Though I study Finance and Computer Science back in the States, I decided to enroll at King’s with a focus in history. I encourage you to take advantage of the many esteemed faculties here – if not history, try to extend beyond your major and taste something new (or of existing interest, but generally outside your degree plan).
I’m taking two history modules (their word for classes!) here: The Making of Britain II: Magna Carta and the Parliamentary State, and Early Modern Britain II: Commerce and Conflict 1600 to 1750. In choosing these modules, I aimed to learn about Britain over time rather than concentrate on a specific era. I’m glad I did – with each passing week, I found my readings in each class compounding one another, contributing to a far more nuanced understanding of London’s complex origins.
I suppose you could enjoy a similar experience at other London/UK institutions, but I felt incredibly privileged to learn from the amazing instructors at King’s. In The Making of Britain, I was fortunate enough to learn about the course’s focus – the Magna Carta – from David Carpenter himself. He quite literally wrote the book on the historical and societal context surrounding the document’s sealing, and his passion and expertise motivated me to tackle that lecture’s essay question. In Early Modern Britain, Esther (my incredible GSI, or Graduate Student Instructor) enhanced our weekly seminar with primary sources and helped us view life in early London with modern perspectives. I consider myself incredibly lucky to learn from such talented faculty and have the daily opportunity to contrast my learnings in these modules with London today, thanks to the centrality of King’s Strand campus.
I’m super quantitative, yet I had this phenomenal experience in a department you might call the opposite. Perhaps avoid being different for the sake of being different, but I encourage you to follow in my footsteps and pursue an interest otherwise difficult to study at your home institution. My friends, studying in myriad faculties, all loved their modules. The commonality? Approaching the semester with an open mind.
I dropped my second major to enjoy a semester in the Arts and Humanities. It was worth it.