My Summer at King’s: Vedika Kedia

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King’s College London Summer School is an appropriate opportunity for someone like me looking to discover, International Relations (IR). The course curriculum involves introducing basic concepts of power, democracy in IR and evolves to further nuanced study of the failed states, conflict regions and role of institutions like the United Nations. What made the course even more palpable were the class discussions, role-plays and other class activities. It gives an in-depth understanding of the perspectives of different stakeholders. Keats portal offers an access to a wide range of online material to further analyse any topic of interest. It significantly aids the course of study particularly during assignments.

The diversity within the classroom also fuelled the discussions. My peers belonged to various disciplines like History, Law, Journalism, Commerce and Mathematics. Through the short tenure of the course, we explored the concepts taught through the lenses of different stakeholders. The complexity of policy making in IR was evident through role-plays. In a scenario where groups have high stakes it is difficult to arrive at a consensus. In addition, being in India, we also discussed the impact of different policies on India and its take.

I comprehended the significance of evaluating the contextual variables. On doing so, I understood the uniqueness of each conflict and realised the futility of one–size-fits-all policies. I also learnt the importance of studying the history of a particular group or nation to assess its current position. History forms an important part of IR as many policies are framed keeping the nation’s past experiences in mind.

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The module has equipped me better to read between the lines. Knowing the IR theories, I can now better analyse the motives behind different IR policies and try to understand its impact. I came across new friends and a reliable guide in form of my professor.

Our Professor guided us vehemently throughout our course. She was always available on mail or in person to clear our queries promptly. At no point neither KCL nor the professor took the module in low intensity which clearly shows their high commitments level. This course was treated at par with any module during the usual graduate term in London. There could be many reasons to sway away, being it just a summer school, a short non – graduating course, geographically far away from main London campus and moreover no student opting for credit transfers. But it was all professionalism at work.

In a nutshell, I would describe the King’s College London, Delhi Summer School to be a memorable intrinsic didactic experience.

My Summer at King’s: Avantika Banerjee

berlin blog oneI was a part of the 2016 King’s College London India Summer School, where I took  Strategic Management. Even though it was a two-week program the amount of knowledge shared was tremendous.

The classes were full of discussions which brought new ideas and thoughts to the surface. The methodology was quite interesting. On our very first day, we were divided into groups of fives, which made discussions more comprehensive. Each day we talked about important issues and how to solve real-life problems in businesses using various tools and theories. The Summer School was a platform where I actually started to think critically and analytically. I also got an opportunity to work on my communication and presentation skills.

What also made the class interesting, was the diversity that it offered. My peers were not only from all over the country but also from across the world. This broadened the scope of our discussions since we all gained a perspective on global issues from our peers. Our professor was really helpful and was never restricted to just the course at hand. She told us about life at King’s and especially what the college and the city have to offer.

berlin blog one (1)The cherry on the top was the 5th anniversary of the Summer School. All the students were invited to the event at British Council, New Delhi. This was a golden opportunity for us since we got a chance to meet people at King’s in person. I got a chance to speak with Tayyeb Shah, Deputy Vice President (Global Business Development) . In the midst of a very interesting conversation that I had with him, I happened to share my interests in Data Sciences and IoT. He guided me to get in touch with Professor Mischa Dohler at King’s to gain a clear understanding of the field and see how I could translate my interests into ambitions.

My belief that professors at Kings were the most supportive was further strengthened when I got all the guidance that I needed. I got to know King’s much better and eventually fell in love with it! And so, here I am. At King’s. Pursuing Masters in Data Sciences. It really has been quite an interesting ride since June’16!

 

 

 

My Summer at King’s: Louise Peart

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Summer soon came around and before I knew it I was in a car headed to London to start my two weeks at the King’s College London Pre-University Summer School. Although not wanting to admit it, I was absolutely terrified- the thought of being thrown into a university-style course with complete strangers and expected to socialise filled me with anxiety, and I soon started to question precisely what I had let myself in for. What if nobody talked to me? How will I understand the content of a medicine course when I’ve only just taken my GCSEs? And, most importantly, what if there’s no WiFi?

These thoughts were immediately swept out of my mind the moment I walked into the Stamford Street apartments. I was greeted by ambassadors in orange t-shirts who welcomed me with huge smiles, and helped me take my luggage to my flat. They took the time to speak to my family and assured them (and myself) that I would be fine. After spending some time unpacking, I decided to take the plunge and knocked on the door of my neighbouring room. We managed to skip the awkward small talk and in fact learnt that I had visited her hometown in the US just two summers ago. We now Snapchat every day and are constantly having discussions of our reunion.

