Esther Taks from the Netherlands is studying the MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases. In this blog, Esther shares her top five tips for studying in London and at the School.
1. Take advantage of the opportunities offered by the School – The classes are really interesting and even subjects that don’t necessarily appeal to you at first can turn out to be your newest passion! Non-academic events they organise, like the ‘International Students Welcome’, are a perfect way to meet new people especially if you don’t know anyone in London. I still hang out with some of the people I met there, even though they are in different courses. The School has several has several Research Centres that focus on specific topics. These Centres also organise events, which is a great way to meet researchers from your field of interest. (A great tip if you’re looking for a project supervisor!)
2. Find that perfect study spot – Having a nice space to study is important to keep up with classes. There are many libraries and reading rooms around London, so you can try out many locations! But there are also other places you often see students studying, like coffee shops, if that’s your priority for a good study spot. I prefer the School’s library if I really need some quiet and it has good resources for all my uni work. However, sometimes I just study in my room as it is possible to access the School’s network. Of course it is all up to you, be flexible with study spots at the beginning of the year to find a nice place where you’ll be able to spend your hours studying.
3. Join a club or society – Socialising is important and clubs and societies are a great opportunity to meet new people. Besides, it is an amazing way to keep your mind off studying for a bit. I decided to join UoL’s swim team and I’ve even had the opportunity to visit Iceland with a group from the International Students House (ISH) Travel Club. Of course sports and travel clubs are not the only societies. At the School, student organisations like Friends of MSF are there for students who would like to invest time in societies related to their field of study.
4. Enjoy what London has to offer – Even though courses can be quite intense, it is key to enjoy your time! Allow yourself some time off as there are many ways to relax and see the city. One of my favourites was a treasure hunt organised by my hall of residence, it took us to hidden sites and beautiful viewpoints in the city. I also love going to the theatre, especially since many offer student discounts. Concerts, musicals, dance, it’s all there! Grab a friend for a fun night out or go to the West End on your own for a magical evening. Don’t forget there’s a beautiful city outside of your room that needs to be explored!
5. Time management – Unfortunately good time management is essential to combine fun and academics, otherwise you might regret your choices. However, no fear, it is possible! Make a schedule that allows you to study optimally with enjoyable breaks. Ask around your class for some time management tips if you find this difficult. It always takes me some effort before I find the perfect balance, but eventually it’ll all work out and you’ll have an extraordinary time studying in London!