Meet Rahul, SAS’s New International Student Rep!

We’re really excited to introduce our new rep for international students, Rahul Ranjan. Over a cup of tea in our new common room we had a good chat about his experience as an international student and how he hopes the future will look for international students at SAS.

Why did you choose to study at SAS and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies?

I chose to study at the ICwS as it hosted my area of study and I had great support from my supervisor. SAS is a small research centre (in terms of student intake) and this was comforting as I thought I wouldn’t feel so lost when arriving in London.

From your experience, what challenges are international students likely to face?

The housing question can be a big concern for international students as this really eats into the money available from our funding. It is often hard to find good, suitable and affordable accommodation in London.
Other concerns which EU or home students don’t face are visa issues, access to funding support, and knowing exactly what is involved with PhD study, including fieldwork requirements.

What can be done at SAS to improve the international students’ experience?

It would be great to see SAS become more well-known and visible abroad, and a great first step would be to proactively publicise the opportunities SAS offers to international students in their home countries.

Having a student rep to receive any concerns and sort these out with registry on behalf of the international students may also be helpful. It would be nice for international students to know who to go to if they have any issues.

An online portal with guidance and paperwork for international students would be very useful!

What can SASiety do?

We hope to encourage international students to become involved with SASiety – we’re a friendly bunch and would love to get to know you. In September, we look forward to inviting our international students – both new and old – to an evening social event in the week of the induction.

What would be your advice to new and existing international students?

The international student should expect a range of experiences that are not only limited to academics but life at large in the UK. Overseas students must always seek for advice from their supervisor and the registry before committing to any engagement while living here. London is a great place to study as it offers a range of material from around the world; therefore, it is a great opportunity.