Arthur Davis (2017/18 Graduate)
"I have no regrets about choosing to study ESPS. From the beginning, I was taken aback by the the international ethos of the degree programme and the outward-looking inquisitiveness of my fellow students. This allowed to me to foster amazing friendships with people from around the globe and to understand the world in new and exciting ways. The programme's international emphasis was furthered by the opportunity to study in another country. My year abroad at Sciences Po boosted not only my linguistic and academic capacities, but also my awareness of the social and cultural differences that exist in the world, both in and out of academia.
As well as being world-leading in their respective fields, the ESPS staff I worked with were also always kind, supportive and conscientious, which was reflected in their taught modules. That said, you'll be spoilt for choice when trying to choose courses on ESPS: while I highly recommend taking ESPS modules, another brilliant aspect of the degree is that it permits you to take a broad selection of modules from numerous UCL departments. This gives you a level of flexibility incomparable to other UK degree programmes.
My time with ESPS was important from a career perspective, as well as being of great personal importance to me. The skills I learnt on the programme - particularly the department's unique emphasis on the dissertation - equipped me with the ability to conduct rigorous and valuable research. I will take up my Master's place at Cambridge later this year where I will undertake research into sexual health and migration. Were it not for the skills and methods I learnt during my undergraduate dissertation, I doubt I would feel ready to attempt such research."
Sarah Ginoux (2017/18 Graduate)
"I am so happy I chose to study ESPS! Academically, the flexible structure of ESPS allowed me to broaden my interests and discover new ones whilst being supported by dedicated academic professors and staff which you get to know personally (the advantage of being in a small department). On a more personal level, something that I loved about ESPS is that there was an amazing mutual support network that formed naturally, due in part to the fact that students can help each other out when it comes to the language component of the degree. I thought that this encouraged a spirit of solidarity rather than competition, which is amazing!"
Bianca Evelyn Paris (2017/18 Graduate)
"I have studied European Social and Political Studies at UCL as part of a dual degree programme with Sciences Po. Not only did this programme meet my daring expectations, but it also proved to be an ineffable academic experience that allowed me to learn from some of the greatest minds and most eminent figures. The possibility to pursue classes taught across different departments and the intensive language courses allowed me to build an academic path that perfectly matched my interests. ESPS offered me new perspectives and renewed by drive to reach even further in a continuous effort of perfecting myself academically and professionally.
Upon graduation, I realised that my potential is limitless as long as I vigorously follow my ambitions and that my education had prepared me with vital skills for succeeding in even the most challenging environments. Yet, perhaps most importantly, my time at UCL enabled me to see the world through a multidisciplinary lens, better grasping the complexity of European and international affairs. I am currently expanding my knowledge of European Affairs by pursuing a post-graduate programme at Sciences Po and I have interned for the United Nations, the Romanian Embassy in the UK, the United Nations Office in Geneva, the International Organisation of La Francophonie and the European Commission. All these achievements trace back to my outstanding undergraduate education, which will assuredly continue to play a sizeable role in my future professional endeavours."
Alexander Eriksröd (2017/18 Graduate)
"The multidisciplinarity at the heart of ESPS remains the biggest asset of this degree. A solid grounding in disciplines such as law, political science, and history has proven to be appreciated by colleagues and superiors alike. During my post-graduate studies, skills of critical analysis and time management proved extremely valuable. ESPS peers that I have met in a professional context tend to be confident, multilingual and well-rounded individuals adept at finding their place in challenging environments.
More generally, UCL’s central London location provides fantastic access to decision-makers in both the public and private sphere.
Studying at the ESPS department was an enriching experience academically, professionally, and personally. On top of that, the small size of the department means everyone knows your name and is happy to help."
Daniel Ozarow (2002/3 Graduate)
"I feel truly lucky to have had the opportunity to have studied an ESPS degree at UCL. The critical analysis skills and broader interdisciplinary course delivery helped me to develop my craft and become the successful academic that I am today, as a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University. My year abroad in Granada was one of the most exciting experiences of my life and not only helped my Spanish fluency but also gain other life skills and independence (as well as an Argentinian wife years later!).
