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Soohyun Nam, Waseda University, Year Abroad

Another main reason for choosing SOAS was its amazing location: the centre of London. I was easily accessed to most of the must-go places in London within half an hour by walking, which was a huge advantage for exchange students to be able to enjoy their stay.

Japanese Exchange September 2011 - June 2012

Which courses did you study at SOAS?

How would you describe living in London?

There is a saying, “If you are tired of London, you are tired of life,” for its cultural diversity. I agree with this statement because I could see with my own eyes that people in London are not only from the UK but also from many different backgrounds. Especially studying in SOAS, I had a chance to meet many people who are very different from me, which was an amazing opportunity. My experience in London has taught me that London may be demonstrated as a small version of the world and the diversified environment itself is something that makes London very special.

How did you spend your free time?

I spent my leisure time exploring around London as if I was travelling. I loved to walk to Covent Garden or Soho after class just to have a cup of Darjeeling tea and scones at a café, to walk along the riverside near South Bank and take pictures of the Big Ben, or to just get on a double-deck [bus] and enjoy being in London. Also, I enjoyed art galleries such as Tate Modern and the National Gallery. (The admission is free!)

Any advice for students thinking about studying in the UK?

I think the first step before making a decision is to ask yourself if you really want to be in the UK. In some sense, this might sound broadly obvious, but I would say that it is very important to know what you really want to do and experiment in the UK. Academic purpose should be your first priority, yet knowing what you really wish to experience other than studying is an extremely important part... If you have not lived in Europe before, as me, I highly recommend starting from the UK since it is an English-speaking country and it is a good start to grasp the essence of Europe.