SOAS University of London

Palden Sonam

The course has provided me with both a theoretical and a practical background to my academic subject, plus lessons in study skills have helped me to write essays, develop critical and original thinking, and improve my analytical skills.

I took an MA East Asian Studies at the University of Delhi, but I wanted to specialize in research about China, and I knew that at SOAS it would be possible to focus in greater depth on that region.

I received a Dalai Lama Trust Scholarship to study at SOAS and I was able to take modules on both China’s foreign and domestic policies.  The course provided me with both a theoretical and a practical background to my academic subject, plus lessons in study skills helped me to write essays, develop critical and original thinking, and improve my analytical skills.

When I first arrived in London it was something of a culture shock.  It took me a little while to work out how to navigate the transport system, and one of the biggest surprises was that it got dark so early in the wintertime: sometimes I would come out of lectures at 4:30PM and it was already dark outside!  However, London in summer is great!

Having originally come from Tibet, I am interested in China's policies of assimilation and integration towards its minority regions.  Since graduating, I have started work at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) where my research focuses on China's domestic politics and foreign policy.  I have recently had research articles published in the Diplomat, the Hong Kong Free Press and the Taipei Times.