Sloan is one of the full-time programmes at LBS that require all the students to relocate to London for the duration of the course. This is what two of our Sloan 2022 class alumni have experienced as well, Santuza Paolucci Nogueira Bicalho & Abhijit Seshagiri Rao, who shared their moving to London journey and what the logistics look like, and useful tips to anyone who would like to enrol on Sloan.

  1. Could you please tell us a bit about your background pre-Sloan as well as what you are doing at the moment?

Santuza: I am a businesswoman with over 25 years of experience in leading Education Travel & Tourism businesses. I was CEO of two large international Youth and student Travel companies with businesses across different geographies that I helped grow. When both businesses were ready, I had the chance to exit and foster more complex opportunities. After my first exit, I joined a global Higher Education company as Senior VP of Global Sales where I had the chance to manage large international sales teams and serve a variety of international B2B clients. And after my second exit, I joined a global advisory company specialising in Education and Student Mobility, where I am now.

Abhijit: I bring nearly 18 years of experience in the Information Technology industry, with a career that includes positions at renowned companies such as UiPath, Infosys, Wipro, and Onmobile, where I held various leadership roles. Additionally, I ran my consulting firm as the Managing Partner before joining LBS. Currently, I hold the position of Global Head of People at, a Singapore headquartered enterprise SaaS company having its operations in Asia, India and the Middle East. I joined in December 2022 right after completing my course at LBS.

  1. What made you decide to come to London Business School and pursue the Sloan programme?

Santuza: I learned about the Sloan Program while attending two executive education programs at LBS – 2009 and 2011. I knew I wanted to come to London mostly because of the city´s and the School´s global perspective and attractiveness to a more experienced cohort. I was looking for a program that could not only provide top content from top minds but also where the opportunity to network will expose me to other senior professionals coming from diverse backgrounds and geography.

Abhijit: Enrolling in Sloan was a carefully considered choice, aligning with my objectives. In addition, several other factors influenced my decision, including

– Global Reputation:  It consistently ranks among the top business schools in the world and the Sloan programme is one of its kind for Industry leaders. Also, the brand and reputation enhance your personal and professional brand.

– Networking Opportunities: The chance to engage with a diverse group of professionals, including peers, faculty and alumni, which can open doors to new opportunities and partnerships. Also, with a 50,000 + strong alumni network, one can continue to derive benefits long after graduation.

– Diverse cohort: LBS and Sloan attract students from around the world, bringing together diverse perspectives and experiences. This ensures that one can broaden horizons and help develop a global mindset, which is valuable in today’s interconnected world.

– Personal growth: It is not just about career advancement; it is also about personal growth. The challenges and learnings at LBS equip you with valuable life skills.

  1. Have you relocated to London by yourself or with family? If the answer is with family, how was this process?

Santuza: As a family, we relocated partially. My husband was coming and going throughout the year – something he enjoyed doing because he was able to maintain his professional routine in São Paulo while enjoying a wonderful British life. In the end, he was here for 5 months. My two stepchildren came during their holidays and I think that this experience motivated my step-daughter to apply for her MBA.

Abhijit: No, it was a conscious decision to not move in with my family as it would have disrupted the established ecosystem back home.

  • How did you find your own accommodation and what area would you recommend?

Santuza: I searched through Zoopla and Right Move, concentrating my search on flats around St John´s Wood and Marylebone. My preference was to be close to the school, so it depends on each person’s objective. For me, I knew I wanted to avoid commuting and appreciated being within walking distance from school. Once I identified online the flat, I started exchanging messages with the real estate agent. A good friend of mine who lives in London went to see the flat for me, We did an online tour of the property and then I concluded the rental process with the real estate agent – all online. It was a bit bureaucratic but very straightforward.

