Politics and International Studies

Undergraduate study

Alexander D’alessandro

Year of Study: Final
Qualification(s): BA (Hons)
Course: International Relations

Why did you choose Loughborough University?

To have the opportunity to learn from world-renowned lecturers in my department, whilst being able to make use of the best university sports facilities in the UK made Loughborough a very easy choice for me.

Everyone at Loughborough is so positive, so driven to succeed in what they study and in what they want to achieve. Loughborough’s winning mentality rubs off on the students and motivates them to maximise their full potential. The campus is like a sizable, integrated village with its own supermarkets, hairdressers, nightclubs, cafés, restaurants and even a cinema. Everything a student needs! There is a sense of unity and pride among Loughborough students in what their University has achieved and what it continues and strives to achieve.

What do you enjoy about your course?

We are always encouraged by our lecturers to approach matters from a critical perspective. They inspire us to immerse ourselves within our subjects and seek alternate answers to what conventional wisdom would dictate. The lectures help expose the complexity of seemingly mundane questions. Emerging from a discussion with a completely different viewpoint on a certain topic is highly refreshing and greatly enhances our critical thinking.

My favourite module during my three years at Loughborough has most probably been Security Studies. Studying notions of security in ‘high politics’ such a nuclear deterrence and the increasing importance and interdependence of ‘low politics’ into national security was both greatly engaging and rewarding.

What do you think of the teaching quality and facilities?

The lectures are always helpful with any questions that the students have. They are committed to their students and their welfare. The lecture halls are modern and fit for the high quality of teaching that takes place within them.

Have you had any support from the University?

The lecturers always have office hours where students can come with any questions regarding the module or the course in general. Furthermore, we are all assigned a tutor during our first year that we keep throughout our studies at Loughborough. Regular tutor meetings each term ensures a personal contact within the department. It also means that any questions can be raised with the tutor and quickly resolved.

What do you like that’s different about your course?

We have an option of doing a placement or year studying abroad. A placement ensures a year of vital experience in the business world while a year abroad helps you experience another culture and a different way of life.

What do you hope to do when you graduate?

I hope to study Masters in Sweden and then go onto to work within an EU institution, ideally in the European External Action Service – the EU’s diplomatic service. I am half Swedish, half Italian and I grew up in Spain attending an English-speaking school. I therefore consider myself very much ‘Europeanised’ and thus a career within the European Union seems an ideal choice. Since Loughborough’s Politics, History and International Relations Department (PHIR) has prominent EU researchers with links to the EU, this will hopefully ensure greater visibility and recognition during the application process.

What would you say to someone considering your course?

If you are highly motivated and continually want to strive to better yourself, then there is no greater challenge and reward than Loughborough University.

What do you enjoy most about being a student here?

Whilst studying at Loughborough University, you are in the process of becoming an adult – one of the most important transitions of your life. To have the Loughborough mentality imbued into your identity during this process is something that I have found highly rewarding. Furthermore, the sports facilities are the best in the UK and one of the best in Europe. Nowhere will you find such state-of-the-art facilities all enclosed into one single area such as at Loughborough University.

There is also a huge variety of societies to choose from. You are guaranteed to find one that will be perfect for you. I am Sports Secretary for the Scandinavian Society and I am also part of UNICEF, the Model United Nations and the Spanish Society. This ensures that you always have something to do when you have finished studying for the day. It also allows you to do things you love with other people who share the same passion and enthusiasm as you.

Has Loughborough inspired you?

Loughborough University’s unbounded ambition has shown me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Hard work and ambition combined with the experience I have had at Loughborough will ensure that I am well equipped to achieve my career goals.