Class interval gems around Campus

It is a common that an LSE student’s lectures and seminars aren’t arranged back to back, which is a good thing. Students often use this time to prepare for their coming classes, but there are some gems around campus allow us to participate in way more exciting activities than simply catching up with readings. In this blog, I suggest three things LSE students can do during their class intervals – even though they are only one hour long! 

Walking down to the end of Kingsway along the Strand, there is Somerset House, a historical building overlooking the River Thames. The Courtauld Gallery is located here, housing one of the greatest art collections in the UK, including famous and iconic works like Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. The permanent collection is arranged in chronological order from the first floor to the third, starting from Medieval and Early Renaissance to 20th-century art. Moreover, each floor features a smaller space (Project Space, Drawing Gallery) near the lift to hold up-to-date, rotating exhibitions. Artworks include paintings, artefacts, and murals. They are clearly labelled, some with an additional “Courtauld Insight” label that shows the agency of the gallery. Audiences can also use the audio guide to delve into the works with their free app. My visit was about 30 minutes – certainly not reading all the labels in detail – and browsing through the Gallery Shop took about 5-10 minutes, which, in total, perfectly fits in the class interval time frame. What’s best? It’s free! Don’t forget to bring your student ID. 

If you have a longer class interval, you can also consider visiting the Soane Museum, which is located in Lincoln’s Inn Field, just 200 meters away from the Cheng Kin Ku Building. This free museum boasts an extensive collection of artworks, antiquities, architectural models, and curiosities amassed by Sir John Soane over his lifetime. Formerly his own residence, the layout of the building remains functionally compartmentalised. A total of three floors are open to the public: the basement and the ground floor are fraught with Soanes’ collection, while the first floor usually holds special exhibitions. Guided tours can be booked in the Museum Shop or online; there are also plenty of knowledgeable museum staff who are readied to answer any questions you may have. I spent about 30 minutes in the museum. It was a magical experience to be extremely close to the art (you will see what I mean when you visit).

Lastly, if you unfortunately have a class interval lasting more than 3 hours, I would recommend going to the BFI or Garden Cinema to see a film if the time fits. They are two cinemas within walking distance from LSE and often hold special, themed screenings as well as commercial films.  

Of course, these are just additional recommendations if you are not in the mood for what you routinely do, but I believe everyone should make the most of the time you have between classes.

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