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.
Today’s conversation marks roughly one year since I started collaborating with the Official Student Blog. To celebrate the event, I titled this post after my very first one, the subjects involved being obviously different.
I’m sure many newly-enrolled students in Economics, Management, Finance and the Social Sciences (EMFSS) programmes will have to take a combination of Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, Statistics 1, and/or Statistics 2. With this in mind, why not share with you some general information about those units? Even prospective students might find it useful.
This guest post is written by Hamza Khaleel, who graduated with an LLB in 2016.
It was November 2011. I had been married for one year and my wife had an offer to study a Masters at the University of Malaya in Malaysia while I had discovered the University of London LLB programme that would give me the academic knowledge and edge to work in the social, justice and human rights fields of the Maldives. I was desperate to find the means to support the both of us to study abroad as there were no proper university degree programmes in the tiny island nation of the Maldives. We got our savings together and decided to take the risk of having merely enough funds for one year for the both of us. Our plan was for us to work while studying as much as we could.
So that’s it. All done. A BSc in Politics and International Relations. When I saw my exam results this week my reactions were relief (because I felt a bit glass-half-empty after the exams in May), joy (at getting three results over 70%) and pride at the overall First Class Honours degree I was awarded.
I won’t use the cliche “journey” but lots of aspects of my life have changed since I started the degree. Unlike full-time students that get sucked into the bell-jar of academia and pupate into “real world” graduates four years later, those of us studying through the University of London International Programmes have to blend studies with our daily realities. My academic studies – like many other distance learning students – was squeezed around the changing fortunes of one-and-a-half jobs, family commitments and curveballs like house moves.
It is coming to end of my first year since enrolling into the MA programme in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies. My interest in refugee issues took off when I was interning with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I had the opportunity to work closely with refugees, and the experience led me into a world I had never imagined – an unfamiliar world where children have no access to education in public schools; where children and their families are subject to arrest and detention; and where healthcare is expensive and unaffordable with the situation made worse by the fact that refugees and asylum seeking people have no legal rights to work in Malaysia.
As the word count counter on the bottom left of the laptop screen hit 5000+, I found myself exhaling in relief. Countless hours, days, weeks spent in deciding on a topic, developing a proposal, planning research, and many bouts of stress later, I was finally ready to hand in the final draft of the end of the module assignment.
As a distance learning student of the MA in Education program, I am in my second term and upon successful completion I would officially be halfway through the program not counting the dissertation. As I think back to my first blog, outlining the start of my journey as a distance learner, I couldn’t help but wonder at how much I had learned, not just academically, in just a few short months.
Anytime you come home from a holiday and have to immediately use the words plumber and electrician you might feel like closing the door and heading straight back to your summer idyll. Long story, but it comes down to having no light in my office and no functioning sink in the kitchen. I knew when we returned that things were going to get a bit hectic but did not expect the need to wedge home repairs in to my schedule.
My professional office is based at home, thankfully. It gives me a great deal more flexibility that would be difficult to do without, even if I have no lighting and only limited espresso at the moment. And I did a lot of reading and studying along with my ordinary work while enjoying a change of scene. Still, the phrase Exam Registration Will Open On August 25… is right up there with requiring a plumber and an electrician upon opening the door after a few weeks away. That sinking feeling in the stomach is exactly the same. Repairs are underway as I debate the merits of registering for exams in October or waiting until May to sit my first paper.
This post is written by Hannah, Deputy Chair of the Student Voice Group
Having just completed my LLB with the University of London International Programmes, I am grateful to be climbing out from the depths of exam stress and seemingly endless hours of study. As fellow students, I’m sure all readers are well aware that the rigorous programmes of the University of London can be arduous and that the intense study they require can at exam times can be quite isolating.
However, my experience and journey through the LLB has been brightened and coloured by engagement with other students as well as academics and staff from across the International Programmes through serving as a student member of a committee. These support networks have been key for me and have helped me during difficult times to remember the positive aspects of study which, outside of exam season, is surprisingly a very rewarding and enjoyable pursuit! Continue reading
Hello readers and colleagues!
I know… it’s been a while since our last conversation but I’m back with some potentially interesting thoughts for you.
How to plan your studies? How to make sure we begin the new academic year in the best possible way? It sounds like a subjective matter but there are some general considerations that apply to almost all of us.
We should take advantage of this relatively quiet period – academically speaking – to carefully devise a basic plan. In my brief experience, I learnt the earlier we start planning (i.e. structuring our studies), the better our results and the more enjoyable the journey.
There is nothing like a bit of physical work and a DIY project to develop a sense of satisfaction. This weekend I planted three flower beds and installed outdoor furniture including a wonderful swing with a canopy. The big, old fashioned porch swing at my grandparent’s house is my favorite summer spot. We are substituting a flowering crab apple tree for the porch here in our seasonal, suburban idyll, but somehow the idea of a lazy afternoon swinging in the shade is incredibly appealing. Hopefully we made a lovely bower, a quiet place to enjoy the seasons. I plan to settle in to the wonderfully plush pillows with my puppy, watch the canna grow, and work on the units in my Western European legal history study guide at every opportunity.