Without sounding cliché, the next two weeks were, without question, the best two weeks of my life. Coming from a small school I rarely have a chance to meet people my age from such an international background, but by the end of my time at King’s I had formed special bonds with friends from all across the globe. This gave me a taste of what studying at such an internationally renowned university would be like, and it is something that I cannot wait to be apart of. Academically, the course provided a very stimulating introduction into Medicine, through lectures, seminars and clinical skills sessions. At the beginning of my two weeks I was unsure whether medicine was for me, however now I am almost certain that I want to become a doctor.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this course to anyone who wants to make the most out of their summer, and spend two weeks exploring London- which I have come to adore. The hardest part was saying goodbye to my new friends, who almost felt like family, however I left with the confidence of knowing what I want to study, where, and perhaps most importantly, a set of friends for life.

Undergraduate Summer School Students- What’s Next?

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Many congratulations and thank you to those of you who attended the King’s College London Undergraduate Summer School this year! This blog post is to update you on the next steps and what to expect over the next few months.

August
Examiners will have begun marking your work, and if you have met the minimum attendance you will be sent an official Record of Agreed Results (a transcript of your grades). To make sure this is sent to the right place please check that your home address is listed correctly on your Student Records account. If not, please log into your record online and edit the address by Sunday 27 August.

September
You should be able to see your assessment results on KEATS by the very end of this month.

October
Record of Agreed Results (a transcript of your grades) sent to your registered postal address by the end of October. You will be sent one copy of your transcript from King’s to the address you have supplied us in your original application. If you would prefer for this to be sent directly to your home institution please ensure this information has been updated fully in your King’s student record. You can visit our e-store via the King’s website if you need to purchase additional copies of your transcript.

November
If you are interested in coming back to King’s – the 2018 Summer School programme will be available to view online from the beginning of November.

We hope you have enjoyed your Summer School experience and we hope to see you again in the future.

My Summer in Berlin with King’s- Maxine Yu

Untitled designThis summer I was lucky enough to go to the amazing Berlin with King’s. It was an experience packed with excitement, fun and wonder. Every day was filled with activities that brought us closer to the history, culture and the people of Berlin.

I particularly enjoyed the bike tour around the city, although I had somehow managed to crash a stationary bike, we were taken on a journey of Berlin’s most iconic buildings and structures. The relaxing feeling of the wind blowing in my hair and the slightly panicked feeling of biking on the opposite side of the road, combined with astonishing views was what made it a unique and special experience for me.

Of course it wasn’t just the places we saw that made this trip such an experience, it was also the wonderful people that we met. Journalist and Editor, Gerd Appenzeller that told us about the reconstruction of Berlin, Integration Commissioner, Katharine Niewiedzial whom spoke to us about Berlin’s migration policy and Berlin’s most popular blogger, Mary Schweppes and her adorable dog that discussed Berlin as a European centre for the worlds young.

Not only did we get to learn about Berlin but we got to fully experience it, the food was delicious and it really brought us closer to Berlin as well as to each other. Whether it was the cutest bagel cafe, the sausages in the street stalls, or waiting in line for 2 hours for the world’s best kebab, some of my fondest memories were when we were relaxing and having fun as a group.

From the funny traffic lights to the unforgettable memorials, my favourite moment was when we were walking down the East Side Gallery at sunset, admiring at all the skillful street art. Watching the blazing sunset by the river, and taking a thousand pictures with everyone, it was a perfect last night in Berlin.

I had made some unbreakable friendships, travelled in time, from before World War II to modern day Germany, and made memories that I will cherish and never forget.

An Interview With Instagram Competition Winner Adrian Moftakhari

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Adrian Moftakhari was a student at this year’s Undergraduate Summer School and was the winner of our ‘Summer at King’s’ Instagram competition.

So please tell us a little bit about yourself.

How could I define myself… ? mmh well that’s a good way to start this interview! I would simply say that I’m Adrian, a Swiss/Iranian bloke studying law, dancing tango and painting soon to be masterpieces when my nose isn’t buried deep into textbooks… I’m also a big fan of beers and coffees (especially when the company’s good!) astronomy and theatre. As a Swiss guy, I love skiing, cheese, chocolate and great watches (how typical…), but I can only afford the first ones haha!

This year I’ll be turning 22 and should have the first part of my studies in the pocket: the Bachelor’s degree. I’ve done all my studies in Switzerland so far, except for a couple of months Down Under to learn English when I was 17 (if you haven’t been there yet… you’re really missing on something pretty sweet!); I do hope I’ll be studying abroad again soon, it’s always a great adventure.

You’ve studied at King’s College London on the Undergraduate Summer School. What made you decide to pick King’s and the module you studied?

