17th November 2011 Chevening, UK

London from a Global Perspective

Ajay Gupta is one of our new 2011-12 Chevening scholars.  He is studying for an MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. In this weeks entry, he gives us his first impressions of London life.

“Vegetable Malay curry with rice, please.”

“Here. Thanks!” – 3rd October 2011, 1:11 pm; I sit in the dining hall of Imperial College London savouring the dish and admiring the aesthetically pleasing Queen’s tower. It’s my first day at college and I have just completed the registration process but what amazes me is the diversity of the place – within two hours of entering the college, I have an Italian and a Malaysian national (my classmates) sitting beside me and sharing the experiences of journey from their home countries to the UK.

Truth be told, this was an exciting opportunity for me actually to get an insight into the cultures around the world. The dining hall in itself looked as the venue of a large international conference where I was a delegate representing my country. I believe the student community here comes from almost all countries around the globe. This is a solid evidence of the superior quality education and excellent career opportunities the UK universities offer.

Ajay''s photographs from his first month in London

This was just the start. In the one month I have spent here, I observe that the cosmopolitan nature of London city is engrained in every nook and corner – shops, residential areas, cafes, buses and the tube. It’s amazing to see how education and work bring people from different parts of the world together. UK is indeed a land of opportunities. Working here serves as an excellent platform to understand worldwide business and gives everyone an opportunity to develop a sense of their role as a world citizen.

The moment I step out of my room, everything in the city offers me something to learn. One such example is the London’s transport system which has a very logical, intuitive and systematic layout. I believe it’s worth mentioning that I have indeed improved my map reading skills and I give all credit to this system. I find it very thrilling to locate a place on the map and getting there without any assistance.

Travelling in the Tube itself is awakening – people from all walks of life contribute their bit to my learning experience, providing a unique opportunity to understand the wider world. Once, while on my way to college, a lady sitting beside me asks – “What is your view about the current economic situation of Europe?” At first such a question from a stranger really surprised me. I wondered how someone would randomly like me to comment on it, but it all made sense when I looked down at the book on entrepreneurship I was reading. I had borrowed it from the college’s library (it had a stamp of Imperial College on the side). She might have thought me as a business or management school student. Trying to be as polite as possible and recollecting all little facts I knew about the situation, I replied to the lady. The conversation actually grew interesting as we exchanged thoughts and I still feel good when I recall how those 20 minutes passed. The lady was working with a bank in central London.

Ajay''s photographs from his first month in London

Another aspect of London that overwhelms me is the city’s architecture and design. Hiking by the river Thames, I notice many magnificently built modern glass buildings alongside with some historic structures like the Big Ben and the Tower Bridge. In addition to these contemporary and chivalric designs, the numerous museums, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Buckingham Palace appear to speak their own stories of time. The city of London has great avenues to explore and offers a lot. All one needs is the curiosity and enthusiasm to discover and learn.

My one month here in London has brought me such a great exposure and vivid experiences. I hope the time to follow will help me integrate an international dimension to my personality enabling me to share information and ideas while working across cultures. I wish to create memories here that I will cherish for a life time.

If you are a Chevening scholar or alumnus and you would like to submit a blog entry, please get in touch. 500 to 700 words please. Remember that you can link to your own blog page if you have more to say. We would be particularly interested to hear about the initial experiences of the UK from our new 2011/12 scholars.

15 comments on “London from a Global Perspective

  1. Hi Ajay
    I have applied to the MSC program in Advanced Chemical Engineering at the Imperial College London. Would like to know more about the program and the academic profile it offers. Is there any email through which I can connect with you?

    Thanks for your time.


  2. hi my name is shahnawaz ahmad. I want study in imperial college in m.sc biotech.i wants know about london,imperial college and chevning scholarship.kindly give me your email id or phone no from which i contact you……. Thanks

  3. Appreciated the previlidge to go through with the post, I’m so honoured with this interaction. would like to proceed on but just have little knowledge about the process. Does any one can help with this?, Really appreciate His/Her kindness towards the process, with regards to the Scholarship and other useful informations.


  4. Hi..
    nice to go through the post…Well, i found it interesting to apply for this chevening scholarship…but i cudnt proceed due to my little knowledge on it…
    i shall be grateful if any one could explain me abt the dead line of applications and deatailed websites..

    1. Thanks Jigme ! I recommend you to contact the British Council office of your home country for all details regarding this scholarship.

      Wish you all luck !

      1. Hi AjayI have applied to the MSC prrogam in Advanced Chemical Engineering at the Imperial College London. Would like to know more about the prrogam and the academic profile it offers. Is there any email through which I can connect with you? Thanks for your time.Manas

  5. Thank you very much, Douaa.

    You really talked what I was going to say, Lodon is deed a exciting place for us to enjoy and appreciate.

    We will definitely have a good time here.

  6. Very nice article! You are totally right, the diversity is stunning…I live in a flat +1 German, 1 Italian, 1 Greek and 1 Chinese ( and me, Iraqi). You just can’t get enough of knowing other cultures. Enjoy!
    Wish you all success

    1. Thank you Douaa!

      Your flat is another perfect example of my impression of London city. I hope you are enjoying this multi cultural experience.

      All the best to you too ! 🙂

      1. Dear Mr. Ajay.

        I happened to come across your blog through the chevening page on fb. I aspire to apply for the chevening scholarship for the year 2012 – 2013. Could you please help me out with some of my queries?

        Thank you

        Kind Regards

        1. Thanks Priya !
          I recommend you to contact the British Council office of your home country for all details regarding the scholarship.
          Wish you all luck !

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