Accommodation Tips from Zsofia

Hi everyone! Zsofia writing!

I wanted to shared with you some information about accommodation, which will hopefully help you decide where you would prefer to live!

When you come to London to study, one of the most intimidating matters to sort out is where to live. There are many choices available and it is a huge decision for prospective students and their parents. Looking for a place to stay might feel nerve-wracking at first, but actually it is not as difficult as it seems. Essentially, there are three main types of accommodation options: King’s Residences, intercollegiate halls and private accommodation.

Living in a King’s Residence is undoubtedly a great way to make new friends from all across the university, and because you are surrounded by fellow first year students, there is always someone to talk to. King’s residences are generally very welcoming and safe and usually within walking distance or a short bus/tube ride from campus.

Intercollegiate halls are provided by the University of London, allowing you the opportunity to make friends from other universities in London. These halls offer catering (breakfast and dinner) which might be worth considering if you are not a big fan of spending time in the kitchen! These halls were designed to be as close to as many University of London institutions as possible, so they may be a bit further away from King’s campuses, although some are within walking distance.

Private accommodation is probably the best option if you want to live with a group of friends or your partner. It may also be the cheapest option as you can find places outside of Zone 1, although it may take longer to travel into university. Typically with private accommodation, bills are not included in the monthly rent, like it is with university residences. Most King’s students tend to live in private accommodation with friends in their second year or third year of study.

Personally, I live at a King’s Residence at Guy’s Campus called Wolfson House. I really enjoy living here, I have great flatmates and have a 24hr reception which makes you feel safe as you can always report problems should they arise. My accommodation is in a lovely area in London Bridge, which offers a wide range of restaurants, bars and shops. The nearest tube station is a 5 minute walk away, the Waterloo campus is within 25 minutes walking distance and the Strand campus is within 35-40 minutes walking distance.

Time is very precious when you are a student, so time spent travelling to university is something you want to keep to a minimum. Living within walking distance of campus means accommodation prices are most likely higher, but if you choose to live further out, it’s important to remember that the price of public transport can be expensive.

I think living in halls, either in a King’s Residence or an intercollegiate hall, is an experience you should not miss out on, the friendships formed at these places will last long after you graduate!

Best Wishes,

Zsofia- Economics & Management

Kings Student Portraits Dec 2016 at the  on the 14/12/2016. Photo: David Tett

Accommodation Tips from Alice

Hello offer holders!

As this months theme is accommodation, and applications for King’s Residences will soon be opening, I wanted to share with you some of my accommodation experiences.

Starting university may be the first time you’re living away from home and the first time you’re having to share a fridge with non-family members (trust me, it’s a learning curve!). The first few weeks living in accommodation will be a lot of fun and probably a bit overwhelming. Around a month into living in student accommodation, you start to see some homesick students booking trains to visit home, loaded with massive bags full of washing, on the hope that their mum will to do their laundry! It’s a big step moving away, so I hope I can give you some tips about making the most out of your home-away-from-home, as well as tips on applying for accommodation. I’ll also be sharing with you my own experience of living as a student in London.

When applying for accommodation there are a dizzying amount of choices. Accommodation halls will have a mix of freshers, postgraduate students, UK students, overseas students, sporty people, party people, people you’ll get on with and people you won’t. When applying for King’s accommodation, you’ll be able to list five preferences. It’s best to work through what is most important to you, for instance is costs or proximity more important?

On the King’s Residences website you can find facts and figures about each residence, and photos of the rooms online. Seeing these rooms in person though can give you a real ‘feel’ for the place, so if you’re able attend an offer holder event to view the rooms, I would recommend doing so.  Some of the deciding factors that helped me choose my accommodation was wanting to walk to university, to have my own bathroom and the desire to meet a mixture of people. The most important thing for me though was cost. I put my preferred choices as Stamford Street, Wolfson House and then intercollegiate University of London halls.

In my first year, I lived in International Hall, which is one of the many University of London halls. It was a 20-minute walk from campus located by Russell Square, with catered meals, a common room and friendly staff. I got to meet students from all across London that I would never have met otherwise, and my main group of friends were Masters students from UCL/Kings/Birkbeck/Courtald/LSE. Coming down to a cooked breakfast each morning and talking about anything from current affairs to art history to robotics was such an eye-opening experience. There was a halls committee too, who organised open mic nights, excursions and looked after our welfare, which gave a real sense of community. Staying in the University of London housing meant I was close to Senate House (University of London library), the Maughan Library and other areas like Camden and Covent Garden. There are eight intercollegiate University of London halls, so do have a look if you are interested in a mixed-university environment.

