Meet our alumni


                                                                                                                                    Read and hear what our students have to say about the LSE-UCT Summer School

                                                                                                                                    The opportunity to study in Cape Town was amazing. In the future I might like to go back to Cape Town to study a Masters!

                                                                                                                                    Nona Buckley-Irvine, London School of Economics, UK

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Chikezie Uzuegbunam"Cape Town presented a perfect place and atmosphere for the LSE-UCT July School. I consider South Africa the hub of knowledge production in Africa. And what better place to be to study about Africa than Cape Town which is reputed as “South Africa’s Mother City”. This cosmopolitan, rich and diverse city presents a charming and welcoming space for LSE-UCT participants to learn in an environment that is both African and Afropolitan." Chikezie Uzuegbunam, UCT, South Africa

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                                                                                                                                    What was the best part of your course, and how do you think you will use what you learned?

                                                                                                                                    I was on the African Media In A Global Age course in the 2015 edition of the LSE-UCT Summer School. I will always consider the very interesting course content to which we were exposed by the lecturers to be my best part of the course. I say this because the course was packed with concepts, theories and fascinating modules which provide very interesting and current lenses through which one could see Africa differently and wholly. The course explored historical and contemporary issues in relation to African media—an area that has remained largely lacking in many curricula in African higher education institutions, even in Nigeria where I had studied and taught. As a current PhD scholar, this course had initiated me into some of the current tensions and dynamics of the media landscape in Africa and has continued to whet my research interests in this vast area.  

                                                                                                                                    What did you think about life in Cape Town?

                                                                                                                                    I thought that Cape Town presented a perfect place and atmosphere for the LSE-UCT Summer School. I consider South Africa the hub of knowledge production in Africa. And what better place to be to study about Africa than Cape Town which is reputed as “South Africa’s Mother City”. This cosmopolitan, rich and diverse city presents a charming and welcoming space for LSE-UCT participants to learn in an environment that is both African and Afropolitan. 

                                                                                                                                    What did you think about your fellow students?

                                                                                                                                    I thought that the people I attended the School with were such an interesting, warm and engaging cohort. We really had a perfect blend of professionals, postgrad and undergrad students during our time and this proved to be a very rewarding experience. I am very proud to say that I have remained friends with about 50% of the students who were on the same course as me, including a few other participants in other courses. 

                                                                                                                                    What was your overall highlight?

                                                                                                                                    Without question, my overall highlight among others, would be the closing gala dinner in which I was sort of the Valedictorian (the only student) who made the final speech of the evening. I spoke on behalf of the over hundred students attending the Summer School and received a standing ovation afterwards. For me, this was a defining moment and had remained a high point of my attendance. 

                                                                                                                                    What are your top tips for potential students?

                                                                                                                                    Aside ensuring that students get a bit of preparation before attending the programme by familiarising with the course outline and content, I would advise potential students to bring their authentic selves along with them. Truth is, the world needs real, original people more than ever before and it is this authenticity that would make their Summer School experiences and others’ meaningful. For instance, I was surprised to have seemingly made an impression on the Summer School coordinating staff at LSE and UCT by my enthusiasm and quiet dedication to everything that formed part of the programme. This became the reason, I suppose, I was selected to give the final speech at the closing dinner. 

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Sumona Bose 2"The best part of my course was the content itself and the teaching crew who were remarkable! I will use a lot of what I learnt in this course when I go further in my life with any field because the course did not just restrict itself to International Relations, we learnt Economics, Bargaining, Developmental theories, culture and of course learning about Africa inside Africa is a different experience altogether." Sumona Bose, University of Cape Town, South Africa

                                                                                                                                    Read more from Sumona

                                                                                                                                    What was the best part of your course, and how do you think you will use what you learned? 

                                                                                                                                    I took Africa and Global Transformation, which was very useful and highly informative given that I am studying towards an International Relations Degree. This course taught me many of the practical skills needed when entering into the world of International Relations, such as negotiating, group building, debating and of course research work in a short span of time. The best part of my course was the content itself and the teaching crew who were remarkable! I will use a lot of what I learnt in this course when I go further in my life with any field because the course did not just restrict itself to International Relations, we learnt Economics, Bargaining, Developmental theories, culture and of course learning about Africa inside Africa is a different experience altogether.

