Hello, SOAS!

I have just received word from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), that I have been accepted into their Migration, Mobility and Development master’s program.  While I have been accepted for this academic year, they did not inform me of my admittance in enough time to move so I will defer until September 2013, which was the plan all along as I am not yet ready to leave Southeast Asia.  So it looks like I’ll be moving to London in August 2013. Holla!  A big thank you to Kimber McKay and Matthias Lehmann for your academic and professional reference letters on such short notice!


About University of London, SOAS

The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is a college of the University of London and the only Higher Education institution in the UK specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.

SOAS is a remarkable institution. Uniquely combining language scholarship, disciplinary expertise and regional focus, it has the largest concentration in Europe of academic staff concerned with Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

On the one hand, this means that SOAS remains a guardian of specialised knowledge in languages and periods and regions not available anywhere else in the UK. On the other hand, it means that SOAS scholars grapple with pressing issues – democracy, development, human rights, identity, legal systems, poverty, religion, social change – confronting two-thirds of humankind.

This makes SOAS synonymous with intellectual enquiry and achievement. It is a global academic base and a crucial resource for London. We live in a world of shrinking borders and of economic and technological simultaneity. Yet it is also a world in which difference and regionalism present themselves acutely. It is a world that SOAS is distinctively positioned to analyse, understand and explain.

Our academic focus on the languages, cultures and societies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East makes us an indispensable interpreter in a complex world.

86% Satisfied

SOAS is above the national average for student satisfaction at 86% (National student survey 2011)

130 Countries

SOAS has more than 5,400 students from 130+ countries, and approximately 50% of them are from outside the UK.

Equal Split

There is a roughly equal split between undergraduates (55%) and postgraduates (45%)

Mature Students

24% of undergraduates are over 21 when they start their course

400 Combinations

More than 400 degree combinations are available in social sciences, arts, humanities and languages, all with a distinctive regional focus.


SOAS offers an unparalleled range of non-European languages, all of which may be studied without prior knowledge. In 2009 the school was awarded the Queen’s anniversary Prize for the excellence, breadth and depth of its language teaching.


More than a quarter of our degree programmes offer the opportunity to spend a year studying in another country.

350 Academics

SOAS has the largest concentration of specialist staff (350+ academics) concerned with the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East at any university in the world.

National Leader

According to the latest Research Assessment Exercise, SOAS is the national leader in the study of Asia, and is in the top ten in most other subjects.

11:1 Ratio

Small-group teaching remains an important feature of study at SOAS – our student-staff ratio (11:1) is one of the best in the UK.

100 Postgraduate Programmes

SOAS has over 100 postgraduate programmes (taught and distance learning) in the social sciences, humanities and languages with a distinctive regional focus and global relevance


The SOAS Library – recently refurbished – has more than 1.5 million items and extensive electronic resources for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and attracts scholars from all around the world.


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