When applying for King’s Residences, I looked at how long the walk was to Strand campus, as I love walking in London and I’m not a big fan of the tube. In terms of walkable distances, Stamford Street Apartments is around 10 mins walk to Strand Campus and Moonraker Apartments are around a 25-30min walk. The residences have some great initiatives, such as BeActive (free sports classes) and Freshers Events, you’ll receive further information about this on your arrival. If you would like to hear more about life in residences, there is a blog about King’s residences

If you are planning to stay at home, you may be worrying about missing out on the social aspects of being a fresher, but accommodation is not the only way to meet people and I’ve had plenty of commuter friends come to halls parties with their friends. In London, it is a little different to institutions in other locations as not everyone is living on the same campus, so people come and go to their friends’ and have dinner or drinks at whoever’s place is closest to the library, the club or party, so you won’t miss out!

Best Wishes,

Alice- Political Economy

Alice Stretch

Accommodation Tips from Alana

Hi, Alana here!

I wanted to give you a few tips on accommodation!

First things first, moving to London can seem very daunting, both in terms of finances and the fact that it is such a big place. People often hear about how expensive it is to live in the city, but you really don’t have to worry, there are plenty of different accommodation options available to you. Living in London is honestly such a fantastic experience, every day feels so exciting and you become independent very quickly.

Choosing your accommodation wisely is very important. Most first year students tend to live in either King’s or intercollegiate residences. Living in university residences is an amazing experience, as you get to meet so many new people from every corner of the world, studying such a wide variety of subjects! I found that there was a real community atmosphere, and you could always find someone to talk to or go out with. King’s residences also have Resident Assistants, who are normally second or third year students. Not only do they organise social events throughout the year, but they are also available as a friendly face to talk to if you have any problems and need some advice. Take a look at the list of accommodation available on the King’s Residences webpage. During my first year I lived in Moonraker Point, so if you have any questions about this particular residence please don’t hesitate to ask me.

As well as King’s Residences, another option for students is to live in private accommodation. This is normally the preferred option for students in their second year onwards, however I knew many people who lived in private accommodation during their first year too. For help with finding somewhere, there’s a Facebook flatmate finder group which is full of King’s students advertising their accommodation for rent. With groups like this it is much easier to find private accommodation as the places posted are being advertised by King’s students!

A key factor when deciding on your accommodation is the location. London is huge, so you have many areas to choose from! There are many factors to consider when looking into accommodation, for instance do you prefer the hustle and bustle of central London, or would you prefer to be in a quieter area a little further out? Do you want to live in an area with vibrant night life, like Camden or Shoreditch? What is your monthly budget? You tend to get more for your money the further out of central London you go, but it depends on whether you would prioritise price or location. I would recommend weighing up all of these factors to see which is most important to you. This will hopefully help make your decision a little easier!

Best Wishes,

Alana- European Studies (French Pathway)

Alana Roberts v2

 

Interview with Dr Ye Liu, Department of International Development

Hi Everyone!

Louise here, student in the Department of International Development.This week I interviewed Dr Ye Liu, a lecturer in Sociology of Development, in the Department of International Development here at King’s. I found out about Ye’s profession and research, and more about what prospective undergraduate students can expect when they come to King’s!

Read my full interview below:

  1. What inspired you to go into academia?

It’s to do with intellectual curiosity. There are a lot of things I’ve tried to understand for instance I’m still very interested in social inequality in China and I don’t understand why people don’t care about it. For example, people feel inequality is a part of modernisation particularly among groups of rural students and citizens. I found their opinions more conservative than people in urban areas. But ultimately, it’s more about my curiosity for the world.

  1. What are you currently researching/ have you recently published anything?

Last year I published my first monograph and it’s called Higher Education, Meritocracy and Inequality in China and I published it with Springer. My current research is about the One Child generation and I look at women’s transition from education to work and to family. I will conduct 45 in-depth individual interviews this April with women from one child families. I will try to find out this cohort’s aspirations and challenges in this still highly patriarchal society.

  1. What IDI events can prospective students look forward to?

We organise regular student events. For example, we invited activists from a refugee network to talk about how we can support refugees and their education. We also organise social events that would provide students with the opportunities for internships. Last year I organised an event for Muktangan charity which provided educational opportunities for women and girls from deprived areas in Mumbai. We recruited students from the UK and Muktangan Trust in Mumbai. They used their own knowledge and skills to train their local girls there and they also helped to develop a curriculum so the whole community, particularly girls, can benefit from the support.

  1. International Development is a very multi-disciplinary course. What is your favourite aspect of a course and why?

It has to be sociology. Sociology still fascinates me. It’s also highly inter-disciplinary for example you can be an economist and a sociologist or you can be a sociologist with a strong political approach.

