Being a part of the King’s College London Summer School was a fantastic opportunity to explore the city of London in it’s academic as well as non-academic sphere. It was an incredible experience which comprised of contemporary learning fused with modern thinking based in a multicultural environment.
The course I picked was Negotiations: Strategy and Skills, which to me was a perfect blend of conflict management, cognitive psychology, behavioral economics and strategic thinking. This amalgamation along with the cultural diversity in the classroom, provided the most unique experiential understanding. Every single day, we negotiated, but explored a different aspect ranging from personal conflicts to organizational to political to ideological and many more. At times it grew into strong arguments and led to fierce debates, each one wanting to voice their own opinion, supporting their individuality, reiterating their beliefs and values. However, this is exactly what made me constantly challenge myself, every day of the summer school I could see myself grow, pushing myself to do better than the previous day.
Apart from the academically rich London, King’s College located in the heart of the city, gave me the chance to explore the culturally rich London as well. I had the opportunity to discover a new restaurant for every meal, a new attraction every day and a new getaway spot every weekend. As I walked across the Thames River to the Strand campus every afternoon, the magnificent London Eye and Big Ben with the trademark red telephone booths greeted me. Apart from this, visiting the historic and scenic places stretching from Oxford University to Windsor to Hyde Park to the Museums and the list just goes on, made the complete experience a lot more enriching.
By meeting and interacting with people across the globe, I was able to expand my personal horizons as it made me a lot more perspective based. In every conversation, there was a persistent intellectual stimulation, allowing me to learn from every person in the summer school. Thus, with all the studying and touring, it also led to holistic development. It was just three weeks, but there was so much to take back from the trip.
The overall journey was incredible, from being strangers to becoming the best of friends. From losing your way in London, to being in love with the city. From just having fun to making memories that will last a lifetime.
A new chapter in my life began on the day when the results of the “Summer Scholarships” were declared and I was notified about winning the 100% scholarship for King’s College London Summer School.
I opted for the ‘Criminology and Criminal Justice’ module and chose to stay at Moonraker Point, which happened to be a complete delight. It was extremely refreshing to see the absolutely remarkable treatment scholars and students are given at Kings. The three weeks I spent at Kings are still so fresh in my mind especially because there wasn’t a single day I didn’t feel that I was not growing as a person.
My course gave me impetus to think holistically and made me realise how important it is for a law student to develop a knack of taking into account the psychological aspect of a legal situation. The best parts were the continuous discussions and field trips that helped me dig deep into every subject that we studied.
My favourite part of the program was a reception that Kings organised in honour of the Indian Scholarship students where I was asked to share my experience of Kings Summer Program in Delhi and the Kings Summer School in London.
What was great about the Summer School was its central location which meant I got to visit lots of places and landmarks which included a trip to Oxford, Madame Tassauds, The Shard and The Victoria Albert Museum. Being an avid shopper, I honestly never stopped discovering potential markets from where I could shop magnificently, so from Oxford Street to Covent Garden to Camden Town to Harrods, I made it a point to visit maximum number of markets especially for the vibe they had to offer and also for satisfying the shopaholic in me.
All in all, my experience at Kings and London was absolutely fantastic and I would love to return to such a fulfilling institution and a prospering environment.
Kudrat Dutta Chaudhary, Indian Scholarship Student
I first heard of King’s college summer school through my university’s website and the idea of studying abroad at a well-known academic institution for a couple of weeks led me to apply to King’s. One of the reasons why I chose King’s was because this summer school allows you to select a module of your interest from a variety of different courses without the need to have any prior knowledge or background for it. Coming from an Economics background, I decided to pursue something I am interested in and opted for International Business.
The lessons were conducted differently from my regular classes back at NUS (National University of Singapore) and it was indeed an eye-opener. The duration of only three weeks resulted in the module being intensive yet intellectually stimulating. Our professors encouraged us to discuss and immerse ourselves in the various case studies to enhance our learning of the concepts. This allowed me to build my confidence in sharing about my viewpoints and to understand others from a different cultural background as well.
We also got a chance to embark on a field trip to the museum of brands to learn more about how branding affect consumer’s taste and preferences.
Apart from being academically enriched, I have also learnt so much about the culturally rich London. King’s college is located at the heart of London and this location could not have been better. As I walked to school every morning, the beautiful view of the London Eye, Big Ben along with the trademark red telephone booths greeted me.
