Not knowing what to expect and both nervous and excited, I boarded the train which would take me to London from the Netherlands. Only a few hours later, I arrived in the heart of London. This was the beginning of an amazing and very valuable experience. In the following three weeks, I would experience joy, stress, happiness, sadness, and amazement, and I would feel so grateful for being able to study in such a vibrant city.
During my time in London I met so many different people from all over the world, each with their own story and personality, but they were all such beautiful human beings. I loved discussing the differences between our cultures, and I am thankful for being able to explore London with them. From visiting Greenwich to participating in a pub quiz, joining the Harry Potter walking tour, having dinner at Camden Market, going to Portobello Road Market, and feeling like a typical tourist when posing in front of the Houses of Parliament or on Millennium Bridge, it has all been amazing and I hope to be able to stay in touch with as many of these new friends as possible.
However, making many new friends from all over the world is just one aspect of the King’s College Summer School Programme. The Summer School also helps you to become more independent. A few years ago, I visited London with my family, but this was a totally different experience compared to studying in London for three weeks this summer. When I was visiting London with my family, my parents were usually the ones trying to figure out how to get from one highlight to the other, but when I was studying in London this summer, I had to figure this out all by myself. The first time I had to use the London Underground, I was very confused, but it didn’t take a long time before I was able to use the Underground without feeling completely lost, especially if I had to change tube lines. Of course, taking care of the laundry on your own and going grocery shopping by yourself may seem quite difficult if your parents usually take care of these things for you, but it soon becomes easier once you’ve done these things a couple of times.
Definitely the most challenging part of the Summer School was finding a balance between studying and exploring the city. This was something I was especially struggling with during the first week of the Summer School. After class, I would usually meet up with friends to go to an new area of London, but as I had a test by the end of every week, I usually felt very stressed when I realised I only had a small amount of time left to prepare. Therefore, my advice to prospective Summer School students would be: explore London as much as you can, but definitely don’t forget to study regularly and to do your homework in order to not fall behind, because good time management will definitely help to reduce your stress levels.
All in all, studying in London has been one of the best experiences of my entire life and I would definitely recommend everyone to study abroad for a few weeks during the summer, since this will – without a doubt – be an experience you’ll cherish forever.