Harold Valdivia Lopez - 2014 Program Participant

Buckingham Palace, London, England

Harold with his brother at Buckingham palace

Why did you decide to apply for an international program?

I decided to apply for an international program because of the benefits it offers, both personal and professional. I wanted the opportunity to learn about the history of other cultures, learn about the British lifestyle, and make new friends from different countries and backgrounds.

Also, I wanted to broaden my perspective and deepen my knowledge of several different financial topics. In addition, I wanted to learn what it means to live alone in a different country and adapt to a new environment.

What set the London School of Economics Summer School apart from other summer programs abroad?

The London School of Economics and Political Science is in the top three in the world for Accounting and Finance according to QS World University Ranking 2014. In fact, the LSE summer program is well recognized internationally, offering a wide range of courses from different disciplines, such as economics, finance, business management, and political science. In that sense, you can choose the course that you prefer. It offers two sessions in which you take one course per session.

The school organizes day trips of the city, theater outings, and conferences from outstanding lecturers. They also host a riverboat disco and a welcome party, and a farewell at the end of each session of the program.

London Eye, London, England

Harold near the ‘’London Eye’’

Did the program meet your expectations?

I think the LSE Summer School program exceeded all my expectations; however, it could be improved by allowing students to add more courses per session.

What were your housing arrangements like in London?

The LSE Summer School offers you the possibility to stay in one of the halls of the school. I decided to stay at Rosebery Hall, where I had the opportunity to meet other students from all over the world, specifically from Italy and Spain. The location was useful for me and my brother, because it was relatively close to the school and only about 10 minutes to Holborn Station. This situation allowed us save time and money.

Describe a day in your life in London.

I had to get up early for breakfast and then attend my classes. Every day my class started at 10:00 a.m., and was taught by the assistant teacher of the course who helped us work through practical course exercises. Because we only had an hour, we had to make the most effort in order to be prepared for the lecture.

For the afternoon, we ate a lunch with other students on the fourth floor of the Old Building. It was useful for us because the school offered an international meal. In addition, the summer school staff provided us with great support! At 2:00 p.m. I had a lecture in the Wolfson Theatre. After finishing classes, we would visit London which always had something new to show us!

LSE’s Summer School offers over 70 courses, why did you select AF350: Advanced Corporate Finance?

Thanks to a recommendation from a professor at my university, I decided to take the Advanced Corporate Finance course. I selected the course because of the issues that were covered, as well as its vast applicability in the field of corporate finance and international finance.

What was the most memorable part of your Summer School experience at the London School of Economics?

I believe that I don’t have one specific memorable moment of my stay in the program, because in each of them I learned something that will remain with me forever. I do remember one day in particular where my brother and I, along with some friends, went to the city of Greenwich; this is where the meridian of Greenwich is located. While the road was a little long, it was worth it! Once there, we had a spectacular view of the city of London. One side of the city was a bit dark and the other part was sunny, so I decided to take a picture of that moment. This was for me one of the best experiences I had during my stay in London.

Sunset at Big Ben in London, England

Harold posing by Big Ben

What was your favorite activity outside the normal day-to-day schedule of your program?

London is really beautiful, so just walking around was great. I was able to visit many museums, churches, and theaters. Also, using the Tube was quite beneficial because it allow us to move to different parts of the city very easily.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during your time abroad?

One of the most difficult challenges I faced was living alone, because although you have greater freedom to not be with your parents, you also have more responsibility for yourself.

How did the staff support you throughout your program?

I can say that the attention I received from the staff was excellent. In each of the activities they were really organized and provided good service to the students.

What advice would you give to others interested in attending the London School of Economics Summer School?

For anyone who wants a unique experience, I recommend choosing the summer program at the LSE! Also, I recommend that if you can take two sessions that would be great, because then you would have more time to explore the city, understand about their history and culture, study, meet more people, visit museums, and attend theater and musicals.

Why is London such a great place to study finance?

London is one of the major global financial centers alongside New York. Also, being a cosmopolitan city with people from around the world, London has the best schools not only in the field of social sciences, such as economics, finance, and political science, but also in other disciplines, such as engineering. Thus, in the field of finance, the city allows students to live in an environment in which is not only possible to learn about the latest financial concepts and their applicability, but it also allows you to understand the functioning of global financial markets. It also allows you to to have the possibility of interacting with recognized professionals through lectures given by different universities in the city. I strongly recommend studying finance at a leading school in London.

Riding the London Eye in London, England

Harold on the London Eye

How has your experience studying abroad at LSE impacted your life?

Before my travel to the city of London, I had great expectations about the program. Now I can say that not only was it a great life experience, but it exceeded my expectations. It allowed me to deepen my knowledge in finance and understand the functioning of international capital markets and how important they are in the growing of economies. During my time in the program, both in class and outside it, I learned something new that I'm sure I will not forget.

Also, London is awesome and had lots of places to visit. It is a city where you can meet people from any part of the world. Every day you could see new things in the streets or listen to conversations in different languages. Every day I was able to learn something new that I'm sure I will never forget.