International – Study, Experience and Languages

Hi,

I’m April, a current MSc student studying China and Globalisation in the Lau China Institute. I’m going to say a few words about studying abroad.

Studying Abroad
Although the duration of most of the master’s programmes is only one year, that does not mean options are limited. Thanks to King’s official connections to many international partner universities, international internship and exchange programmes, as well as the informal ties formed by King’s internationally diverse student and alumni communities, King’s postgraduate students will have many valuable opportunities to gain international experience during their time at King’s.

There are many international partner universities for master’s courses such as the following:

• University of Hong Kong (HKU)

• National University of Singapore (NUS)

• University of Stuttgart, Germany

• University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

• University of Adelaide, Australia

Career Opportunities- Young China Watchers
The Young China Watchers (YCW) was first established in 2010, Beijing, and has evolved to be a leading international organisation that focuses on emerging and pressing issues concerning China. YCW attracts professionals who specialise in China-related areas including policy-making, businesses, economic and social issues.

Lau China Institute is one of the five global partners with YCW and has regularly invited King’s students to public lectures and talks with academics and professionals coming from different international backgrounds in China-relevant areas. The most recent example is ‘Can businesses and governments continue to rely on China to drive global growth and development?’ with speakers from Barclays Investment Solution, EY, Haitong Securities and the University of Oxford that cover a wide range of expertise.

YCW also offers a mentorship programme at the beginning of the course, which I would strongly recommend you to apply for, in order to get the most out of your degree. The programme connects King’s graduate and postgraduate students with an interest in entering a China-related career. Each mentee will be linked to their own mentor according to their career interests. The mentors are drawn from the London network and are experienced China-professionals from a variety of fields, such as finance, policy, business, journalism, technology, and research.

During the Programme, mentees will consult with mentors about their career inspirations and learn job-hunting techniques. Meetings will be both on a one-on-one basis, as well as with the broader cohort. This is a valuable opportunity for you to build up personal networks and friendships that will be helpful to obtain skills and accumulate connections to contribute to your future career planning.

Modern Language Centre
Many of my classmates are learning Mandarin to further boost their competitiveness for a China-related career, so if you’re also interested in learning the language, King’s Modern Language Centre offers postgraduate-only free languages classes.  See the options available to postgraduate students here.

Best wishes,

April

Global opportunities

Hi, I’m Laurel and I’m a postgraduate student studying Emerging Economies and International Development at King’s.

One thing that I have enjoyed about being at King’s is how connected it is to international opportunities. While the one-year program is quick, as a postgraduate student you may be able to pursue fieldwork or part-time internships abroad if you are interested in doing so. Your summer term will be primarily focused on writing your dissertation, but these opportunities can be a great complement to your studies.

There are many ways to find out about the different opportunities available to you, some of which include:

  • Global Summer Exchanges: King’s global summer exchange program allows students to participate in short-term study abroad experiences. These exchanges occur over the summer term and last for a few weeks. During these exchanges you will take a module at a partner university, such as University of Hong Kong, National University of Singapore, or University of Oslo. This can be a great option if you find a module that aligns with the subject of your dissertation!
  • CareerConnect: The King’s CareerConnect website offers many opportunities for students to find international internships and volunteer roles. Through the online platform you can find roles such as volunteering in Tanzania for an education program or assisting with WASH programs in India.
  • Self-Sourced: Is there an organisation you are passionate about? What about any contacts or connections at NGOs in a different country? If so, you might be able to secure your own internship or field work opportunity. I was able to do this based on some connections I had made by volunteering to support a KCL association called the Universities Against Modern Slavery Alliance. Through the contacts I had met there, I was able to undertake a 10-hour internship over this summer that directly relates to the subject that I will be focusing on for my dissertation. You can also self-seek out opportunities by reaching out to organisations you know of and applying through their own channels. If you do go about the self-sourced route, you can register your internship with King’s and receive additional support such as mentoring, networking, and funding opportunities.
  • The Department Newsletters: Sometimes the Department will share opportunities that have been passed on directly to them. These are typically lesser-advertised roles, which means that you may have a better chance of receiving them! These roles are quite varied. I’ve seen some that include assisting with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, acting as a writer for UK government parliamentary seminars, and supporting the research of lecturers within the department.
  • The London International Development Centre (LIDC): King’s is a part of the LIDC, an alliance of universities working together to promote international development from around the world. Through their website, you can find out about numerous internships that may be relevant to your studies.