  1. Do you have any advice to give prospective students?

To try and enjoy King’s and to try to be connected in the King’s community. We have so many resources here through friendship and through student association which will enrich your student life as well as your later professional life. We also want students to enjoy the King’s Alumni network so that they realise they are a part of the King’s community now and in the future and they can continue to benefit from our rich network.

Read Ye Liu’s King’s biography page here: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/idi/People/Academic-staff/Ye-Liu/Biography.aspx

Best Wishes,

Louise- International Development

Kings Student Portraits Dec 2016 at the  on the 14/12/2016. Photo: David Tett

Scholarships & Bursaries

Congratulations on your offer from King’s College London – I hope you are excited about starting in September!

It’s Alice here, I’m a second year Political Economy BSc student and Digital Ambassador for Political Economy Department, within the School of Social Science and Public Policy. I am currently on a semester studying abroad in Asia, but bringing you all the tips about King’s and London.

Although you have a final term of school, looming exams and then a long summer, September will come around all too quickly – believe me. So while those of you in your final year at college may have a lot of pressure at the moment (although I imagine there’s some of you taking a gap year in exotic countries too), if you have fifteen minutes, do look into what I’m writing about today: Scholarships and Bursaries.

The best way to prepare for university is to prioritise what you have control over; the financial, course-based and practical aspects. Once you are more confident in those areas, it will ease ‘the big step up to university’ which includes finding friends, adapting to a new environment and any other issues you may be contemplating (hopefully these will be covered on this blog over the next few months and if not, do get in touch)!

Firstly, finances. Everybody knows that London is not cheap and being a student here is no exception. However, London is an extraordinary place to study where the opportunities far outweigh a potentially diminishing bank balance. King’s recognises that talented students come to London to access everything the university and the city has to offer, which is why it has such a comprehensive range of Scholarships and Bursaries.

Scholarships and Bursaries are not something to leave until September – please do investigate your options now.

I applied for the Desmond Tutu Scholarship in March before I began at King’s and I received the £1,000 scholarship in my first year as well as having a black-tie dinner each Christmas. This dinner is attended by the other Desmond Tutu Scholars from each year group, the senior staff of King’s faculties and also an inspirational public figure who represents the scholarship’s values in their keynote address. The values of the scholarship are ‘academic excellence’ and ‘service to society’ and I had to demonstrate these through the 1,000 word essay application, as well as my Curriculum Vitae. To find out details about how to apply, see  here. The renowned leader Desmond Tutu is an alum of King’s, so it’s certainly not a bad name for the CV either.

The second bursary I have received is the King’s Living Bursary, which is available to “every full-time home first degree student who has been means-tested with a financial income assessment of £42,875 or less”, with a maximum amount of £1,600 (split between payments in November and February) to be spent on costs whilst studying.

Not all Scholarships and Bursaries are for your London living costs, you can also be given money towards studying abroad! King’s has some of the best study abroad opportunities, and has a particularly extensive range of summer programmes.

Last summer I studied in Geneva and had the full two-week course costs paid by King’s, this semester I am studying at Yonsei University in Seoul (South Korea) and I achieved the Broadening Horizons Award, which is one of the two overarching study abroad awards at King’s, the other being the Santander Award.

Study Abroad Awards are a great help and cover any related costs; flights, language lessons or even novelty souvenirs (if you want). The application included three 150-word answers of how the award would benefit your international exchange, but this will all be explained in study abroad briefings once you start at King’s.

By sharing my experiences, I hope I have highlighted that King’s is here to help, that these Scholarships and Bursaries are within your reach and they can cover a whole range of activities. I have been writing from a UK-Home student perspective, but please go through and browse the Fees & Funding webpage to check your eligibility for what’s available.

If you have any questions about this post or King’s in general contact me by email on sspp-student@kcl.ac.uk  and join the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy UG Offer Holders Group on Facebook for more updates.

Best Wishes,

Alice – Political Economy

Alice Stretch

Why I Chose King’s- Paridhi

Hi everyone! Paridhi here, current BA English Language and Communication student here at King’s. I wanted to share with you why I chose to study at King’s!

For me, choosing which university to attend was just a little stressful, primarily because of the fact that I was an international student and nowhere even close to London, let alone Europe.

In fact, I was a few (five) geographical time-zones away, and making a decision about where I was going spent the next three years of my life without ever having stepped foot in any of the places I was considering. The future was a foreign country – literally!

