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 have been able to take modules on both China’s foreign and domestic policies.  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.

Having originally come from Tibet, I am interested in China’s policies of assimilation and integration towards its minority regions.  My goal is to take a PhD and I would like to research the Sino-Indian relationship, particularly in relation to Tibet.  I would like to stay in London for my PhD, because of the access to good libraries and because of the UK’s historical links to both China and India.

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!