X Close

UCL Summer School



Vegan in London… an experience not to be missed!

By Rory M Herron, on 14 March 2019

by Rachita Shah (UCL Summer School 2018)

If like me, you missed Veganuary 2019, you don’t need to wait till 2020… you can still get a taste of the Vegan Experience anytime… especially if you are in London!

Am a vegetarian who also eats eggs and yet happily chose to go vegan for the convenience of it while in London in the summer of 2018. Going vegan was easy mainly for me ‘cos of the clarity of the concept itself and the enormity of vegan options available in this cultural melting pot!

I was keen on experimenting with the vast delectable cuisines on offer in this cosmopolitan city and so I, as an Indian, consciously stayed away from Indian cuisine (which I must admit I absolutely love!). My 25 days (not enough!) of happily gorging on vegan delicacies from different cuisines had hits and misses and alongside these lip-smacking delicacies, I enjoyed delightful conversations with complete strangers who had either turned vegan or were just trying it out. Food got us together, conversations kept us connected, sharing cultural experiences and expressing ourselves just happened amidst all the laughter and curiosity!

UCL Summer School blog Vegan in London

Believe this marks an evolution of a new culture – it’s all embracing! My quest for fantastic vegan fare took me across different parts of London while I admired the city’s robust transport infrastructure, coupled with the very user-friendly Transport for Lonfon (TfL) app. The icings on the cake were that the sumptuous food and high-energy interactions which further fuelled my zest to learn and focus on my very exciting UCL Summer School module, ‘Business Psychology’. Furthermore, the unique, ‘out-of-class’ observations and interactions with entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, managers, staff, customers, fence-sitters et al – the “explorers” in this newfound Vegan world (!) – only served to reinforce the learnings from the classroom!

In no particular order, here are the culinary delights I relished most:

  • Borough Market (mouth-watering Big ‘V’ burgers)
  • Bloomsbury Farmers’ Market (pasta per favore!)
  • Goodge Place Market (Paella – truly, a satiating meal)
  • Hackney Downs All Vegan Market (finally some Fish & Chips and Vegan Beer! The Ramen bowl was a nice surprise)
  • Andu Café and Engocha (both serve comforting Ethiopian platters that are similar yet different)
  • Manna Restaurant (British Sunday Roast – yay!)
  • The Sky Garden (healthy veggie wrap… very gourmet!)
  • Café Van Gogh (heart-warming Burgers and more!)
  • Itsu (Japanese became my soul food!)
  • Pret-a-Manger (the chickpeas & mango chutney sandwich is yum especially when it’s part of your picnic basket at one of the lovely parks)

The warmth of all these memories and friendships of a lifetime have made this London trip a truly memorable one! I’d say ‘try vegan!’… Not just for the food but for the immensely fun and uniquely enriching experience!

Visit the UCL Summer School website

Visit the Business Psychology module page

Visit the UCL Vegetarian & Vegan Society Facebook page


London and Me: A Mini Memoir

By Rory M Herron, on 4 March 2019

Soumya Vats, India (Literary London, UCL Summer School 2018)


“In people’s eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar;

the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging;

brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high

singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment of

June.” — Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway


My decision to study at the UCL Summer School was a well-informed one. I put a

month’s worth of research about faculty, curriculum and location in and made what was

perhaps my best academic decision so far. Months later, I can safely state that it is

an investment that never stopped giving.

Literary London

The cosmopolitanism of London and the program itself didn’t hit me until I was in a

team with students from Chile, India, Hong Kong and Australia, competing in a quiz on

the British culture. As the young representatives of these great cultures huddled

together to figure out whether Fish n Chips or Kebabs was the preferred British junk

food, we sparked connections where we least expected them, and more importantly won

a colour-changing mug. It remains, to this day, a treasured souvenir.

British Culture Quiz Winners!

There is an undeniable air of endless possibility that hangs above every new interaction in this city

of dreams. In a way, you want to decipher the story behind each person, identify what

led them to the same place and see if maybe there is a similarity in your journeys there.

