Farewell from the Peer Advisors

The 2022-23 Peer Advisors end their roles with us this week. On their behalf, Conor has written a ‘goodbye’ post. We in Global Mobility thank them for their work and will miss them!

In the blink of an eye, the end of the academic year is upon us. Exams begin in the upcoming weeks and the summer sunshine has returned (or at least, it has in theory but not always in reality! The joys of UK weather). All of this means that our time as Peer Advisors with the Global Mobility Office is also drawing to a close. Before we finish, however, we thought it would be appropriate to offer an insight into what we have taken away from this year and the many things we have learned through our time working in the office.

The first thing to point out is that no job would be even half as fun without the work colleagues who brighten up a dark and wintry Monday morning. The Global Mobility Office is no different. Each and every member of staff has an interesting story to tell to make you smile, is on hand to make a coffee when it is most needed, or is just there to seek advice from when things aren’t going your way (in my case, most frequently with regards to the technology aspect of the job!).

Working in the Global Mobility Office has been a learning curve for each of us and has given us an insight into not only the work of this particular office but also the working world generally. We have all come to understand the significance of the work that is done here; work which affords King’s students an unrivalled opportunity to study in foreign destinations all over the globe and equally gives students from all over the globe that same opportunity to study here in London. Additionally, Peer Advisors were given the responsibility of completing tasks that affect the nature of a student’s study abroad period, such as assisting incoming students with their timetabling queries, producing a podcast to discuss concerns students may have, writing promotional Instagram posts about some of the fantastic universities King’s is partnered with, reviewing students’ study abroad applications and so much more. All of this, we sincerely hope, has benefitted a great many students, and this work will continue in the coming years when new Peer Advisors take up their roles.

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Finding Accommodation Abroad (Part 2)

We know many of you are worried about finding accommodation for a single semester abroad, so we asked Peer Advisors Raza and Emily (who both went through it!) about their experience and what advice they’d share. Here’s what Emily had to say…

When I first learnt that I secured my spot at the University of Sydney for my semester abroad I was elated! But soon I felt a bit overwhelmed by all the admin that needed to be arranged before I left, especially finding accommodation. However, the process was much easier than I anticipated and the host university was really helpful in supporting me through the process. I was asked to select my top three preferences for accommodation and soon after, they let me know that I secured my place at my first choice at the wonderful Queen Mary Building, one of the biggest student residences in the city.

View from QMB

Going into the research process, I already knew that I wanted to stay on campus in halls as I liked the social aspect of it and the 24/7 security appealed to me too! However, in Australia, it seemed more common for students to rent privately. Some of my close friends stayed in private housing and still had a fantastic time. I often visited their flat and was sometimes jealous of the homely feel that their apartment had over the halls where I was staying! When they were hunting for somewhere to live, I think they made sure to source their property from a trusted agency and asked for a viewing of the property online before paying any deposit. It can be easy for scammers to take advantage, especially when you’re trying to arrange your accommodation from overseas, but I think using a reputable agency is a surefire way to avoid this. If you’re ever in doubt, the host university is always there to help you in these situations also!

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Finding Accommodation Abroad (Part 1)

We know many of you are worried about finding accommodation for a single semester abroad, so we asked Peer Advisors Raza and Emily (who both went through it!) about their experience and what advice they’d share. First up is Raza…

For my study abroad experience, I went to the National University of Singapore and I had the most fantastic time! In the months prior to studying abroad, I was super worried about accommodation. If that feeling is resonating with you, fear no longer and keep on reading! Hopefully this post should ease some of those tensions…

As my semester abroad was taking place in semester 2, I needed to find London accommodation for semester 1 only. At the end of my first year, I began to look for private accommodation on a rolling contract, meaning that I could leave my accommodation at my convenience with 1 months’ notice. This is something which I recommend other outgoing students to consider. It could be student accommodation or private accommodation. Looking back, I would try to secure a spot at King’s Residences for 1 semester only. You could liaise with other study abroad students and perhaps buddy up, through groups such as KCL Flatmate Finder on Facebook which is something else I considered. If you are looking at private accommodation in London and unsure of its legitimacy you can always reach out to KCL Money and Housing Advice. I have used them before and they are extremely supportive!

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Pack your bags and… Wait!

Peer Advisor Emilie has been working hard on a new project: Global Mobility’s first podcast! Each episode, she will be talking to study abroad students, past and present, about their experiences all around the world — from homesickness to finance t making friends.

Listen to the trailer for Pack your bags and… Wait! above. Episode 1 will be coming soon. We can’t wait for you to hear it!

The Hidden Gems of London

Are you studying in London already? Or just dreaming about when you join us? Peer Advisor Emily has sourced some unusual and fun activities you can check out while you’re here.

London is full of impressive landmarks. The London Eye, the Shard, and the Houses of Parliament, to name a few. They will surely be at the top of your list of places to see whilst you’re here, as they should be. However, if you’re looking for something else, something a little less predictable, I’ve compiled a list of some of the quirkier places worth visiting. The hidden gems of London, if you will!

  1. Have tea in Java Whiskers Cat Café in Marylebone

What better way to soak up London’s incredible café culture than to enjoy a cuppa alongside some adorable feline friends? Cat fans, step this way. The café offers a relaxed place to catch up with friends, study or unwind amongst the company of free-roaming cats. The Java Whiskers Café is also the only cat café in Europe with a kitten lounge if you need further persuasion. Be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment, as they operate under a limited guest-per-hour system to preserve the relaxed atmosphere. As a massive cat fan, I visited Java Whiskers last year and absolutely loved it! They offer a delicious afternoon tea for a reasonable price if you want the ultimate cat café experience!

  1. Behind-the-scenes tour of London’s tube line

Ever wondered what things look like behind the scenes of London’s substantial underground tube system? Look no further! The London Transport Museum offers a range of exclusive behind-the-scenes tours for members of the public. Tour locations include Moorgate Station, Shepherds Bush, and Charing Cross. Concession prices are also available for students, so take advantage and see London from a different perspective.

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