Meet our alumni

Mathias Schoener, Economic History graduate and future Yenching Academy Scholar

LSE's highly international environment and the intercultural experiences that this allowed me to gain will help me thrive at Yenching.

LSE is committed to producing global citizens and providing students with opportunities to enhance their degrees.

Read about Mathias' plan in China, and see whether this opportunity at the Yenching Academy might be for you.The Yenching Academy provides full fellowships to its scholars, and offers a wide array of interdisciplinary courses on China. For more information on the Yenching Academy application process visit this page or email :

Mathias Schoener 747x420

Why did you apply to the selective Yenching Academy's interdisciplinary master's programme in China Studies?

What made the Yenching Academy really stand out for me is its diverse network of professors and students with a mutual interest in China. Furthermore, the resources provided to scholars by PKU via this programme are a truly unique leverage for anybody interested in improving their understanding of China and its role in the world: multiple field trips, extensive Chinese classes and the Yenching Global Symposium to just name a few.

China’s economic profile has been an important part of both my academic research and my professional work so far and I am convinced that my future studies with the Yenching Academy are the next logical step from my current qualifications and interests.

What  are your top tips for applicants? 

The single most important step of the process is formulating a clear, elaborate and honest answer to why you want to pursue this specific programme. Not only will this question come up in your interview, but having a clear idea of what your intentions are will also help you create the narrative for your entire application. In order to work out whether Yenching could be for you I recommend getting in touch with current scholars, they will generally be very happy to assist you.

Finally, a lot of information can be found on the following two student blogs: and

How do you think you will use your experience at LSE in China?

To me, LSE’s highly international environment has been one of the school’s strongest assets. The intercultural experiences that this allowed me to gain will hopefully help me thrive at Yenching from the very beginning.

What challenges do you expect and what do you look forward to the most? 

Living in China has always been challenging and interesting for me for the same simple reason: my own limited familiarity with the depth and history of local customs, culture and paradigms. This not only allows for unforeseen discoveries, memorable encounters and fascinating discussions every day, but also provides a valuable opportunity to reflect on one’s own values and beliefs. Plus, the occasional misunderstanding usually makes for a good story. The thing I am looking forward to the most though would be getting to know all of the Yenching scholars from around the globe. Apart from all these positives, the air pollution in Beijing is my biggest concern at the moment. 

Red Door 800x450 16-9-Ratio