I also remember two other things that made the degree special. First, the distinct sense of community that I felt a part of - created by us as students ourselves but fully supported by our lecturers and staff. Secondly, the opportunity to meet, befriend and stay in touch with so many students from other European countries and beyond. A unique degree and experience that I would thoroughly recommend."
Bonnie Bley (2014/15 Graduate)
"ESPS has proven to be more than a degree - it is very much an identity that made me stand out while entering the working world.
Searching for a job after graduation was exciting because no doors were closed. I applied for roles in a wide spectrum of industries - from politics to business to law - which ESPS had equipped me for. I loved that over the four years I was able to discover my own interests and have the freedom to pursue these with courses from almost any department across UCL. It’s ESPS’s interdisciplinary approach that has proven to be most useful on a daily basis in my job at a major security think tank in London. My exposure was broadened significantly by living and studying in Bologna for a year - it was here I learnt how to be adaptable and communicate effectively, even when it isn’t in my first language! Leaving UCL I am grateful for the array of skills I am left with - from writing to analysis to critical thinking - making ESPS the most exciting, challenging and rewarding thing I have done!"
Melanie Cura Daball (2013/14 Graduate)
"I would have never expected my time at UCL to become so fundamentally important for the rest of life.
During my four years at UCL I was taught by some of the greatest minds of our time and met the most inspiring people from all around the world. Being part of the ESPS community did not only mean being able to take advantage of small tutorial groups and a great variety of courses offered to us but also making friends for a lifetime. Studying such a multifaceted subject allowed me to discover my academic interest in International Relations and true passion for journalism.
Upon graduation I realised just how many doors ESPS had opened for me. I went on to pursue my MSc in Conflict Studies at LSE and have since interned and worked at the Guardian, openDemocracy, ZDF and CNN International. None of this would have been possible without ESPS."
Omar El-Nahry (2012/13 Graduate)
"The four years I spent at UCL studying ESPS were a truly formative experience. The large choice of courses that was open to me and my course mates meant that I received a well-rounded insight into a large number of subjects. As a small course, we were a tight-knit community, an experience that was socially and personally enriching.
The skills I gained have proven to be valuable. I undertook post-graduate study at the University of Cambridge, where the interdisciplinary approach instilled in me by ESPS was extremely helpful. I now work for Stroz Friedberg, a global due diligence and investigations firm, where my research skills, my languages and the ability to interact with people from a wide range of backgrounds is extremely valuable. For all this, I credit ESPS."
Larissa Batt (2012/13 Graduate)
"ESPS at UCL was my first choice when I was applying for University so I was really happy to be offered a place! It didn’t disappoint. There were so many (too many!) interesting and valuable courses to choose from which really allowed you to ‘tailor’ the degree to fit your interests. Growing up in an international school, the mix of people was really important to me, and it became evident on interview day that this was the kind of degree which attracts students from all over the world. I think exposure to different nationalities and cultures is really important and it has certainly helped shape me as an individual. The biggest highlight for me though was the year abroad. Such a fantastic year where I learned a lot – not just about language but also about life!
A degree at UCL certainly helps in the job hunt it has to be said. I was lucky enough to be offered my first choice in job at a company called Linguarama, where I am now the Sales Manager of the London office. Linguarama specialises in language and cultural training for businesses, and I think what makes me a good salesperson is that I feel really strongly about the product and the importance of languages in today’s globalised world, a feeling that was solidified during my time at UCL."
Nick Ophoff (2011/12 Graduate)
"Nothing has proved to be of more value to my post-university career than adaptability to change – a skill I credit to my years in ESPS.
Departments often operate in ways that appear self-evident only to the people in them, so the multidisciplinary and cross-faculty exposure inherent to ESPS keeps you on your toes. Although I only shared a few classes with fellow ESPS students, this common mentality meant that we formed a tight and supportive community.