In the end, I decided to choose King’s because of the following reasons:

  • The course. I wanted a course that would cover the basics of how language worked and still let me focus on the aspects of language that I truly loved. I also wanted some flexibility in case I felt like changing my mind, later. King’s programme on linguistics had practically everything I was looking for in a course, from specific topics (such as modules on social media, like Twitter and Facebook) to the sort of study required (primarily independent study) – it was, and is, perfect!
  • The location. I wanted to live in London and get to know London properly, and the best way to do that seemed to be by studying in the heart of the city, which is where my campus, the Waterloo campus, at King’s happened to be.
  • The opportunities. Numerous factors about the university, including the location and the alumni network, for instance, led me to (rightly) conclude that King’s would, time after time, introduce me to new opportunities.
  • The support. King’s has numerous scholarships that you can apply for, and I was fortunate enough to be granted the Desmond Tutu Scholarship, which was not only a monetary relief but also resulted in a really worthwhile experience that let me meet other students and individuals interested in the service of society.I don’t only mean monetary support, though – at the time of my application, I was struggling with my long-standing disability, epilepsy, and was worried that it would get in the way of my academic achievements. King’s, however, seemed like it would be accommodating, thanks to services such as their Disability Advisory Service.
  • The reputation. King’s is an internationally renowned university, and that does help when it comes to the practical matters of future employment. Who wouldn’t want a university like that on a résumé?

I was proven right about my choice on pretty much my first day at university. I found the places I’d be frequently visiting over the coming years, and met the people who would go on to become my closest friends and even future flatmates!

Paridhi, BA English Language and Communication

at the  on the 14/12/2016. Photo: David Tett

Welcome Social Science & Public Policy Undergraduate Offer Holders 2017

A warm welcome to all Social Science & Public Policy undergraduate offer holders, to our Faculty Student Blog page.

Over the coming months, we’ll be updating this page with blogs from our Subject Ambassadors, who are current undergraduate students here at King’s. Our Subject Ambassadors are here to share their student experiences with you,  let you know more about life as a King’s student, and to answer any questions you may have about studying at King’s.

If you have a question you would like to ask, please email our Subject Ambassadors on sspp-student@kcl.ac.uk, and they’ll be happy to answer your query.

In the meantime, feel free to browse through our past posts, and keep an eye out on this page for new blog posts!

Getting ready to come to uni – what I wish I’d known before I started

Here is a little list of things I wish somebody told me, or at least repeated to me 10 times.

Accommodation:

  • Pack up some pictures to remind yourself of your friends during hard moments (because you will be homesick)
  • Some decoration to make your student room feel like is home? But it’s OK if you don’t because your flatmates will probably add some stuff too decorating with them can actually be a great way to bond!

Friends:

  • It’s alright not to stick with your flatmates
  • It’s alright to change group of friends if you realise they don’t correspond to you, even after 2 months! Don’t be scared!
  • People will be scary and try to impress during seminars, but they’re as frightened as you don’t worry. Everyone is playing the same game of act-the-least-lost-and-frightened at the beginning of the year.
  • Your friends will be your family, they will bring you meds when you’ll get freshers’ flu

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Money:

  • King’s as a major international university in the centre of London tends to have people who can definitely afford more than instant noodles every day, so don’t trust the Tab or 9gag too much
  • A lot of people have part-time jobs and it’s cool to take one to have something outside of uni, especially if it pays for all your fun
  • Opening a bank account is not hard at all, don’t stress, just go to a bank and tell them you want to open one. Easy.

Hobbies:

  • You will probably enrol in loads of clubs/societies and drop many during the year: that’s fine
  • You can even create your own club if it doesn’t exist yet
  • You’ll make amazing friends in it because you’ll share a passion

London:

  • Great multicultural place that will make you think again your: “I’m a third culture kid” self
  • Your English flatmate will love cooking chicken tikka and chilli con carne while your French flatmate will be all about that wine and cheese
  • Deals are everywhere, look out for them!
  • Slow walking is forbidden as well as standing on the left in the escalators (trust me you’ll totally agree once you’re a Londoner haha)
  • Wearing a cool-artsy jacket is a great conversation starter.

King’s

  • Go and see your personal tutor for advice about assignments even if you don’t have any questions or are pretty sure you’re doing well, because he can only make it better
  • Apply for study abroad if you can
  • You will never see all the rooms in the Maughan Library because it’s so big

Voilà, that was a little bit of before uni basics, and I know this won’t make a difference straight away, but as a final year student I assure you, they’re true, so please read them to yourself A LOT and don’t forget to relax and have fun, because the uni years are the years where you’re old enough to be independent and young enough to not care about important adult stuff (like tax).

