SOAS University of London

Tom Jelpke

I’ve loved the central location of SOAS. Being able to stroll down to Soho for a coffee between lectures is amazing, and it makes you feel as though you are right in the middle of everything.

I knew as soon as I visited SOAS that it was the place for me, and I applied for three different courses here. I was initially really attracted by the political focus of the student body, and that certainly hasn’t disappointed me. The opportunity to study languages was also a big pull, and I’m delighted that I chose Swahili, particularly as it has given me the chance to study in East Africa on my year abroad, where I am having a great time learning about the local history and literature. Learning about some of the philosophical themes within Swahili literature has fascinated me, and I will definitely look to pursue this interest at postgraduate level. When I started my course I never imagined that I would become so invested in academia, but thanks to the great teaching I’ve had in Swahili studies, I have now presented at two academic conferences to some of the top names in the field of African Philosophy and Swahili Studies.

Also, during my time at SOAS, I have started the Musicians’ Society. I come from a very musical family and have played both the guitar and the piano since I was six years old. Being able to continue these activities has given me a great outlet alongside my studies.

I’ve loved the central location of SOAS. Being able to stroll down to Soho for a coffee between lectures is amazing, and it makes you feel as though you are right in the middle of everything.