Accommodation Tips from Zsofia

Hi everyone! Zsofia writing!

I wanted to shared with you some information about accommodation, which will hopefully help you decide where you would prefer to live!

When you come to London to study, one of the most intimidating matters to sort out is where to live. There are many choices available and it is a huge decision for prospective students and their parents. Looking for a place to stay might feel nerve-wracking at first, but actually it is not as difficult as it seems. Essentially, there are three main types of accommodation options: King’s Residences, intercollegiate halls and private accommodation.

Living in a King’s Residence is undoubtedly a great way to make new friends from all across the university, and because you are surrounded by fellow first year students, there is always someone to talk to. King’s residences are generally very welcoming and safe and usually within walking distance or a short bus/tube ride from campus.

Intercollegiate halls are provided by the University of London, allowing you the opportunity to make friends from other universities in London. These halls offer catering (breakfast and dinner) which might be worth considering if you are not a big fan of spending time in the kitchen! These halls were designed to be as close to as many University of London institutions as possible, so they may be a bit further away from King’s campuses, although some are within walking distance.

Private accommodation is probably the best option if you want to live with a group of friends or your partner. It may also be the cheapest option as you can find places outside of Zone 1, although it may take longer to travel into university. Typically with private accommodation, bills are not included in the monthly rent, like it is with university residences. Most King’s students tend to live in private accommodation with friends in their second year or third year of study.

Personally, I live at a King’s Residence at Guy’s Campus called Wolfson House. I really enjoy living here, I have great flatmates and have a 24hr reception which makes you feel safe as you can always report problems should they arise. My accommodation is in a lovely area in London Bridge, which offers a wide range of restaurants, bars and shops. The nearest tube station is a 5 minute walk away, the Waterloo campus is within 25 minutes walking distance and the Strand campus is within 35-40 minutes walking distance.

Time is very precious when you are a student, so time spent travelling to university is something you want to keep to a minimum. Living within walking distance of campus means accommodation prices are most likely higher, but if you choose to live further out, it’s important to remember that the price of public transport can be expensive.

I think living in halls, either in a King’s Residence or an intercollegiate hall, is an experience you should not miss out on, the friendships formed at these places will last long after you graduate!

Best Wishes,

Zsofia- Economics & Management

Kings Student Portraits Dec 2016 at the  on the 14/12/2016. Photo: David Tett

Accommodation Tips from Alice

Hello offer holders!

As this months theme is accommodation, and applications for King’s Residences will soon be opening, I wanted to share with you some of my accommodation experiences.

Starting university may be the first time you’re living away from home and the first time you’re having to share a fridge with non-family members (trust me, it’s a learning curve!). The first few weeks living in accommodation will be a lot of fun and probably a bit overwhelming. Around a month into living in student accommodation, you start to see some homesick students booking trains to visit home, loaded with massive bags full of washing, on the hope that their mum will to do their laundry! It’s a big step moving away, so I hope I can give you some tips about making the most out of your home-away-from-home, as well as tips on applying for accommodation. I’ll also be sharing with you my own experience of living as a student in London.

When applying for accommodation there are a dizzying amount of choices. Accommodation halls will have a mix of freshers, postgraduate students, UK students, overseas students, sporty people, party people, people you’ll get on with and people you won’t. When applying for King’s accommodation, you’ll be able to list five preferences. It’s best to work through what is most important to you, for instance is costs or proximity more important?

On the King’s Residences website you can find facts and figures about each residence, and photos of the rooms online. Seeing these rooms in person though can give you a real ‘feel’ for the place, so if you’re able attend an offer holder event to view the rooms, I would recommend doing so.  Some of the deciding factors that helped me choose my accommodation was wanting to walk to university, to have my own bathroom and the desire to meet a mixture of people. The most important thing for me though was cost. I put my preferred choices as Stamford Street, Wolfson House and then intercollegiate University of London halls.

In my first year, I lived in International Hall, which is one of the many University of London halls. It was a 20-minute walk from campus located by Russell Square, with catered meals, a common room and friendly staff. I got to meet students from all across London that I would never have met otherwise, and my main group of friends were Masters students from UCL/Kings/Birkbeck/Courtald/LSE. Coming down to a cooked breakfast each morning and talking about anything from current affairs to art history to robotics was such an eye-opening experience. There was a halls committee too, who organised open mic nights, excursions and looked after our welfare, which gave a real sense of community. Staying in the University of London housing meant I was close to Senate House (University of London library), the Maughan Library and other areas like Camden and Covent Garden. There are eight intercollegiate University of London halls, so do have a look if you are interested in a mixed-university environment.

