So I went about looking at the different International Relations courses offered and found that the Masters programme offered by the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) suited me best as it was not only academic but provided the practical components I wanted.
The programme brought together people and educators who are world class experts from the British foreign ministry who taught us real life practical negotiation and mediating skills through simulation exercises. The programme also engaged people with production experience from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to train us to be coherent in front of the camera and provided other skills related to media and press training. It was nerve-wrecking at times but it was also extremely valuable to learn in a safe environment with experts correcting and giving us feedback.
Having never been formally trained in economics or law at the degree level, two of the core subjects offered at CISD were International Law and International Politics which allowed us to understand the mechanics of the political economy of globalisation and public international law with an emphasis on critical perspectives and current issues and controversies. The course also provided skills needed for the development of policy analysis linking it to networking opportunities with a study trip to Geneva to engage with the United Nations institutions, other international bodies and members of the international diplomatic service.
While this might sound like a plug for the Masters in International Studies and Diplomacy, studying in London meant interacting with an international city which provides strong academic support in terms of access to books, and resources from the University of London, the British Library, Senate house and in my field access to the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House.
Outside of the university there are galleries, parks, restaurants, live music venues and London’s West End to name a few things I enjoyed. What I appreciated about London was the access to the world in one city. The university brought together people of different experiences, exposure, thinking and nationalities. So not only were we able to network with people from different countries in one city, we made lasting friendships and learnt from each other. That itself is invaluable.