London, for me, was defined by the people it so graciously introduced me to. For every

confusion-filled ride in the tube, there was a street musician making the journey more

melodious, each deadline was accompanied by support from the instructors and

midnight cravings for ice cream were shared with other ravenous souls from the dorm. A

quest to the grocery store would ensue in the latter. It’s in these little adventures that

nestled into our routine for three weeks that we tasted the true essence of studying

abroad. As a person who has only ever lived (and studied) in one part of the world, living

alone came with more independence than inconvenience. A usually socially anxious

creature, I expected to mould myself to fit in with the crowd. Fortunately, this summer

taught me to appreciate the individuals in the crowd, and become one I could openly

cherish as well.

Platform nine and three quarters at King’s Cross Station! Only 10 minutes’ walk from UCL!

I’d like to think of my trip as a memoir of a million micro trips. Months later, I

remember the steps from my accommodation to class, daily walks around Tavistock

Square with newly found friends and class trips where we traced the lines of literature

through architecture. Swift and Blake whispered the deep, dark secrets of London’s

streets in our ears as Keats and Hardy redefined its history and Doyle added a pinch of

mystery to this delightfully exotic dish. We experienced the city through the eyes of

some of the greatest literary minds and the more we read, the more we became

characters in one of the several tales the city holds safe.

Coffee with Arthur Conan Doyle

For there is so much the city offers and not enough time to soak up its opportunities,

just when I had decidedly gotten a hold of how the Oyster card worked, it was time to go

home. In an attempt to organise my thoughts the only way I know how to, I scribbled

them as a Ghazal. This old form of poetry normally used as an ode to love and sorrow

may well encapsulate my short-lived (and yet unforgettable) relationship with the city.


Summer, 2018

October record stuck on a reminiscent classic

The European Summer, still neat in those memories

Bloomsbury, look fondly upon your foster child

She hides a map of every street in those memories

They called me caramel frosted beige

My colour was not just wheat in those memories

Open container laws and cheap beer wrote

An ode about dancing sore feet in those memories

When the tube dissolved into metro

Nostalgia found no option for ‘Repeat’ in those memories

Three weeks couldn’t stretch to three years

But London and I still meet in those memories.

I remember thinking about Virginia Woolf’s London every time I passed the Woolf &

Whistle (her former-home-turned-cafe)- how the city overwhelmed her and pushed her

comfort zone to the extremes, and yet became so much a part of her being that when

away, she always found her way back, if not physically then through her words. Now,

when I look back to my little time there, I can’t deny, I understand how.


Relaxing at the End of Summer Boat Party

For information on the 2019 UCL Summer School please visit our website.

For more information on the Literary London please visit the module page.

Reading London at UCL Summer School

By Rory M Herron, on 24 September 2018

-by Kate Garner from the University of Sydney

I’ve been to London before—I’d shopped on Oxford Street, heard Big Ben boom, gawked at Buckingham Palace and turned a full revolution around the Eye—so for me, applying to the UCL Summer School was a chance to study a subject I loved in a city I loved and thought I knew pretty well already. But, as it turned out, the experience of being a student in London revealed the city to me in a completely different way.

London Skyline Shard UCL Summer School

The London skyline on a beautiful summer’s day

As the city sweltered through an unexpectedly warm July, I began daily classes on UCL’s Gower Street Campus. My chosen module – Literary London – was packed with field trips to local literary sights and landmarks that complemented texts we were reading in class. Anchored in the centre of Bloomsbury, a neighbourhood with a long and vibrant literary culture, we walked to the British Museum to view the very artefacts that inspired scores of English poets, to the eclectic Sir John Soane Museum, and through Garden Squares that popped up in countless English novels. Having these resources at our disposal (even the British Library was just around the corner) was incredible, and these sites proved key coordinates in the personal map of London that unfolded before me over the next three weeks.

