From Kenya to London

Everybody knows how challenging combining studying and working is, as much as it is a great opportunity to get work experience and lay practical foundations for your future job. Emmanuel Mamadi’s academic career in Kenya was a successful combination of both.

Having been awarded an African Leadership Summer Scholarship at King’s College London, Emmanuel has just graduated and celebrated his achievement in the best way by travelling abroad for the first time from his hometown in Kenya – proof that hard work can pay off.

The African Leadership Summer Scholarship programme offers students from King’s select African partners the opportunity to study on the King’s Summer School in London on courses on Conflict, Security and Leadership. The scholarship programme supports the work of the African Leadership Centre (ALC) at King’s which aims to inform and influence policy change both in Africa and at a global level. The ALC runs ground-breaking Master’s programmes and a highly competitive Fellowship programme that allows those involved to work and study on several continents. This year saw seven students from Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa attend the summer scholarship programme.

Emmanuel’s scholarship included, alongside the fully funded attendance of an intensive King’s Undergraduate Summer School module, workshops on leadership, security and peace issues.

We have spoken to him to hear more about his experience.

What was your first experience of the city? London is a beautiful and astonishing city which never gets old. It was so exciting to experience London with all its cultural diversity and different dynamics. The people here are friendly and interacting with many of them is an invigorating experience. I used to just imagine what it would be like here and this being my first time to travel out of my country… it was ecstatic.

Did you face any challenges? Well, I love challenges and with all the excitement of a whole new experience I took everything positively. However, the culture shock stunned me with most people here having more private space than I am used to. It wasn’t really much of a challenge but a learning experience.

What’s been your favourite thing about London so far? The diversity stands out for me. It’s my favourite feature of London.

What did you make of the academic experience? Yes, a conversation with King’s African Leadership Centre director, Professor Funmi Olonisakin; visiting London Bridge, the London Eye, being in Whitehall and Trafalgar Square. I have yet so much more to explore.

The session with Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, the lead of the United Nations Refugee Agency in Britain, was also an eye opener. The course lessons at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) gave me new thoughts and inspired my sense of analysis and critical thinking. In a nut shell, my experience was fascinating and a learning curve.

Was there anything that amazed you? Professor Jack Spence from the War Studies department at King’s College London would tell you that a picture, i.e. art, simplifies and history complicates. Well, my time at King’s has been a time of memories made of both pictures and history. Having the chance to experience learning in an environment occupied by diversity, knowledge and skill has made me come out feeling exhilarating about studies. The experience of interacting with different professors, tutors, staff and students from the globe has built me holistically; not only in the academic sphere but life skills as well.

Can you describe London in three words? Diverse, euphoric & amazing!

 

 

 

Memorable 2018 Summer

This Summer is one of the top 10 warmest summers on record in the UK, according to the Met Office, which makes it already unforgettable for many people. But it is particularly memorable for our students who decided to take part of their summer holiday to learn, explore and go on an adventure to King’s College London.

To many people, that was the first time that they have taken a flight alone, travelled away from their countries, spoken English 24/7 and met people from so many countries in a short period of time.

No one can get bored in London, especially during summer, and it’s often difficult to choose what to do during free time.

Most of our programmes include excursions and tours which help our students to explore London attractions. West End Theatre, Harry Potter Tour, Imperial War Museum, Royal Courts of Justice and the Wellcome Collection are some of the places where our students have been.

The photos below will certainly be in our 2018 Summer photo album.

UK Summer classroom experience

Summer programmes are an amazing opportunity to have an educational experience in the United Kingdom. It can be different from other countries, and that’s what make it unique.

Classes are a mix of ways to learn, from academic sessions to tours, guest Lectures, case studies, debates, critical thinking sessions, workshops, but it also involves independent study.

We really encourage students to participate in classes, express their ideas and views, and share it with all their peers.

It’s not always easy to adjust to a new education system, but often it makes you see things from a different perspective.

Summer (time) flies

Time is flying, and while some students are starting packing to go home some are packing to join us for session two next week.

Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Mexico and USA are some of the destinations from around 90 countries that students are heading back over the next few days.

Spending a few weeks away from home could seem long but in fact once you get here it flies by and most people would probably like to stay longer. Hopefully some will feel inspired to return and spend a longer period at King’s.

During the last three weeks students had lectures taught by King’s academics, met industry professionals, had hands-on experience, worked in groups, went on excursions and of course explored London in their free time.

To those who are going back home, have a good journey back and keep exploring, and to those who are arriving in London this weekend, have a safe journey, we are looking forward to meeting you all.

From London to Hong Kong

We flew from London to Hong Kong to bring a unique teaching experience to students at our hosting school, Singapore International School (Hong Kong). Here are some highlights of an inspiring week.

Students were introduced to the British way of teaching and they explored a range of subject areas, such as Biomedical Sciences, Business Management, Chemistry, Law, Politics and Engineering.

It was a great opportunity for them to have an international experience in their own country, and some of the students got excited with the idea of studying abroad in the future.

Professors returned fully inspired by the bright and motivated students that they met and came back with good memories.

Students attended special sessions on the British university application process delivered by our deputy director, Ian Fielding.

For more information on our pre-university summer programmes, please check our website.

Summer in Berlin

Studying abroad is bound to be a life experience. It takes you out of your comfort zone, it challenges you and it teaches you to be more open. It also gives you the incredible opportunity get other points of view and explore another culture.

