From ice-skating to attending NFL games, this American student is loving life in London

International Management
"The UK is an excellent place to study and, in my personal experience, classmates and professors are there to help you succeed in a special way. I truly recommend it!" says Caroline Pappas , a Master’s in International Management student at Imperial College Business School.

Caroline Pappas is a Master’s in International Management student at Imperial College Business School. Before her journey to London, the American studied pursued a Bachelor’s in Latin American Studies at Georgetown University in the US.

The decision to study in London — a global financial centre — was a no brainer for Pappas, who spent a year in London when she was younger.  “I knew how wonderful the city was — the perfect setting for my next step forward,” she tells Study International. 

The Imperial Excellence Scholarship recipient is heavily involved in Imperial’s Business Club. It allowed her to flex her leadership skills when holding roles such as Regional Alliances Coordinator and Communications Director. 

She’s currently doing her MSc International Management at Imperial and has received a job offer letter at FTI where she intends to work after her graduation. We caught up with her to find out more about what it’s like to study in London, and what her advice is to students looking to study in the UK:

What made you choose the UK for your studies in strategic marketing?

It was two reasons. First, I felt Imperial’s programme was the best for my future goals and passions. More importantly, after a year and a half cooped up in my room doing online studies, I thought it would be an excellent adventure. 

The next steps in my academic career seemed right to do so in the UK as I would leave home and spend time in a new environment. Second, I spent a year in London when I was younger and I knew how wonderful the city was — the perfect setting for my next step forward.

Tell us about your journey as an MSc International Management student at Imperial. 

As an MSc International Management student at Imperial, I’m taking part in a 12-month accelerated master’s programme. This teaches us all the necessary skills to succeed in management roles around the globe. 

Then, while a few core modules continue into the spring semester, we start taking electives. This will allow us to personally curate what our degrees will teach us and what we hope to do next. 

There’s also another year-long module — Leadership in Action — which is about management, leadership, team building and the virtual workspace. We’re given the chance to participate in a simulation project at the end of the year. 

This means real-life experience before we graduate and move into the professional workplace. This has been so useful so far and I’m looking forward to learning more next year.

Besides your MSc International Management studies, tell us what it’s like living in London. What are your favourite things?

How multicultural it is — you can access many different types of foods by just moving across the city. I also love how easy it is to get around (the Tube and buses are super reliable). Lastly, I enjoy seeing the beautiful sights throughout the city — every day you can discover something awesome!

international management

“Live as close as possible to public transport,” advises Caroline Pappas to international students looking to study in London or the UK. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

What memories have you made in London?

I had a wonderful night ice-skating at the Natural History Museum with my friends just as Christmas was kicking off. I also got to attend the NFL games at the Tottenham Stadium which is incredibly huge (and also brought me close to home).

I’ve been to many museums and concerts which, in London, is super special. Travelling around the UK has brought me to places like Cheshire, Dundee, Worcester, Edinburgh, and Liverpool (via train mostly).

Walk us through your background. Where are you from and what’s your hometown like?

I grew up and still live just outside of Boston in the US. It’s a special place that thrives with passion and loyalty. It feels warm and cosy to me even when it’s freezing and snowing.

I would bring visitors to see the history of the American Revolution which can be found throughout the city. More importantly, I would recommend visitors to attend a Boston or New England sports game — as the city is passionate about its sports.

International Management

International students can eat their way through London’s exciting food scene. Source: Justin Tallis/AFP

Food is an important topic for international students. What are your thoughts on the UK’s local food scene compared to home?

The food isn’t too different — there are plenty of similarities between the US and the UK. I have fallen in love with milk chocolate digestive biscuits with tea — a perfect combination. 

I also thoroughly enjoy the curries I’ve tried in London. The only thing I can’t get behind is the UK’s love for beans, baked beans have always been at the bottom of my list for me.

What are you planning to bring back home from the UK?

I’ve already told my family to get a tea kettle although we rarely drink tea. I will also bring back typical British phrases because sometimes they work better than how we would say them at home.

What would you advise international students who want to study in the UK?

Get used to looking right instead of left when crossing the road. I would also advise them to live as close as possible to public transport because the system for it is great. 

Also, the sun sets at 4.00 p.m. so, be prepared for that. Lastly, the UK is an excellent place to study and, in my personal experience, classmates and professors are there to help you succeed especially. I truly recommend it!