British Museum Great Court UCL Summer School

We visited the British Museum to view the very artefacts that inspired scores of English poets


When I wasn’t in class or on a class trip I continued to explore the city as much as I could, finding tucked-away bars in Covent Garden, eating my way through London’s burger scene, traipsing through nearly every art gallery in the capital and even managing to see a performance of Hamilton. Because I was already on the other side of the world, I snuck across to the continent to visit Amsterdam and Copenhagen before hopping on a plane back to Sydney. My accommodation was so centrally located all I had to do was stroll down to St. Pancras and hop on the Eurostar.

My university halls were also short walk to the UCL Campus. When it came time to buckle down and finish my assignments I loved working in the Main Library – its wall-to-wall books and striking (read: Instagram-able) architecture more than lived up to expectations – and I also had access to all of UCL’s academic resources. Literary London was a goldie-locks experience: just enough reading, rigour, essay-writing and field trips squeezed into three weeks to make it challenging but even more fun.

UCL Summer School Main Library Law Reading Room

A typical reading room in the main UCL library

Experiencing a different academic culture was a bit of a learning curve, but now I feel well-equipped to pursue higher education in the UK should I choose to and I’ve also caught a glimpse of tertiary education around the world thanks to my cosmopolitan classmates. Forging an international network and becoming part of UCL’s global alumni has been an unexpected perk, shaping my vision of London as a truly global city and leaving me with a foot firmly wedged in the door to return when I graduate and enter the job market.

I came to UCL to study how London is imagined in literature but left having read the city both inside and outside of the classroom – and it was a book I recommend to everyone.

Click here for information on the 2019 UCL Summer School

Click here for information on the Literary London module

Things To Do This Weekend

By Kimberly Bentein, on 3 August 2018

UCLSS Social Programme Events

Friday 3rd August

Jazz in the Quad

Saturday 4th August

Day Trip: Oxford


Recommendations from UCLSS Staff

Things to do this weekend:


Grab a vintage memento of your time in London at a kilo sale – both Brixton and East London are open for business this weekend. There is a small entry charge but you pay by weight for your finds.





Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant and Castle is a great place to spend the day eating and drinking. This Saturday they will also host the Crafty Fox Market which could come in handy if you’re looking for gifts for friends and family back home!



Cocktails in the city at in Bedford Square Gardens brings together 25 of the city’s best bars, speakeasies and clubs together to serve you the makings of their mixology skills.




Free outdoor festival every weekend this summer on the south bank in front of the National Theatre. There’s live music, dancing, DJs, family workshops, club nights and theatre, all summer, all for free! This weekend’s take over is by nonclassical, this East London record label and club will be bringing the best in new classical, electronic and experimental music to the river front



Things to do this session:


What can beat the boat party?




It’s got to be the UCL Summer School End of Summer Boat Party!




UCL Summer School Social Programme extra event: picnic and games in Regent’s Park on Tuesday evening. Details to follow….



UCL Summer School 2019 ? Not quite yet, applications for next summer will open on November 30th so why not book for the Boat Party instead…



By Popular Demand:

London, like most big cities, has a reputation for being expensive however there are a million and one things to do and see in London that are absolutely free. Most museums have free entry for their permanent collections and these are our top tips:


Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath – where films like Belle and Notting Hill were filmed, and also near the Heath’s swimmable lakes to cool off.




The Getty Images Gallery in Fitzrovia (walking distance to campus) is hosting theBeat Positive exhibition showcasing photographs from New York hip-hop’s early days.




Walk along the south bank of the Thames and visit Greenwich Park



V&A’s Chance and Control: Art in the Age of Computers and the rest of the V&A to be honest.


Things To Do This Weekend

By Kimberly Bentein, on 27 July 2018

UCLSS Social Programme Events

Friday 27th July

Jazz in the Quad

Saturday 28th July

Day Trip: Bath & Stonehenge


Recommendations from UCLSS Staff

Things to do this weekend:


World Food Market at the picturesque St. Katherine’s Docks.




