Author: Keira Allen-Anderson (Page 1 of 3)

What Do I Need To Pack?

As move-in weekend creeps closer and the excitement continues to build, it’s time to start picturing your life in your brand new home.

 

Moving to university is a completely new experience and you’re likely to learn a lot along the way, but one thing I want to help you get right is your moving day. Together, we can make sure that moving into your King’s Residence is stress-free and pretty smooth sailing!

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I’ll show you exactly what you need to bring with you on move-in day, what you can buy when you get here, the best places to shop and more.

 

What will be in my residence when I arrive?

King’s Residences encourage you to personalise your room so that it feels like home and represents you BUT that doesn’t mean you have you bring your furniture with you! You get a lot of items included in your rent, so don’t worry about buying or bringing any of these with you:

 

  • Bed and mattress (with a mattress protector)
  • Desk and chair
  • Wardrobe
  • A set of drawers
  • Curtains/blinds
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine and dryer
  • Ironing board
  • Vacuum
  • Mop & bucket
  • Sweeping brush

 

Not all of these will be in your room; you’ll have to venture out to your kitchen or even communal spaces to find some of them but they are all there for you to use.

 

What do I need to bring with me?

When you first open the door to your room, it looks a bit like an empty shell but in the best possible way because it’s a blank canvas ready for you (and your things) to bring it to life. Watch a fellow KCL student show you exactly how it’s done!

 

If you’re travelling to London from a different part of the UK, you shouldn’t have a problem packing a car full of this stuff and carrying it up to your room once you arrive. Beware: this will probably take a few trips but it’s all worth it in the end – it means you can officially start getting settled into this exciting new chapter!

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Here are the must-haves:

  • Bedding (duvet, pillowcases, bed linen)
  • Towels
  • Cleaning products
  • Toiletries
  • A bin
  • Clothes and shoes
  • Clothes hangers
  • Pots and pans
  • Crockery and cutlery
  • Kettle
  • Toaster
  • Important documents (ID, enrollment paperwork)
  • Technology (laptop, speaker, TV, games console)
  • Chargers

 

It’s worth mentioning that it isn’t always necessary to buy all of this yourself. You don’t want to end up with 5 kettles and no space for everyone’s pots and pans or food. By joining your residence’s official Facebook group, you can find your future flatmates and plan who’s bringing what. I did this and I found out that someone had already bought a toaster for the flat, so it saved me a bit of extra money. Winner!

 

What can I buy in London and where from?

For those of you who are joining KCL from overseas, you may struggle to bring much more than a couple of suitcases. That isn’t a problem though because once you arrive in the UK, you’ll find that there are LOADS of places to buy all the essential household items.

 

If you’re unsure of where to shop, here are some ideas:

 

 

What should I leave at home?

For the safety and convenience of you and your future flatmates, there are some things that aren’t allowed in King’s Residences so just leave these at home. Whenever you’re packing or out shopping for uni supplies, remember you shouldn’t have these:

 

  • Candles, incense, oil burners
  • Hookah pikes
  • E-cigarette chargers
  • Large furniture and electrical items
  • International rice cookers (they must be purchased in the UK)
  • Your car, moped or motorbike
  • Clothes horse (every residence has dryers)

 

You’re going to have a great time living in your new home and for me, move-in weekend was one of the highlights of Welcome Week.

 

Now it’s time to focus on getting your uni supplies together and it’ll start to feel much more real, especially once your house is filled to the brim with moving bags and boxes!

 

 

 

11 places you need to visit in London!

When you’re new to London, it can be difficult to get your bearings never mind trying to find the best places across the city to visit in your spare time…

That’s why you need the help of a Londoner (or at least someone that’s lived here a while) to share some of the best spots for you to go to when you have free time. That’s where I come in!

