It has been six months since studying at the King’s College London Undergraduate Summer School. However, every time I think of my fantastic experience my heart is still filled with pleasure. What I acquired there was not only the learning experience in class, but also living independently in a foreign country. Life in London taught me new ways to express myself, as well as gaining courage to turn my classmates into friends.
The course I studied in King’s was Literature in the City, which focused on reading and discussing the literary materials related to the city of London. In the Chinese-speaking culture I am used to, the tutor would directly and exactly tell students what the writer wants to claim in the literary pieces; however, things were totally different here. What you thought about the reading materials and how to share your own opinions to the classmates were important. We were divided into small groups, trying to reach mutual understandings, convincing our peers and being convinced.
Besides the discussions in the classroom, we had paid many visits to the spots where literary episodes were based on. Including the house Yeats lived in and the enclosed underground tunnels that people lived during Blitz. What’s more, we also took a boat down to River Thames, the river that exists in almost every narrative of the city, and embracing history and innovation at the same moment. I still remember my tutor, George, a young and amiable scholar who was always analytical and calm in the classroom, became animated when we were travelling down the river.
I have some glorious and unique memories from my stay in King’s, forever printed in my mind: the sunny weekend in Hampstead Heath, loitering in the many museums and cathedrals. The most impressive was my encounter with an old considerate British gentleman in Royal Albert Hall, who helped me kindly with every detail so that I could enjoy a concert.
In the opening event of summer school, the speaker once told us that all of us had the equal chance to build connections with others and make our time during the summer school remarkable. Fortunately I had made the best use of my time during the summer and thankfully I seized the chance to join in with all of the activities, earning myself a brilliant time in London.
Yun Lin, Undergraduate Summer School 2015