Human life is very fascinating but it is always uncertain. It can amaze you with the surprises it has to offer. My journey to The London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE) from a remote and a very beautiful village was such a pleasant surprise. When I started my master’s program at LSE, I was very excited. Studying with a very diverse group of students itself is very conducive. But studying in an international university is not always easy. It is very challenging and overwhelming most of the time, especially when you are coming from a very humble educational background. The course content, language, readings list and writings are not a piece of cake to just swallow easily. Purpose of this paper in no way is an attempt to show a terrifying picture of international studies. This paper is written with an aim to help and guide students from backward areas of Pakistan for a less painful start of educational journey in any country abroad, especially UK. The list of required set of skills, which I observed that we need to be successful are as follows;
1- Improve your writing skills
Well, if you are a poet and you like to write your diary or short stories. Well-done you! But those who don’t, good news for you, It’s never too late! It will be a very valuable input to your education and it is going to be very helpful in your success if you improve your academic writing skills and try to know about it very well. Just to highlight two of the major components, Make sure you know about “Critical Analysis” and “presenting an argument”.
2- Improve listening skills
“I watch English movies; English news channels and I listen to English songs”. If that’s your first reaction, I would like to congratulate you. Keep it up. If you don’t, then remember, it’s never too late. It’s very important to listen to English in different dialects, try to spend one hour watching BBC, Aljazeera or any national English news channel. Pick up your favorite song and try to understand its meaning and highlight words you don’t understand. Find meanings, read papers and work on improving listening abilities, NOW!
3- Develop reading habits
If I may talk about rural areas, I know and I have seen that we don’t have this ‘reading habit’. There are very few students who read a whole book in their semester phase. I am not talking about reading a novel. These reading habits are associated with the academic text books. You need to develop this habit from now on IF you want to study abroad or if you want to be successful and knowledgeable.
4- Learn an international language
Working with UN or World Bank is ultimate dream of some of the students. So is there any way? I met HR managers og UN, World Bank, ILO, ADB, IRC and many others at LSE. Ability to speak at least two international languages is one of their basic requirements. If you want to work for any international organization abroad or in Pakistan, learn an additional language like French, Spanish or Arabic with English. Learning multi-national languages will benefit you to work in these organizations nationally.
5- Undergraduate degrees abroad
If I have a reader from a school or college here, I am more than happy for you. You are at a very crucial stage of your education. You are lying bricks at the moment for your upcoming educational and career building. If it’s a basic unit of your future education and career, Why not think rationally to aim for an undergraduate degree from a foreign country. There are scholarships available and you can avail them. One source that I want to mention is Scholarships for developing countries (http://www.scholars4dev.com/) I wish you all the best!
The writer,Munira Shaheen , is student of MSc in Anthropology and Development at London School of Economics. She is a graduate of Karakoram International University KIU.