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James Shawdon

profile.jpgBA Politics with International Studies 2011

I first looked at studying at Warwick after a recommendation from my A-Level politics teacher. It didn’t stand out as an obvious first choice – after all how does a university that’s less than fifty years old compete with other institutions that have been around for over a hundred (and in many cases several hundred) years?

It’s obvious from the moment you arrive that Warwick more than holds its own. PAIS stands out both in terms of the enormous breadth and depth of expertise it offers to students. Both the department and the university offer a fantastic range of opportunities to draw on. I have friends who’ve spent the second year of their course studying in the USA or Hong Kong as part of the departmental exchange programme; it’s a fantastic opportunity to travel and to experience new cultures, all as part of your degree! Those who remain in the UK hardly lose out. Warwick has over 250 clubs and societies, and often your main problem is finding the time to take advantage of all the opportunities – both academic and social – on offer!

The emphasis within PAIS is very much on your own learning. From the outset you are encouraged to develop and pursue your own academic interests and to challenge and make your own mind up about what you have been taught, rather than simply accepting it as given – something which can be rather daunting when your teacher is at the top of his or her academic field! It’s a huge, but very welcome step up from A-Levels and makes Warwick a diverse and exciting place to study.