Why You Should be An Ambassador! (Part. 1)

When I first heard about the Student Ambassador Scheme at King’s, it was just my second week in London and I was still very much a stranger struggling to get my bearings in the city. I had quickly brushed away the seemingly incredulous idea of me applying for the scheme until one of my friends urged me to push past my insecurities and give the application a shot.

Looking back now from my vantage point in 2018, I can’t even begin to imagine what my university life would have been like if I hadn’t signed up to be an ambassador in my first year. Through the numerous tasks that I had been appointed to over the years, I’ve grown so much as an individual and forged friendships that I know I’ll cherish beyond my graduation day.

Meet new friends through the ambassador scheme!

Meet new friends through the ambassador scheme!

In this blog post, I’ll attempt to do what my friend did for me all those years ago — to hopefully nudge you towards filling in that application form and starting your university journey in the best way possible. To kick things off, I’ll briefly explain what the ambassador scheme is. There are five branches of the programme, each specialising in a different area such as the university’s outreach efforts, guided tours of the campuses and subject/course-specific work.

These branches basically dictate what jobs you’re eligible for, so for instance, a campus tour guide will predominantly deliver tours as opposed to engaging in widening participation efforts. There are a myriad of opportunities to work throughout the year, so it’s a fantastic way to earn some pocket money in between lectures or even during the summer break! With all that cleared up, let’s jump right into why you should be a King’s ambassador:

1. A world of opportunities await you!

From the jobs listed on the portal, you’re free to choose whichever ones you’re available for, so that means every ambassador’s experience is unique. Here are just a few examples of what I’ve been involved in so far:

  • Events at King’s

Times Higher Education organised the 2017 World Academic Summit at King’s, and it was an incredible honour being in the same venue as many distinguished leaders in the education sector. Adding to the thrill of it all was finding out the new university rankings as they were announced in real time! Equally humbling was my involvement in the launch of the King’s Business School last year in Bush House, which you might know as the former BBC World headquarters.

Furthermore, I’ve been invited to play the violin at the Desmond Tutu Scholarship Dinner for the last two years! Phyllida Lloyd, the director of the film adaptation of Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady was the keynote speaker at the event last year, but I was glad to have not been informed of her attendance until after my performance!

Me playing the violin at the Desmond Tutu Scholarship event.

Me playing the violin at the Desmond Tutu Scholarship event.

  • Open Day tasks

King’s takes its open days very seriously, as the university is committed to providing the most intuitive and informative experience for its future students. Dozens of ambassadors will be on campus to perform a multitude of tasks, such as representing their faculties to answer course-specific questions, delivering campus and residential tours, and giving general directions.

One of my most memorable roles during an open day was leading a live streaming session on Facebook. As an international student, this was especially satisfying for me as I understood the frustration of not being able to attend an open day due to the sheer cost of travelling abroad. Besides delivering a tour of Guy’s Campus, I also interviewed members of staff from various departments on topics such as admission guidelines, study abroad opportunities and accommodation details.

Immerse yourself in the rich history of King’s through delivering campus tours!

Immerse yourself in the rich history of King’s through delivering campus tours!

  •  Assist various teams at King’s

The marketing team is mainly who you’ll be working with as an ambassador, but other departments will seek out your help for their events as well. The International Advice team organises dedicated welcome sessions for new international students, as well as social spaces during Christmas to provide that extra sense of belonging for students who might be unable to return home during the holiday.

Students having some craftwork fun at the Global Lounge during Christmas.

Students having some craftwork fun at the Global Lounge during Christmas.

Other teams that I’ve worked with include the English Language Centre (ELC), where I took on a job as their receptionist during the summer among other tasks. I also assisted with the setting up of the medical students’ practical examination last year. Being a healthcare student myself, the experience was invaluable as it gave me a glimpse of how my own exam will be run.

I’ve only just begun with this list (yes, I’m quite long-winded if you can’t tell already), so stay tuned for the next half of my blog post where I divulge 3 more reasons for why you should don that striking red ambassador t-shirt.

Tupperware & paperwork, some pre-departure tips

Author: Bea

I recall having quite a few friendly arguments with my mother when I left my hometown
(Düsseldorf, Germany) to come and study at King’s back in 2014. The subject of our disagreement: what to pack. Which brings me to my first pre-departure tip – listen to your mama! I know, I know, some strange advice coming from a twenty-something… but hear me out! It is all rather hilarious looking back. If I remember it correctly I wanted to bring a little stack of books, classics, my favourites that truly represented who I was (or wanted to be) at the time. That and other things to create the right decor and feel to my new dorm room – knick-knack and sentimentals galore! And whilst I still do agree with the idea of bringing things that will make you feel at home in a new space, I don’t think they should weigh down your luggage significantly.
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This is the stuff that my mum believed I should focus my Tetris-like packing skills on: tupperware. Yes, tupperware. I wasn’t that thrilled about her suggestions and tried to ignore them best I could, but little did I know that she had stuffed lots of kitchen supplies that I had rendered unnecessary into my second suitcase – including tupperware. And boy, was I thankful for that later! Turns out a lunch box and that extra frying pan are way more useful than having a copy of The Catcher in The Rye on your shelf, and yes, I am rolling my eyes at past-me too, it’s okay!
Long story short, rethink your packing priorities and do listen to your parents when it comes to this, they tend to be right such matters! Essentials should be at the top of your list, like a warm winter coat (even if it isn’t your most stylish possession), because you will most definitely need it in London. And of course, tupperware! 🙂

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Another little thing I would recommend paying some attention to before leaving for university is sorting out all the paperwork you might need.This includes writing down important information like your student number, some phone numbers perhaps, and dates for induction sessions etc. I’d say it’s better to have it all in one place than having to look through your email inbox frantically when you are unsure about something. Next to writing some things down, make a folder for the documents you want to bring (high school certificate, student loan letter, medical paperwork, you name it) – have it all nice and neat, and as I said, in one place. Additionally, I reckon it can’t hurt to back up some of your documents digitally, like a scanned in copy of your passport on a USB, for
example. You never know, you might need it.
What it basically comes down to is playing personal assistant for yourself for a day or so to organise everything. I am aware it sounds like a pretty dry task to tackle, but it will put your mind at ease and you will be able to fully enjoy all the new and exciting experiences that will come flooding in! Trust me, there’s better things to worry about than struggling to remember your King’s email password!

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How to intern abroad while studying at King’s College London?

Andreea pics 3 July 2017The Global Internship programme started last year, summer of 2016 and it took place in three locations, Washington DC, Shanghai and Mumbai. I was one of the people who had the incredible opportunity to go and intern for 7 weeks in Mumbai. By far it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was that incredible that this year I am interning again, but this time in Medellin, Colombia. Continue reading

Study spaces at King’s and in London

Anwar - Starbucks

Author:  Anwar

By the time I started my English degree at King’s, because I had taken some time out after finishing my A-Levels, it was almost two years since I had written an essay or taken an exam. It’s safe to say I was nervous. Two years felt like a long time out of formal education and I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to adjust again.

Continue reading