Internship at King’s – Undergraduate Fellowship Research Program

Author: Maria

Usually during the Summer I would be laying by the pool side, or the beach, sipping a really cold drink and just relaxing. However, as amazing as it sounds, I would always be bored by the second week of summer and would always end up trying to find a job, internship, you name it. But it would always be difficult because I never had any work experience. This year however, my luck changed.

King’s offers the Undergraduate Fellowship Research Program, having heard amazing things about it on my first year of University, I decided to try it out this year. Therefore, I applied for the War Studies one on how weapons of mass destruction shape international politics. No longer was I sipping a few cocktails, or getting a tan, instead I am coming into office or working at the library and looking into files, congress hearings, classified documents and researching something that I have come to really be passionate about. Some might think ‘I would not trade those summer nights for this’, but trust me, if you really choose your work well, it actually pays off. It is also not like you will not have summer, I will still have a month to relax, but now I actually know I will be really enjoying those weeks.

My reason for applying for this internship was because first, I had applied to all corporate institutions without really wanting to join any of them. They don’t really suit my personality, and I was doing it more because I wanted to get an experience rather than actually thinking why I really wanted to work for it. Clearly, I was not motivated to work in a bank or anything like that. The undergraduate fellowship instead offered me exactly what I wanted: a subject I was interested about and also the ability to really understand what it is like to go into academia. It has not only taught me how to do better researches, but also it gave me an opportunity to foster relationships with academics, to learn more about approaching research projects and essay writing. I have become more familiar with that world. Yes, there is also a side of me that would not mind doing academia and that is also why I tried it out to see if I like it, but also, even if academia is not your ‘thing’, the program will empower you with so many skills that are and will be essential for your personal, academic, and professional life.

Do not worry, I am not trying to make you sign up for this program! King’s also is able to offer you any kind of opportunities during summer, whether it is an internship with them, or somewhere else. King’s is amazing at guiding students to the places they want to go. If you want to do a summer school, or an internship abroad, King’s can make those things come true for you. If you want to stay in London and just work casually or find an internship somewhere else, King’s careers will also help you achieve that. They offer advice on how to make your CV better, how to write cover letters and they even prepare you for the interview. Seriously, one of the best things about King’s is that they empower you to get into the ‘real world’ with the essential skills. They have the services to help you face what sometimes can be quite scary especially as a student going into your first job. Using these services has been one of the best things that I have been able to experience at King’s. And well, if you have it for free, why not enjoy it constantly?

How to spend summer as an international student

Author: LeeAnn

As an international student, I want to live my summer to the fullest in London and Europe because I know that I won’t be living here much longer. Being a master’s student, I don’t exactly have time off because my dissertation is due in August, however that does not mean I can’t enjoy the British summer!

LeenAnn - summer as an international student 1

One of the most important things I’ve learned is that you can do so much as long as you plan your time well. For example, in early June I was able to take a holiday to Denmark. I stayed with a close friend who was born and raised in Aalborg and had the opportunity to explore a large part of the beautiful country. I planned this trip in between finishing lab work and beginning the writing process for my dissertation. This trip was very important to me, not only because I was able to spend time with an old friend, but also because it gave me the mental clarity I needed to get back to work. It is quite difficult to see all of my friends back home and around the world and enjoying beach days when I’m stuck in the library writing all day and my trip to Denmark allowed me to have some fun away from school.

LeeAnn - summer as an international student 2

 Another fun thing London offers during the summer is British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park. This is a music festival that goes on mostly during the weekend for a few weeks during the summer. I went to see Florence and the Machine and had a lovely time. The outdoor setting really allowed me to enjoy summer during the show and the long days British summer offers makes for a perfect day to be outside.

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Lastly, I highly recommend exploring the city. London has so many markets, many of which are outdoors. Shoreditch and Camden are great places to start if you are in the mood for exploring markets because both have cool vibes and offer something for everyone. You can also walk along the river in Camden and check out some street art while walking to Primrose Hill to watch the sunset. However, you shouldn’t feel stuck in zones 1 and 2 because there are tons of parks and adventures to be had in outer London. Fortunately, London has a great transportation system and you can get to many of these places that truly let you escape London life for a bit in about one hour. Crystal Palace Park is one place I really enjoyed and I have a plan to visit another park that is off the beaten path this weekend. Basically, the adventures to be had during the summer are endless. Take advantage of any free time you have, especially if it’s sunny in London!

 

Advice for International students joining King’s College London

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Scarlett and Elena did their work experience at King’s and as young Londoners, they shared some valuable advice for prospective students! Read on!

