The London area is one of the world’s economic and educational centers and the London School of Economics (LSE) is a leader in business-based higher education. Mihaylo marketing and ISDS major Elisha Gupta ’17 discusses her experience studying there this summer.
The past few months have been a pivotal time for the British economy. The nation voted to exit the European Union in the so-called Brexit on June 23, a decision that many economists believe will have major consequences for the future of the United Kingdom and European integration.
Elisha Gupta ’17 (marketing and ISDS) was in London during the historic vote, studying at LSE for the summer and visiting relatives. “To say that the results were shocking for Londoners is an understatement,” she says. “This region was the strongest advocate for Remain, so the atmosphere clearly reflected the disappointment.”
At LSE, Gupta attended a lecture by Political Science Professor Simon Hix, a leading commentator on British and European politics. “Professor Hix did a great job of analyzing the statistics that were available after the vote and explained his predictions for what is to come for both Britain and the union,” she says. “I encourage anyone interested in the topic to watch his lecture online.”
Students studying in London have no shortage of things to see and do. The 19th century British novelist and historian Walter Besant once said of the city, “I’ve been walking about London for the last thirty years, and I find something fresh in it every day.”
“There is so much history everywhere,” remarks Gupta. “One day, I was walking to Covent Garden with a friend to get lunch between classes, and she pointed out a random house to me. It was Charles Dickens’ house. I also went sightseeing at Windsor Castle, visited the city where the Titanic set sail in 1912 and saw Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.”
London has one of the world’s most diverse urban populations and LSE attracts many international students. While studying there, Gupta met students from around the world. “I met many people from countries such as Australia, Colombia, Denmark, India, China and Brazil,” she says. “Studying with people from so many countries added to the educational experience. We would do research projects, presentations and case studies together, and everyone would bring new and different ideas that added to the quality of our projects.”
One project was a study of locals and tourists buying tickets to shows such as “Wicked,” “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” in London’s West End district. “We were asked to go out and observe the purchase behavior of customers at any local business,” says Gupta. “My group and I decided to go to Leicester Square, where there are booths that sell discount tickets to theatre shows and plays, to study the consumer in action. We then delivered a presentation supporting our findings.”
Advice on Studying Abroad
Gupta took a course on consumer behavior at LSE. “The course was focused on the behavioral science concepts that explain how consumers make their purchase decisions,” she says. “I am sure I will be able to take what I gained from this course to help me in my studies at Mihaylo.”
She believes that study abroad should be a part of every business student’s education. “When the opportunity to study abroad comes along, take it. If an opportunity does not come along, then make one,” she says. “There are many ways you can find your perfect program, whether it is through the university, a third-party program or the secret third option – applying directly to the university you are interested in. I highly recommend that business students in particular study abroad. Gaining international experience makes a difference in how we view business and politics.”