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Hannah Fitzpatrick, Barnard College, Year Abroad

At SOAS, my area of study is nothing unique, it’s quite normal, and I like being among people who know what I’m talking about and appreciate what I’m doing.

Study Abroad January to June 2009

Which courses did you study at SOAS?

Why did you choose to study at SOAS?

By my sophomore year, I had resigned myself to the fact that I would not be able to study abroad because my major is so specialized. I study South Asia at my home university, where I have a quite rigorous language requirement. But my advisor at home recommended I look at the SOAS website, which I did, and found a perfect program, where I can take courses for my major and continue studying Hindi. The academics at SOAS are so unique and departments which may get the short end of the stick at schools back home are the focus here.

What did you enjoy most about your academic studies?

For the first time in my college career, I felt like I belonged to an intellectual community, despite my status as a temporary study abroad student. At home, when I tell anyone (other students, teachers, friends) about my major, I often get raised eyebrows and a question about where South Asia is. At SOAS, my area of study is nothing unique, it’s quite normal, and I like being among people who know what I’m talking about and appreciate what I’m doing.

How would you describe living in London?

I live in New York City most of the year, so moving to London wasn’t a huge change. But I did have to adjust somewhat. There is so much to do in London, more than in New York; the museums are amazing, the historical sites are awesome, and you can find theatre, concert, and sport tickets for cheap. I think one of the most valuable things about London is its proximity to Continental Europe, North Africa, and even the Middle East. Travelling during my time here has been one of the best experiences of my life.