With just a couple of stations away from the numerous museums, musical theaters and shopping districts, there is always something to do after school. From having tea to shopping at the huge Primark store located around Oxford circus, I got to experience the London way of life.
And if you are a huge football fan, you could pop by the stadiums around London for a stadium tour!
Most of the students on summer school will take the opportunity to travel to places slightly far away from central London over the weekend for sightseeing. In these three weeks, I’ve visited Brighton, Cambridge, Bath and Stonehenge with my summer school friends.
The knowledge that I’ve gained from King’s summer school will be beneficial to my future career and this summer school made me consider King’s and London as a potential place for me to pursue my Masters upon graduation.
In my opinion, this summer school allows you to be both academically challenged and at the same time gives you the flexibility to explore London and what it has to offer. I would highly recommend anyone who wants a fulfilling summer activity to join King’s summer school. Looking back, I can say that it has been the best summer experience so far. I felt that I have grown so much through this three weeks and I can’t wait to be back here at King’s again in the future!
Hi! My name is Mariam and I have just completed a three year course at KCL in Business Management. My time at Kings has been anything but dull, that’s the beauty of studying at a prestigious University centred at the heart of London.
Aside from my course, which I am extremely passionate about, I been involved in the various clubs and societies which led to me becoming Student Ambassador.I joined the Summer School as a Student Ambassador in 2012 and I enjoyed my time on the programme so much so that I joined the programme every year to present.
The Summer School programme is an experience of a life time and helps Students prepare for what lies ahead, giving them a flavour of the University lifestyle. I would encourage students to explore all what London has to offer and to participate in the off-campus activities arranged by King’s.
King’s Summer School is truly the place to be if you want to study in the heart of London, experience cosmopolitan culture, meet people from varying backgrounds and most of all have fun doing what you love
This year I will be working directly with the students this year, which I am ecstatic about. I am looking forward to seeing you all and having fun at this year summer programme!
‘Hi! My name is Nuralyah Razali and I am a year 3 bio-medical undergraduate from the National University of Singapore. A year ago, my family and I visited London for the Queen Diamond Jubilee. My parents wanted to give me an opportunity to see and experience the everyday life in the UK in hopes that I would like to study here in the future.
Fast forward to the following year, I came across the Kings College Summer School website by chance and found out that King’s is a partner school with my university, the National University of Singapore. I’ve always had plans to pursue a post-graduate medical degree in the UK and I felt that King’s offered a really good programme which I hope to apply to in a few year’s time. King’s is not only a highly respected and reputable university for bio-medical research, but it is also the largest healthcare education center in Europe.
Coming from a science background, I wanted to study something that was related to my course of study but also had a historical aspect because I love reading about medieval medical history. That is why I decided to apply for the History of Medicine course at King’s. I believe that learning the history itself will provide me insight on how to better the lives of others through future medicine and clinical research, which I hope to be part of in the near future.
Imagine people running against you, the wind blowing with temperature of 18 degrees every morning, yet you get to feel the comfort of the sun rays while enjoying the walk down to school! On the left side is the panoramic view of Westminster, the London Eye, Big Ben and the River Thames. On the right, you get to see the Southbank, where locals do street performances like dancing, playing the guitar and even selling potted plants in small cute mini gardens by the river.
Small vans selling the finest Danish ice cream, Belgium waffles and hot dogs. Little kids playing bubbles while their parents have Twinning tea for brunch at the cafes: these are the many sights that I get to see while walking to school.
On the first day of school, we made our way through crowds of Summer School students from over 90 universities from around the world, got our timetables and headed to the auditorium for a welcome speech. I felt butterflies in my tummy the whole time, especially the part when the speaker welcomed ‘students from partnering universities: National University of Singapore’. I was about to stand up and wave for a standing ovation! We met Dr. Anna who was our professor for History of Medicine, along with the smallest group of students in a course – 6 of us to be exact. We had classmates from the USA, Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia, and amongst them were PHD students in Philosophy and History of Medicine and undergraduate in medical or pre-med school.
The first session was really mind opening for a science student like myself in the sense that we get to read Shakespeare and were allowed to express our ideas on pictures of early Modern Europe-dating back to the 16th century. What I found most peculiar personally is that whatever explanation or reasoning I shared with the class, there was no wrong or right answer to the theory imposed. I felt really at ease in class and as the days went by I began to feel less afraid to share my own thoughts and views.
