My Summer School experience: Laura

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!

Fulbright Scholars show their stripes at the London Olympic Games

 

Our courses: Arts, Literature & Culture

 

Arts, Literature & Culture courses at King’s College London Summer School

London is known for the arts. From the Royal Ballet in Covent Garden to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, there is no city on earth better than London in which to explore these subjects.

 

 

‘King’s is situated right in the middle of everything. I went on the London Eye and really enjoyed my strolls along the Thames.’

~ Morgan MacKenzie Walker, Jane Austen’s England, 2012

King’s College London, centrally located in the heart of London on the Strand, is the ideal place to be based for a summer of study in London. Our Summer School offers over 20 courses in the fields of Arts, Literature and Culture, and since our Summer School began, these subjects have been some of our most popular for visiting Summer School students.

‘I enjoyed learning about the different types of performances there are from Shakespearean to the West End to fringe performance. I also enjoyed the trips we took outside the classroom which really helped me gain a better understand of these types of performances and helped me see the city.’

~ Saxony Nielsen, Theatrical London: Contemporary Performance in the City, 2012

King’s College London has a long-standing reputation of excellence for teaching the arts, and the Summer School continues this excellence, with world class tutors, who are specialized in their fields.

London is the city of Shakespeare. Our course Shakespeare in London explores the Bard’s life in London, from his life-time in the city to his lingering presence felt now on every corner. Take a listen to course tutors Sarah Lewis and Sarah Dustagheer to learn more.

Film studies are always a popular choice for Summer School students. And what better place to study the history of British film then in the city where it was founded? Our course London and Film  offers you the perfect introduction to film studies. Our Summer School alumni Vhairi Motherwell can tell you more.

From Monty Python to Borat, British comedy has always led the way for comedians to push the boundaries. Comic Culture in British TV and Film explores this idea, and uses the resources King’s and London can offer to help students get the most out of their time in the city.

Other courses will take you outside of London to explore the culture of Europe. Listen to Niamh Campbell speak about her course, ‘Literature in the City’, which explores the literature of London, Dublin and Berlin.

‘The field trips we took helped me to better understand the subject matter, explore England, and really enjoy the course. I can thank my tutor for that as well.’

~ Morgan MacKenzie Walker, Jane Austen’s England, 2012

These are just a sample of the many courses that we do. To find out more, please visit our website, drop us an email, or give us a ring!

‘It was a once in a lifetime experience and I wouldn’t trade any part of it.’

~ Morgan MacKenzie Walker, Jane Austen’s England, 2012

Meet the Tutors: Jason Luger

Interested in learning more about a particular course? Who better to talk to than the tutor in charge! This week, Jason Luger, course tutor for London and the British City – Past and Present, tells us a little more about his course and the city it features…

One of the very best things about King’s College London is that in addition to being a top Global University, it is part of London’s historic riverfront and an ideal ‘window’ on the very heart of the British capital.

Therefore, King’s serves as an ideal launching point for a Summer School Course such as ‘London and the British City: Past and Present’. One only has to turn the corner to be surrounded by world-famous landmarks and historically important buildings and sites. In fact, King’s itself is part of the historical story – its chapel was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott – who also designed the Palace of Westminster (Parliament House) and iconic St. Pancras Station! This course’s urban exploration ‘begins’, as it were, beneath King’s – at the site of a Roman Bath, hidden away from the street, indicating that King’s is literally built upon an ancient version of London.

But King’s is just the launching point for this course, which uses London and indeed Britain as an urban laboratory. British cities are so steeped in symbolism and reminders of key global cultural, political, scientific, and historical moments – this course will serve as a ‘guide’ to read London and British cities like books, to take in the sights, sounds, smells, and texture, using them as museums without walls and textbooks without pages. Students will come to see these cities, and hopefully all cities, not just as collections of bricks and mortar, but as embodiments of stories, symbols, dreams, and layers.

 

For example: What is it about flying pigs, and the hulking Battersea Power Plant, that delight fans of rock music? What does ‘Rocking down to Electric Avenue’, in Brixton, reveal about the power of urban change – and the loud, lovely, jarring, sometimes difficult clash of cultures? What were the social and cultural conditions of the sooty Victorian days that inspired both Charles Dickens and Karl Marx to write their powerful texts – texts that have had lasting impacts on the globe as a whole, with their crucial critiques on society?

London is just one of many British cities that have had, and still have, huge roles to play in global trends. This course will go beyond London, to familiarize students with other key cities such as Manchester and Liverpool. We’ll ask (and find out), why a ‘Manchester’ can still be bought in department stores around the world. What the Beatles’ ‘Penny Lane’ looks like – and what are its current economic and social challenges. And how the DJ – that hero of the party, of the dance club – helped breathe life back into cities struggling with industrial decline.

Shakespeare’s Caliban, in ‘The Tempest’, remarked that ‘The Isle is Full of Noises.’ In ‘London and the British City: Past and Present’, we’ll put on our noise-cancelling headphones, and listen.

Welcome to the King’s Summer School blog!

Welcome to the new King’s Summer School blog. We hope that the blog will be a great place for you to learn more about the Summer School, the courses we offer, and the university that we are part of. We also plan to tell you loads about life in London and how to make the most out of your time here if you decide to study with us this summer.

Each week the blog will have a new post, new tutors telling us more about their courses, Summer School alumni reminiscing on their time in London and King’s, and news and advice directly from the Summer School team. remember you can always find us on our website, Twitter and Facebook.

But why attend a Summer School in the first place? 

Attending a Summer School is a fantastic way to broaden your academic outlook, learn in a new environment and gain credit towards your university study. The Summer School at King’s offers all these things and more, and also gives you the chance to study in a world-leading university in the one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Not only to our Summer School students benefit from learning from leading academics, they also form friendships and contacts for life. Why not listen to Summer School alumni Melissa’s student profile to see why she decided to study with us.

Why should I choose King’s?

The King’s College London Summer School is a high quality and intensive academic programme open to students from around the world. We offer university-level summer courses which use a fresh approach to the study of traditional academic subjects.

Located in the very heart of London, accommodation and classes are next to many of the great cultural, social and entertainment attractions which London  has to offer. We even offer a lively social programme to complement the academic programme with events offered both on and off campus, including boat trips along the Thames, trips to Bath and Oxford, and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour to experience some Harry Potter magic! All this helps our students make the most of their time in London, both academically and culturally.

How can I learn more? 

Well this blog is a great way to start! For information on what courses are scheduled to run this Summer, details on fees, accommodation and our social programme, can all be found on our website. Please note that as we get closer to the summer, more and more details will be confirmed, so make sure to check back regularly! We also have our Facebook and Twitter pages, and if you have a particular question that cannot be answered, please email us at summerschool@kcl.ac.uk.

Until next week!

Summer School team x