When applying for King’s Residences, I looked at how long the walk was to Strand campus, as I love walking in London and I’m not a big fan of the tube. In terms of walkable distances, Stamford Street Apartments is around 10 mins walk to Strand Campus and Moonraker Apartments are around a 25-30min walk. The residences have some great initiatives, such as BeActive (free sports classes) and Freshers Events, you’ll receive further information about this on your arrival. If you would like to hear more about life in residences, there is a blog about King’s residences

If you are planning to stay at home, you may be worrying about missing out on the social aspects of being a fresher, but accommodation is not the only way to meet people and I’ve had plenty of commuter friends come to halls parties with their friends. In London, it is a little different to institutions in other locations as not everyone is living on the same campus, so people come and go to their friends’ and have dinner or drinks at whoever’s place is closest to the library, the club or party, so you won’t miss out!

Best Wishes,

Alice- Political Economy

Alice Stretch

Accommodation Tips from Alana

Hi, Alana here!

I wanted to give you a few tips on accommodation!

First things first, moving to London can seem very daunting, both in terms of finances and the fact that it is such a big place. People often hear about how expensive it is to live in the city, but you really don’t have to worry, there are plenty of different accommodation options available to you. Living in London is honestly such a fantastic experience, every day feels so exciting and you become independent very quickly.

Choosing your accommodation wisely is very important. Most first year students tend to live in either King’s or intercollegiate residences. Living in university residences is an amazing experience, as you get to meet so many new people from every corner of the world, studying such a wide variety of subjects! I found that there was a real community atmosphere, and you could always find someone to talk to or go out with. King’s residences also have Resident Assistants, who are normally second or third year students. Not only do they organise social events throughout the year, but they are also available as a friendly face to talk to if you have any problems and need some advice. Take a look at the list of accommodation available on the King’s Residences webpage. During my first year I lived in Moonraker Point, so if you have any questions about this particular residence please don’t hesitate to ask me.

As well as King’s Residences, another option for students is to live in private accommodation. This is normally the preferred option for students in their second year onwards, however I knew many people who lived in private accommodation during their first year too. For help with finding somewhere, there’s a Facebook flatmate finder group which is full of King’s students advertising their accommodation for rent. With groups like this it is much easier to find private accommodation as the places posted are being advertised by King’s students!

A key factor when deciding on your accommodation is the location. London is huge, so you have many areas to choose from! There are many factors to consider when looking into accommodation, for instance do you prefer the hustle and bustle of central London, or would you prefer to be in a quieter area a little further out? Do you want to live in an area with vibrant night life, like Camden or Shoreditch? What is your monthly budget? You tend to get more for your money the further out of central London you go, but it depends on whether you would prioritise price or location. I would recommend weighing up all of these factors to see which is most important to you. This will hopefully help make your decision a little easier!

Best Wishes,

Alana- European Studies (French Pathway)

Alana Roberts v2

 

Interview with Dr Ye Liu, Department of International Development

Hi Everyone!

Louise here, student in the Department of International Development.This week I interviewed Dr Ye Liu, a lecturer in Sociology of Development, in the Department of International Development here at King’s. I found out about Ye’s profession and research, and more about what prospective undergraduate students can expect when they come to King’s!

Read my full interview below:

  1. What inspired you to go into academia?

It’s to do with intellectual curiosity. There are a lot of things I’ve tried to understand for instance I’m still very interested in social inequality in China and I don’t understand why people don’t care about it. For example, people feel inequality is a part of modernisation particularly among groups of rural students and citizens. I found their opinions more conservative than people in urban areas. But ultimately, it’s more about my curiosity for the world.

  1. What are you currently researching/ have you recently published anything?

Last year I published my first monograph and it’s called Higher Education, Meritocracy and Inequality in China and I published it with Springer. My current research is about the One Child generation and I look at women’s transition from education to work and to family. I will conduct 45 in-depth individual interviews this April with women from one child families. I will try to find out this cohort’s aspirations and challenges in this still highly patriarchal society.

  1. What IDI events can prospective students look forward to?

We organise regular student events. For example, we invited activists from a refugee network to talk about how we can support refugees and their education. We also organise social events that would provide students with the opportunities for internships. Last year I organised an event for Muktangan charity which provided educational opportunities for women and girls from deprived areas in Mumbai. We recruited students from the UK and Muktangan Trust in Mumbai. They used their own knowledge and skills to train their local girls there and they also helped to develop a curriculum so the whole community, particularly girls, can benefit from the support.

