The King of my Heart – Jayne Ong Zu Hua

A semester of study abroad at King’s College London was an easy choice for me. The stories shared by my brother about studying in London, coupled with the testimonials by my friends about King’s College London in particular had me sold. Thus when I was presented with the opportunity to have my exchange at KCL, I immediately said yes and have no regrets about it.

My main goal for the study abroad experience is to widen my horizon. I wanted to challenge myself to think differently both in and out of classrooms as well as to have more intercultural experiences. KCL, ranked as the 31st university in the world for its academic reputation and proportion of international students among other things, was undoubtedly the best place for me to meet my goal. The university had provided me with so many opportunities to meet my goal and my only regret is not grabbing onto more of them.

Firstly, it offered a wide variety of courses for international students to choose from. I was initially worried that my lack of fundamental knowledge in theology and geography would hamper my learning but when the semester started, I realised that my worries were for naught. The classes were engaging and the professors were able to explain the concepts clearly such that it was easy for me to grasp. They also provided reading materials for students to study and get a better understanding of the topics. What I loved most about the classroom was how safe it felt to voice one’s opinion. The professors were not afraid to ask difficult questions and students were always eager to answer and provide counter arguments whenever the situation arises. That was definitely an eye-opening experience and I learnt not to be afraid to speak up and make mistakes.

Other than academics, the university also offers much outside of classroom. I remember the fair held during Welcome Week for the students’ clubs to recruit new members. Every part of the two-storey building was filled with stalls ranging from marketing to religion to sports to photography and so on. Joining the clubs would also be a good way to get to know more students in KCL and bond with them over shared interests and passion.

Another opportunity for intercultural exchange would be at the students’ accommodations. During my study abroad, I stayed at Champion Hill with students from all nationalities. The first opportunity to interact with them was at a pizza party held during the Welcome Week but there were chances for interaction everyday due to the layout of the accommodation. Each kitchen was shared with 10 residents and it was a good place to hang out with my neighbours, and sometimes we even shared meals together.

KCL has experienced teaching staff and a diverse student population. I have no regrets choosing to study abroad at KCL as it was a safe space for me to step out of my comfort zone and achieve my goal for the semester.

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