Your International Relations Student Buddy

VilleHey I’m Ville and I am a second year undergraduate student in International Relations in the Department of War Studies. This year my modules include Statecraft, War and Diplomacy, War and Global Confict, Global Politics and Foreign Policy Analysis. I also take Russian language classes and attend some of the King’s Awards sessions to boost my non-academic skills as well! Originally from Finland, I was interested in international politics already well before coming to King’s. I have a background in volunteering in different international youth organisations, for example by representing the Finnish National Youth Council in the European Youth Forum or the Finnish youth in the General Assembly of UNESCO as the official UNESCO youth delegate of Finland. At the moment, I am involved mainly in the external relations of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement in the European region. 

Being a student buddy for me is first of all a chance to make it easier for prospective students to make their mind about university. As I was coming from another country myself and did not have any contacts in the UK beforehand, finding the right degree was a challenging task. If there is anything I can do to make it easier for others, I’m definitely up for it!

10 thoughts on “Your International Relations Student Buddy

  1. Hey Ville!

    I’ve applied for the BA for International Relations and wanted to know if you have the ability to take a language course with the degree?

    Many Thanks!

  2. Hey Sana!

    Thank you for your question! The short answer is yes, you can study languages alongside your degree. However, the language modules you take (you can choose between assessed or non-assessed) do not count towards your degree as extra credits so you still need to take the same number of IR-related modules as other students not studying languages.

    See more here: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/mlc/study/index.aspx

    I hope this was helpful!

    Best,
    Ville

  3. Dear Ville,
    I am glad from your personal politeness as well as from King’s College’s responsible attitude to its candidates. King’s College is amongst the universities which have always attracted me with their apparent authority and indisputable dignity. It is an honour for me to communicate with them indirectly via you and to learn more details about the training and the whole student’s life. The Great Britain is a hospitable and tolerant country, but making preliminary contacts is a guarantee about everyone’s successful integration. Thank you for your goodwill and readiness to be my mentor and friend.
    I have looked through your biography and I found that both we have got severeal common interests amongst which is Russian language. I have been studying Russian for several years and I consider that it is a very useful language nowadays. It is easy for me to study Russian because of our countries’ closeness to Russia, our common historical past and the fact that Bulgarian is a Slavonic language as well as Russian. I would like to study Russian in the United Kingdom, especially within King’s College. So could you explain me the opportunities of studying Russian there?
    Another question, which excites me, is what the subject names during the first year are. Are they all obligatory or a part of them are your personal choice?
    I heartily thank you for your friendly attitude and your wish to be beneficial to future students. I hope that I shall transform myself into a part of the big King’s College’s family and I shall have got an opportunity to show the right way to others.

  4. Dear Ville,
    I have written to you a message but there was no an answer given. I am worried about that and I want to know what the reason is. May you make a contact with me? I am sure that we shall find a common language.
    Best wishes!

  5. Dear Deyan,

    First of all, please accept my apologies for coming back to your question with such an unacceptably long delay. Since there is no automatic email alert for notification and I have only occasionally visited the main page of the blog, I only saw your message this evening. Now that I did, please, let me get right on with it!

    It is easy to agree with you when you write that talking with current students is a brilliant way of getting to know more about the degree, the student life in London and the university. I am happy to share with you whatever insight I might have acquired during my two years of study in King’s!

    Regarding the language options in our course (Russian or any other) there are generally two ways to do this. First of all, you need to be aware that a language module does not count towards the degree and does not bring you any credits. If you still want to do it, as I did for example, you can either sign up for an assessed language module or for an evening class. The assessed course has formal examination in the end and, providing that you pass, it gets you an official certificate proving your achieved language level. In the evening-classes, the students do not have exams and will not get official certificates in the end. Please see the following links for more details:

    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/mlc/study/modules/index.aspx (assessed modules)
    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/mlc/evening/index.aspx (evening classes)

    Regarding your question about the first year modules, yes, they are all obligatory. You will have a full year course in International Economics, International Relations Theory and International History. In addition, you will have two half a year modules: Conflict and Diplomacy, and Contemporary Security Issues. The idea behind the diversity of the first year modules is to give the students a broad understanding of the key themes and debates in the field of International Relations. Based on this knowledge, students can then tailor their second and third year content according to their interests. Please see more information about the course structure through the following link:

    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/prospectus/undergraduate/international-relations/structure

    I hope these answers have shed some light to the issues you raised in your first message? Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with! And of course, best of luck with the application process! :)

    Ville

  6. Hey Ville,
    my name is Soline and I have applied for international relations at king’s college!
    I’m going to London on the 14th of April to visit King’s college (self-guided tour) in order to discover the place where I will be studying next year ! The thing is that I would like to meet a student from King’s studying International Relations to know more about this course and the life at King’s because I have many questions.
    do you think it would be possible that you meet me or do you know anyone I could meet there on this day?
    thank you very much !
    yours sincerely
    Soline Calmels

    if you wish to contact me: soline0409@hotmail.fr

  7. Hello Soline!

    Thanks for your comment! I would be happy to meet you myself on 14 April and try to answer to as many questions as you have the best I can! It is the revision month at the moment so I’m pretty flexible now that we don’t have any classes.

    Thanks for leaving your email, I sent you a message so we can agree on the time and place etc :)

    Best,
    Ville

  8. Hi Ville!

    Your student profile has been most helpful, thank you for that. I’ve accepted the offer to study IR at King’s College London. I was wondering if you could tell what in your experience has been the most challenging part of everyday life, especially during the first year, apart from studying? Also, I’m from Finland as well, so was there anything you found particularly challenging from a Finnish point of view?

    Best wishes from

    Essi

  9. Moi Essi and congratulations, you will absolutely love it!

    Thanks for the positive feedback! Happy to hear my efforts to help you guys have not been in vain, this is a new initiative for King’s as well so all ideas for improvements are also much appreciated :)

    You asked a pretty difficult question since I would have immediately said that studying in a university level and in English is the single most challenging thing that you have to get used to (and you do, very quickly). Besides that, I would say the most difficult thing was to try to find the right balance between your academic responsibilities, your social life and everything that London has to offer. I don’t know if you have been to London before but in a global city of 8 some million people, there is always something more interesting to do than your books and journal articles. So either you are blessed with a set of time-management skills and self-discipline already, or you need to develop those qualities pretty quickly upon your arrival!

    As it happens, I actually wrote about this last year here, have a look! http://blogs.kcl.ac.uk/internationalrelations/2014/12/08/the-balancing-act/

    And of course, there is also the other side of the coin which is much more positive. I cannot imagine any other place in Europe where I could do and see some much directly related to my degree while I study :)

    From a Finnish point of view in particular, you might already know that the social norms here are somewhat different. It took some time for me to get used to the fact that “how are you” does not really mean “how are you” but more like “hello”. Another example could perhaps be the small talk culture and general politeness which, at least in my experience, we in Finland lack compared to the UK (well, I’m from the city so it might be different in the countryside). I could really go on for quite some time since I am personally very interested in different social norms and how they develop and overlap over time. I touched on this a little bit more here (https://villemajamaa.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/what-is-finnishness/) but I am also eager to talk more about this in person when you get here :)

    Very best,

    Ville

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