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All aboard the Hogwarts Express!

Did you know that Imperial College London was recently ranked by Times Higher Education as one of the top ten most international universities in the world AND the United Kingdom’s most international university? This is not surprising to me since the 52-person cohort of my International Health Management programme represents around 25 different countries. Besides the built-in support system of the students in my MSc programme, Imperial boasts an International Student Support team that organises year-round activities for the many international students.

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Imagine studying in Dumbledore’s office…

Earlier this term, I went on the Harry Potter Studio Tour that was hosted by this incredible team. Although I have never read the Harry Potter books (just watched the movies), I figured I should go on this tour as a right of passage for living in London. I did not know anyone else going on the tour so I was happy to find a friendly student from Germany who is an undergraduate at Imperial. It was nice to make a new friend outside of my MSc programme and learn more about German culture (in addition to Harry Potter) throughout the day.

When we arrived at the studio, one of our first stops was the Great Hall of Hogwarts. I was amazed at when some of the food was “magically” lit on fire. Next, we visited various rooms such as Hagrid’s hut, Dumbledore’s office, Gryffindor common room, the potion classroom, and even Diagon Alley. Our skills were really put to the test though when we had to learn various wand maneuvers. While trying to master all of the wand movements, I felt like I was failing publicly in a Zumba class. I think I will stick to studying International Health Management…

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Butter beer ice cream—worth the cold!

Some of the other highlights of the trip included trying butter beer ice cream, posing in the Hogwarts Express, exploring the wand room, and even having a ride on a broom with a green screen in the background that made it appear as if I was flying through the streets of London. 

After many pictures and butter beers later, we all returned to the buses to head back to Imperial’s campus. My Saturday was truly magical because of the International Student Support team’s trip, and I highly recommend signing up for some of their upcoming events!

Carissa is studying our MSc International Health Management programme.