 

Wherever you’ve chosen to live in London, you are never too far from something and that is one of the many things that make living here so amazing. While it’s impossible to show you everywhere worth going in London, here are 11 places (I think) you NEED to visit:

 

  1. Primrose Hill

Going here depends on the good old British weather but when you’ve got the afternoon off university, head to Primrose Hill with some friends and picnic and you’re good to go. You’ll have a pretty impressive view of London whilst you’re there too!

Closest tube stop? Camden Town

Cost? FREE

 

  1. Abbey Road Studios

For the music lovers amongst us; the legendary Abbey Road Studios is a must. It was made famous by the Beatles and whether you’re a fan of theirs or not, you should pay the Studios a visit to walk in the footsteps of all the great musicians that have recorded there in the past. You’ll leave feeling inspired and maybe even a little bit starstruck.

 

Closest tube stop? Maida Vale

Cost? £125 for a full studio tour

 

  1. Sky Garden

If you’re good with heights, the Sky Garden has your name all over it. Besides the Shard, there is nowhere else with better views of the city! The bar and restaurant are pricey but definitely head up there in time for sunrise or sunset for the perfect Instagram snap.

Closest tube stop? Monument Station

Cost? FREE

 

  1. Harry Potter Studio Tour

If it wasn’t for KCL, this would be my main reason for moving to London. For the Potterheads amongst us, the Studio Tour really is everything you can imagine and so much more! Of course, not everyone is a huge Harry Potter nerd like me BUT it’s still worth visiting to see all the cool things they did to create the films. You can make a day of it too, so maybe save it for when your friends and family come to visit.

 

Closest train station? It’s in Watford but 20 mins from London Euston

Cost? £45

 

  1. Harrods & Liberty

One thing that London does incredibly well is designer stores. Harrods and Liberty are just two of the biggest (and best) in the city; it doesn’t matter whether you can afford to buy the things in there or not, they are fascinating places to visit. They are both beautiful inside and out too.

Closest tube stop? Knightsbridge is closest to Harrods and Oxford Circus to Liberty

Cost? FREE

 

  1. O2 Arena

Not only did Drake recently turn the O2 to the O3 for 6 shows, I managed to see Justin Timberlake perform here last year and my flatmate saw Sam Smith. It isn’t always music concerts though, you can watch comedians, live sport or even attend big award shows. Lucky for you, there is something on pretty much every night at the O2 so you won’t be stuck for choices. And if you’re feeling really daring, you can always climb up the building too…

 

Closest tube stop? North Greenwich

Cost? Climbs start from £25, shows vary

 

  1. Notting Hill Carnival

Now, this is incredible! To really capture a bit of London culture and experience something completely different, check out Notting Hill Carnival. It happens once a year in August and celebrates the Caribbean culture in such a fun way.

Closest tube stop? Ladbroke Grove

Cost? FREE

 

  1. Luna Cinema

This is another thing that’s weather dependent but SO worth it when the sun shows up. I never really understood the fuss about an outdoor cinema until I went to Luna with some friends in summer. It could be anything from classics like Back To The Future and Jurassic Park or the latest releases. It’s perfect if you want to get out of your flat on a warm evening.

 

Closest tube stop? There are 15 locations spread over London

Cost? Start from £15

 

  1. Chinatown

London is one of the most diverse places in the world and when you visit Chinatown, you’re reminded of the Chinese culture here and how amazing it is. If you’re travelling to King’s from China, you won’t need to worry about missing your home comfort because this truly captures the essence of China and the food is unreal!

Closest tube stop? Leicester Square

Cost? FREE

 

  1. Swingers Golf

It doesn’t matter if you were rubbish at crazy golf as a child, now is the time to completely reverse that and become a pro! Either that or you just go for the street food and the Instagram pictures, you decide. You have to be 18+ to attend Swingers but they sometimes have FREE golf and discounts for group bookings.

 

Closest tube stop? Oxford Circus is closest to the West End venue and Aldgate is closest to the City venue

Cost? From £10

 

  1. Carnaby Street

This is easily one of the best, and most famous, hubs for entertainment in London. If shopping is your thing, you’ve got hundreds of places to go that you won’t find anywhere else. When you want some time off the cooking, you’ve got more than enough restaurants, bars and cafés to try too.