If you’re interested in pursuing international opportunities, you should definitely do so! Experience is crucial to further develop your studies, cement your learning, and gain exposure to the intricacies of international development work. I wish you the best of luck as you make the most of your time at King’s!

 

Laurel

Exploring Career Options within Global Health & Social Medicine

Hello,

I am Katrina – a current Bioethics & Society postgraduate within the department of Global Health & Social Medicine (GHSM). The GHSM department is dedicated to looking at global health and medical issues from a social science perspective. There are many careers available that concern health, social or environmental policy. Individuals graduating from the GHSM department have opportunities within many different sectors:

Government
GHSM graduates could work within the government on a national or international (intergovernmental level). For example, within the likes of the United Nations (UN), working on international peace relations, or the World Health Organisation (WHO), a specialised agency within the U.N.focusing on policy within international public health.

Charities
There are numerous charities/non-profit organisations known as non-governmental organisations (NGOs). An example is the Wellcome Trust, which is a biomedical and healthcare research charity based in London, focusing on the ethical and social aspects of such research.

Think Tanks
Think tanks influence policy making. They can be on subjects on a national or global scale. However, they often dedicate their research and ideas to a specific area. Here are some examples of think tanks:
PHG Foundation – focuses on health policy and within that, how health technologies and genomics can better affect personalised healthcare.
Chatham House – specialises in a variety of current international areas, such as Brexit, climate policy and the Syrian conflict.

Start-Ups
If you wish to go into business while utilising GHSM skills, working for a startup is a good option, as they are often the epicentres for development, ideas and growth within a particular area of interest. An example of this can be seen in the company Genomics PLC which began as a startup. They built what they say is the ‘world’s largest genomic database’ from data obtained from researchers as well as individuals. They focus on research from algorithms, helping to further research in precision medicine.

Conclusion
The above are just some of the examples of likely career directions for those within the GHSM department. Whether you are more inclined to work within the government (national or intergovernmental) or for an NGO such as in a non-profit or start-up, there are many different ways for you to work within an area which interests you. If you are unsure about what area to go into, try and get an internship in one of these sectors to explore and discover what your niche is within GHSM.

Working towards your career

Hi,

I’m Chloe and I’m currently a student on the MSc in Leadership and Development and I’m going to say a bit about careers.

King’s College London has so many services to support and guide you and to achieve ‘global graduate’ status.

What is a global graduate?
A global graduate is self-aware, sensitive to differences between oneself and others, able to adapt to these differences effectively and able to communicate well across barriers (be they distance, language or culture).

Why does that matter?
These attributes are highly desirable in our increasingly global world. If you are working internationally, or with a diverse team these things become integral. To me, being global is also about being aware of the issues and events happening in the world, and actively working towards global goals such as equal rights, equal distribution of resources, mental health and climate change. A global graduate is someone who sees that there is more to life than personal ambition.

How can King’s help me be a global graduate?
There are many opportunities on offer to help you reach ‘global’ status. Although I cannot boast success just yet, I can certainly say my CV has greatly improved over the last 9 months. Here are some of the things I have used in order to increase my employability:

The King’s careers office has many useful services from job opportunities to blogs and advice on careers. They cater their services around what you need and where you are in terms of your plans, from ‘have no clue’ to ‘have a 10 year plan’. You can find jobs and internship opportunities throughout the university, and the wider city on King’s CareerConnect. You can sign up to events, such as networking events or talks from practitioners in your desired field. One of the best things, in my opinion, is the CV checking and mock interview services. I used both and I credit them with helping me secure an opportunity I was applying for.

  • Internship Office

The Internship Office deserves a separate mention. King’s has hundreds of regular opportunities to intern, paid or unpaid! They may be part time, self-source internships, summer internships and global internships. The Internship Office screens candidates (except for self-source) and supports by ensuring your employer is taking care of you and giving them the chance to nominate you for intern of the year. Part time internships fit perfectly around studies; I worked for 10 weeks at a grassroots charity in North London. The Global internship service gives you the chance to work abroad for 2 months and you can apply for funding. I received practical and financial support which has helped me secure an amazing opportunity in Medellín, Colombia in little over a month!

  • Experience Awards

Experience Awards allow you to reflect on work that you have done recently and receive acknowledgement for it in the shape of an award. Examples of awards are the London Award (for work or activities in London); the Principal’s Global Leadership Award (which teaches leadership skills, partly taught by my own professor and our Vice Principal ‘Funmi Olonisakin- an expert on global leadership) and a Sanctuary Award (for work helping refugees in the local or broader community). Sadly, post-graduates cannot have the award attached to their HEAR (their transcript basically) but it is still useful to reflect on what you have learned and have clear examples of work to put on your CV.

