Last summer I had the opportunity of a lifetime, participating in the second session of the King’s College London Summer School. Living in Central London, engaging in a hands on course, learning more about the UK, and meeting students from all over the world truly made my experience enriching, eye-opening, educational, and fun!
I was afforded the opportunity to participate in the Summer School through the US-UK Fulbright Commission King’s College London Summer Institute. My course of study was “The Olympic City: Global Games, Local Impact,” taught by Jason Luger.
Jason did a fantastic job of making classes engaging, allowing for student participation and interaction as well as frequent trips around London. We not only studied the Olympic impacts in the classroom, but also were able to witness them first hand; we visited venue sites, toured the Olympic bid city of Manchester, and observed key events such as the torch relay.
This successful integration of classroom and hands on study allowed my classmates and me to fully immerse ourselves in and appreciate our studies.
Furthermore, it provided me with a wealth of Olympic related information which I am now utilizing in my current education. As an Industrial Labour Relations major at Cornell University, I am hoping to examine the effect of the Olympics on a host city’s domestic labour market, as part of a course’s final research paper.
Of course, academics were only one portion of what made my experience at King’s so fantastic. Having never been to the UK before, I enjoyed the site-seeing and cultural experiences I was able to participate in. Living in the Stamford Street apartments provided easy access to all the exciting attractions Central London has to offer, such as the London Eye, Parliament, Big Ben, and Piccadilly Circus. However, in addition to participating in touristy activities, spending three weeks in London allowed me to explore the country more thoroughly.
I visited museums and travelled to Oxford, Stonehenge and Windsor and around the less
touristy areas of London. I frequented local markets, tasted new cuisines, and gained a better understanding of the intricacies of European life and culture.
However, studying at King’s not only afforded me an opportunity to experience London life, but also to learn more about the world in general. My classmates hailed from countless different countries in Europe, Asia, and North America, facilitating the rare opportunity of getting to know people from completely different backgrounds and learn about their lives. I left King’s with several new friends from all over the globe, expanding and significantly diversifying my personal network.
In hindsight, I cannot imagine any way I would have preferred to spend my summer. It has now been six months since my trip, and I am left with new friends, a huge knowledge base in my Olympic course of study, a better appreciation for European history and culture, a plan to spend a semester abroad in the UK, and the memories of a lifetime. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my morning walk to class across Waterloo Bridge, and I am eternally grateful to the Fulbright Commission and King’s College London Summer School for enabling me to have the best three weeks of my life!