We got to discuss primary sources of Vesalius, Galen, poems from the 1500s, and stories on how the medical market was so busy with quacks trying to sell off their goods (black market of the medical industry in Europe). The great thing about studying history in London is that it really IS the place to study history: not only did we have class activities; we visited museums like the Hunterian, Gordon and Florence Nightingale Museums. Every single museum has its own murky past to tell but what was common between all these museums is that they helped to mark out and define what the medical industry we see today is about. We take for granted the difference between a physician and a surgeon, the Christianity-era influenced background of the professionalism of a nurse, how hospitals back then only admitted the poor… how then did everything change to what it is today?
We ventured through the dark halls of Gordon Museum where we got to browse through ancient medicine books dating back to 1400s. Books in the past were made of copper-based material, and it was a very chilling yet wonderful feeling to be able to hold the finest medieval books of the ancient Roman and Greek history.
The Summer School also offered a social programme during the weekends which I was thrilled to be part of and to be able to get to know the other Summer School students. It also gave me a chance to learn and be exposed to the rich and diversified lifestyle that the UK has to offer to a student.
The first weekend we had a boat trip from Westminster all the way to Greenwich and back. There was music and good food, and the company was simply lovely; getting to know each other better under a wonderful panoramic sunset view.
The following weekend, I signed up for the trip to Oxford and Windsor. Our tour guide was like a walking encyclopedia! It was a lovely day exploring two of the most magical places in UK.
The loveliest memory that I will always hold dear to me is that I celebrated my 21st birthday on the 14th of July while studying at King’s! AND I MET NATALIE TENA who acts as Osha in Game of Thrones and Nymphadora Tonks in Harry Potter series!! I took the time over the weekends and after school to explore different parts of London, browsing through street markets and tasting the local delicacies.
During my stay at London I constantly update my personal blog http://aleejustsaid.blogspot.com and I recommend anyone who intends to go on a KCL summer programme would do the same thing to! I hope to come back to King’s one day in the future. It was the best summer experience of my life and I know that there are many others out there who would love to have had the same experience. The most important thing is to be brave, be bold and take the time to discover yourself in the three weeks!
Thank you King’s for providing a platform for us to share our wonderful experiences! Am already missing the school adventures!’
After another wonderful summer, our students are back at their home institutions. Hafezah from Brunei, who was one of our my #kingssummer winners, shares her experiences with us:
“I’ve always wanted to go to King’s College London as the university is very well-known for its academic excellence and its perfectly convenient location – at the heart of London! I planned on continuing my post-graduate at KCL so last Autumn when I was browsing through KCL’s website looking at the available courses the university offered, I came across a section about the ‘Summer School’. I was intrigued but what really caught my attention was the fact that the summer school offered a short Shakespeare course, a course that I’ve always wanted to study again but couldn’t because of my current degree. I simply couldn’t pass on that opportunity so when the application to the Summer School opened, I applied right away without hesitation! I can now say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
When the 30th of June came, I arrived at the Stamford Apartment, one of the student accommodations for students attending the KCL Summer School, without any idea of what to expect. My doubts were cleared when I entered the Franklin-Wilkins building the following day, along with other students, for the registration and orientation. Shortly after the lunch break, the first class started and this was when I got to meet my classmates for the first time. My class consisted of 14 other girls so initially I thought the small size could be beneficial to my learning experience as class discussions could be made easier.
Walking to class was one of the highlights of my summer school! Let me explain – because I lived at the Stamford Apartment, every morning from Monday to Thursday I had to cross the Waterloo Bridge to get to class. From the bridge, if I were to look to my right I could see some of London’s landmarks like the London Eye as well as the House of Parliament, and to my left, I could see the National Theatre among other tall buildings along the South Bank. This isn’t something I could do everyday so that to me was phenomenal; the view was simply breathtaking and I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my day. Covent Garden, a popular shopping and tourist location, is only less than 10 minutes away from the Strand Campus too!
As a student of the Shakespeare in London course, aside from the walking tours around places near the Strand Campus and visiting near-by museums, I loved the fact that we got to watch Shakespeare’s plays being performed live on stage. Out of the three plays we’ve watched (Macbeth, the Taming of the Shrews, and Romeo and Juliet), my favorite would most definitely be watching Macbeth at the Shakespeare’s Globe.
What was unique and ‘special’ about this particular play was that we had to stand throughout the entire play. Although having to stand for over 2 hours out in the open may sound tiring, it was the fact that we got a sense and feeling of how the audiences back then might have felt when they watch plays being performed; it was interesting and exciting at the same time! In addition to that, the characters’ performances, the way they delivered their lines, the music and the way they attracted with the audience – it was all incredible.