  • Extra-curriculars

Extra-curricular activities are useful in teaching you transferable skills and expanding your CV. If you have not been lucky enough to find work experience yet, being a committee member of a sport or activity club or volunteering regularly for a charity or society could teach you the same sort of skills as a management job or team orientated job. Being driven, organised and good at working in a team are basic requirements in any career.

  • Language classes

Free post-graduate only language classes are available. They are not formally assessed so easily manageable on top of your course work. Whether you want to work in the UK or further afield, being able to communicate with others in different countries gives you an edge and helps with cross-cultural understanding and empathy.

  • Contacts on courses

I am very lucky that my course, MSc in Leadership and Development, is specifically catered to giving graduates understanding of global leadership and I have been lucky to be taught by global leaders in security and development and to have been exposed to leading practitioners from Presidents to business leaders; local politicians to NGO CEOs. Taking advantage of the networks and expertise your lecturers or classmates have is important.

All the best,

Chloe

My interview with Dr Ye Liu, Department of International Development

Hello everyone! This is Farah, Subject Ambassador for International Development.

Later this year you’ll be starting a new journey at King’s meeting new fellow students and one of a kind academic staff. To give you an insight of one of the professors who is part of the faculty, I have interviewed Dr Ye Liu, a lecturer in International Development at King’s. I have asked her some of the questions that might be going through your mind.

Q1. Why did you choose the field of ‘International Development’ and the academia pathway?

“I was born and raised in China and I almost spend my whole career in education; I went to university specializing in teacher training as an English teacher. I later received my master’s degree in the UK in Comparative Education. I was very curious about educational provision across different countries, that was actually the starting point for me in International Development. I was very interested to know why some countries had free state education, while other countries still lack behind in terms of providing access to education. I later obtained a scholarship to do my PhD. I firmly believe in educational rights and all children around the world should be able to have the opportunity for free and meaningful education, however, it is still a long way to go.”

 

Q2. Teaching methods have diverted from literature only, what are your favourite TED talks or podcasts that you recommend students to watch/listen to, in order to expand their knowledge in International Development?

“I think that the beauty of studying in the education in the UK is the creativity in teaching methods. We do not use the ‘traditional’ text book curriculum, we encourage students to explore all different methods and sources of learning. Podcasts are very important sources in terms for interrogating and analysing different methods. I highly recommend my colleague’s podcast, Dr Alice Evans. She interviewed a wide range of scholars in International Development, I encourage all students to listen to her wide range of topics.”

 

Q3. Since you were an international student in the UK, what advice to do you have for incoming international students?

“London is such an exciting place to study, however I once was an international student and remember how such a big city can be overwhelming. I highly encourage students to engage in community learning, as a lot of research has proven that community learning has the best academic results. Students should be involved in small learning and reading groups, attending public lectures across different universities in London. London can also be an isolating and intimating at first, so a small community-based learning group can help students adjust to the busy city lifestyle and create new friendships.”

 

Q4. What tips do you have for students looking to explore their career in international development?

“I encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities available at King’s and connecting with the department’s career member and attending the events organised by our department. We also have a very strong alumni networks, such as Development Monday, a public talk about any topic related to International Development. We also have many opportunities and internships related to the fields of development. Other than the department efforts, the King’s career centre is also highly committed to support students to find career opportunities. Lastly, London is a metropolitan city that has many NGOs and organisations that specialize in different international development fields.”

Link to Dr Alice Evans podcasts: https://soundcloud.com/user-845572280

I hope you guys enjoyed this interview!

Best Wishes,

Farah

 

 

Top 5 tips for returning to university

Hello!

Whether you’re returning to university to study a postgraduate course one year or twenty years after your undergraduate degree, the thought of returning back to university life can sometimes be a bit daunting, but don’t worry, I’ve written my top 5 tips for returning to university to help you ease back into student life!

1. Ensure you read the materials provided

Take the time to read all the materials provided on the King’s webpages and on your email, and if something is not clear, then ask!  King’s does a great job of publishing useful content on its online course pages and emails, but do feel free to contact someone if you have any queries at all!

