King’s College London Summer School is an appropriate opportunity for someone like me looking to discover, International Relations (IR). The course curriculum involves introducing basic concepts of power, democracy in IR and evolves to further nuanced study of the failed states, conflict regions and role of institutions like the United Nations. What made the course even more palpable were the class discussions, role-plays and other class activities. It gives an in-depth understanding of the perspectives of different stakeholders. Keats portal offers an access to a wide range of online material to further analyse any topic of interest. It significantly aids the course of study particularly during assignments.
The diversity within the classroom also fuelled the discussions. My peers belonged to various disciplines like History, Law, Journalism, Commerce and Mathematics. Through the short tenure of the course, we explored the concepts taught through the lenses of different stakeholders. The complexity of policy making in IR was evident through role-plays. In a scenario where groups have high stakes it is difficult to arrive at a consensus. In addition, being in India, we also discussed the impact of different policies on India and its take.
I comprehended the significance of evaluating the contextual variables. On doing so, I understood the uniqueness of each conflict and realised the futility of one–size-fits-all policies. I also learnt the importance of studying the history of a particular group or nation to assess its current position. History forms an important part of IR as many policies are framed keeping the nation’s past experiences in mind.
The module has equipped me better to read between the lines. Knowing the IR theories, I can now better analyse the motives behind different IR policies and try to understand its impact. I came across new friends and a reliable guide in form of my professor.
Our Professor guided us vehemently throughout our course. She was always available on mail or in person to clear our queries promptly. At no point neither KCL nor the professor took the module in low intensity which clearly shows their high commitments level. This course was treated at par with any module during the usual graduate term in London. There could be many reasons to sway away, being it just a summer school, a short non – graduating course, geographically far away from main London campus and moreover no student opting for credit transfers. But it was all professionalism at work.
In a nutshell, I would describe the King’s College London, Delhi Summer School to be a memorable intrinsic didactic experience.