  1. International Development is a very multi-disciplinary course. What is your favourite aspect of a course and why?

It has to be sociology. Sociology still fascinates me. It’s also highly inter-disciplinary for example you can be an economist and a sociologist or you can be a sociologist with a strong political approach.

  1. Do you have any advice to give prospective students?

To try and enjoy King’s and to try to be connected in the King’s community. We have so many resources here through friendship and through student association which will enrich your student life as well as your later professional life. We also want students to enjoy the King’s Alumni network so that they realise they are a part of the King’s community now and in the future and they can continue to benefit from our rich network.

Read Ye Liu’s King’s biography page here: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/idi/People/Academic-staff/Ye-Liu/Biography.aspx

Best Wishes,

Louise- International Development

Kings Student Portraits Dec 2016 at the  on the 14/12/2016. Photo: David Tett

Scholarships & Bursaries

Congratulations on your offer from King’s College London – I hope you are excited about starting in September!

It’s Alice here, I’m a second year Political Economy BSc student and Digital Ambassador for Political Economy Department, within the School of Social Science and Public Policy. I am currently on a semester studying abroad in Asia, but bringing you all the tips about King’s and London.

Although you have a final term of school, looming exams and then a long summer, September will come around all too quickly – believe me. So while those of you in your final year at college may have a lot of pressure at the moment (although I imagine there’s some of you taking a gap year in exotic countries too), if you have fifteen minutes, do look into what I’m writing about today: Scholarships and Bursaries.

The best way to prepare for university is to prioritise what you have control over; the financial, course-based and practical aspects. Once you are more confident in those areas, it will ease ‘the big step up to university’ which includes finding friends, adapting to a new environment and any other issues you may be contemplating (hopefully these will be covered on this blog over the next few months and if not, do get in touch)!

Firstly, finances. Everybody knows that London is not cheap and being a student here is no exception. However, London is an extraordinary place to study where the opportunities far outweigh a potentially diminishing bank balance. King’s recognises that talented students come to London to access everything the university and the city has to offer, which is why it has such a comprehensive range of Scholarships and Bursaries.

Scholarships and Bursaries are not something to leave until September – please do investigate your options now.

I applied for the Desmond Tutu Scholarship in March before I began at King’s and I received the £1,000 scholarship in my first year as well as having a black-tie dinner each Christmas. This dinner is attended by the other Desmond Tutu Scholars from each year group, the senior staff of King’s faculties and also an inspirational public figure who represents the scholarship’s values in their keynote address. The values of the scholarship are ‘academic excellence’ and ‘service to society’ and I had to demonstrate these through the 1,000 word essay application, as well as my Curriculum Vitae. To find out details about how to apply, see  here. The renowned leader Desmond Tutu is an alum of King’s, so it’s certainly not a bad name for the CV either.

The second bursary I have received is the King’s Living Bursary, which is available to “every full-time home first degree student who has been means-tested with a financial income assessment of £42,875 or less”, with a maximum amount of £1,600 (split between payments in November and February) to be spent on costs whilst studying.

Not all Scholarships and Bursaries are for your London living costs, you can also be given money towards studying abroad! King’s has some of the best study abroad opportunities, and has a particularly extensive range of summer programmes.

Last summer I studied in Geneva and had the full two-week course costs paid by King’s, this semester I am studying at Yonsei University in Seoul (South Korea) and I achieved the Broadening Horizons Award, which is one of the two overarching study abroad awards at King’s, the other being the Santander Award.

Study Abroad Awards are a great help and cover any related costs; flights, language lessons or even novelty souvenirs (if you want). The application included three 150-word answers of how the award would benefit your international exchange, but this will all be explained in study abroad briefings once you start at King’s.

By sharing my experiences, I hope I have highlighted that King’s is here to help, that these Scholarships and Bursaries are within your reach and they can cover a whole range of activities. I have been writing from a UK-Home student perspective, but please go through and browse the Fees & Funding webpage to check your eligibility for what’s available.

If you have any questions about this post or King’s in general contact me by email on sspp-student@kcl.ac.uk  and join the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy UG Offer Holders Group on Facebook for more updates.

Best Wishes,

Alice – Political Economy

Alice Stretch