2. Do some background reading

The goal here is not to jump start and do all the reading before the course begins, but to lay the foundations and to help you get back into reading. Ensure you check your offer holder webpages closer to September, as these will be updated with useful information, including recommended reading lists!

3. Learn more about your academics

Some department webpages include lists of recently published books by King’s academics. Many of the books can be found in bookstores, and a lot of journals and articles accessed online.  Also, many academics have done interviews and presentations which are available to watch on the King’s YouTube channel.

4. Academic writing

Writing is a big part of postgraduate studies! There are countless books and online tools to help refresh your skills. King’s also offers Academic English and Skills sessions for when you arrive for your studies! Check out the available sessions here.

5. Library access

King’s has a library partnership across London, meaning you can access other London libraries as well as King’s! The King’s library is full of useful information.  Personally I found it very useful to practice finding resources, so that when my modules started, I had an idea of where to locate certain materials.

I hope you found my tops tips helpful and I wish you all the best in your future studies!

Best wishes,

Michael, Security, Leadership and Society MSc

 

Why I chose to study at King’s – by Hannah

Hi everyone,

My name’s Hannah, and I’m a current Global Health & Social Justice MSc student here at King’s! I wanted to write to you a bit about why I personally chose King’s, and why I chose my course in particular!

Why I chose King’s

The renowned and well-respected reputation of King’s, and it’s ranking amongst the top 25 universities in the world, was just one of the many reasons that I chose to study at King’s. Having grown up in a small town and studied at Exeter for my undergraduate degree, I felt ‘the big city’ calling as I started to think about post-graduate studies. The central location of King’s was a major pull factor for me when I was considering which university to study at. King’s central location provides opportunities to volunteer with international organisations based in London, opportunities to attend public lectures, and opportunities to take part in internships!

The view from King’s Stand campus, centrally located close to the iconic London Eye and Houses of Parliament!

King’s is an incredibly diverse university, made up of nearly 40% international students from over 150 countries. This creates an attractive welcoming environment and offers a wide-range culturally diverse student body, something that I was excited to be a part of. When deciding to study at King’s I was also thinking about post-masters life and job prospects. King’s is at the forefront of cutting edge research, something which is incorporated into our postgraduate teaching. King’s provides a great learning environment, and is part of a global community that opens doors to many opportunities such as internships and volunteering, encouraging you to explore new interests.

Why I chose Global Health & Social Justice MSc

Choosing a postgraduate course is a challenge – you usually only get one year to study one programme. As soon as I found the Global Health & Social Justice MSc at King’s I knew that it was everything I was looking for. It is a unique course that combines the study of social science and anthropology with philosophy and covers a vast range of topics. I was particularly drawn to this course due to the social justice perspective that it focuses on, a topic that I had explored through volunteering opportunities and wanted to learn about in more detail, particularly in relation to global health inequalities. The interdisciplinary approach to this course that also extends to the diverse and exciting research options on offer were also an important factor for me, I wanted to be challenged and to explore ways of thinking that were different from my science background.

The Global Health & Social Medicine department is part of the King’s Global Health network, which also includes many global connections. Knowing about this fantastic network is also what prompted me to apply to this course. The department offers opportunities to explore a wide range of interests, with interesting seminars always on offer and a chance to learn about and experience cutting edge research.

I hope you enjoyed my post!

Best wishes,

Hannah, Global Health & Social Justice MSc

Interview with MSc Climate Change Programme Leader- By Hannah

Hi everyone, Hannah here!

To help give you an insight into life at King’s, I caught up with my programme leader and postgraduate lecturer Dr Thomas Smith, a physical and environmental geography lecturer and biomass burning researcher  in the Department of Geography, and asked him a few questions!

  1. What inspired you to study geography?

“Weekend walks in the Peak District with my family, a fantastic A Level Geography teacher and a great trip to the Isle of Arran inspired me to do a geography degree. A trip to Canada in the first year of my PhD to look at controlled burning in Banff National Park inspired me to study in my current area of research- the jaw dropping scenery was unforgettable!” 

  1. What do you like about teaching at postgraduate level?

“Postgraduate students often come from quite a diverse range of backgrounds which leads to interesting contributions in lectures, seminars and tutorials. Some have relevant or totally different work experience and this offers many perspectives. Being the programme leader for the MSc in Climate Change I meet students from a range of academic backgrounds which adds to the interdisciplinary nature of the course.”

  1. Do you have any favourite podcasts or blog that you would recommend to students for keeping up with geography related news?