Rent out one of London’s public ‘Boris-bikes’ and enjoy traffic-free cycling on some of London’s busiest and most famous streets as they close for the annual Prudential RideLondon event. There’s an eight-mile stretch of the FreeCycle event [pdf map], meandering past landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s, without having to worry about the usual cars and buses. Picnic spots, games, music and ‘bike doctors’ line the route. On Saturday evening, you can watch races including the RideLondon Classique Pro Women’s, and the Brompton World Championship Final.




Don’t waste money on the London Eye – go to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral, where you can walk around the outside of the dome and enjoy views across London in all directions.




You don’t have to travel far to see great dancing! The Place, home to London Contemporary Dance School and Richard Alston Dance Company, is hosting its annual end of year performance for Centre for Advanced Training students. Located on Duke’s Road, you can find The Place between the UCL Campus and the accommodation buildings, you’ve probably walked passed it without noticing…

CAT Students will premiere works created with artists from Phoenix Dance Theatre, BalletBoyz, Impact Dance, James Cousins,  Candoco & Authenticity alongside guest performances from their Partnership Programmes in Hampshire, Brighton & Hertfordshire.

All ticket proceeds for this event go to the Fund for Excellence (FFE) which financially supports talented young dance artists.



Things to book now: 


The hidden gem Wigmore Hall offers free and £5 chamber music tickets to under-25s.




Nelson Mandela: The Centenary Exhibition 2018 at Southbank Centre: Learn about Nelson Mandela’s life, career and commitment to equality and justice. Charting his rise from freedom fighter to leader of the anti-apartheid movement, the free-to-enter The Centenary Exhibition 2018 runs at the Southbank Centre until 18 August!




A relaxing boat trip down the Thames to Hampton Court, where the city turns into countryside, visit Hampton Court Palace and return to London again by boat at the end of the day. You’ll feel like you’ve had a holiday!




Fun Home at the Young Vic, even if musicals aren’t normally your thing, i’d still recommend this one! Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, Fun Home looks a Alison’s complex relationship with her father as the audience meets her at three stages in her life and the Broadway version won 5 Tony Awards.



By Popular Demand:

Rumour has it temperatures are going to drop down to a much more bearable 24°C this weekend, however if you’re still in need of cooling off, these are our top tips:


Go to the other extreme and visit the Ice Bar for a cocktail served in an ice cube!




Head over for a swim at London Fields lido in East London before having a BBQ in London Fields Park – the only park in London where you are allowed open fires! (I think!)




Where better to escape the heat than in a refreshing outdoor swimming pool like Brockwell Lido or Tooting Bec Lido?





Excape the heat in the shade of a tree in Regent’s Park and while you’re there check out the Frieze’s Sculpture Exhibition.  First launched in 2017, Frieze Sculpture returns to the English Gardens of The Regent’s Park brings together featuring works by 25 contemporary and modern artists from around the world presented by world-leading galleries. Download the Art Fund’s free Frieze Sculpture Audio Tour app before you head to the park for a handy map and short audio on each piece by curator Clare Lilley.


Things To Do This Weekend

By Kimberly Bentein, on 13 July 2018

UCLSS Social Programme Events


Saturday 14th July

Day Trip: Oxford – Sold Out

Sunday 15th

FIFA World Cup Final

Student Central Bar



Recommendations from UCLSS Staff

Things to do this weekend:


Two words: Festival Season. Head to Gunnersbury Park for Lovebox and catch great acts spanning Hip Hop, R&B, House, Grime, DnB and Techno. Or if you’re old like me go to Hyde Park on Sunday to see Paul Simon give his last ever performance in the UK.



The Baribican and Create join forces with Waltham Forest Council to deliver the fifth Walthamstow Garden Party, a free weekend long festival in the first London borough of culture.





Read Not Dead – Believe As You List at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on Sunday 15th July. Read Not Dead is a theatrical experiment where the actors and director come together on Sunday morning and put on a staged reading by the end of the afternoon. I’m always amazed what they come up with in such a short space of time. Set in the beautiful Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the Read Not Dead series stages lesser known, almost forgotten, plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries. Believe As You List is part of the Shakespeare and Censorship series as the royal censors demanded the play which explores England’s 1630 peace deal with Spain be set in ancient Rome as to not offend anyone with the Iberian drama.



