I’ve already written at length concerning the academic benefits of studying at King’s College; I feel very strongly that King’s is a premiere UK institution and an ideal destination for study abroad students of all interests. Though classes and faculty are of obvious importance in selecting a host institution, consider weighing location and resources just as heavily.
If you’re reading this, you may already have narrowed your focus on the UK as a home base – let me reinforce Britain’s supremacy (hopefully I’ll do a better job than England in the Revolutionary War). Of all destination cities, London is by far the most interesting – like Manhattan, you’ll never run out of things to do. Also crucial is its accessibility – London’s proximity to the rest of Europe (or perhaps just Europe, depending on when you’re reading this / whether Brexit pans out) and native language of English are two massive benefits that my friends studying elsewhere sorely miss. Traveling cheaply and hassle-free is an aspect of studying abroad you should consider non-negotiable.
In a prior post, I touched briefly upon the benefit of King’s centrality in reinforcing my studies in history. Far more valuable, however, is the ability to explore the most fascinating pockets of London just steps away from your dorm and classes. Almost daily, my friends and I would walk around a different neighborhood, probing different markets, restaurants, coffee shops, and pubs. If, like me, you value both the academic and extracurricular in screening for study abroad destinations, I can find no better UK host institution than King’s, especially not within London.
Location aside, King’s has an incredibly well-built study abroad program, with tons of resources at your disposal to ensure a seamless transition to your new start in London.
See my “Stumbling In” post for greater detail – I’m fortunate to have had access to the Global Mobility Office and numerous King’s socials. Also beneficial to building a new social life was KCLSU (King’s student union), which hosted awesome events at least weekly. I also found Maughan Library and the King’s databases to be very valuable, as my studies in history were contingent on essays requiring my interaction with complex historiography and primary sources (another reason I took so much out of this semester). Of lesser importance (but greater enjoyment) is Somerset House, in which King’s housed an ice-skating rink – I went during the first week and ended up meeting one of my best friends there, so Somerset holds a permanent place in my heart.
I still haven’t explored enough of London, and I write this on my last day here. With its endless experiences, London is the place to be, and King’s College is the clear choice among its host institutions. I can’t imagine my time abroad anywhere else – I hope you make the right decision!
Pictured is Caravan Bankside, the restaurant/café where I come for inspiration for both essays and blog posts!