Every year, we welcome students from all corners of the world in London, but likewise many of our students also get the opportunity to go abroad.

Recently, 50 King’s students travelled to Berlin and explored German culture and history. It was an interactive, skills and knowledge-building programme, where they were intellectually stimulated and personally empowered. They were encouraged to think about their personal agency and the impact in their communities.

Here are some highlights of a memorable week.


(Summer) Time of your life

Summer has started in London and the temperatures this week are reaching 29 degrees. The Undergraduate Summer School will start next week and everyone in our team is working hard to make sure that you will have an unforgettable experience at King’s. By now, you probably have mixed feelings; excitement, worry, enthusiasm and a lot of other emotions. Some of you are travelling alone, some are coming from far away and some are leaving your countries for the first time. But you are not alone, we can guarantee that most of your fellow students are feeling the same way and you will see that once you get here and meet them.

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from the academics of one of the top universities in the world, expand your knowledge in the subject area that you have chosen and experience the British education system. It is also a chance to explore London, meet people from other countries, get exposed to other cultures and get out of your comfort zone.

Studying abroad is a way to get inspired and to think about what you would like to do in the future. Most people who experienced studying or living abroad are likely to repeat the experience. It can have an impact on your future and certainly in your outlook on the world.

Remember that not everyone has this opportunity; to meet people from other backgrounds, cultures and countries, so make the most out of it!

Why not to take the first step to meet someone? If at any point you feel lonely, insecure or scared just get in touch with someone in our team and we will be here for you.

Now review your packing checklist, do some research about your subject and get ready to fly in to London.

All you need to know about London

Public transport
Getting around London can seem really daunting at first, but don’t worry, you’ll soon get used to it. The first thing you should do when you get here, is purchase an Oyster card (unless you are a Pre-University Summer School residential student). This works on a pay-as-you-go basis, so all you need to do is top up at a machine (in a tube or train station) or online, when your balance is running low. Another way to pay for travel is to use a contactless card, which costs the same amount as using an Oyster. This means you have the added benefit of not having to worry about topping it up!

Both Oysters and Contactless cards are really simple to use on public transport. On the tube, trains and DLR, make sure you ‘touch in’ on the yellow reader at the start of your journey and ‘touch out’ at the end of your journey. If you’re taking the bus or the tram, you will only need to ‘touch in’ on the yellow reader once when you board. Also make sure you download a mobile app such ‘Citymapper’, as it is really useful for working out a route between two places.

Coffee and Culture
London is bursting with cool, quirky coffee shops and cafes, and some of the following parts of town are a great place to start: Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden, Pop Brixton, Brixton Village, Hoxton and Shoreditch. If you’re looking for other ways to spend your free time, head to Peckham, specifically Rye Lane for a unique and trendy part of London that is far off the beaten (and touristy) track! There’s also Richmond Park in South West London, a beautiful expanse of green space which is only 35 minutes from Waterloo on the train. The Southbank Centre, Somerset House and The Store Studios are all in walking distance of the Strand Campus and often have exhibitions and events on during the summer. 

Sight-seeing
Don’t forget about all of London’s famous sights. Just walking across Waterloo Bridge will give you an amazing panoramic view of some of them, but make sure you explore them properly. The London Eye, Trafalgar Square, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard, London Bridge, The Tower of London and Tower Bridge are all close to two of King’s campuses – the Strand Campus and Guy’s Campus. Other unmissable sights in London include Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, Hyde Park and Regent’s Park.

Download the King’s Mobile app if you are already enrolled on the Pre-University Summer School and the Undergraduate Summer School. This app will provide information about summer accommodation, social and sports activities, advice and tips on your stay in London, as well as FAQs. To download the app, click here.

My Summer at King’s: Vedika Kedia

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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.

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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.

My Summer in Berlin with King’s- Maxine Yu

Untitled designThis summer I was lucky enough to go to the amazing Berlin with King’s. It was an experience packed with excitement, fun and wonder. Every day was filled with activities that brought us closer to the history, culture and the people of Berlin.

I particularly enjoyed the bike tour around the city, although I had somehow managed to crash a stationary bike, we were taken on a journey of Berlin’s most iconic buildings and structures. The relaxing feeling of the wind blowing in my hair and the slightly panicked feeling of biking on the opposite side of the road, combined with astonishing views was what made it a unique and special experience for me.

Of course it wasn’t just the places we saw that made this trip such an experience, it was also the wonderful people that we met. Journalist and Editor, Gerd Appenzeller that told us about the reconstruction of Berlin, Integration Commissioner, Katharine Niewiedzial whom spoke to us about Berlin’s migration policy and Berlin’s most popular blogger, Mary Schweppes and her adorable dog that discussed Berlin as a European centre for the worlds young.

Not only did we get to learn about Berlin but we got to fully experience it, the food was delicious and it really brought us closer to Berlin as well as to each other. Whether it was the cutest bagel cafe, the sausages in the street stalls, or waiting in line for 2 hours for the world’s best kebab, some of my fondest memories were when we were relaxing and having fun as a group.

From the funny traffic lights to the unforgettable memorials, my favourite moment was when we were walking down the East Side Gallery at sunset, admiring at all the skillful street art. Watching the blazing sunset by the river, and taking a thousand pictures with everyone, it was a perfect last night in Berlin.

I had made some unbreakable friendships, travelled in time, from before World War II to modern day Germany, and made memories that I will cherish and never forget.