                                                                                                                                    What did you think about your fellow students?

                                                                                                                                    I loved everyone I met and I am in contact with them and will be in touch with them for as long as I can be. They were astounding people, and I loved meeting everyone from different parts of the world yet we connected on a human level. We all became such a close-knit group of friends in a small time. Definitely the people made me love my course even more.

                                                                                                                                    What did you think about life in Cape Town?

                                                                                                                                    Cape Town is truly one of the most beautiful cities, I have been living here for 3 years, and every time I wake up, I fall in love again. I also loved that my colleagues loved Cape Town and cherished its beauty. Life here always offers you something different everyday, and exploring different parts of the city for a traveller like me is always amazing! Be it Robben Island, Table Mountain or even walking in the city in the evening, Cape Town will take your breath away. Campus itself is an artistic playground, when our background is devil’s peak and on the other side is the city.

                                                                                                                                    What was your overall highlight? 

                                                                                                                                    The highlight was just hanging around with my new friends, I have never met such people that I will grow to love so much. Whether it was having our farewell dinner or the wine tasting, my highlight would definitely be with them as a whole!! We had so much fun!

                                                                                                                                    What are your top tips for potential students?

                                                                                                                                    I would recommend potential students to read their course reader and come prepared in class. They should not be afraid to be outspoken in debates and voice their opinions, debating is a great life skill in general and saying what you think will get you way ahead than you think. Also, if you can, take notes for your own reference later. Notes will help you summarise for the exam and the essay. This is an actually intense course, so with fun I would say make the most of it! 

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Christain Pierce 3"Cape Town is a rare city. There are few other places in the world where I have seen such a marvelous mixture of cultures. While it has problems seen in many other urban environments, there is an optimism in Cape Town that creates a feeling of hope and unity. Everyone I interacted with was friendly, and people were happy to share their culture and life with me."  Christian Pierce, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

                                                                                                                                    Read more from Christian

                                                                                                                                    What was the best part of your course, and how do you think you will use what you learned?

                                                                                                                                    The best part of the course was the morning lecture. Dr. Green’s insight provided a perspective which allowed us to see how we could use the knowledge from the course in a practical way. This culminated in the forum at the Social Justice Coalition, where we were able to present ideas which could help improve the lives of those in Khayelitsha.

                                                                                                                                    What did you think about life in Cape Town?

                                                                                                                                    Cape Town is a rare city. There are few other places in the world where I have seen such a marvelous mixture of cultures. While it has problems seen in many other urban environments, there is an optimism in Cape Town that creates a feeling of hope and unity. Everyone I interacted with was friendly, and people were happy to share their culture and life with me.

                                                                                                                                    What did you think about your fellow students?

                                                                                                                                    My fellow students made the course memorable. They helped me celebrate my birthday, showed me Chapman’s Peak Drive, and contributed to my learning in class. Without our diverse group, my personal growth and development would not have been the same.

                                                                                                                                    What was your overall highlight?

                                                                                                                                    My overall highlight was driving along the Garden Route to Bloukran’s Bridge to Bunjee Jump, then driving back to Cape Town in time to complete my final paper.

                                                                                                                                    What are your top tips for potential students?

                                                                                                                                    Live life! Go into Cape Town with an open mind and a willingness to learn and interact with everyone. I did not sleep much because of our studies combined with social activities, and it was absolutely worth it. This program has given me friends and family for life!

                                                                                                                                    What is your most memorable moment?

