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The Student Insider

Living my student life to the fullest


Written by
Tan Sock Sean

Singapore-based BSc Accounting and Finance student Ms Tan Sock Sean talks about the 2019 LSE Summer School and realising her dream of studying abroad.

Ms Tan Sock Sean pictured at LSE

Studying abroad in the United Kingdom has always been a dream for me and it finally came true last month. During my long semester break, I decided to go for a Summer School programme organized by the London School of Economics (LSE), to experience studying in London. Indeed, it was one of the best decisions I have made so far. 

The LSE Summer School provides a wide range of courses over three sessions. As I am keen in investing, I chose FM230 Alternative Investments during Session One to discover more investment options and keep myself updated. My initial thought about the Summer School was “party more than study”. I soon realized I was wrong. In the first lecture, I was told that the three-week course consists two-thirds of the LSE master’s course content. The teaching pace was intense and faster than I expected. Nevertheless, the course was beneficial as it gave me an actual visualisation of the financial sector.

LSE provides a conducive learning environment for students. The lectures by LSE professors gave me a real sense of what studying at LSE is like. My professor was very experienced and shared case studies such as how big companies fail because of over-speculation on financial instruments. His sharing raised my awareness of how mishandling of investment vehicles can lead to detrimental consequences. The professor also invited speakers to share their investment experiences. These insightful seminars allowed me to broaden my outlook as I listened to opinions of sophisticated investors. Everyone was engaged in exchanging views and ideas.

The class was fun as everyone was engaged in exchanging views and opinions.

The LSE Summer School provides tutorial classes to enhance our learning experience. My tutorial class consisted of 20 students and each of us was assigned to a computer. Tapping on the advantage of a small class size, the teacher was able to guide us step-by-step at a comfortable pace. For my course, we learned how to use data to build financial modelling. The hands-on experience during the course allowed me to learn investments more effectively. My tutor also provided us with a reading list. The class was fun as everyone was engaged in exchanging views and opinions. Speaking of the participation level, I noticed that the students who were active in the discussions were mostly from Europe. Speaking up without the fear of being judged is a character that I adored about them. I found myself trying to speak up and air my views confidently. It was a truly rewarding experience and it went far beyond my expectations.

Students at LSE Summer School

To live my student life to the fullest, I decided to stay at Rosebery Hall, one of the LSE halls of residence. On the first day, they organized a welcome party to connect students in the same hall. I was so fortunate that my hallmates were so nice and sociable. Two close friends I made were from Hong Kong and they stayed just right next to my room. We always had breakfast and walked to school together. I also observed that people in the UK are friendlier compared to Singapore. I could just strike up a conversation with a random student on my way to LSE. I felt we were like a big family formed by students who came from diverse backgrounds. The hallmates made my Summer School life more accomplished and I made a lot of friends.

Aside from academic learning, the social programme was very exciting too. The LSE Summer School arranged a host of activities for us to explore London. Unfortunately, I was not able to join the events owing to the limited seats available. This did not stop me from travelling on my own. As it was my first time visiting London, I did some research on the must-visit places. I explored a number of places like the Tower of London, The Shard, Kensington Palace and many landmarks over the first weekend.

I visited the London Eye, one of the most iconic places in London. I did not regret it - the view from the Ferris wheel was inarguably breathtaking. It felt so great to immerse myself in this beautiful city at my own pace. Apart from that, I went to one of the largest and oldest markets - Borough market. It was worth visiting, especially for food lovers looking for a variety of fresh and scrumptious food. From there, I took a stroll to Tower Bridge as it was nearby. The scenery along the way was simply astonishing.

Through the interaction with people from different countries, I felt I have also gained many soft skills that will undoubtedly benefit me in the future. 

The theatres are extremely popular and dominates the West End of London. After careful deliberation, I chose to see the musical, The Lion King. I must say it was one of the most mind-blowing musicals I have ever seen! The intricate carvings on the props, the gracefulness of the puppet movements, and the divine voices of the vocalists accompanied by the live band gave me a magical night. Dubbed the world’s number one musical, I can vouch for their stunning performance and would highly recommend it to any musical theatre fan out there.

I had a wonderful time at LSE. It gave me an opportunity to realize my dream of studying abroad. With the curriculum planned out by LSE, I was able to gain new insights into the investment field that I am keen on. Through the interaction with people from different countries, I felt I have also gained many soft skills that will undoubtedly benefit me in the future. Throughout the learning journey, I have made new friends from different countries all over the world. I am really blessed to have had the opportunity to experience an extraordinary study life this summer. I would like to thank SIM Global Learning for making this possible for those who want to study overseas. The experiences obtained through LSE Summer School were unforgettable and will definitely last a lifetime. It was a truly memorable summer!

  • Ms Tan Sock Sean received a scholarship to study at the LSE Summer School. She attended FM230 Alternatives Investment during Session 1 in 2019. Ms Tan is a BSc Accounting and Finance student at the Singapore Institute of Management.