Mastering sports: students at the European Institute speak about their experience

By Sofia Gerace

While arrangements are made for undergraduate students so that they can play for sports clubs alongside their studies, it is not the same for those completing a master’s. At the European Institute, a class scheduled on Wednesday afternoon during the Michaelmas Term prevented some students from playing their favourite sport. As a result, they had to join a different club or give up on being part of a competitive team.

“I was interested in joining the rugby team, but this affects many clubs at LSE since training for sports competing in the BUCS league happens on Wednesday afternoons. I wrote an email to the administration but I never got a response, just a general email saying that the course in question is mandatory. I don’t understand why no arrangement has been made,” says an MSc student from the European Institute. 

“I feel like the department is not interested in that, they should not have scheduled a course on Wednesday afternoon,” affirms another EI MSc student. 

When a student wrote in the master’s programme group chat expressing their disappointment with the decision of the department, other students showed their solidarity and agreed on sending an e-mail. However, for this semester, the department cannot do much: it is not easy to reschedule a course. Hopefully things will be different during the Lent Term. Some students talked to The Beaver to give their opinion about sports. They all agree: a master’s is not only about studying; physical and mental wellbeing is important too.

“I am not affected by the class on Wednesday but I understand. I would have swimming training on Mondays, and I have a seminar at the same time. It is essential to play sports during your studies, both as a relief valve, and for physical and mental wellbeing, especially after the pandemic. It’s also a bonding opportunity considering I just arrived in London,” states an MSc student in European and International Public Policy.

Lucas Van Straalen, student in Political Economy of Europe sees things the same way: “I’m playing football at the LSE men’s football club and really enjoying it! Both for the sport aspect and the social life. Also, I can meet undergraduate students from other programmes who happen to also by majority come from the UK. It is nice to get to know people outside my more European Master’s bubble. And, because we also play away games, I’m seeing parts and universities of the UK in and outside of London that I would otherwise never see, that’s also cool!”

Although it is true that master’s students do spend most of their time at the library, most of them also think that sport is a key component for their wellbeing. They are enjoying their master’s and their time at the European Institute, but they hope that next semester, there isn’t going to be any timetable clash with sports.

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