Things to book now: 


Brave the queue at Wimbledon and try to catch some action at the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament.





Summer Series at Somerset House, enjoy live music from critically acclaimed artists in a stunning open-air venue.




The End of Summer Boat Party! Book by by Monday 16th July for the Boat Party on Friday 20th July, here on moodle



By Popular Demand:

Not bother by the FIFA World Cup now that England is out? Looking to escape the football mania? We recommend these sporty alternatives:


Watch real football being played ( 😛 ) by ducking into your nearest Irish pub and catching Kerry take on Galway in the All-Ireland Gaelic Football championship. This is a sport unique to Ireland and bears few similarities to the sport we call ‘football’ or ‘soccer’. Familiarise yourself with the rules beforehand by searching for the sport on Youtube. Also, enjoy a Guinness while watching.



Go, join the Social Programme and watch the match anyway. You might find other people who aren’t that bothered about the match!



Watch the Wimbledon Final, preferably outdoors with a glass of Pimms or as Rory suggests be brave and queue. It safe to say Wimbledon is a football free zone 🙂 The organizers issued a statement at the beginning of the tournament that they would not show any of the football on the grounds of Wimbledon and that the Gentlemen’s Singles Final would go ahead at 2pm on Sunday 15th July regardless of whatever happened in the FIFA World Cup.


The Student Perspective

By Rory M Herron, on 12 July 2018

We have just passed the halfway point of Session 1 of the 2018 UCL Summer School so feel it is about time we share the musings of one of our students! First up, it’s Lily Carruthers from Vassar College in New York 🙂

It’s been just a week since the beginning of the programme, and yet, it feels like it’s already been a month. That’s not because I’m not enjoying myself, but because it feels like I’ve packed a month’s worth of experience into this one week. The past seven days have involved meeting people from all over the world, learning about nanophysics, world cup matches, surprisingly good weather, and much more. My module is called “Nanotechnology in Medicine”. I chose it due to my general interest in medicine, and my (considerably smaller, undergraduate only) home institution doesn’t offer a class quite like it. Last autumn, I had a seminar about “futuristic” science and technology, in which we discussed the potential of nanotechnology and its use in medicine. Nine months later, the theoretical is coming to life in my summer school module, taught by two academics doing research in the field at a top-class university.

On Thursday, the National Health Service (NHS) celebrated its 70th birthday, complete with decorated cupcakes.

In lieu of giving us a formal lecture, our module leaders encouraged us to attend the NHS Open day at the University College London Hospital (UCLH), where researchers from various medical and healthcare-related disciplines had stalls set up to present their work.

If I were to write about everything I saw and learned about at it, I’d be going on for ages. I saw a mobile/tablet app created to assist patients suffering from aphasia after a stroke, and even got to try it out myself. I got to speak one-on-one with a clinical lab manager about possible careers in clinical research. I’m amazed that I got to speak to so many people at the forefront of tomorrow’s healthcare.

I’m looking forward to two more weeks of nanomedicine, great people, and (with some luck) England’s success in the World Cup!

For more information on this course please see the Nanotechnology in Medicine webpage.

Things To Do This Weekend

By Kimberly Bentein, on 6 July 2018

UCLSS Social Programme Events

Friday 6th

Jazz in the Quad

Saturday 7th July

Day Trip: Bath & Stonehenge – Sold Out


Recommendations from UCLSS Staff

Things to do this weekend:


Going for the granny chic look? Or are you a Mid-Century Modern fan? Check out the Hammersmith Vintage Furniture Flea market this Saturday. The £2 entry is well worth it for the vintage household finds.




Join the festivities at the London Pride Festival on Saturday. 500 LGBT+ parade groups will march through central London to celebrate the diversity of our community culminating in a huge free party at Trafalgar Square.




I would strongly encourage all students to go to at least one free festival in London – they are part of what make summers in London great! As well as being free, the Stockwell Festival also gives Summer School students a great opportunity to see a bit of life south of the river (south being better than north!). An eclectic mix of free activities and a wide variety of music, food and drink – you can’t go wrong!




