An International Student’s King’s Experience

By Shreenithi Suresh, MSc Cyber Security

As an aspiring international student, the day I received the offer to study at King’s College London was nothing short of a dream come true. I vividly remember the summer morning, the sun rising on the horizon, and the joy that overwhelmed me as I opened the email during my routine jogging session. The mix of excitement, gratitude, and nervous anticipation set the tone for my upcoming adventure in the heart of London.

King’s College London, nestled in the vibrant city of London, offers an unparalleled experience. Situated in the heart of London, the campuses are surrounded by a diverse array of restaurants and shops, creating a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere for students. The Strand campus offers a spectacular view of the iconic London Eye, while the proximity to the River Thames adds a touch of serenity and grandeur to the overall campus experience.

Staying at King’s accommodation, Angel Lane in Stratford, felt like a genuine home away from home. The comfort and easy access to the vibrant city, coupled with regularly organized social nights, created a welcoming environment for socializing and connecting with fellow KCL students.

My first day at King’s was dedicated to attending the induction program—an informative introduction to the upcoming academic year. It provided an overview of academic expectations, campus life, and the opportunities ahead. The warmth of the welcome made me feel instantly connected to the King’s community. In the initial days of the academic year, exploring what King’s had to offer became a priority. The Welcome Fair, a standout event, provided a firsthand look at the diverse societies within the university. Attending allowed me to discover a fitting society, receive exciting freebies, and establish new connections with like-minded individuals.

Coming from India, I anticipated differences in the academic structure. However, King’s lectures stood out with their interactive and engaging format. Professors were not just knowledgeable but approachable, encouraging one-on-one meetings and fostering an environment of open dialogue. Navigating the academic landscape was made easier through Keats, the online portal providing study materials and pre-recorded lectures. The campus offered ample study spaces, including labs and the renowned Maughn Library, enriching the learning experience. The King’s Talent Bank provided opportunities to earn while learning, contributing to my financial independence.

The Shack in Bush House is my go-to spot for a perfect morning coffee, providing a delightful start to the day. Additionally, the Vault, also in Bush House, serves as a versatile space—a student bar, restaurant, and even a nightclub. I have fond memories of the annual FRIENDS quiz organized in the Vault, where I not only enjoyed the event but also made new friends.

Weekdays, especially with morning lectures, can make cooking lunch a challenge. Enter King’s Kitchen – a lifesaver offering delicious meals at a reasonable price. It’s not just a dining spot; it’s the perfect place to chat with friends or work in a peaceful environment during the mornings and late evenings.

Attending career fairs opened up doors to future opportunities, allowing me to envision a career path beyond the classroom. Exposure to real-world insights through organized guest lectures every term was a pivotal aspect of my King’s experience. These sessions illuminated the skills I needed to enhance and the dedicated efforts required to shape my career.

As the academic year drew to a close, the bittersweet reality sank in—I felt that one year at King’s was insufficient to absorb all that this experience had to offer. The friendships, knowledge, and memories formed were invaluable, and I couldn’t help but wish for more time.

My time at King’s has been a journey worth cherishing. The international student’s experience, from the initial excitement to the eventual reluctance to say goodbye, has been a testament to the university’s welcoming atmosphere, academic excellence, and the vibrant city that embraces diversity. The lessons learned, friendships forged, and the personal growth achieved will resonate with me for a lifetime.

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