SOAS University of London

Roku Foku, Vassar College, Year Abroad

My experience of living in London was diverse. London doesn’t seem to lack in anything. My friends and I brought a challenge upon ourselves to find activities which the city could not offer. Fortunately we failed!

Study Abroad January to June 2011

Which courses did you study at SOAS?

Why did you choose SOAS?

I chose SOAS because I am interested in Development Studies and the university is a leading institution in this field. The regional focus, specialization and depth are attributes that are also very specific to SOAS.
SOAS also prides itself on diversity, and this was very evident in the various events held at the university. There was a vast array of concerts, talks, and movie screenings and topics ranged from ‘Camel Culture’ to ‘Cricket and Imperialism’ to ‘World Music Choir Concerts’. And these were just the ones that I attended!

What did you enjoy most about your academic studies?

Academic discussions were not limited to the classroom. Very often, students would engage each other after class in the corridor, on the way home or in the Hare Krishna line – which is the daily line that forms outside SOAS for free vegetarian food. The lecturers are passionate about teaching and the students have a passion to learn. This was exemplified when I participated in a demonstration against government spending cuts and bumped into my lecturer who was also there and we ended up chatting for over three hours.

How did you spend your free time? 

I was pressured into joining the Samba Society but this was probably the best mistake I ever made! The band performed in all the demonstrations and protest, which gave me a heightened awareness of British politics. We also performed in clubs around the hippest areas of London. This gave me free access to places I otherwise would have never been able to enter. Joining a society linked me up to like-minded people and I made the most friends this way.