I’ve known King’s College London for a couple of years already, a friend of mine was studying there at The Dickson Poon School of Law and I have to say that it was really tempting. At the time I didn’t have the grades to get into King’s, I didn’t work hard enough in college. So I’ve always wanted to give it a try later on. My current school, the University of Geneva, offered its students scholarships for a couple of summer schools around the world; this included King’s, so what better way to finally try it?

What brought me to King’s in the first place is its marvellous reputation around the globe as a Law School as well as its location- the heart of London,  a city I’ve been fascinated with for a long time. So this Summer School gave me the chance to 1) study at King’s for a while, 2) live in London for three weeks and be able to see what it’s like (oh and it’s awesome by the way), 3) acquire some valuable knowledge on a specific subject.

This subject was “International Commercial Law”, as for now I haven’t had any class on the subject back in Geneva, so it was a great way to discover that branch of law. I wanted to know how international commerce was legally covered and I think that this class gave me a pretty wide and complete overview on the matter. I’ve broaden up my legal knowledge a little bit and I now know that it might just be something I’m interested in for my future. Those kind of classes let you discover things you might just not have the possibility to back home or back to your university, so it really was something good for me I think as I’ve always been interested in the matter.

What have been the best parts of studying at King’s this summer?

There was no BEST PART, I can’t choose anything as everything had value in its own intricate way. Of course I met great people there, made heaps of new friends and some of which I’m still in contact with every day. Sad thing is they all live pretty far, but it’s not that bad as I have a place to crash wherever I go now. I think meeting people is one of the core aspect of a summer school, if you don’t do so you’re definitely missing something, because they are what is left when you go back home and will always give you a big heart-warming feeling linked to your souvenirs.

But it has also been a time for me to walk around by myself, to take the time to get lost in London, immerse myself in the different cultures of the city and breathe in all it had to offer. Actually, definitely not all, there’s so much to do all the time, this city is alive and moving fast, very fast. Coffee shops have been a daily routine, check out the Fleet Street Press Coffee (on your right to the way to the Maughan Library) as I’m a big fan of flat whites, always a sweet way to start the day.

London is a town of culture, which means that you have to go see some shows and visit a couple of museums at least, so I’ve done that. But if you know some locals they’ll bring you to the “tourist free” spots of town and that’s where you finally get to see some real London, from the little bagel places to the hidden parks and the best spot for a sunset over the Thames… there’s plenty of things to do outside of the official guide. So yeah… so many great parts came with this summer school, and that’s without mentioning the actual studying and all the partying.

What will you take from your experience here at King’s back to your home institution?

This class has given me an opportunity to get a little extra experience in my curriculum vitae as well as general knowledge on the matter of commercial law. It was not easy even if we did not go too far in the subject, so much had to be covered. But now I know what it is about and will be able to continue my studies with a better understanding of what I want to do in the future. There is so much fields of law you can specialize into, and it’s all very broad, so you’d better know what you want early because studying it will take you a couple of years. So now I know a little bit more, my choices will be taken a little bit more enlightened.

What have you been up to since leaving King’s?

Since I’m back I’ve taken a week off with a visiting friend, but otherwise I was doing an internship in a law office in Lausanne. It’s now over and I have about a month left until the classes start again so I think I’ll allow myself some time away from the studies as I think I’ve done enough for one summer!

For those students considering studying at King’s for the summer in the future what advice would you give them?

Choose a course that suits you and that will actually bring you something in your future, all classes seem interesting but do some research before on who is teaching you and what it really is all about. But in the end, you’d better take some extra days before and especially after the classes so that you can have more time to spend for a last party or museum tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Interview With Author & Alumni Kudrat Dutta Chaudhary

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Kudrat Dutta Chaudhary studied on King’s College London’s Undergraduate Summer School in 2014 and has been extremely busy ever since. On top of studying Law, Kudrat had written for a number of magazines and newspapers and in July her debut novel Laiza: Sometimes the End Is Only a Beginning was released.

You studied International Relations and Criminology and Criminal Justice at King’s College London’s summer school, how did you find your experience?

My experience at the King’s College London’s Summer School was a life changing one and is something that I cherish to date and would continue to do so for all times to come. I thoroughly enjoyed both the courses that I’d undertaken, which were International Relations and Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Studying International Relations with such a demanding module strengthened my intellectual faculties and gave me an expert insight regarding understanding complex International situations to find reasonable and fair solutions. On the other hand the subject matter and teaching of Criminology and Criminal Justice helped me grasp issues that plague our society and how they can be dealt with effectively. Apart from academic learnings, I’d also want to highlight that the sort of holistic and diverse environment that the summer school provided me with to interact with students from all across the globe was definitely an experience of a lifetime.

Overall, after the completion of the summer school I found myself way richer in terms of knowledge and insight; something that I feel has made me evolve and wise in every way.

Apart from writing your novel, what else have you been working on since your time at King’s has ended?

I studied at The King’s College London Summer School in the year 2014 and ever since then two years have passed and these have been the busiest two years of my life.

Apart from comprehensively working on my debut novel, I undertook an Accreditation course in Mediation from the Australian Disputes Centre, Sydney in 2015. The completion of the course made me an accredited International Mediator which also means that currently I happen to be one of the youngest mediators of the world. Owing to this, I was bestowed with an opportunity to intern with Holman Webb Lawyers, Sydney in 2015 which was definitely a brilliant experience and a very augmenting one.

Then I got selected to intern at the Ministry of External Affairs, India in September 2015 wherein all my learnings from the course of International Relations came in handy. Then in March 2016, I interned as a Judicial Clerk at the Punjab and Haryana High Court which too was a very fulfilling experience not only as a Law student but also as human being who believes in social justice.

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Your novel Laiza- Sometimes the end is only a beginning, was released in July, can you provide us with a brief summary on what the book is about?

LAIZA- Sometimes the End is only a beginning is a fiction novel based in real time, of about 95,000 words approximately expressing all the emotions and dilemmas on a wide spectrum of feelings. It is deep, engaging and intriguing. Laiza represents the plight of a million women who may fall, get injured, but never back down.

It is a story that would introduce the world to the dark side of disasters; it’s a story that would inspire every reader to fight in life, no matter what. It’s a story that needs to be heard. The main themes of the book are Feminism, hope, human trafficking, Indo-Nepal relations, Nepali culture and self discovery.

Did your travels to London and your study at King’s inspire your writing in any way?

I personally feel that we are all a culmination of the experiences we have and the travels we make! So my travels to London would continue to be a part of my being and personality forever, irrespective of the fact that they’re mentioned in my writings or not.

Moving on to the inspiration I sought from my study at King’s. Issues of Feminism and Human Trafficking along with Indo-Nepal relations which are the main themes of my book are basically figments of International Relations. The book is very intense and hence it runs on a consistent background of Indo-Nepal relations and how they affected my protagonist’s life. Every detail about their ups and downs in the year 2015 has been mentioned in the book and analysis of true events to include them in my story was definitely the pedestal wherein study of International Relations helped.

Apart from this, I personally believe that I am a very positive person and for me the toughest aspect of writing ‘Laiza’ was to characterise antagonists! I believe I could do so along with providing every antagonist a back story as to why they became what they became because of being a Criminology student.

So to be very honest, I haven’t used my study and travels to London in the most direct ways to write the book, but they certainly have helped me at various points to twist, turn and knit the story with no loopholes so left to be plugged in the end.

For those student’s at King’s who are budding novelists what one piece of advice would you like to give them?

If you want to write and that’s what you’ve been wanting to do ever since, then START NOW. As Hemingway says, the first draft of everything is bad, so don’t let that dampen you, instead seek inspiration and go on to liberate not just yourself but also the one whose life would change after he/she experiences your work.

And please, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you aren’t worth it, Because you certainly are. Most importantly Free yourself from your own limitations before anything else.

You can now buy Laiza: Sometimes the End Is Only a Beginning on Amazon. And if you wish to contact Kudrat please so send her an email:kudratduttachaudhary@gmail.com

Throwback Thursday: King’s College London Undergraduate Summer School

Untitled designMy name is Chih-I. When I was a King’s College London Summer School student in 2010, I was only 19 years old. I decided to spend the summer at King’s for several reasons.

First, I intended to improve my English by fully immersing myself in an English-speaking country. Second, King’s was reported in the year to be one of the top 25 universities in the world. For a student like me who cares so much about the teaching quality and the academic environment, King’s immediately attracted my attention.

Moreover, the campus as well as the accommodation provided were just perfectly located in the city centre: close to Covent Garden, the Strand Campus was also three-minute walk from Temple Station; the accommodation on Stamford Street was next to Waterloo Station, one of the London underground hubs, which enabled me to reach anywhere in the shortest time. Finally, considering the diverse backgrounds of the student group at King’s Summer School, I knew that I would be able to meet people from all over the world, each one with different culture and life experience. This has definitely constituted an ‘added value’ for my King’s Summer School experience.

