KCL: The Place to Be – Monica Gu

I decided to study abroad in a large city like London because I wanted to learn to be independent. And in many ways, I definitely did: I explored on my own, I cooked for myself (not very successfully or frequently, but it happened!), and I got acclimated to a new place without my usual and familiar support system beside me.

But while I certainly became more okay with doing things alone, I wasn’t really alone at all. The people I met at King’s College London were one of the highlights of my time in London, and they all had such varied backgrounds and experiences to share. We met in ways facilitated by King’s: living in the same accommodation, being in the same module, joining the same society, or meeting at the orientation scavenger hunt or pub social organized by KCL.

Everyone at King’s, whether a full-time student or study abroad student, was so kind and so welcoming from the start. From drinking in Wetherspoons with my English flatmates to attending a boat cruise hosted by the KCL Business Club, I was able to have fun, get to know amazing people, and experience new things, all thanks to King’s. At such a large school, you’re bound to make many diverse friends while still pursuing your own interests and passions. And if you want something more centered at school, there are a wide variety of societies to join. I joined Creative Writing Society with three new friends and had a great semester writing and reading stories; although I didn’t join any sports myself, my friend joined Jiu-Jitsu and raved about how life-changing the society was.

King’s has multiple campuses and residences throughout London. But the fact that the school is so spread out doesn’t feel isolating or distant; instead, you feel as if you’re constantly surrounded and supported by the university. There always seems to be a building nearby marked with the red and white logo, and there’s no shortage of libraries and spaces to study or hang out in with your friends.

Coming from a rigorous American university, I was surprised to find that the British school system has less assessments and more time for independent study. But the education that I received at KCL was just as engaging and informative as the teaching I receive at home—all my lectures and seminars were captivating and thought-provoking, and I walked out of each class with much more knowledge than before. My professors and GTAs were experts and rising experts in their fields, and they always had brilliant things to say, interesting conversations to provoke, and helpful feedback to provide. Though I saw them less often than I would at home, I still felt supported by them and knew I could walk into their office hours whenever necessary.

If I went back and did it all again, I would still choose King’s College London. Through King’s, I had such an amazing time in London—and I miss it already!

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