Sustainable Student: Minimalism 101


EarthdayUniversity of London has dedicated itself towards becoming a more sustainable institution. As such, as Saturday 16 September is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, I am here to share a few thoughts about what we can do as students.

Especially with the commencement of the academic year 2017-18, many of you are in the same boat as me. You may have dreamt all summer of those customary visits to the stationery store, revamping your study space and buying course books.

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Spirit of continuity


Countless hours of sleeplessness, anxiety, struggling to read, reading and thinking critically have paved the way for a fresh round of challenges, which I look up to. The finals have long been over and I hope to have done well. The post examination experience has deceived me of my expectations of a hollow feeling of having nothing to do. Instead, it has urged me to start my mental preparations for the journey ahead.

Besides the mental preparations, fatigue has accompanied me in the form of a delightful trip to Mumbai, tucked in between attending a SOAS students’ reception right after the exams, writing the IELTS exam just for the sake of testing myself, which I happily passed with flying colours, a trip to my hometown of Burdwan  after almost six months and accompanying my Gurujee on the taanpura at the prestigious Tolly Club in Kolkata. To say the least, I have highly relished this hectic schedule so far. Amidst all of the post exam rush, a stream of thoughts has kept gurgling in the background of my mind. These thoughts have predominantly been regarding what it means to be a graduate of the University of London and being associated with the LSE. That I will be graduating from the University of London in a few weeks has made me do a bit of research about what the university stands for.

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To Read or Not to Read, Is that the Question?


Study booksThroughout the past four years of my time as a student of the University of London, I have spent the best part of my summers mulling over reading lists. Don’t you all anticipate the new stationary, new books and new reading lists when exams still seem aeons away? The first day of holidays right after my last exam, I have downloaded the subject guides quite as if on autopilot. It has given me a rush of joy and immense satisfaction to discover in advance what the coming academic year holds for me.

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Post-Exams: What Next?  


Exams are finished Now that I am done with my exams, like many of you must be, my post-exam routine is a go-to activity. It is a ritual that I have perfected over the course of four years studying two different degrees through the University of London. The primary goal for this meditative process is to achieve a closure with the previous academic year. It always allows me to move on to the next task with a fresh perspective.

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Study tools I find useful – Time to shift gears and nail the exams!


Study tools-books and pens2017 has been an extremely eventful year and the first three months have flickered by in no time, but more about the eventful things later! The onset of April means, for most of us students, exams are around the corner. This is by no means my intention to set in ‘testophobia’ amongst all of us taking the University of London examinations. On the contrary, this serves as a perfect occasion for me to share some tools that have proved beneficial!

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Making a Productive Start to 2017


Study guide bookletsTo all of you who spent the holidays blissfully ignoring the subject guides like me, the New Year rings in the realisation that there are hardly 4 months to the final exams. As 2016 begins to fade into a glimmer and we are faced with a lot of catching up in terms of study goals, I would like to share some of my strategies for coping with post-holiday time crunch.

I recently graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in English from University of London, under the academic direction of Goldsmiths, University of London. This year I continued with University of London because I loved the flexibility, academic excellence and engaging courses. I am currently doing the Graduate Diploma in International Relations, a course developed by London School of Economics and Political Science. Due to the immense mobility of the degrees offered by UOLIP, I am able to study wherever in the world and whenever I choose while also continuing my work in dance and social work. This year I am living in Montreal, Canada and I am able to continue my studies while applying for postgraduate programmes for a 2017 intake at the same time.

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Behind the scenes @ Senate House


In Stewart House Reception with Student Affairs Manager Huw Morgan-Jones.

In Stewart House reception with Student Affairs Manager Huw Morgan Jones.

More than three years have rolled by in a flash from I enrolled with the University of London International Programmes, as a student of BSc Accounting and Finance, under the academic direction of the LSE. Since then I have experienced the troughs and crescents of life – from changing my stream of study from Accounting to International Relations, witnessing the tragic death of one of my aunts, taking immensely challenging and rigorous exams, attending demanding lectures at the LSE and the SOAS summer schools, performing Indian classical music at SOAS, to even trying a hand at punting in the River Cam (which by the way was almost a flop)! With the results of my third year of study being declared (and which I am quite happy about), it feels a bit surreal to think I am onto my fourth and final year of study with the University of London and LSE. Back in India after spending one of my most productive and busiest times in London, I must confess that getting to tour the Senate House – the nerve centre of the International Programmes has been highly inspiring.

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Music: the best refuge


The image of the lifeless body of Alan Kurdi lying on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea sent shockwaves across the world, throwing some light on the scale of the tragedy that thousands of people have been facing in the past few years. Tune in to any world news channel and it would not be a wait too long to stumble across scenes of families like ours walking the tight rope of life, miles after miles, in large numbers, 24/7 only in search of peace and a good life. According to the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), more than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015. Thousands have died trying to sneak into Europe ‘illegally’ on flimsy rubber dinghies.

From fleeing war zones, conflict areas, civil wars, bombings, ruthless and mindless terrorists, to paying ransoms to mafia networks for risking their lives, to being rejected by the EU nations – these are the stories of sacrifice, human resilience and courage to defeat the evil forces. While it is not exactly in our hands to change things for the better completely on our own, the least we can all do is stand #WithRefugees. I have pledged my support for these precious lives in distress by signing the #WithRefugees petition. And I urge the UoL and the student fraternity at large to appeal to the governments to do their best in making the world a safer and better place for all, this World Refugee Day on 20 June.

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The need of the hour: “Go Wild for Life”!


Elephant poaches statisticsWe live in a digital age where our lives are surrounded by iPhones and smartphones, and my life is no exception. Notifications flash on my iPhone screen quite often, most of them carrying breaking news from around the globe. Though most of them hardly catches the eye, the one that did came from Nairobi, Kenya. On April 30, the Kenyan government decided to set fire to a huge stockpile of ivory amounting to about £70 million! This set me pondering about the scale and the magnitude of the illegal trade. Having already said ‘huge’ stockpile, this actually isn’t. Keeping the estimates in mind that rampant poaching has led to over 100,000 elephant deaths between 2010-2012, the stockpile accounts for only a puny fraction. It contained only 105 tonnes of ivory from over 7,000 elephants, and 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn – which is still a huge number!

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European Union?


Hailed as the most successful model of regional integration,1 the EU’s unity is challenged on economic, political, and – perhaps most importantly – social grounds. Thriving extremist parties, uncoordinated responses to migration, barbed-wire-fenced frontiers, Schengen Agreement suspension, day-to-day “misunderstandings” between member states, and a pivotal referendum to be held in the UK next June threaten the Union’s stability as well as its so often praised common fundamental values. In short, a region crumbling under the weight of potentially irreconcilable differences between members. Strikingly, all of this ignores recent fights over the Euro, which would make things even worse.

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