Moving to a different country for University can be daunting. Although you may be nervous, rest assured that basically all British University students are feeling the same way about this new chapter in their life. But there’s no need to worry as there are so many resources which help international students to settle into life at King’s. Here are our top six tips to help you as you move to London.

Tip 1- Get to know the language

Although your English may be good enough to communicate with other students, it is a good idea to attend an English language writing class which will help you to improve your essay skills and become fluent in English. King’s offers English language classes for international students, and these come at no extra cost. This will come across as impressive to potential employers as it displays your keen attitudes towards learning. It may also boost your grades, especially the quality of your written work. Also, although this may seem quite obvious it always helps to spend more time around fluent English speakers as this helps you to naturally pick up the language.

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Tip 2- Explore the city

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London has something for everyone – there are a wide range of attractions and experiences which cater for all tastes: a walking tour or hop-on hop-off bus tour of London is a cheap and fun way to explore the city’s many attractions. There are also plenty of free attractions across London (ideal for a limited student budget)! The Natural History Museum is a must-see if you’re new to London – but beware, the queues are always long, so you might have to skip your lie-in. For the lovers of modern art, the Saatchi Gallery in Sloane Square, Kensington and the New Port Street Gallery in Vauxhall are sleek and sophisticated galleries which we regularly visit. They never fail to entertain us!

Tip 3- Make full use of London’s transport system

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A key part to exploring the city is understanding how the transport system works. You may be shocked to know that after 16 years of living in UK’s capital we still get lost from time to time, so don’t worry if you find yourself lost and unsure of how to get home because it happens to us all. Nevertheless, we’re sure that after you have used the trains a few times you’ll get the hang of it. We’ve found that free apps like the ‘The Train Line’ are lifesavers when you have a busy journey to plan and google maps has always been our go-to when we don’t know to get somewhere.

Tip 4- Join clubs and societies

student unionSnapchat: kcl_1829

Student clubs and societies are a great way to make friends outside of your lectures who have similar interests to you. You’ll be pleased to know that most clubs and societies are free. There’s no excuse not to join a society unrelated to your degree as you can do almost anything from sports, music, drama and science to volunteering and campaigning.  There are so many different people to meet at uni- who knows you might meet your best friend for life at one of our King’s societies.

Tip 5- Visit the international students advice department here at King’s

You probably have a lot of worries about moving to the UK, which is understandable. However, the international students department will support and help you with your move from before you’ve left until you graduate from King’s- they’re parent figures to many international students here at King’s. They cover everything from healthcare, finance and police registration to working in the UK, and handling your visa. Campus maps can also be picked up here which you can use to find your way around your new home for the next few years.

Tip 6- Pack appropriately for the British weather!

@london_ciity_photophoto by @london_city_photo

The British weather is notorious for being cold and wet and having grown up here, we can safely say that this is no lie or exaggeration. Even in the ‘summer’ it tends to rain a lot so make sure you always carry a ‘pac-a-mac’ or portable rain jacket with you. You might see your phone as your most important possession at home but here Umbrellas are equally as important! You’ll probably be doing a lot of walking from campus to campus as you explore the city and so comfortable shoes are a must have; say goodbye to your precious heels and hello to sturdy warm boots for the winter and supportive sandals for the summer. Don’t worry too much though if you are unable to get your hands on these items as there are many shops in London which offer them.

We’re sure that you will feel at home at King’s in no time and we wish you the best of luck as you join us at the university. If you still feel unsure about your move, you can look at the KCL website where you’ll find everything you need to know. Make sure to check out King’s International Facebook and Twitter pages too!

Free London: A student’s guide

Emma and Amber did their work experience at King’s and as young Londoners, they shared some valuable advice for future Londoners!

A student budget can make it difficult to experience all that London has to offer. To make sure that you’re not missing out, we’ve compiled a list of the greatest and quirkiest ways to enjoy the city this summer, all for free! Whether you’re walking, skating or cycling, there’s ways for everyone to create memorable experiences that you just can’t put a price on.

  1. Notting Hill Carnival http://thenottinghillcarnival.com/

With over 30 sound systems and 50,000 performers, this major event has been titled the second biggest street carnival in the world after the Rio carnival. In 2016, it commences on the 28th of August with the grand finale taking place on the following day. The carnival celebrates London’s multicultural diversity and promises to be the biggest party you’re likely to find in London this year!