Abhijit: I started my search upon arriving in London in January. I spent time looking around for places via listings on the internet. I finally engaged a real estate broker to assist me. It took me about 3 weeks finally to land a place at Paddington. I would recommend that one engages a real estate broker and also factor in around 3-4 weeks for the entire process to be completed. Also, it would be prudent for one to start identifying and shortlisting the locality and the property well in advance. Do this as soon as you get a confirmation of admission to the programme and no later than a month before starting the course. Please note that most of the real-estate brokers enable virtual viewing. Do not hesitate to ask for help from your cohort (who are already there or have stayed in London before) for advice on the right location.

  • How much would you estimate a Sloan student would need for himself/ herself for the living costs throughout the programme? If you relocated with family, what would these costs be?

Santuza: It depends on where you want to live and how big your house needs to be. I assume that on average flats around the school cost 2300 GBP. For living expenses, I would assume something around that figure as well if you want to enjoy the city a little bit, go out with friends, etc.

Abhijit: Lifestyle plays a significant role in determining the cost of living. For a student travelling to school daily and wanting to stay in within a 2–3-mile radius of LBS along with a decent social life, it can cost up to GBP 2500/ month on average. This excludes any travel like the GE elective and the security deposit (1/ 2 month’ rent) that you will need to pay for the accommodation depending on whether you have a local guarantor or not. If you don’t have a local guarantor, you may need to pay up to 6 months’ rent in advance. If you relocate with family (2/2 people), you will need to budget approximately GBP 3500- GBP 4000/ month. One needs to factor in the cost of transportation if you choose to stay in further.

  • What was your overall experience living in London?

Santuza: I had already lived in the UK in 1992 and, again, it didn´t disappoint me. London is an amazing city. Culturally diverse, where East meets West, a city that offers gastronomy to all tastes and pockets. Pity that the program finished. I would have enjoyed staying there more!

Abhijit: Living in London as a student was a truly exciting and enriching experience. The city is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. The opportunity to interact with people from various backgrounds and cultures helped broaden my views. I enjoyed every moment outside the school. Exploring the city, and its historical and cultural attractions along with the fact that you can travel across the EU kept me occupied. The city is built for people who like walking and soaking in the culture of the city.

  1. What tips do you have for an upcoming Sloan student in terms of logistical and financial prep before the programme starts?

Santuza: Looking back, I made the right decision to rent my flat before arriving and arriving in London three weeks before the start of the program. It made a huge difference. The start of the programme was so intense that I felt that those of us who were settled enjoyed more and had peace of mind to stay at school after class instead of needing to rush to see a flat or open a bank account. It might seem that one year is long, but it is not, so my advice is to enjoy the moment properly from the beginning.

Abhijit: Here are a few tips that will help you transition smoothly into student life at LBS

  • Visa & Immigration – Plan well in advance for this. Start the prep as early as you decide on the school & start working on your applications. Set aside a minimum of 45 days for this.
  • Accommodation – As mentioned earlier, plan for this immediately after your admission is confirmed and do not let it linger till the last week.
  • Academic requirements – Ensure that you review the course requirements and pre-work with utmost detail.
  • Healthcare – Your student visa comes with NHS cover but ensure you have the necessary additional cover/access to healthcare. Carry prescription drugs from your home country as the same may not be available in the UK and you will need a local doctor’s prescription to buy them.

Financial Preparation

  • Budgeting – Create a detailed budget that covers all your expenses, including tuition, rent, food, transportation and personal expenses. Monitor your spending to stay on track!
  • Savings and Income: Consider how you will fund your education. This may involve using personal savings or family support.
  • Bank account – Open a local bank account (I opened one with Lloyds which was very easy). Having a local account ensures ease of making local transactions (rent, travel etc.)  convenient.
  • Currency Exchange – This is very important while you budget your expenses as an international student.
  • Contingency / Emergency Fund – Set aside 10% of your annual budget or 2 months of average monthly expense as a contingency fund.
  • Student Discounts – Make the most of your being a student! You will get discounts on TFL, pubs & local eateries basis your student status.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *