Although most modern languages students here at King’s study joint honours courses (like me- I do German and History), language classes can make up a high proportion of your contact hours. My week always starts with one of these classes- a two-hour German class at 9am every Monday. Luckily, King’s accommodation is all within zones 1 or 2, so I never have to wake up too early. These language classes tend to be in small groups, and generally you’ll be in the same class for most of your degree- this means that making friends can be a lot less daunting, as you get to know your classmates quickly. Language classes can involve a number of different activities, including doing exercises in the textbook and practicing speaking skills through class discussion.
By the time the class is done, I’m usually pretty hungry. My friends and I always try to go to the gym after class, but a lot of the time we just end up eating instead! Being a student in London means that you can pretty much get hold of whatever food you’re craving. Although this isn’t always great for your bank account, you can easily find great student discounts. I’m currently in the process of applying for my year abroad, so in the time between classes I’m generally researching different German universities; at other times of the year, I use the spare hours I have to catch up on reading for my seminars, or just to relax and hang out with my friends in the languages common room.
At 4, I have another German class, but in a different style. There are a number of optional modules you can take in second year, which are also generally in relatively small groups. Last year I took a module called Gender and Identity in Arthurian Romance, which was split into an hour-long lecture, and then an hour-long seminar with a PhD student. I really enjoy Medieval history, and so reading Erec and Iwein for this class was genuinely enjoyable- there is a wide range of choice though, so if you prefer modern history you could take a module on the Cold War, for example. This semester,
I chose to study Society and Popular Culture in German since 1870, a very different topic from last semester’s Arthurian Romance module, but just as interesting. Both of these modules are open to students from different departments, which means you have the opportunity to meet new people.
After these two hours, I’ll either go back to my room and start preparing for the rest of the week, or I’ll head to the pub with some friends, depending on how productive I was over the weekend. A 9-6 day can be tiring, but it means you have a lot of free time between class to get any last minute work done, to go to the gym, or to catch up with classmates- I tend to spend this time chatting, but at times like this, with lots of deadlines, I have to find the motivation to be productive.
For more information on German and History at King’s, see Georgia’s advice on why you should study a Joint Honours degree.
You can read more about King’s Joint Honours degrees here.
*Please note that as of August 2022 the Departments of German, French, Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies and Comparative Literature merged to form the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. For more information visit the Department page: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/dllc