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The Student Insider

An incredibly immersive experience


Written by
Marcus Chee

From engaging in vibrant discussions with peers and forging lifelong friendships, to immersing himself in term papers and developing new skills, Marcus Chee shares his experience of master's study at LSE.

Marcus Chee pictured front row, fourth from left

Attending a graduate programme in 2021 is truly an incredibly immersive experience. Veritably, COVID-19 has brought a multitude of very fundamental ethical questions of our society and economy to the fore; from policy issues on how to combat COVID on a national level, debates on how industries can continue to operate or even flourish under new challenges affecting work-life balance and supply chain issues, to international questions on vaccine equity and global inequalities.

As Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Dame Minouche Shafik, highlights, the School’s long tradition of bringing the best of social science research and education to bear on the problems of the day is needed now more than ever. 

As a grateful recipient of the University of London scholarship, I have had the tremendous opportunity to immerse myself in LSE’s vibrant intellectual environment, being a part of students that all share a similar passion to know the causes of things. 

These bonding experiences meant that my friends and I became close in a very short period of time.

One of my best memories I have while at the school is the long periods of time spent in the Centre Building, affectionately known as CBG among students. Indeed, while the United Kingdom was tasked with a long and difficult lockdown throughout the winter of 2020, the CBG served as an amazing place for students to still be able to go to campus, pore over detailed and extensive literature from the library and engage in very vibrant discussions with peers from a plethora of disciplines.

Academically, I spent many hours at the CBG, writing and rewriting term papers, discussing international issues in Asia and the Middle East, and of course, having delightful Chinese food with fellow students. These bonding experiences, augmented with commensality, meant that my friends and I became close in a very short period of time, as we shared our thoughts on the pandemic, our academic interests and the post-pandemic world.

For myself, a particular study session in January 2021 at the CBG rendered myself a new friend from the school’s finance department, with whom I bonded, in traditional LSE fashion, over our shared enthusiasm for politics, the UK government and working out. Incredibly, befriending this Italian gentleman at CBG connected me to an Afghan friend who not only became one of my very best friends in London, but also recommended me on a 10-day trip to Saudi Arabia, in which I enthusiastically participated in November 2021. Even at the height of exam stress, COVID lockdowns and massively reduced social events in London, my academic and social interactions at the CBG meant that I continued to accrue fantastic experiences during my time at the School. 

My experiences in London and the School remain a cherished part of my memory

Additionally, during my stay in London, I was also a resident at a student dormitory, Goodenough College, situated at the heart of London in Mecklenburgh Square. This gave me the tremendous experience of being able to live right in central London, while immersing myself around an amazing bunch of postgraduate students, all from varied disciplines, backgrounds, expertise and nationalities! Indeed, some of these people have become some of my closest friends, and I very much look forward to continuing my friendship with them. 

In the end, my experiences in London and the School remain a cherished part of my memory. I have learnt a tremendous amount, formed meaningful relations with friends from all around the world and developed my skills across multiple dimensions. 

Marcus Chee (main image, pictured front row, fourth from left) achieved a BSc in International Relations (First Class Honours) in 2019 while studying for the University of London programme at SIM. He obtained a full scholarship to pursue further studies at LSE in 2020. We congratulate Marcus on the LSE award of MSc in International Affairs with Merit in 2021.