I recall having quite a few friendly arguments with my mother when I left my hometown
(Düsseldorf, Germany) to come and study at King’s back in 2014. The subject of our disagreement: what to pack. Which brings me to my first pre-departure tip – listen to your mama! I know, I know, some strange advice coming from a twenty-something… but hear me out! It is all rather hilarious looking back. If I remember it correctly I wanted to bring a little stack of books, classics, my favourites that truly represented who I was (or wanted to be) at the time. That and other things to create the right decor and feel to my new dorm room – knick-knack and sentimentals galore! And whilst I still do agree with the idea of bringing things that will make you feel at home in a new space, I don’t think they should weigh down your luggage significantly.
This is the stuff that my mum believed I should focus my Tetris-like packing skills on: tupperware. Yes, tupperware. I wasn’t that thrilled about her suggestions and tried to ignore them best I could, but little did I know that she had stuffed lots of kitchen supplies that I had rendered unnecessary into my second suitcase – including tupperware. And boy, was I thankful for that later! Turns out a lunch box and that extra frying pan are way more useful than having a copy of The Catcher in The Rye on your shelf, and yes, I am rolling my eyes at past-me too, it’s okay!
Long story short, rethink your packing priorities and do listen to your parents when it comes to this, they tend to be right such matters! Essentials should be at the top of your list, like a warm winter coat (even if it isn’t your most stylish possession), because you will most definitely need it in London. And of course, tupperware!
Another little thing I would recommend paying some attention to before leaving for university is sorting out all the paperwork you might need.This includes writing down important information like your student number, some phone numbers perhaps, and dates for induction sessions etc. I’d say it’s better to have it all in one place than having to look through your email inbox frantically when you are unsure about something. Next to writing some things down, make a folder for the documents you want to bring (high school certificate, student loan letter, medical paperwork, you name it) – have it all nice and neat, and as I said, in one place. Additionally, I reckon it can’t hurt to back up some of your documents digitally, like a scanned in copy of your passport on a USB, for
example. You never know, you might need it.
What it basically comes down to is playing personal assistant for yourself for a day or so to organise everything. I am aware it sounds like a pretty dry task to tackle, but it will put your mind at ease and you will be able to fully enjoy all the new and exciting experiences that will come flooding in! Trust me, there’s better things to worry about than struggling to remember your King’s email password!
The Global Internship programme started last year, summer of 2016 and it took place in three locations, Washington DC, Shanghai and Mumbai. I was one of the people who had the incredible opportunity to go and intern for 7 weeks in Mumbai. By far it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was that incredible that this year I am interning again, but this time in Medellin, Colombia. Continue reading
One of the best things about studying in London is that travelling around Europe is fast and inexpensive. So every time I have an opportunity to go to a different city, I don’t even think about it, I just go. For me travelling means so much more than just to visit a different country. I think that when you travel you also learn a lot about yourself. You get to know what it is that you are capable of, and you mature in so many ways. Continue reading
Around three years ago when I was starting my third year of undergrad in the University of Texas Pan-American, I made my second study abroad program. This time I travelled to Spain. The program itself was fantastic, but after a month of studying in Salamanca, Spain, my friend and I decided to travel another month around Europe. We had the opportunity to go to Brussels, Norway, Italy, France, Poland, Ireland and we made a stop in London. Our experience in every country was very unique and amazing, but as soon as we arrived in London, I just felt in love with this incredible city. Continue reading
When I was applying for undergraduate programmes, something that really attracted me to King’s was the emphasis it placed on the study abroad programme it offers. I know, I know – being from Singapore, wasn’t attending university overseas already studying abroad? Indeed it is, but who wouldn’t jump at the chance to experience living and studying in two vastly different cities? Continue reading
As an international student, one of my favourite things to do whilst in London is to plan trips to other places throughout Europe. I’ve always loved traveling and Europe makes it so easy and relatively cheap to get to different parts of the continent.
The first thing to think about is whether or not you need additional visas or paperwork for the places you plan to travel to. This is dependent on your nationality and information can be found online. Moreover, make sure that you always have all of the necessary paperwork and identification to re-enter the UK when you return from traveling.
Once you have chosen a destination and have gotten your paperwork in order you can start to think about transportation. StudentUniverse offers discounted flights to students if you sign up using a student email and has been my go-to site for flights back to New York and around Europe. You can also compare prices using sites like Kayak and Opodo. Usually airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet are relatively cheap. However, these discount airlines typically do not offer amenities, such as free snacks or drinks. Additionally, you will have to pay to check baggage on these airlines, so it pays to travel lightly! If possible, pack your belongings in a carry-on bag and be sure not to have liquids more than 100 ml. If you choose not to fly, you may not face the same restrictions. There are many different train services, such as EuroStar, throughout Europe that can be reasonably priced without as many restrictions. Many countries offer their own train services as well. Be on the lookout for student pricing when booking your tickets – it can save you a lot of money!
After figuring out transportation, it’s time to look for accommodation. Hostel World and Airbnb are both good places to begin looking if you don’t know anyone local where you are going. I’ve had positive experiences with both sites, especially after booking places with good reviews. I prefer these options to many hotels because I’ve been able to get cheaper, nicer accommodation that is more centrally located, which ends up saving money for local transportation.
Finally, enjoy your trip! Europe has so much history to offer and each city and country has its own “thing” that makes it famous. During the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Edinburgh, Scotland, Reykjavík, Iceland, and Aalborg and Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s so amazing to see how other people live each day and learn about the different cultures that we are surrounded by in London. Traveling has allowed me to experience such a variety of different things and has made me truly appreciate how lucky I am to live in a city as vibrant as London.