As you may know, London is an exceptionally international city— one of the most diverse demographics in the world and especially here at King’s. Our community is open to an array of cultures and backgrounds, so it’s never really a challenge to fit in. The History BA programme, in particular, not only spans across various geographical locations, but also hosts a very international student body and faculty. Here are some responses to commonly asked questions on what it’s like to be an international student at King’s!
1. What is the teaching in the History department of a UK university like?
The course structure varies depending on the year. In your first year, you will have a choice of a few modules to gain a foundation in History, which will be taught in the form of 1-hour lectures paired with hour-long seminars. In 2nd year, you will have an even larger range of module choices, which will also be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. And finally, 3rd year is the year of your dissertation, wherein you will be taking mostly seminars and conducting your own research with the help of your tutors. I only had 7 contact hours in my first year (which means 7 hours of class per week!). This meant I had a lot of free time while also having a significant amount of time to get my work done. In History, we are assigned many essays, but this is simply because it is an Arts & Humanities course. There will be a LOT of writing, so if you apply to History be sure you truly love reading and writing as this passion will help you through the degree.
2. How diverse is the History curriculum?
What I’ve found particularly special about studying History at King’s is how much information and options there are for what we can study, reaching far beyond anything I covered in my secondary school curriculum. This is something I am quite grateful for, because I felt that many periods, regions, and events were overlooked in my studies before I started my BA at King’s. Now, by my third year, I have completely expanded my knowledge of regions such as the Middle East, having been able to select and curate my education at King’s precisely to my tastes and interests. Often, if you are curious about a topic, you will likely find a module which covers it.
3. What is it like transitioning to a new city like London?
The transition from Rome to London was not bad, and this is because September is a time when most new students arrive, and everyone is getting accustomed to the city for the first time. I met most of my close friends in that first week of university, and we all bonded a lot over exploring the city together for the first time. Being an international student in London is actually great overall because it has one of the largest international communities in all of Europe. The only thing that requires consideration is the fact that London is a big city, and so, to be careful of your surroundings is essential. It did take me a bit of time to figure out my way around the city, to learn the directions, as well as, to understand the public transportation; however, I eventually understood it, and now I find it very easy and comfortable.
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