5 things I wish I knew before starting in September at LSHTM

MSc Public Health student Shereen shares with us the top five must-know about LSHTM and London before starting your new academic year.
MSc Public Health stduent Shereen

Starting at LSHTM is exciting, often marking the start of a new chapter. I’m sure many of you due to start are feeling a lot of different things including excitement and anxiety! Starting somewhere new can be quite overwhelming, so I will be sharing my top tips to help you out. I will talk about some things that myself and other students wish we knew before starting at the School in September, and things you can do before you start to help you feel prepared!

Meeting new people

It sounds cliché but it’s important to remember that everyone is in the same boat – nobody knows anyone else during Welcome Week! LSHTM gives you plenty of opportunities to network and socialise, so try to make the most of it. However, if you miss Welcome Week do not worry – students at the School are so friendly and you will most likely meet new people every week during your classes.

Managing workload

Studying at Master’s level is not easy and especially at a leading institution like LSHTM. It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed by the workload at the start – especially as you may get bombarded with reading lists and prep work during Welcome Week, as your classes will start the week after. On top of this, you may feel overwhelmed by the additional admin you might have to do, such as sorting out student visas, accommodation, setting up online accounts, and trying to make new friends or join extracurricular groups.

Ella, a current MSc Public Health student, recommends reading the module specifications for the compulsory modules you will be taking, and the optional modules you are interested in to help you make an informed decision. She recommends familiarising yourself with any readings and new methods before your classes start, so it doesn’t feel so new and scary when you get to LSHTM. You will be just fine in your classes without doing these, but it will definitely help!

How to do ‘readings’ at a postgraduate study level

Many of us starting at LSHTM may come from a background where we haven’t had to read large volumes of text very often. You may have to read textbook chapters or a few papers before your classes, and this can feel quite overwhelming especially if you have no idea where to start. Try to focus on your readings that are labelled ‘essential’ to make the most of your time. Look at headings, subheadings and identify keywords to pick out the key information when you are reading long texts. Try not to compare yourself to students who may have more prior experience in this – skim reading is something you will pick up over time!

Good places to eat and study around university

London is one of the biggest cities globally, and there are so many places to explore. However, if you are looking for quick and affordable places to eat, some students’ favourite lunch spots close to the School include:

  • PaStation and Al Dente (pasta) – near Goodge Street
  • Seoul Plaza (Korean dishes) – near Tottenham Court Road
  • EggSlut (all-day breakfast) – near Tottenham Court Road
  • B-Bagel (bagels) – near Tottenham Court Road
  • Farmer’s Market – every Thursday in Torrington Square, near Birkbeck

If you also want to get food on campus, the canteen in Bloom (the student space) on the Lower Ground floor of Senate House serves hot food and drinks at a very good price!

The LSHTM library is a great place to study but it can get very full during busy periods. This article talks about students’ other favourite study spots: The best places to study near Bloomsbury | LSHTM

Wellbeing support

LSHTM has an amazing wellbeing and Student Support team. If you have any issues, academic or non-academic, you can contact your personal tutor or the Student Support Services team, who will be supportive, understanding and provide confidential advice.

Wishing you the best of luck! If you would like any further tips, don’t hesitate to contact me or one of the Student Ambassadors via email, which you can find on our profiles.