The Independent Student Newspaper of Ashoka University

Visiting London During Brexit Week

Isha Goel recounts her time in London, sitting for three-hour long classes, listening to prominent political leaders of the UK speak about policy and discovering the best vantage point for a bird’s eye view of the Queen’s City.

Major at Ashoka: Economics, with a minor in Political Science

Course at LSE: International Political Economy

I was always interested in both Politics and Economics, but didn’t know how to combine the two. Spending my summer at LSE helped solve this problem. The International Political Economy course offered at LSE was the ideal course for me, as it helped me decide my major, as well as what I wish to study in the future. IPE turned out to be quite an experience, and not just a course because of the time and place. Debating about sensitive topics like trade agreements (in the IMF and World Bank), the global economy and the EU, while sitting in London during the crucial month of June (the same time as Brexit Week) while UK was determining its stance towards trade and the global economy, was particularly an exciting experience.

Isha on a busy London street along the LSE campus

Most discussions in class felt like debating inside the World Bank or the IMF, owing to the diversity of students in the course, and the strong yet informative stance they held about their respective countries. What helped me gain most from this course was the foundation I had been able to build through the classes I had taken in my previous semesters at Ashoka. Game Theory in ‘Foundations of Economic Reasoning’ and ‘Conflict and Cooperation in International Politics’ with Professor Raghavan particularly provided clarity in understanding a number of key concepts discussed at LSE.

It is certainly not an easy task to attend and be attentive during 9am classes that run for 3 hours everyday followed by discussion sessions, especially when you’re sitting in the heart of London during summer. As someone who assumed that a summer abroad would essentially turn into a solo vacation, I was honestly overwhelmed by the intensive course structure and workload offered for a summer course. However, looking back,

I realised that the compact and back-to-back 72 hours of lecture allowed me to immerse completely in a single topic, something students regret not being able to do in an undergraduate programme due to multiple courses and extracurricular commitments.

The summer abroad programme enabled me to explore a subject I am passionate about without such constraints. Besides being a thoroughly engaging class, the LSE Lecture Series hosted a chain of eminent political leaders (one of them being Kenneth Clarke, who has been sentimentally described as the “best Prime Minister the UK never had!”) which provided the IPE students with first-hand knowledge of the form economic policies take in the real world of global politics. Thus, political theories and economic agreements discussed in class were put to the test during the Lecture Series, widening the discourse on global economy, and showcasing the loopholes in such agreements on paper versus in reality.

During my stay in London, I realised that Google Maps becomes your best friend, one can never have enough of Oxford Street, and the best view of London is not from the London Eye but from the top of the St Paul’s Cathedral! I would finally like to thank Ms. Anuja Kelkar for providing me with valuable advice while I was applying to LSE and being available at all times to help with the application.

Disclaimer: The Edict would like to thank Ms. Anuja Kelkar from the Office of International Programs for her support in making this series possible. Ms. Kelkar is the one-woman army at the office who helps Ashokans with the arduous process of applying for and attending summer school. If you wish to attend summer school during your time at Ashoka, it might be best to approach Ms. Kelkar as the first step.

1 Comment

  1. An extremely informative and wonderful collection of write-up!! Stories above are the examples for the freshers at Ashoka and the students at other institutions too. Be it the semester abroad by the students or the entrepreneurship projects by the alumni of the University, everything is so amazing and a glittering example of the skills that students get to hone on campus.
    The Edict is surely a step that will pave the way for making Ashoka a global brand. Thanks for sharing such information.

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