Florian Foos (2010)
D.Phil Candidate at the University of Oxford and a member of Nuffield College. January-June 2013 Visiting Scholar at the Department of Political Science at Columbia University.
ESPS has contributed much to my life after UCL. The flexibility and multidisciplinary nature of the programme allowed me to explore various subjects and discover my future research interests in Politics and Sociology. Now I'm studying partisan mobilisation in electoral campaigns and have conducted a large randomised field experiment together with a local Labour Party in Birmingham.
ESPS is different from other European studies programmes because the focus is not exclusively on the EU, but allows you to study European countries using the tools provided by various disciplines.
Its comparative focus, the language skills, and the year abroad enabled me to work on a variety of different countries and political systems (and talk politics to almost everyone - everywhere, a questionable skill that is true for most people graduating from ESPS).
I also made strong and lasting friendships during my time at ESPS and discovered great people and places that I would have never thought about going to had I not entered this programme. As a 20-year-old coming from a small German town to London, instantly surrounded by students and lecturers from all over Europe, applying to ESPS was probably one of the most consequential decisions of my life.
ESPS is also a critical and engaging place, where lecturers discussed the structural problems of the European Common Currency years before this issue became salient. There is no doubt that studying ESPS you'll make friends from other European countries, that you'll discuss with each other and come to understand some of the tough problems individual countries and the continent as a whole are facing right now.