Overall, attending the Summer School has exposed me more to different cultures and different landscapes while gaining new skills – such as knowledge and research skills. I also learned how to think critically and deeply through the course. I found the teaching to be of a very high standard – Sarah, my tutor, and the other guest lecturers she invited to class were always ready to lend a helping hand. I felt that spending a part of my summer break studying abroad has helped me grow as a person and broaden my horizons; I got to travel and had a more complete cultural immersion experience at the same time. What I loved about being a part of the summer school programme was that I felt like I got to experience the real ‘London’ in just a short amount of time; from crossing the Waterloo Bridge almost every morning to getting coffee at Cafe Nero or Starbucks before class started, as well as making our way through the crowd and busy London streets to get to the tube stations for our class trips.
Most importantly, any Bruneian student who is able to put on their CV that they have studied abroad in a prestigious university like KCL is at a great advantage in terms of impressing the people working with Brunei’s Ministry of Education as well as future employers. KCL’s Summer School has taught me to become more independent; living in London and being an alumni of KCL with the Summer School programme was no doubt an opportunity of a life time – it was incredible how much a place and the people can have an impact on me.”
Thank you so much for letting me write a little about my summer school experience!
‘The King’s College London Summer School made my summer of 2011 one of the best summer’s of my life. I originally chose to attend the London in Film course to experience studying at King’s as I wanted to study there full time. I have now completed my first year of BA Film Studies, and I know that my experiences at the Summer School played a major part in me wanting to stay for 3 more years.
The London in Film course addressed the history of film in London in three sections: ‘Victorian London’, ‘London at War’ and ‘Modern London’. As it was a three-week course, we studied each topic for a week and progressed in a linear fashion, making it easier to understand the change the city went through.
In the ‘Victorian London’ week, we were shown one-minute long street scenes of Westminster and Blackfriars Bridge, while studying early cinema techniques in magic lantern slides and zoetropes. We also saw films that were set in Victorian London but made later. These films included well-know characters such as Sherlock Holmes and Sweeney Todd, as well as Jack the Ripper – I think this was my favourite week! ‘London at War’ brought propaganda and the Blitz into view, as well as films released after 1945 that still commented (in some way) on the war itself. The last week, ‘Modern London’, concerned the “swinging sixties”, allowing us to watch Alfie (Lewis Gilbert, 1966) and revel in the sexual awakening of the city. In each week we watched at least one documentary (or street scene) that was able to put the fictional films into perspective. Watching films made outwith the period we were examining, also allowed us to see the difference between the reality of the time and how it was represented in later years.
London in Film, not only taught me about major stages in London’s cinematic and social history, but also allowed me to experience a London beyond simple tourism. As well as trips to the British Museum, Imperial War Museum and the Museum of London to put the films into context, we also went for walks around relevant parts of the city. For ‘Victorian London’ we took a stroll down Fleet Street, (the fictional location of Sweeney Todd’s Pie Shop) and wandered into the picturesque area of Temple. The next week we visited St. Bride’s Church, another hidden beauty, further along Fleet Street. These “hidden gems” are ones that I would never have seen or found on my own, and they remain some of my favourite parts of London.
Aside from the course, the Summer School itself had a lot to offer, including a bus tour when I first arrived, pub quiz at the end and various parties and events in between. The Strand Campus is so central that everything seems close, so after class is finished it is easy to saunter into Covent Garden and make the most of being in London. I made friends from all over the world and, honestly, I could not have had a better summer.’
”Will competition overshadow the transformation of a community? What will be left out when the Olympic experience is “translated” by the media to nations across the globe?’ These were two central questions I had when applying to a US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute at King’s College London, focused on the 2012 Olympic Games. I was drawn to the Summer School because of how King’s College works across “traditional disciplinary boundaries” and holds research to an “international standard.” Motivated to learn more about the UK, and to see how a country that shares a language approaches meaning in its own way, I soon set out for three of the most incredible weeks of my life.
Where to begin! Living in the Stamford Street apartments, I walked with my classmates to King’s every morning across the Waterloo Bridge. We lived in Central London, near Parliament and the London Eye, in the heart of the city, with a stunning view by night. We ventured out to Brixton Market, to Camden and even to Oxford and Stonehenge, embracing the culture of not only London, but of the entire UK.
