Summer at LSE: Oleg’s story

Dear Polit IQ Team,

Before I go any further, I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to get the best educational experience in my life!

London School of Economics and Political Science is one of the best educational institutions in the United Kingdom and in the World, and my experience proves it. It is not only the huge library of LSE (although it is indeed a huge and cozy place), international board of professors and students, number of articles in peer-reviewed academic journals. I believe that the core reason of the LSE success is people, who DO enjoy, what they are working on.

Starting from the very first day – July, 29th – when I came to register and get my student card (by the way, a student card gave us an access to both: the university and to the library – why does not MSU consider to invent something like this?), I met only highly professional people, who were always ready to help a student.

My first lecture started at 14:00. A lecturer – open, kind American professor, who had a challenge, trying to keep the timeline as planned (and he somehow managed to do it), while answering all the students questions. From the very beginning of our course, our professor presented a clear structure of the course (number of lectures, surnames of visiting lecturers, explanation of tasks and expected results, description of the final exam`s criteria). This was very helpful and allowed us to understand, what exactly will be happening during the next three weeks, what should I focus on more. Another aspect of the studying process at LSE is a common workflow im Moodle – a system, which facilitates students and professors communication.

My course was called “Public Policy Analysis”. We studied something similar at MSU during the course on public policy and decision-making. Nonetheless, those two are very different. LSE offered more cases and research methods, and also – an opportunity to discuss every study case with international colleagues from all over (which was extremely valuable).

I loved our seminars. Political science at LSE is evidence-based, what means that the one should bring a concrete argument (based on a real-life case) in order to participate in a discussion. So, it is not about an art of speaking nicely, but an art of brining an argument. All these motivates a lot to search for proves, read, learn, test hypotheses and cases.

An essay is one of the classical LSE teaching techniques. A topic can be formulated in a format of a question (thus, I was writing an mid-term paper on “Can elections ensure representative and accountable government?”), and also in the format of a statement, which the one needs to discuss  (e.g, “Political Parties don’t matter in policy. Discuss”). This is also a very stimulating format.

But it is not only an academic experience, that I got at LSE – what is even more important is that I got a completely another perspective on political science and public policy, in particular. A research should be problem-oriented. Is it going to be difficult? Of course, but is not it more fun? Political science, as it seems to me now, is an adventure! It is about finding solutions, risks, problems!

I can talk about LSE`s educational process for ages, but let me tell you about another important part of my summer program – cultural program. We had discounts for purchasing tickets to the theatre (so, I went to see the “Lion King” and it was fantastic!). In total, we had three parties: at the very first day, and also during the program, when we went to Oxford and Cambridge.

My story can last forever. LSE is an example of World-class university, which is dedicated to make you smarter, and I did my best to get the most of it.

P.S. on Sep, 2nd I got my final test score. I got A (70-80 point out of 100), what means that I am in 20% of the best students of the course. Such a great ending of a fantastic and fruitful summer!


Translated by Karina Kurenkova