Anysia, BA Politics

Preparations for my Final Year

An often repeated phrase at university is that ‘your final year is the decisive one’. As I begin my preparations for undertaking it in September, I am able to understand the undoubted truth of this – that this final year will be the toughest yet and hopefully the most fulfilling.

Looking ahead, the project which looms largest is my dissertation which should be the showpiece of a BA; an assignment requiring deep focus upon an area of profound personal interest. Working out precisely what this area will be has been an intense preoccupation of mine over the summer so far –  for the simple reason that my choice of topic now will very likely tip the balance of marks overall. The answer of course is to figure out precisely what you have been passionate about over the course of your studies and chase it; something which is easier said than done. For me personally, this has been the military culture of the Ottoman Empire – a subject which has caused many raised eyebrows among my friends. ‘It sounds interesting,’ said one, ‘but how are the Ottomans really relevant, today?’ I would be lying if I was not also worried that I was looking too far back into an area obscure even by the standards of War Studies.

StudentsMaughanStudying-Cropped-425x280

Yet the consoling factor for me is that whenever I cast my mind over something to read or look back over my notes, it is always the Ottomans which I find myself returning to. Indeed, there is another factor to consider when choosing your topic – it isn’t so much whether the topic itself is linked directly to current events or career prospects but the skills you have demonstrated in completing it. To take an example, my elder sister recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in Social History, having completed a dissertation on early modern witchcraft. In her subsequent job interviews, however, the topic of witchcraft itself was not under discussion; rather her potential employers were concerned with the details of her project planning and research methodology. The message, then, is that there really isn’t much point in worrying about how obscure and narrow your topic is – completing a 10,000-word project on that subject is the challenge and your capacity to fulfil it will be respected.

This brings me on to another, and in some ways more worrying, aspect of my final year – what will I be doing afterwards? When asked about my career plans, my usual refrain had been that I was looking to enter journalism. Now, of course, it is the time for me to ensure these plans have more substance to them. With some volunteering experience with Amnesty International and the Remain Great, Remain In campaign behind me, I am aware of the possibilities of gaining work experience in London – as well as the limitations. The competition for internships and placements is naturally fierce but the only response is to simply keep applying with an optimistic stubbornness. The experience of my fellow KCL students demonstrates that it is not impossible, by any means, to gain exciting work experience at my level.

As September draws closer, however, I am acutely conscious that what awaits me is probably the largest workload I have yet experienced. Thankfully, I know that the advantage of doing a subject that you are genuinely passionate about is that you are able to wake up every day with a desire to learn more, cheesy as that sounds.

Henry, War Studies

What am I doing this summer?

After the summer festivals and the end of the year trips to some sunny places like Portugal with your friends, it is time to start your internship or work. A key step for students during the summer is to get work experience. Not only will it embellish your CV but it will help you realise whether or not you really want to work in that field later. For my part I am an undergraduate research fellow at King’s with one of my lecturers, a research assistant.

I must say it is really different from any other internship you would get in private firms or charities. It is a one-on-one internship where you will mostly only interact with your lecturer. You can imagine how awful it is for me not being able to socialise and talk to new people in my working place. Very different from big summer internship schemes where they organise all sorts of events like nights out. Nevertheless King’s is very lively during the summer thanks to the summer school and I have 3 friends who do the same thing as me with other lecturers so we still manage to grab lunch and coffee together! Plus just think how cool it is to take part in a research paper that during the year you might read but instead of just reading it you helped write it!?

emea-cs-kings-college-london-gallery05

I suggest, if you have the opportunity, to do the same thing as me in your first or second year! Third year is alright but not as useful because the one and main perk you will get out of this internship is the bond you will create with your teacher. Mine took me out for lunch so we could share our passions in life and our plans! And trust me our lecturers are actually humans too and have other interests than what they work on… We tend to forget that don’t we?

For a French student who’s always known a rigid French school system where you never interact with teachers outside of class it is a big thing for me. My lecturer offered his help in choosing my Masters as it is the next big step in my education.  He also gave me advice for my future dissertation although he is not my supervisor. Getting to know someone who will be able to write you a superb letter of recommendation and guide you through the educational jungle is a plus you should not overlook.  As I said you should take this internship as an opportunity to obviously learn more about research and the field you will tackle but also you should make the most out of it to build a meaningful friendship with your teacher because having real academic support is very important.

That’s what I’ve taken from this internship, each person will probably have a different view, but all I can give as a general piece of advice is do look for work experience or internships during summer because as a King’s student you are not an ordinary person who might sit watching Netflix through the summer, you are a curious person who is capable of getting out of your comfort zone, and put yourself out there to be a better person on your CV and in real life.

Anysia, BA Politics