Closest tube stop? Oxford Circus

Cost? FREE

 

There you have it; 11 places that I’ve visited in London and feel pretty confident that you’d love. I’ve tried to give you an idea of where they are, so that no matter where you’re living, you can travel to them quite easily. Some will be walking distance, most are next to tube stations or bus stops, and if anything, you can jump in an Uber or black cab.

 

You are SO lucky to have all of this pretty much on your doorstep and you really should appreciate it whilst you can. London is amazing and you should be buzzing to be part of it!

The realities of living in London!

If you haven’t been to London before, you’re probably pretty unsure of what to actually expect and may have just heard or read things here and there…

 

Before starting at King’s, I was exactly the same. I had barely ventured away from my hometown and didn’t know much about London other than what I had seen on TV or read online.

 

Despite being England’s capital city, London doesn’t always get the best representation but let me tell you, you’re about to move to one of the best and safest places in the UK. I was (pleasantly) surprised at how safe it is in London; both at my King’s Residence and when I was out and about in the city.

Whether you’re from a completely different country or elsewhere in the UK, it’s likely that your current day-to-day life is very different compared to life in London.

 

At home, you may not have reliable public transport or transport apps that make your life easier but that’s exactly what you can get used to living in London. Before moving to London, if I ever missed the last train on a night out, I would have a pretty long walk in the dark (not ok) or have to fork out a fortune for a taxi but I’ve never had to worry about this whilst living in London! The Night Tube runs on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday so if you ever go on a night out or for a late dinner with some friends, you can get home safely at no extra cost. Remember, that the Tube is one of the safest ways to travel in London too.

 

During the week, Night Buses run from 11pm until as late (or early) as 6am. Whether you catch a bus or jump on the tube, you’re always guaranteed to find a safe way home rather than hanging about for ages in an empty train station in the early hours of the morning or even worse, walking home. Apparently, 90% of Londoners live within 400 metres of a bus stop, so you won’t even need to worry about walking far to the nearest one either!

 

When you’re out exploring the city, here are 3 things to remember:

 

 

  • Use your phone wisely. Don’t be afraid of using your phone, just be aware of how often you are using it. If you don’t need to walk around texting or on the phone, avoid it. You may use your phone to help you navigate the city but stay alert and vigilant; that way you’ll always be aware of your surroundings.

 

  • Use well-lit cash machines. If you ever need to grab some cash on a night, always use ATMs that are well-lit and in built up areas. Trust your instincts, if something doesn’t feel right, keep going until you come across something a bit more trustworthy. Try not to carry too much cash at a time though, mainly because you’re just more likely to spend it!
  • Stick to main roads. If you’re walking around, try to avoid shortcuts and alleyways, at least until you become a bit more confident navigating London. Navigation apps like Google Maps will become your best friend in this city but if they direct you towards a side street you’re not too confident going down, stick to main roads instead.

 

 

A home away from home

One of the BEST things about being a KCL student, for me, is living in King’s Residences. Not only does it allow you to meet a diverse group of people and learn new life skills, you are also supported and protected whilst you’re living there. King’s staff will monitor your residence 24/7; whether this is with a receptionist, security, warden or CF. This was a huge positive for me because once I moved in, I realised they were available to help me whenever I needed it. I was given their contact details (phone numbers and email addresses) meaning I could get in touch with them whenever I wanted to.

Another positive to staying in King’s Residences is that you’re always safe. You may be trying to imagine exactly what your residence will be like but that’s difficult. One of the most important things for you to know is that you’re secure. Usually, you need to get through 2 or 3 locked doors/gates until you arrive to your flat. You’re the only person who has the keys to get your room too; you may share a flat with others but things in your room will always be locked away and protected. King’s Residences have contents insurance included in your rent too, so if anything ever was to happen, even though it’s rare, you’re protected.

