My First Two Weeks in London!

Hello from London!

I’ve been here for about two weeks now and can already tell that this year will be incredibly rewarding – both academically and in terms of personal growth. After finishing up orientation week and moving into my new flat (or rather, my new dorm), I’m finally settling into my new schedule!

Just some background: I’m completing a Master’s in Development Studies at the London School of Economics. The LSE is located in the heart of London, so not only am I going to get a great education, but I’m also going to explore one of the best cities in the world.

At Dartmouth, my studies in development economics led me to believe that much of the fate of development relies on quality of governance. So to preface the introduction to my academic interests, here are the following words of Harvard economist Dani Rodrik:

  • “Economic growth is the most powerful instrument for reducing poverty.”
  • “National policy choices are the ultimate determinant of economic growth.”

Because I believe that quality of government and policy is a major determinant in the rate of development, my studies at LSE will gravitate towards political economy. Having a background in economics from Dartmouth gives me a strong knowledge of abstract economic theory; and at LSE I will apply that knowledge to concrete examples in government and policy. I hope to explore patterns of economic growth, inequality and poverty, and to address the question, “What is a government’s role in an economy?”

This term I’m taking the following courses:

  • Development – History, Theory and Policy
  • Global Political Economy of Development
  • Policy, Bureaucracy and Development: Theory and Practice of Policy Design, Implementation and Evaluation

In addition, I tested into a business Chinese course and am auditing “African Political Economy” to learn about development of the African continent. Should be a busy academic year, and I couldn’t be more excited to start!

And for perhaps the more exciting parts of my life, here are the highlights of my week:

• I made the LSE’s women’s tennis team! We practice indoors three times a week with a coach, and have weekly matches around England.

​• I love morning runs around Westminster and the City of London – they’re a great way to know the city! My favorite run is down the Thames, turning inwards at the Parliament Building, running by Buckingham Palace and through St. James’s Park, and running along the Strand back to my dorm.​
•Last weekend I met all of the Rotary Scholars from Great Britain and Ireland at our welcome party! Such an accomplished group of students and I’m excited to get to know them better in the coming year.

After attending the information sessions for my program and attending my first week of lectures/seminars, I couldn’t be more excited nor more confident about my choice in LSE’s Development Studies program. I couldn’t have asked for a better academic environment – and living in such a central location ensures that I will take advantage of all London has to offer!

Cheers! ​​