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Alexis Berko, Wesleyan University, Year Abroad

One of my fondest memories of SOAS is the International Students Welcome ceremony where I met a few of my friends. Freshers’ Week overall was pretty fun and my classes are incredibly involving and interesting.

During her study abroad experience Alexis won £500 in the SOAS Undergraduate Essay Prize in Jain Studies.

Which courses did you study at SOAS?

Why did you choose SOAS?

I chose SOAS because I wanted to study South Asian religions. My school in the United States only offered Judeo-Christian religions and while I enjoyed most of their classes, I was looking for something different. SOAS had a wide range of options on the electronic course listing that interested me – classes on Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhist texts, Islam in South Asia, and so on. I had not found courses like that at any other institution or program I was looking into so SOAS quickly became my top choice.

What did you enjoy most about your academic studies?

What was unexpected and my favourite part about studies at SOAS is that in my classes, I could more or less choose the direction in which my studies were going. Each of my classes gave me a long reading list that was frightening at first, but I quickly realized that not all the texts on the list were compulsory. I could choose to read books and articles on the particular subject that interested me within the larger context of the class.

What were your first impressions of London?

I was very confused at first. However, after a lot of walking and a fair amount of accidental exploring, I got a feel for the city and am now very comfortable here. I wish I didn’t have to leave!

What are your fondest memories of SOAS?

One of my fondest memories of SOAS is the International Students Welcome ceremony where I met a few of my friends. Freshers’ Week overall was pretty fun and my classes are incredibly involving and interesting.

Do you have any other comments about your time at SOAS?

My time at SOAS has been wonderful. I’ve been exposed to many new ways of thinking I would never be exposed to at my university, I’ve been challenged academically, and I’ve met people that I couldn’t imagine living without.