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Jasmin Stadler (2012-)

Why you ought to study ESPS at UCL

ESPS won’t give you a training, but a fully-fledged education. When you leave UCL after four years of ESPS, not only will you have shared quiet eureka moments in the library with some of social and political science’s greatest minds, you will also have learned to live and breathe a different language and to straddle different mind sets. Further, you will have rubbed shoulders with likeminded people from across the planet in the ESPS common room, which is situated in one of the UK’s most globalized universities, which lies at the heart of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Such an experience leaves its marks on everything you do, in every aspect of your life.

Over the course of your bachelor years, the abundant course options ESPS offers will allow you to generate mental receptors for a broad array of subjects. Even though most ESPSers will go on to pursue more in-depth studies in one of the fields they discovered during their time at UCL, it is precisely these many receptors which lend themselves to making lateral connections and coming up with creative solutions to problems.

What you’re signing up for with ESPS is learning how to bring order into intellectual chaos, which will inevitably overwhelm you at first when trying to reconcile the diverging thought constructs you will encounter at the interface of different disciplines. To up the amplitude of this challenge, you will get to do the whole thing in another language, through the lenses of the sometimes fundamentally different mentalities you will encounter on your year abroad. Yet, it is precisely the attitude you will come to adopt towards this challenge which will ready you for any professional or personal challenge that is out there in store for you.

Last but not least, from the administrators to the teaching staff to the small cabal of ESPS students, ESPSers are a particularly intriguing bunch of people. After hanging around ESPS for a couple of days you will find yourself with more couches to surf than there are European countries on the map, and after a few weeks you will feel the sudden urge to learn another two to three languages in parallel and to read Wittgenstein on the tube home. After four years you will be able to get on a plane to anywhere without feeling lost and reason about anything without being out of your depth.

August 2015