Journey to the Centre of Campus – Early days

LSHTM logoThe first several days of London flew by for me, so be prepared to start the race as soon as your first day. Here are some of the things I have learned from these early days.

Expect the first week and likely all subsequent weeks while you’re studying here to be busy. LSHTM did forewarn you, it is unlikely you will have time to work on your distance modules, so try to factor that into your school year plan.

The Basics

Rush hour in a London tube station

Rush hour in a London tube station

The first day you register, you should receive your class materials, a student card (that acts as a pass to access most major doors and to get into the library), and information about the school. Unfortunately, they don’t have lockers available for Blended Learning students (even if you see vacant ones), as they are saved for the on campus students. As an alternative, I’ve bought a backpack that also rolls as a suitcase, which has been useful to carry loads of items around with you for the day, and possibly night on campus or around Central London. When transiting, be sure to factor in for human traffic. You will have to line up to walk up stairs and this will guarantee add time to your route if you are commuting into the city!

The lunch facilities at the Keppel Street building include a refectory with a selection of hot and cold, healthy and non-healthy dishes and microwaves to warm food you bring (there are only four microwaves so try to miss ‘Rush hour’ between 12:30-13:30pm). There are many restaurants, other University cafes you have access to and grocery stores nearby. But luckily with whatever choice you make there are two gyms you have access to, to work off those calories and the days stresses at the UCLU Bloomsbury Fitness , or the University of London Student Central gym. The latter gym, which I joined, has day lockers, showers, a variety of classes and a full length pool which requires no sign up fee and is £30 a month.

Take Full Advantage – You’ve paid for it!

Don’t wait to take advantage of the careers and library services and training for students, as the spots fill up. Since I am completing my thesis project, it has been beneficial to complement some of the online Moodle information with a one-to-one with library staff for literature review search strategy and other useful skills for researching. Another worthwhile service is the skills building training run by the career services. I signed up for the CV building, and if you have a job in mind they can help you prepare for it.

The Global Lecture series are worth checking out, even if it’s a topic you aren’t familiar with. The experts that present are brilliant, and you will hear some fiery debates and opinions from the audience.

Set up appointments with professors in your field or a field you are interested in. Sending a quick introductory email can go a long way, and most professors are willing and even happy to meet with you to discuss your interests and career. The untouchables that most distance students experience can now be met with in the flesh!

John Snow pub sign

A great place to catch up with classmates

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you, but the other blended learning students and on campus students have a wealth of knowledge and experience in their field. Organizing networking and social events are great ways to connect to amazing people and swap stories of your experiences and share tips about being out in London. A great place to check out with classmates after school is the John Snow Pub, featuring historic collections from his cholera work.

Prioritizing your budget to save where you can and spend on the necessary or fun stuff

As I’m sure you know London is expensive, so we may as well pool our tips on how to save. Here are some of mine:

– Most museums are free, so you will be occupied for many days if this is something you are into

– Sign up to get a free Waitrose membership card, and you will get free tea and coffee every day (there is a location near Keppel St)

– Sign up for a free 30 day trial with Tastecard which gives you 50% off or 2 for 1 at over 7,000 restaurants

– Join a Meetup Group of your interest. I’ve joined one called ‘London for less than a tenner’

– Check out TimeOut for free events or discounts on popular events

Please leave a comment behind for how you have or plan to save in London!

Jillian is studying the MSc in Public Health. She is from Canada, but is currently undertaking two blended learning modules on campus in London.

4 Responses to Journey to the Centre of Campus – Early days

  1. Anonymous says:

    love living vicariously thru you… keep up the good work

  2. jilliankowalchuk says:

    Glad to hear it! Be sure to follow me on Instagam too using the hashtag #journeytoCC

  3. JenH says:

    Thank you for this blog!!! It’s amazing. I have one random question though. I plan to start the DL Msc in public health in October and was wondering what kind of laptop you use for the modules. I can’t decide between apple or windows based. Thanks again!!

  4. jilliankowalchuk says:

    Hi Jen,

    Thanks for your comment and congratulations on your acceptance into the MSc program. I use an Apple computer for school and have found no issues in comparability in accessing the course materials. Hope this helps with your decision.

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