Famous as the world’s largest open submission show, The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is a treasure trove of art in all mediums, with a remarkable mixture of emerging artists and household names. You can even take a piece of it home with you as most works are for sale, which is how the Royal Academy funds free, world-class postgraduate tuition in the RA Schools. Open late on Fridays and Saturdays, exploring the exhibition followed by a glass of pimms or two in the courtyard on a balmy summer’s evening  is a staple in my summer schedule. Grayson Perry curated this year’s Summer Exhibition so expect a riot of colour!



Things to book now: 



A hundred years after his death, see a selection of Rodin’s works – including his iconic sculptures The Thinker and The Kiss – in a new light at the British Museum (which is right next to the UCL Campus!) in the new exhibition: Rodin and the art of ancient Greece.



Tickets for the London Craft Beer Festival on August 3rd, 4th and 5th. Dozens of small breweries will be there showcasing their beers and there are DJ sets from Greg Wilson, Two Door Cinema Club and more.




Movies on the River.  London’s first ever cinema on the Thames!

Book here.



Scene & Heard’s Sweet & Salty – The  Tasty Plays is on from Thursday 12th July to Sunday 15th July at Theatro Technis which is just round the corner from St Pancras Way. Scene & Heard is a unique mentoring project that partners the inner-city children of Somers Town, London with volunteer theatre professionals. At the end of each term, the children each write a 10 minute play which are then performed by professional actors. Without question the funniest theatre I’ve ever seen!

Tickets are free, but do bring some spare change to drop into their donation buckets at the end.



By Popular Demand:

Student Central is a great place to watch the FIFA World Cup however if you wanted to try out a different venue for this weekend’s quarter finals, we recommend:



Where to watch the football – Rory’s suggestion is pretty all-encompassing but my recommendations for pleasant pubs are The Roebuck and The Knights Templar.




Why not choose a random tube stop that you’ve never heard of in central London – go there and pop into the first traditional pub you can see (best advised to be over an hour early to secure a chair!)



Bar Kick, Shoreditch.  This is a sports bar with lots of Bonzini football tables so you can play table football before or after the match or even during, if you want! Large screens on every floor so it’s easy to get a good view of the game.  Personally, I’ll be in my living room with the kids. I’d love to invite everyone, but it would be a squeeze…



The Scoop at More London , next to City Hall, is an open air amphitheatre right next to the Thames, making it an ideal al fresco venue to watch any live sport event. Each summer the London Bridge City Summer Festival takes over this stretch of the river with live music, theater, film and live sport screenings.  The London Riviera, a pop-up street food bar, has set up its summer home just alongside the Scoop and they promise summer 2018 will be bigger, bolder, brighter and more exciting than ever… but still with the best view in town!


</align justified>

From Harvard to UCL – Reflections of a Summer School Student…

By Rory M Herron, on 21 February 2018

For the latest edition of our blog we caught up with 2017 UCL Summer School student, Lita Peña from Harvard University in the US…

Hi Lita, can you start by telling us a little about yourself?

My name is Lita Peña, and I was born and raised in New York City. I’m a junior (third-year) at Harvard University. I study psychology, with a specific focus in clinical psychology.

 Why did you choose to spend your summer studying in London?

I chose to study for a summer in London because I wanted a chance to go abroad during my four years at college. I wasn’t interested in taking an entire semester off to study internationally, and so summer felt like the perfect time to take this opportunity. I had been to London once prior to studying at UCL, and I instantly fell in love. The city is historic, diverse, and vibrant, and it’s a wonderful place for young adults to explore. I chose to study at UCL specifically because of the wide breadth of courses offered and the fact that the institution was in the centre of the city itself!

What made you choose your module here at the UCL Summer School?

I have always been interested in crime science and securities, and so when I saw that UCL was offering a course on Understanding and Countering Radicalisation and Terrorism, I knew I had to take the opportunity and apply for the module. It’s a subject that is unfortunately not offered in many classes at Harvard, and so I had not been able to study it in an academic setting until this past summer at UCL.