 

I hope that puts your mind, and possible anxieties, at ease. You’re in good hands in London and hopefully, now you can focus on moving to this amazing city and getting yourself prepared!

What it really means to be a King’s student

What it really means to be a King’s student

 

Your application is in, your exams and assignments are coming to an end, you have even chosen which King’s Residence you’d like to live in; all that’s left to do now is start imagining your life as an official King’s College London student!

If you’re nervous about making such a big move to study at KCL, remember that you’re not the only one feeling like this. In fact, most people feel exactly the same!

 

However, the most important thing for you to know is that becoming a KCL student is one of the BEST things you’ll ever do. In a nutshell, KCL is pretty awesome but let me tell you more about what it really means to be a King’s student…

 

You are part of a community.

Being a King’s student is all about feeling connected to other people, whether that’s people on your course or who have joined the same societies as you, who are from the same place as you or live in the same King’s residence. The more you get involved in during your time at King’s, the better it will be. That could mean attending Welcome Week events, joining a sports team or just spending quality time with your flatmates. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be daunting but it’s one of the most important things to do at King’s to allow you to have the best experience. Be open-minded and most importantly, have fun!

You are super busy.

But in the best possible way! Living amongst the buzz of London makes this difficult to avoid, so in your first couple of weeks at King’s LOTS of things are going on – you’ll meet new people and discover new places (and maybe even get lost a couple of times) but it’s an amazing thing to experience and be a part of. Embrace it. Being a King’s student means that you’ll quickly adapt and get used to the London lifestyle and before you know it, it’ll all calm down and just become a way of life!

You are well supported.

Being a KCL student means that you have an incredible support system. You might just think that you’ll need academic help but living in King’s Residences offers you a totally different kind of support. You’ll come across student CFs and Wardens who play the role of an older brother or sister to guide you through your first year and tell you everything you need to know. They have been in your position a year (or two) ago so they know how to help or advise you if you ever need someone to talk to. Don’t shy away from King’s ResiLife either; these are the people who organise events in your residence and introduce you to a diverse group of people that you wouldn’t have met elsewhere!

You are on a constant adventure.

A big part of being a King’s student comes with exploring, and London really is the best place to do exactly that! Yes, people talk about going to university and ‘finding themselves’ and being a King’s student really does allow you to find yourself and much more. You will constantly discover your new favourite restaurants, bars, shops, areas of London and activities. As you make your way through your first year at KCL living in King’s Residences, you’ll be supported along this year-long adventure and hopefully, you’ll learn lots of things along the way in the form of life skills and just about yourself as a person.

You can make it whatever you want it to be.

The great thing about being at King’s is that you have the flexibility to make it a unique experience to you. Don’t be afraid to be yourself; in fact, at King’s you are encouraged to do more of this. Not everyone will speak the same language as you, not everyone will choose to stay sober or eat vegan food, not everyone will study in the same way, and that’s why it’s so important for your KCL experience to be whatever you want it to be and for you to enjoy it as much as you possibly can.

Everyone’s experience is completely different but if you want to see the sort of things that a typical day involves as a King’s student, watch Mei-Ying’s vlog. She shows you just a snippet of all the great things that come with being part of KCL and what it really means to be a King’s student.

 

Getting excited yet? 🤩

Living in London = Living your best life!

 

Moving away from home is a completely new experience and something that most people find quite daunting, and that’s ok, but remember that you have SO much to look forward to living in London. Let’s start focusing on the positives by picturing your life in your new home because in London, you have pretty much everything on your doorstep and as a student, there isn’t much else that you could want or ask for!

 

When I first moved here, I didn’t quite know what to expect and thought that I would feel like a little fish in a big pond but as soon as I arrived, I couldn’t believe how amazing it was and how quickly I settled in! Here are just some of the best things you can expect to experience whilst living in London:

 

  1. A buzzing atmosphere

Wherever your King’s Residence is located, one guarantee is that you’ll be surrounded by a great community. London has lots of exciting and interesting things happening that you can join in with. It just has a quirky and unique vibe – perfect if you’re the alternative type and if not, it will open your eyes to lots of fun stuff.