As the Olympics progressed, I became more and more intrigued by the regeneration of London’s East End and the Olympic ambition to “Inspire a Generation.” I think the King’s Summer School embraces that very mission. Enrolled in Jason Luger’s course, “The Olympic City: Global Games, Local Impact,” I was taught to analyze the Olympic bid and the transformation of London through a critical lens. Studying alongside students from around the world, I was able to use London as a living laboratory, blending in-class discussions with my own experiences on the streets.
The Opening Ceremony showcased a country proud of its culture—Mr. Bean, James Bond parachuting with the Queen from a helicopter, and thousands of people singing “Hey Jude,” not to mention the Parade of Nations, which marked the diversity of the Games. Watching the ceremony with King’s students from nearby Victoria Park, with fireworks overhead, was certainly a highlight of our trip.
Sometimes the unexpected moments stay with us the longest. I remember walking through Piccadilly Circus one night with the other Fulbright students, not knowing where we were going, just listening to the city, finding the hidden side streets and stumbling upon our first British pub. I remember the afternoon when I struck up a conversation with a woman from Germany. We started sharing our stories of how we had arrived at the Olympics, and she offered me a ticket to the Olympic Stadium for Athletics the following day. And I remember sitting in the German fan section that next day, admiring the Olympic flame, cheering for the UK, the US, and Germany!
Reflecting back on my experience, it’s incredible how much London has impacted me. The city, the people, King’s College and the US-UK Fulbright Commission—all have left a mark on how I listen to stories and how I see our world as I continue to travel, ask questions and learn about different cultures.
I’m proud to say that I’m a King’s Summer School alumnus. And as I continue to pursue my undergraduate degree at Denison University in the coming months, I will certainly hold my experience at King’s, and with Fulbright, near.’
Hi! My name is Polina and I’m going to tell you about my experience in King’s Summer School, British Monarchy course.
My first impression was the hall of residence – Stamford Street apartments. I really enjoyed staying there – close to the campus, close to the library, and close to the underground. The whole building was really tidy, and I was particularly touched by tea and sugar, available in the kitchen (I arrived late at night).
The course itself was fantastic. We visited several museums and Buckingham Palace. I am really grateful to Mr. Luke Blaxill – our tutor – for creating a friendly atmosphere in class and for encouraging us to analyze all the information we received and to express our ideas freely.
I made a lot of new friends during my three-week stay. It was great to study together with so many nice people. I started to miss them already in Heathrow on my way back home. What struck me with particular amazement was the Maughan Library. I found there a lot of very useful materials for my essay. No wonder, actually, it is so large that I sometimes I had to use a map.
Last but not least. I’m not a native speaker, and I’m usually afraid to miss something important. So my favourite activity was to approach different people asking questions, usually the same one for several times. I’m really grateful to all people working in Strand Campus, Maughan Library and Stamford Street apartments for being so helpful and so patient.
Every few weeks our blog will hear from former students who came to our Summer School. This week is Melissa, who attended Summer School not once but twice! Read what she has to say below…
‘The Summer School at King’s College London is the opportunity of a lifetime. King’s reputation is second to none, complemented with the perfect location in central London. I was fortunate enough to participate in King’s Summer School for two summers, and both were amazing.
The first summer I took Shakespeare in London. Coming from the United States, I was interested in seeing how different studying Shakespeare was in a city that had so many resources available to supplement the course. Visiting museums and theatres to watch a number of plays exceeded my expectations and brought an element to the study of Shakespeare that is not available anywhere else; it truly brought the content to life much more than sitting in a classroom and reading the plays from a book.
I returned the following summer to King’s Summer School to study Introduction to Human Resource Management. Once again, King’s added a practical element, taking field trips to Harrods and Abercrombie & Fitch, which are quite distinct from stores in the United States. I really enjoyed learning the theory in the classroom and then going out and seeing a practical application.
While spending time and learning in the classroom is important, the outside learning really sets King’s apart from other academic programmes. Getting to meet people from so many different countries and learning about so many cultures that were different from mine was very interesting. We also had Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays off from class, giving us time to explore London and other parts of Europe. I loved taking tours to Stonehenge, Canterbury, Dover, and Paris over the weekends.
Whether you’re looking to get university credit at one of the top institutions in the world, meet people from all over the globe, or just simply live in one of the best cities in the world, King’s Summer School is definitely the place to be for an unforgettable summer!’
And you can watch a video of Melissa talking about her experiences here.