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Xavier Fournier

The insight provided, knowledge delivered and understanding transmitted during lectures, seminars and conferences at SOAS is impressive and requires real personal involvement in the topics.

MA History of Art and Archaeology (Near & Middle East & South East Asia)

Following graduating in France and twelve years of international work within different fields from catering to defence and management I decided it was time to re-initialize and expand my knowledge. And of course, once again be in touch with student life!!! 

As I had developed a strong interest in the history, archaeology and architecture of South East Asia and the Middle East during my various postings I applied for degrees at the SOAS Art and Archaeology  department. It was probably one of my best moves ever as it enabled me to study both areas with eminent scholars I had only come across previously by reading their biographies in the back of their books. I was agreeably surprised to see them very eager to meet and join us, either individually or in groups, to engage with the many topics and materials encountered during our time at SOAS.

As for the languages, there is no other place to go to should you be interested in, for example, either Khmer, Georgian, Thai or Akkadian. Not only will you be taught about the language itself but you will be exposed to its riches via a wealth of mediums, films, books, newspapers and even archaeological finds (tablets, inscriptions, ancient manuscripts...). The insight provided, knowledge delivered and understanding transmitted during lectures, seminars and conferences at SOAS is impressive and requires real personal involvement in the topics.

Moreover, the department of Art and Archaeology lectures format is extremely flexible which allows for museum and gallery visits, direct interaction with material and leaves ample room for personal study via essays, reviews, presentations and personal initiative. This led me to enrol for the MA History of Art and Archaeology after my BA in Thai and History. I am now even considering either a PhD or an MPhil. Where ? Well... at SOAS most probably!