Paulina moved to London to study MSc Emerging Economies and International Development at King’s College London. Here, she tells us more about why she chose to study at KCL and her experiences so far, including working at the King’s Entrepreneurship Institute and being invited to attend Buckingham Palace’s Garden tea party in the summer.
Why did you choose to study in London?
I had studied my undergraduate degree in the United States and lived there for seven years. I wanted to have a European experience in education and chose London because of the quality of the education.
Why did you choose to study MSc Emerging Economies and International Development at King’s College London?
I wanted to study something that would expand my knowledge in economic theory but at the same time would help me in my career, oriented to working for the economic development of emerging countries. I studied the different universities in the UK that offered such programmes and King’s offered the perfect combination of the things I was looking for, including being able to live in the city.
What do you enjoy most about your course?
What I enjoy most about my course is the diversity of the cohort. We are 120 students that come from around 45 nationalities. Additionally, each student has come to the masters from a completely different time in their career so the points of view of each one is very enriching.
What have you enjoyed most during your time as a student in London?
What I have enjoyed the most has been both the ease of traveling, both inside the UK and outside, as well as the never-ending list of events, restaurants, festivals, and activities going on all the time in London.
How would you describe London in three words?
Diverse, fast-paced, enriching.
You are a Chevening Scholar. Can you tell us more about that?
Chevening is a UK Government international scholarship scheme aimed at developing global leaders. It’s funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations and covers tuition and living costs for recipients pursuing a master’s degree.
The scheme also provides students with a series of personal and professional growth opportunities through the year in which we are able to build strong relationships with scholars from around the world.
What are your plans after graduating?
After graduating from King’s, I want to return to El Salvador and set up a social business incubator and accelerator. It will provide technical assistance, financing and coaching to help create environmentally and economically sustainable businesses, creating employment and opportunities for local people. There would be a strong emphasis on women.
Are you working during your studies?
I am currently working at the Entrepreneurship Institute at King’s College London. It has been a great experience in which I have been able to interact with British people (something I was finding hard in such an international cohort) and understand more about their culture and lifestyle. I have also been able to learn about so may initiatives, activities and events in London I would have never had the chance to do on my own. For instance, in June, I will have the chance to attend Buckingham Palace’s Garden tea party! I would definitely recommend students to work while in the UK!
Do you have any advice for other students thinking about studying in London?
Study and understand he British education system and curriculum. It can be challenging and confusing if you have studied in a different system your entire life.
You should also read up on British history and British politics before coming. British history is long and rich and it defines a lot of how the country and society behaves. Understanding this can help shed light on your experiences here.
Finally, make a list of everything you want to do while in London and be persistent in trying to achieve this. There are so many things to see and do in the UK but at the same time everyday life is so fast and busy that you can easily find yourself staying home and going to the same places rather than making an effort to see everything that the country has to offer.