Although I majored in Law in my home university, I decided to study musicology at King’s Summer School. Studying musicology does not mean to learn to play an instrument, as opposed to what one may think. Musicology is the scholarly research on music, a branch of humanities. In the three-week course, we addressed various issues regarding the interaction among music/art genre/style, political environment, and urban development in London. Outside the course, we went to up to 5 or 6 concerts/shows/musicals in the evening. We then discussed some of the artistic elements in these performances with reference to what we had talked about in the seminars. As for my final essay, I explored the self-identity of different personas in Pucini’s opera ‘La Bohème’ in relation to the socio-economic context in Italy in the 19th century.

The summer school has exerted positive influence on my later life in different aspects. First, it allowed me to know better the higher education system in the UK, particularly in terms of types of supervision and support one student can receive from the professor. It was from that moment that I came up with the idea to come to the UK for my master studies. The experience of living in one of the biggest cities in the world was marvellous, needless to say.

However, the best part of the summer school, in my opinion, was that I have made friends from all over the world: France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, and the US, to name only a few. I have been able to keep in touch with some of the friends since the end of the programme, and have managed to pay them a visit in their countries, despite the distance. Some of them even helped me enormously with my master thesis. The wonderful fruit of our friendship was something that I did not anticipate before starting the programme at King’s.

Six years later, when I recall the old college days, I cannot help but be amazed by how the Summer School has strung our life together. Thank you King’s for creating such a superb memory in my life!

By Chih-I CHANG
Current MPhil student in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge

My time at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Summer School

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As a final year medical student I was due to spend Summer 2015 on an elective in Belize. When this fell through at the last minute I ended up doing my elective in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St Thomas’ Hospital. Following this I was invited to be a mentor in their summer school alongside 5 other final year students.

The summer school took place over five days, with each mentor being assigned four students. On the first day of the summer school we mentors taught the students basic obstetric and gynaecological examinations and skills. The students were then given a timetable for the rest of the week where they would attend clinics and theatre to get an idea of the specialty. In addition to their time spent in the hospital, we asked the students to prepare a very brief presentation on something about the course that they had found particularly interesting. The students presented these to the mentors and course organisers on the final day of the course and we had a small ceremony where they received certificates for their participation.

The course proved to be a valuable experience for both students and mentors. As mentors we got to experience what it feels like to be responsible for a group of colleagues, trying to ensure that they got the best learning experience they could. This wasn’t always easy due to the busy nature of obstetrics and gynaecology, but for the most part we managed to make sure everyone got to experience all areas and had an enjoyable time.

It definitely made me personally appreciate how much work goes into organising our medical course and develop a new respect for the people who do so. For the students, the course gave them an excellent insight into a new specialty, with the chance to practice skills that most don’t get the chance to learn until 4th year and the opportunity to practice their presenting skills which are a big part of medicine.

Overall the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Summer School proved to be one of the things that turned my makeshift elective in the UK into a really enjoyable and worthwhile experience I would highly recommend it to both those interested in being a student or a mentor.

By Isabella Fernandes

Literature in the City

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It has been six months since studying at the King’s College London Undergraduate Summer School. However, every time I think of my fantastic experience my heart is still filled with pleasure. What I acquired there was not only the learning experience in class, but also living independently in a foreign country. Life in London taught me new ways to express myself, as well as gaining courage to turn my classmates into friends.

The course I studied in King’s was Literature in the City, which focused on reading and discussing the literary materials related to the city of London. In the Chinese-speaking culture I am used to, the tutor would directly and exactly tell students what the writer wants to claim in the literary pieces; however, things were totally different here. What you thought about the reading materials and how to share your own opinions to the classmates were important. We were divided into small groups, trying to reach mutual understandings, convincing our peers and being convinced.

Besides the discussions in the classroom, we had paid many visits to the spots where literary episodes were based on. Including the house Yeats lived in and the enclosed underground tunnels that people lived during Blitz. What’s more, we also took a boat  down to River Thames, the river that exists in almost every narrative of the city, and embracing history and innovation at the same moment. I still remember my tutor, George, a young and amiable scholar who was always analytical and calm in the classroom, became animated when we were travelling down the river.

I have some glorious and unique memories from my stay in King’s, forever printed in my mind: the sunny weekend in Hampstead Heath, loitering in the many museums and cathedrals. The most impressive was my encounter with an old considerate British gentleman in Royal Albert Hall, who helped me kindly with every detail so that I could enjoy a concert.

In the opening event of summer school, the speaker once told us that all of us had the equal chance to build connections with others and make our time during the summer school remarkable. Fortunately I had made the best use of my time during the summer and thankfully I seized the chance to join in with all of the activities, earning myself a brilliant time in London.

Yun Lin, Undergraduate Summer School 2015