I mostly engage with the blogosphere through twitter, it’s great for staying up to date with the latest scientific papers and keeping in touch with researchers. Some examples of good accounts to follow are:

  1. Any advice on how students can make the most of their time at King’s?

“I was a student at King’s for 5 years whilst doing my Masters and PhD. KCLSU has loads going on with plenty of societies to get involved with.You could also take a King’s Modern Language Centre; I did Spanish during my PhD. 

Make the most of being in London- it may seem expensive but it’s worth it! There are many work experience and volunteering opportunities available and plenty of environmental groups to get involved with.”

I hope you enjoyed reading my interview with Tom! You can follow Tom on Twitter @DrTELS and the KCL Department of Geography @KCLGEOGRAPHY

Best Wishes,

Hannah, MSc Climate Change

Me and Dr Thomas Smith

 

Best Views of London- By Tina

Hello everyone,

As the evenings are getting longer and temperatures are on the rise here in London, I have compiled a list of the best spots to enjoy the sunset or simply take in panorama views of the whole city. All these pictures have been taken myself whilst going around London. Enjoy!

Primrose Hill

Surrounded by beautiful cafes and in close proximity to the London Zoo, this hill to the north of Regent’s Park has often been named the most beautiful viewpoint in North London. Don’t forget to bring a picnic blanket and enjoy the view!

Primrose Hill 2

London Eye

As one of the world’s most famous Ferris wheels and with over 3.75 million visitors annually, the London Eye is an obvious choice for all those seeking a great view! 135m above the Thames, it offers 360-degree views of some of the most iconic London landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament.London Eye

Greenwich Observatory

The top of the hill in Greenwich Park offers unparalleled views down to the Royal Naval College and across the Thames.

Greenwich Observatory 2

Emirates Airline

For anyone in search of a more daring experience, I recommend a visit to the Emirates Airline, a cable car link across the River Thames. The trip takes around 10 minutes and offers impressive views of the O2 and Canary Wharf. You can even use your Oyster card to pay for the trip.Emirates Airline 2

Sky Garden

Located close to Monument station, this public space offers a 360-degree view of London. Entry to the Sky Garden is free, but it is advisable to book your visit in advance to avoid the queues.

Sky Garden 2

Parliament Hill

Similar to Primrose Hill, this natural haven in the south-east corner of Hampstead Heath is a popular viewpoint among tourists and locals alike.

Parliament Hill

Madison

If you’d like to sit back and enjoy a drink with a view, you should pay a visit to Madison this summer. This rooftop terrace bar is located at the top of the One New Change shopping complex and provides a great view of St Paul’s Cathedral as well as a laid-back atmosphere, perfect for a cocktail in the afternoon sunshine.

Madison 2

I hope you enjoyed my pictures!

Best wishes,

Tina- MSc International Marketing

Tina Schmechel

Top 5 tips for returning to university as a mature student

Hi everyone, Paige here.

Some of you may have graduated from your undergraduate degree a few years ago, so may have some reservations about returning back to student life. I worked for four years before heading back to education and it was a bit of a shock to my system. Have no fear though! Returning to education is an incredibly rewarding experience. I had a think about my own personal experiences, and wanted to share them with you.

Here are a few of my main thoughts about how to succeed through this transition:

1) Stay on top of the readings week to week

I know it may be tempting to catch up later but the workload is steady. I have tried to treat my more flexible schedule just like a regular job, giving myself a schedule with allotted times for different classes, readings, work and meetings.

2) Take advantage of the connections

In the workplace, I found who you know makes a big difference. Networking opens up opportunities, now is the chance to use your connections!

3) Go to the extra seminars and talks

Much like the above statement, seminars and talks around London are a great way to develop your interests, network and meet like-minded professionals. Being a student at King’s gives you access to lots of exclusive events that the general public cannot attend.

4) Explore your interests

Academia allows you to personalise your schedule and study specific areas of interest, unlike work schedules. Take advantage of this time to find out what you like and develop a base of knowledge that can help propel you into the workforce after graduation.

 5) Enjoy this time!

It can be hard to settle back into a student life if you are accustomed to a different lifestyle but it goes by so quickly. Take advantage of the flexibility and opportunities presented while they’re still there!

The thought of returning to university as an adult can be nerve-racking, but the life skills you have gathered in the time since you last graduated will go a long way in helping you make the most out of your experience at King’s.

Best Wishes,

Paige- MA Bioethics & Society

Paige Fitzsimmons