Upon graduation in 2012, I interned for the UN World Food Programme in Rome. I was subsequently hired in the Private Partnerships Division, and have been working for the organisation ever since. I'm currently stationed in Zambia, but move back to London in September 2014 to pursue an MSc International Political Economy at LSE."
Victoire Louapre (2011/12 Graduate)
"After having studied at UCL, no door seemed to be closed: ESPS is such a pluridisciplinary bachelor which allowed me to study International Relations, Philosophy, Economics, Spanish, and even Mandarin.
During my final year, I interned at Dior Parfums in the Communications department, and decided to pursue this field at SciencesPo Paris.
I am currently working for Le Fooding (a restaurant guide and gastronomic events agency) as their International Media Manager."
Ilaria Parogni (2010/11 Graduate)
"As an undergraduate student on the ESPS programme, you cannot help but notice that you are surrounded by a very special group of people. Everyone in my year was driven, passionate and extremely bright. Excellence was not a goal to strive towards for the sake of it, but rather a by-product of our path to self-actualisation. Being in contact with people from different backgrounds, speaking multiple languages and displaying a wide range of interests enriched us on a personal and academic level every day.
I have spent the past few years putting to good use the quick and creative thinking skills acquired during my time on the ESPS programme, establishing a career in the media industry. After three years as Director of Social Media and contributor to news site Russia Beyond the Headlines, I took on the position of editor of The Kompass, a new online platform with a focus on Russian culture. I am now preparing to relocate from London to New York, where I will be starting an MA in Russian and Journalism at NYU. The positive experience and good memories from my time with ESPS – where my passion for Russia and politics first developed - have definitely influenced my decision to take a break from full-time employment in order to pursue further education."
Martina Gili (2009/10 Graduate)
"Motivation and ambition are contagious and studying side by side with excellent students triggers discussions, positive exchange, sometimes disagreements, but it certainly does not leave you unaffected.
I personally specialised in what could be called History of Thought, learning to contextualize modern thinking and events, to understand the present, and to look at the future in a more creative and pro-active way.
During my year abroad in Barcelona, I developed a real passion for documentaries, which I decided to pursue after graduation. I first did a documentary certificate at the London Film Academy to get hands-on experience, then later shot a documentary in the countryside of Luxor, Egypt.
The notions that I learned in ESPS have proved to be applicable to different subject-areas. Not only did I gain a ground (and critical) understanding of the world and of how things go, but I also developed invaluable research, analytical and writing skills."
Stephan Vogel (2008/9 Graduate)
"ESPS stood out with the flexibility to study a social science discipline and a foreign language in a single undergraduate programme. The integrated year abroad was a fantastic opportunity to take courses in my chosen language and experience a different culture.
Since graduation, I have been working as a management consultant with a focus on the energy industry. The analytical rigour, inquisitive mind and critical thinking that I developed during the programme provided me with a great foundation for my career."
Hinako Yoshida (2008/9 Graduate)
"After graduating from ESPS, I started as an investment analyst at Goldman Sachs in its Hong Kong and Tokyo offices. Understanding the global political and economic landscape and being able to respond quickly to new developments has been key for my success.
The experience of a year abroad in Florence is a lifetime treasure that I would not have experienced with just any Economics degree! The dissertation was a special component of the degree that really pushed me academically - it strengthened my endurance and independent thinking, which is a very similar process to researching an investment idea."
Patrick Johnson (2007/8 Graduate)
"ESPS is a wonderful degree in the sense that it allows one to combine both a passion for the quizzical, the abstract and the ‘academic’ with more tangible skills - fluency in a language, a proven track record in independent research and, if one chooses, a training in more ‘vocational’ subjects such as economics or law.
In this sense ESPS students are provided with a uniquely rounded education which, in turn, translates into an adeptness at quickly coping with unfamiliar topics and disciplines and a propensity for independent and critical thinking. Though the focus of my career has moved slightly away from Europe since graduating, these skills, which I acquired from ESPS, continue to serve me well."