offered in the SIM-UoL curriculum. The module outline seemed interesting and aligned to my interest as well.

I chose to spend my summer at LSE because I wanted to experience life as a university student abroad. I gained exposure and tasted a different way of life through this programme. I chose LSE in particular because of its prestige and the affiliation with SIM-UoL.

"The knowledge I have gained from this module will definitely aid me in my future career and schoolwork."

Academic Curriculum

LSE lecture

The summer courses have both a lecture and a tutorial each day. For consumer behaviour, we have tutorials in the morning and lectures in the afternoon. Though the curriculum is intensive, it leaves you sufficient time to explore London each day.

I particularly enjoyed the Consumer Behaviour module as it delved deep into the consumer psyche and explained how consumers can be influenced in their decision making. The module is very applicable and through the fieldwork, I am able to apply the theories and make it reality. The knowledge I have gained from this module will definitely aid me in my future career and schoolwork.

This module touches on psychological theories such as heuristics and Cialdini’s principles of persuasion. We are able to apply these theories to marketing so that businesses can leverage it to increase sales.

The diversity of the classroom also provides a platform to interact with students from across the globe. I formed discussion groups with people from Brazil, Serbia, Australia, Philippines and India. If not for the summer programme, I would not have had the opportunity to interact with them.

Dr Heather Kappes with students

The tutorial classes encourage a lot of peer to peer interaction. This helped us understand the curriculum better and bond with other individuals. With social media, we have been able to keep in touch despite the geographical distances. Thanks to the LSE Summer School, I have formed a group of close friends who live on different continents. In fact, we have already made plans to visit each other in our home countries during our next break!

The picture on the right was taken during our last lecture with Dr Heather Kappes. She is an excellent lecturer who kept the content relevant and engaging with questions posed and interactive experiments. She also has a very vibrant personality and a dress sense to match. We looked forward to attending her lectures each day.

Day to Day Life

Now you may be wondering, what is a normal day like when attending the LSE Summer School? Will it be hectic? Tiring? Or relaxing? Well, let me show you a glimpse into my daily life whilst I was there.

Accommodation in Passfield HallFirstly, this is my accommodation in Passfield Hall. My room is where I do my assignments and essays, as well as study for the final exam. I also brought along an electric cooking pot to cook some simple meals from the comfort of my room.

During the course, it is common to mingle at the end of the day. It is during this period that I made a lot of new friends from different countries and shared about our experience in London so far. Another common area for socializing is the laundry room. Often, whilst waiting for your laundry to be done, we interact with the other residents in the laundry room. We even coined the term “Laundry Party” for when we do laundry and chat together.

It is important to make good friends with your dorm mates, because cooking together in the communal kitchen is a frequent occurrence. It is a good way to bond with your new friends and fill your belly on a budget.

Another area where I spend a good portion of my day is the library. The LSE library is a massive, sprawling building with six floors of books to peruse. There are computers available for students to use as well. My classmates and I frequently use the library facilities to discuss and work on group assignments.

Lastly, other than my dormitory and the library, I spend my time outside class traveling to London attractions or shopping in Oxford Street, which is similar to Singapore’s Orchard Road. The shopping belt is an excellent place to purchase souvenirs and gifts for people back home. There are unique shops such as a four-storey M&M shop and a huge Lego shop where you can make your own mini-figurines.

After shopping, there are many restaurants and cafes in the area for dinner and you can even catch musicals such as Les Misérables to wrap up your day.

Attractions

There are many attractions that a summer school student can visit whilst in London. With limited time, the following are my recommendations for any prospective LSE Summer School student.

Stonehenge

LSE Summer School students at StonehengeStonehenge visit can be coupled with a visit to Bath, famous for a colossal Roman bath that is open to the public. The LSE Summer School offers a social programme that brings students to Stonehenge and Bath for a weekend day trip. I would highly recommend going through the social programme rather than by yourselves. The reason is two-fold. Firstly, the ticket price is overall cheaper, saving you money. Secondly, you will gain the opportunity to mingle with fellow LSE summer schoolmates. It is important to purchase social programme tickets early as they tend to sell out within a day or two.

Stonehenge was smaller than I had imagined but was breath-taking nonetheless. The ancient monument seemed fragile yet managed to withstand the test of time. It is definitely an attraction worth a visit just to see with your own eyes.

The town of Bath is also a bustling locale with many tourists visiting. There is a rich history associated within the town from the times the Romans occupied the area. Although the queue to the Roman Baths is long, you may purchase the tickets online for a shorter wait.

Camden Market

Camden Market and Borough Market are both very much worth a visit. Both markets are within central London and can easily be visited even on a school day. Camden Market boasts more of a modern style with many stalls selling clothes and accessories, whereas Borough Market sells fresh produce and food.

In particular, I enjoyed my trip to Camden Market more, spending time watching the boats pass through the dam and browsing the stores. There is a famous Café located within, known as the Cereal Killer Café. It is a trendy café where everything sold is associated to cereal and you can get rare cereal served with a wide array of toppings.

If you’re willing to splurge more, you can even hire a boat to bring you and your friends on a tour along the canal. The beautiful scenery will provide an excellent backdrop to your photos and memories.

Greenwich

LSE Summer School students at the Greenwich ObservatoryThe last place I have to recommend is the Prime Meridian at Greenwich. It also situated in London so is convenient to get to. It will take slightly longer travelling time since it is further out.

The Prime Meridian is the location where the Greenwich Meridian Time originates from and is where the time is GMT +0. The longitude of the location is also 0° 0' 0".

It is a cool location and you can step on the line where GMT originates from. There is also a museum and observatory at the location, where you can see the history of clocks and its mechanisms.

It is an educational experience, where you learn the different methods in which people keep time and the unique ways for the timekeepers to tell the time. You may also view ancient clocks, some of which are laid bare so you can view the working mechanisms.

The Observatory allows visitors to see giant telescopes up close that can identify planets and stars. Unfortunately, the time we visited the Observatory was too early to view any celestial objects.

All in all, a place worth visiting since it is unique to London, and especially since it is relatively convenient to get to from LSE.