As a King’s student ambassador, I’ve guided two campus tours. First tour was at Strand, with a group of Chinese high school students months ago. The recent one was with summer school participants from the European continent, from Waterloo to Strand, calling at Maughan library and back to Strand.
Tours were fun, as I learned more about King’s history and anecdotes during the preparation. It was also exciting to meet interesting young people and work hard to “sell” King’s to them. It was often tricky, especially as we were trained not to compare King’s with other universities nearby (and not to tell the truth that they were not as good as King’s in many aspects). What’s more, it was a pity that Maughan library does not allow “sightseeing” inside.
Prospective students asked various questions during the tour, but their major concerns were admission requirements, tuition fee, and living expenses. It was fine to discuss experiences of living in London with them, but a little difficult to know the admission requirements and tuition fee standard for each program. My rule was to give general information according to disciplines, and then encourage them to write to the admission office and / or departments they aimed at for details. I also picked some maps and brochures from the Strand entrance to distribute, so they had contacts that were useful.
King’s Campuses http://www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/campuses/index.aspx
News said that this was the hottest summer of the U.K. in 7 years. Well, I’m lucky. As sunshine was luxury for U.K. dwellers, I should enjoy it as much as I could. Unfortunately, there were chapters of my thesis that needed revision and blank pages waiting to be transformed into papers for conferences in September. To make a compromise, I decided to go on a reading picnic.
I thought the small park near my place would be an ideal choice. The park was populated as it was Sunday, but it was ok. The most astonishing thing was all those people who were bathing in the sun. It was not that I was too conservative and felt uncomfortable with people wearing bikinis, but that in my hometown, which was a seaside city, people only wore like this on beaches and it was almost a shock for me to see half-naked people lying on the grass! After my eyes got used to it, however, I could focus and read, with kids running, laughing and screaming as the “background music”.
Generally speaking, it was a pleasant experience to read and enjoy the nice weather at the same time. But I think this kind of reading picnic is suitable only for one person. A group of people might distract each other and finally forget about reading and focus on picnic.
When I came to King’s last September, I heard about a course called AKC during the orientation period. The full name is Associate of King’s College London, and it stands as the course with longest history in King’s. The course is open to all King’s members free of charge, and attendees get a A.K.C. title after passing three years’ exams. I enrolled out of curiosity, and it turned out to be a right choice.
The theme of the AKC course is religion. The first semester focused on more theoretical topics including the development of religion and fundamental beliefs. Contents in the second semester were integrated with modern British history. All the speakers were organised and humorous, so it was not difficult to stick to the schedule and attend a 1 hour lecture per week, although it is not compulsory as recordings would be available in the libraries. That said, it had been quite difficult for me to understand some of the course as a non-Christian. The solution I found was to search online in advance and get a general idea. I also watched series of Yale Open Course on the Bible.
I was very worried before the exam, but fortunately passed. I still get 2 years to go before I can apply for an A.K.C title. However, it is something to looking forward to, not to worry about.
Associate of King’s College London http://www.kcl.ac.uk/aboutkings/principal/dean/akc/index.aspx