Looking back, what were your highlights?

The material that I learned in my module was fascinating! The instructors were all experts in the field, and the assignments were rigorous and thought-provoking. My class of 12 students was extremely diverse, with students from the USA, Australia, Greece, Spain, Taiwan, Italy, and several other countries. There were a range of activities in London to fill your time with, from high tea, to museums, to outdoor movies!

How did you find the teaching and the learning environment here at UCL? How was it different to your home institution?

The module was set up as a series of several lectures taught by different instructors and researchers. This allowed us students to hear from the top experts of many given topics. Rather than many small daily assignments, we were able to showcase all we had learned in one final presentation and paper.

Do you feel your experience will benefit you in future? If so, how?

I do think that my experience will benefit me in the future. While I plan on pursuing a career in clinical psychology, I now realize that counter-terrorism is an academic subject that I would like to learn even more about and I hope to take more classes in the future. I also think that living on your own in a foreign country is an important skill to learn as a young adult, and London was the perfect place to do that.

Can you sum up the UCL Summer School (or simply your experience) in one or two sentences?

UCL Summer School was a perfect balance of rigorous and interesting learning, meeting diverse and wonderful friends, and exploring one of the greatest metropolitan cities of the world.

Information on our 2018 Programme

Information on studying Understanding and Countering Radicalisation and Terrorism at UCL in 2018

Reflections of a UCL Summer School student…

By Rory M Herron, on 14 November 2017

Mahrukh Hamayun is a 22 year old baker, photographer, writer and law student based in Australia and culturally rooted in Pakistan. She studied International Commercial Arbitration on the 2017 UCL Summer School… here are her thoughts on the experience.

When you ask someone about Summer in London, you’re always greeted with answers such as rain, gloom and an overall grey city.

Well they were completely wrong for starters.


Summer in London was picture perfect. Okay, maybe not the day I landed at Heathrow Airport after an excruciatingly lengthy flight from Sydney to London via Delhi. Try sitting in economy on an eighteen-hour flight without developing feelings of claustrophobia and having to wait an hour in the line for border control.

However, putting that all aside I entered London as a University College London student ready to take on the world and learn as much as possible about International Commercial Arbitration.The module encompasses the contractual and procedural elements of international arbitration, and what better place to learn about arbitration then London, home to a wide range of arbitral institutions.


The course itself was set out over five days of the week with classes held in the afternoon as block sessions. We were provided with daily readings for theoretical aspects of the law and cases that we were told to briefly skim in preparation for the final assessment being the International Commercial Arbitration moot. It was an absolute privilege to be taught by Dr Melis Özdel, who also happens to be the Director of the UCL
Centre for Commercial Law. In comparing the teaching quality between Australian educational institutes and that of UCL Law, you could clearly see why UCL ranks number seven in the world.

It wasn’t just all hard work; we also took a mini excursion as a class to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators where we were able to learn firsthand about the procedural aspects within arbitration. Besides that, my classmates being from several different countries around the world including Brazil, Russia, France, Turkey and Pakistan just to name a few, made the entire summer school even more so enriching and memorable. The UCL Summer School experience allowed me to gain friendships to last a lifetime, memories to cherish forever and an experience never to be forgotten.


Upon coming to Summer School, I imagined that my studies would keep me preoccupied the entire time. However, that was not the case, as I made the most of my limited one-month trip. I chose not to stay on campus and instead rented an Airbnb apartment in Crawley for the duration of my trip, which allowed me to fully immerse myself into the ‘English’ way of life. I managed to squeeze in so many activities including watching The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, taking a ride on the London Eye, rubbing shoulders with famous faces at Madame Taussad’s London, putting my wallet in distress whilst shopping on Oxford Street, indulging in high tea at The Orangery to tasting perhaps the best Indian food at Dishoom in Leicester Square.

I came to London as a stranger and left feeling like the city and me shared something deeper.


The UCL Summer School website now has information on our 2018 programme.

International Commercial Arbitration will run again in 2018.