Broadening your horizons at King’s – International summer school


By William Massey, MSci Physics, Department of Physics

When I decided to take my place at King’s I was never intending to spend time abroad during my time at university. This seemed even more unlikely when I decided not to take a year of my course abroad. Unfortunately, I would have liked to do so, but the timing and logistics of it all just didn’t work for me.

However, when I found out that King’s encourages students onto international summer schools I was keen to take up the opportunity as an alternative opportunity to travel. The King’s Global Experience provided me with the chance to take a course in Utrecht, paid for by King’s, in modern art. This course allowed me to expand my knowledge outside of the narrow scope of physics, visit and experience a new city and meet people from around the world.

Applications for these opportunities were made in the second semester, which allowed me to apply after I had heard back about any summer internships I had applied for. This meant it was relatively easy to find suitable courses that fit around any commitments I already had during the summer holidays. Applications were first made to the Global Mobility Office and then the host institution in a surprisingly straightforward process. The support from the university in organising and writing applications was superb throughout the process.

Once I received news that my application was successful I was excited to get booking my flights and looking forward to the course starting. The course in modern art really allowed me to push myself academically in a completely different way than during my physics degree. The style of teaching and large discussion elements really improved my public speaking and debating skills. Skills that aren’t necessarily considered key focus during a science degree.

The most important part for me of the whole experience was the social aspect. I had great fun meeting new people from around the world and hearing new perspectives while talking to them. I found the best parts of the trips hearing the different viewpoints from people with different backgrounds.

All in all, it was great fun. Being both academically challenged outside of my comfort zone and meeting new people really made the whole experience hugely worthwhile and one that I will fondly look back on in the future.

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