                                                                                                                                    The most memorable moment was the final dinner. This was truly a celebration of our achievements, and was even more special because of Vice Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng’s speech. The positive energy in the room allowed us to conclude LSE-UCT Summer School on an extremely high note! It also instilled a sense of unity which I carried with me as I returned home.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Joël Tshibangu 16.9"My fellow students were astonishingly sociable and genial. They all came from all around the world (Africa, Asia, Middle-East, Europe and North America). People from different cultures, different social and professional backgrounds – some were students, others working or on a world-trip. They came with their own stories, their own experiences. Either in the classroom or during our outings in the city, I have laughed a lot and have learned a lot alongside them. We have shared unforgettable moments." Joël Tshibangu, University of Cape Town, South Africa

                                                                                                                                    Read more from Joël

                                                                                                                                    What was the best part of your course, and how do you think you will use what you learned?

                                                                                                                                    The structure of the course ‘Challenge for African Economic Development’ is what I consider to be the best part of the course: morning classes and two afternoon academic excursions in the Cape Town area which allowed us to see a different aspect of the city. The learning never stopped.

                                                                                                                                    During the two weeks, we studied and gained deep theoretical knowledge of some of the challenges that Africa faces – youth unemployment, education, demography, governanc. We thought about practicable solutions available to tackle these issues and identified real economic opportunities.

                                                                                                                                    Another good part was the possibility to engage in class with the lecturers and the students and discuss and exchange our own points of views. We developed a sense to see things differently and think outside the box. I will keep thinking this way and share with my relatives and anyone what I have learned.

                                                                                                                                    What did you think about life in Cape Town?

                                                                                                                                    The Mother City is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Cape Town citizens are friendly and welcoming. There are plenty of places to visit with astonishing views, many restaurants to go to and local foods to try. The life-night is vibrant too. Whether you are a nature-lover or a towns(wo)man, you will always find something new to do.

                                                                                                                                    The living cost is not that expensive. I was staying at a friend’s place in the city centre not far from Long Street (one of the most popular avenue in Cape Town). Therefore, my main way of transport to UCT was via private taxi. You can account approximately R60 one way. It is necessary that before the voyage you organise your own budget, account for your spending (transport, food, leisure etc.), spend accordingly and somehow (try to) stick to that – I know, it is difficult. LOL

                                                                                                                                    What did you think about your fellow students?

                                                                                                                                    Astonishingly sociable and genial. They all came from all around the world (Africa, Asia, Middle-East, Europe and North America). People from different cultures, different social and professional backgrounds – some were students, others working or on a world-trip. They came with their own stories, their own experiences. Either in the classroom or during our outings in the city, I have laughed a lot and have learned a lot alongside them. We have shared unforgettable moments.

                                                                                                                                    We have forged bounds. I have made lifelong friends. We are still all in touch with each other via Facebook and WhatsApp groups. If one day I happen to go to Beirut, Tokyo, Washington DC, Barcelona, Frankfurt or Paris, I know who call.

                                                                                                                                    What was your overall highlight?

                                                                                                                                    In general, everything was well-organised. Whether from London or in Cape Town, the LSE-UCT Summer School’s staff did a great job. There was almost no miscommunication. Everything went smoothly.

                                                                                                                                    The academic staff were great. We were taught by renowned, recognised professionals who knew their subjects. My main lecturer was professor Mark Ellyne.

                                                                                                                                    What are your top tips for potential students?

                                                                                                                                    The LSE-UCT Summer School was two-weeks long. It really felt short. Between the learning and the exploration of the city, you will not notice how fast the time flies. Unless you stay in Cape Town for a longer period, it will not be possible to see and do everything. My advice to potential students is to have some ideas of activities you want to do, places that you really want to see.

                                                                                                                                    Not everyone in the program took it for university credentials. Therefore, another difficulty was the trade-off that arose often when deciding between whether exploring the city with my classmates or staying home and prepare for the different assessments to achieve good marks. I did pretty well in class. I think the key is time-management. Know when to study and when to ‘play’.

                                                                                                                                    Timothy Kinahan Timothy Kinahan
                                                                                                                                    Listen to Timothy Kinahan talk about his experience on the LSE-UCT Summer School.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Malebo Maloka Malebo Maloka
                                                                                                                                    Watch Malebo Maloka talk about her experience on the LSE-UCT Summer School.

                                                                                                                                     

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