 

One of my favourite things about living in the UK’s capital city is that there are so many things that you can only find in London – restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, shops, festivals – that you just won’t experience anywhere else. It’s like being in the biggest (but best) exclusive club out there!

 

  1. Having LOTS to do

When most people think about London, they think about the tourist attractions like Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, National History Museum so, imagine having all of these (and more) on your doorstep, and most of them don’t even cost a penny! The UK’s capital is famous for this stuff and you have 3 years to spend exploring; I can promise you that you won’t be getting bored anytime soon! Not only that, but you can make your way around theatres in the West End, world famous shopping centres in Central London and stunning parks in surrounding boroughs. Whatever your personal interests and hobbies are, London will have something to suit you. I absolutely love music and managed to go to 5 gigs in my first year, purely because artists are always touring in London and there are always last-minute events that you can pop along to.

 

  1. Being well connected

Not only do you have 5 different airports in London but you have trains and buses that all make getting around the city super easy. For those of you who haven’t been to London before, the Underground, also known as the tube, will become your best friend! Underground stations are located all over London and these trains are the easiest (and quickest) way to get around, and with the help of an Oyster card, you’ll get 30% off your travel. You’ll probably need to keep a tube map handy in your first few weeks to save you from getting lost.

 

Other than trains, you can use buses that run all over central London and the London boroughs. To make life that little bit easier, you can pay for buses using cash, contactless cards or again, an Oyster card. As you wander around London, you’ll see bikes that are available to hire and if you haven’t been able to bring your bike from home, this is the perfect way to get back on the road!

 

  1. Living in a multicultural society

London is easily one of the most diverse places in the world, so expect to meet lots of people from different countries, backgrounds, races and religions. If home isn’t that diverse and multicultural, make the most of this opportunity to meet a variety of people. Whether that means trying new cuisines, learning another language or just finding out more about someone else’s culture, living in London presents you with plenty of chances to do exactly that.

 

  1. A diverse food scene
    If you’re a foodie, you’re moving to the right place! London has literally EVERY cuisine imaginable, so you won’t miss the authentic food from home if you’re coming from overseas. London also has incredible street food, cute cafés and coffee shops, vegan restaurants and let’s not forget the huge amount of brunch and afternoon tea spots either. Living here will open your eyes to lots of amazing food that you haven’t tried before – or maybe even heard of!

 

You might find your new favourite eatery just around the corner from your King’s Residence but once you’ve found your feet, go explore other areas of London to find the BEST places. Not everywhere has to break the bank either, lots of places are affordable and taste incredible.

 

  1. Endless job opportunities

Applying for jobs might not be your top priority when you think about moving to London but you might need a part-time job alongside your studies to just give you a financial helping hand – and in London, you have endless opportunities. You could end up working in your King’s Residence, at the university, in Westfield, or your new favourite coffee spot. If you have an idea about the career you want to go into, you could find your dream internship or placement in this city. Thousands of companies are based in London making it that little bit easier to get your foot in the door during or after university!

 

  1. A lively nightlife

How many good nights out have you had in your lifetime? Well, I can guarantee you that a night out in London will be on a whole other level! The great thing about London’s nightlife is that you don’t have to drink alcohol to enjoy yourself. There really is something for everyone too, so whatever your music taste or scene, you’re likely to find your favourite go-to spot in no time whether that’s at a nightclub, bar or an activity like crazy golf or an escape room.

My favourite way to describe London’s nightlife is individual; it really is one of a kind. And doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think either!

 

  1. You’re never too far away

Central London is pretty big and when you take all of London’s boroughs into consideration, it’s huge! This means there is always something going on that you’re never too far away from. Like I mentioned earlier, London has great transport links meaning you could be in the countryside or at the beach within 30 minutes because of where London is located in the UK. As a whole, the UK isn’t actually that big either, meaning that you have the chance to visit other cities on weekends or days off university by jumping on a train, coach or even plane.