  1. Gods Own Junkyard http://godsownjunkyard.co.uk/

Discover neon heaven in East London. Submerge yourself into the indie atmosphere whilst becoming a spectatGod's own junkyardor of the beautiful neon signs hanging overhead whilst you relax below. Chris Bracey, the artist behind the lights, spent 40 years of his life dedicated to the quirky and upcoming market of modern alternative art, of which the likes of Jamie Oliver and Johnny Depp have invested in.

 

  1. London Skate http://www.londonskate.com/essential-info/

Bring your skates and immerse yourself amongst fellow Londoners with a community skate throughout the city. View London on wheels, from a new perspective, as you speed past the iconic landmarks with the sun setting behind them. The 2 hour tour begins at the corner of Hyde Park and takes place every Wednesday night of the summer months, broaden your social horizons by making new friends along the way!

  1. Vauxhall one Summer Screen http://www.vauxhallone.co.uk/summerscreen

The recently discovered concept of an outdoor cinema has struck our nation, so where better to enjoy a film under the stars than in the world’s greatest city! Held on every Tuesday of July at Vauxhall’s pleasure Gardens, the free cinema promises to be a blast.

  1. Hyde Park

Covering a whopping 350 acres of land, this stunning scenery hosts for cyclists, walkers and rowers all year round. Go swimming in the serpentine or speak your mind at Speakers corner, the Royal Park has much more to offer than at first meets the eye.

  1. The festival of Love http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/festival-of-love

Based along the infamous River Thames, this yefestival of lovear the Southbank centre hosts a festival that encourages you to reach out to your friends, family and loved ones in what is set to be one of the most heart-warming events of the year. It opens with a party on the 9th of July and continues until the end of August. With a combination of arts, music and performance, there’s bound to be something for you to share with those around you.

  1. Top Secret Comedy Club http://www.thetopsecretcomedyclub.co.uk/free-comedy-club-in-london/

Share a chuckle with fellow comedy lovers at this top secret trendy club where the likes of Jack Whitehall and Seann Walsh have previously performed. Look to the website for the latest free gigs, we promise it’s bound to be a barrel of laughs!

  1. The Tate Modern http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-moderntate

Explore Britain’s growing contemporary culture by viewing the modern arts it has to offer. With the newly opened building, there’s never been a better time to visit the Tate. Be inspired by the captivating artwork with a broad range of interpretations of what art is considered to be today.

Why I’m proud to be a student at King’s

Author: LeeAnn

I wake up on a Tuesday at 7:30am and get ready for my day in the lab on Guy’s campus in the Division of Cancer Studies. Here I am able to do cutting edge research at a top university and learn about concepts I could have only dreamt about at other universities. King’s makes this my reality.

Studying at King’s is truly a privilege. Located in the heart of London—at Waterloo, the Strand, London Bridge, St. Thomas, and Denmark Hill—the opportunities are endless. My course is split between the Waterloo and Guy’s campuses. Most of my modules were in the Franklin Wilkins Building; just a few minutes walk from the London Eye and Southbank. This gave me the ability to experience academiwaterloo librarya in a place where I could then have a nice spot to relax and have dinner with friends in central London. My course mates and I would often spend a long day in the lab together, followed by drinks at a nearby pub or have lunch at Nando’s down the street in between lectures. King’s campuses are strategically located so that it is very easy to socialize with your peers in between your busy schedule.

My course gave me the chance to choose a lab in which to pursue my dissertation studies. Because King’s has so many connections and such a large network, my peers and I had more than enough labs to choose from, in many subjects and all around the city. This was important to me because I was able to find research that suited my interest and was close to where I live, helping me save time and money every day. On that note, King’s knows it is expensive to live in London and tries to help students save money where possible. For example, the cafes and restaurants on the varying campuses serve a variety ofwaterloo cafe meals, snacks, and drinks for low prices. The school has also partnered with a fitness center to allow students to enjoy cheaper gym memberships. I’m proud of my university for caring about its students’ every day needs.

 

Furthermore, I feel supported by my program tutors. I believe this is crucial, especially as an international student. While many things at KCL work in a similar manner to my undergraduate university in the U.S., there are still many differences. My tutors have done everything in their power to help everyone in the program succeed, even when it was not directly under their control. This “going above and beyond” behavior is representative of all of the individuals I have met who work for King’s. One example of this behavior was when my housing was declared unsuitable due to a boiler issue and King’s found and subsidized the accommodation until the problem was resolved for me and all other affected students. The housing King’s chose for us was truly amazing and I am thankful that the university was able to solve such a terrible problem.

King’s is a place that becomes more than just a school for its students; it becomes home and the environment King’s has created makes me proud to be a part of it each day.