 

I hope you that shows you just how lucky you are to be moving to such an amazing city that has this much exciting things to offer you. What will you explore first? Time to put your bucket list together!

 

Try It … Take Time Out In Residences

Your Wellbeing Break Space During Exam Time!

Exams season is an important and often stressful time for all those taking part, but to get the best out of your studies we also encourage you to try and enjoy the present by taking a break, and savouring the small things in life!
Hopefully you’ve already made time to visit the Take Time Out tents on campus and enjoy the different activities happening there and other locations around campus.
The campaign runs from 29 April to 10 May,  so unwind for an hour or two and enjoy free smoothies, games, conversations and the possibility to win prices. Good luck!
Head over to the KCLSU #taketimeout website to find out more about the campaign.

Don’t forget we also have extra events happening in Residences too!

Your Community Facilitators will be hosting activities in your common room or courtyards (weather permitting) – so join them and give yourself a well-earned break!

Activities are free to attend – Just turn up and enjoy!  Please note booking is required for Cooking & Conversation sessions.

See the schedules below or click here.

We’re Listening To… College Info Geek – How To Create a Great Study Space

 

Having the right study space can be the difference between you finding everything under the sun to do except your work and actually getting your work done and then having time afterwards to watch cat videos.

Blogger Thomas Frank founder of College Info Geek talks about how to create or find study spaces that have minimal distractions, help you to stay focused and inspire you to do your best work.  He discusses different types of study spaces, the do’s and don’t’s of study space creation, and the key principles to make sure your study helps you study better.

 

 

 

 

Try It… Easter Weekend In London

 

London is scheduled to have glorious weather over the first Bank Holiday Weekend of 2019 and the city is going to be full of super fun things to do. 

Here are some ideas on how you can get out and enjoy the sun this weekend. 

Park Life

 

 

Explore the city’s delightful parks, from boating in Hyde Park to deer-spotting in Richmond Park.  Discover incredible London wildlife and beautifully designed gardens.  As well as being perfect for relaxing, London’s parks have plenty of things to do and activities to enjoy: sports events; open-air theatre and live music, not to mention some of the most breathtaking views the city has to offer.

Some of our favourite London parks are:

Hyde Park

Richmond Park

Hampstead Heath

St James Park

Victoria Park

 

The Passion Of Jesus

Trafalgar Square, April 19th 2019

£: FREE  Time: Midday 

 

Wintershall Players return with their huge open-air re-enactment of ‘The Passion of Jesus’ on Good Friday, featuring volunteers from in and around London (as well as real-life horses, donkeys and doves). Get down early to get a good spot, or catch all of the action on one of the big screens.

 

Horniman Easter Fair

Horniman Museum and Gardens, Saturday 20th April and Sunday 21st April 2019

£ FREE  Time: 10.30am-4.30pm

 

Join in the Easter trail at the Horniman this bank holiday weekend, create something crafty in a workshop or dare to venture through the rabbit hole for a special storytelling performance inspired by The Hen That Laid The Golden Egg. The Horniman also hosts some beautiful gardens and some of those breathtaking views of London we mentioned earlier.

 

 

Whatever you spend your time doing this Easter weekend we hope you enjoy yourself and keep safe.

We’re Listening To … Eachother

At its root, listening is the act of hearing and attempting to comprehend the meaning of words spoken by another person. Listening is also a very important ingredient for building healthy relationships.

Listening means paying attention not only to the story, but how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body. In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages.

Listening is key to effective communication. Without the ability to listen effectively, messages are easily misunderstood. As a result, communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated.

Just think of a recent time when you felt like no one was listening. How did that make you feel?

Whether it’s with our family, friends or colleagues, improving listening skills could strengthen our relationships.

 

Watch this animation by The School Of Life on being a good listener and let us know your thoughts.

 

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