A taste of University life

Applying for university can be a daunting task. It helps to be well informed about your options by speaking with your career adviser, attending university open days and chatting with current university students about their experience.

If you want to take it a step further and discover what the life of a university student in London is really like, our Pre-University Summer School is for you. Designed for high school students in their final 2 years of study, it lets you study a subject at Undergraduate level for two weeks. So, if you’re unsure about what you want to study after high school, why not ‘try before you buy?’ It is also an opportunity to meet students from around the world and add studying at a globally-renowned and research-led university to your CV or resume.

Our Pre-University Programme Manager, Mina Chakmagi, agrees that the benefits of the programme go beyond the classroom.  

I love seeing just how much students gain from the Pre-University Summer School. It’s not only a chance to get a taster of their chosen subject at undergraduate level – a lot of the feedback I’ve received from students is about increased levels of confidence, independence, improved team-working and presentation skills and cultural awareness. These are all important skills to be able to draw on when making the transition from high school to further study and future careers. I would encourage anyone considering such a programme to apply and see for themselves what an enriching and fun experience it is.’

But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what Nina from the USA who studied The Human Body with us in summer 2018 had to say;

This was one of the most memorable experiences of my life; the two weeks were filled with unforgettable explorations of London, friendships that will undoubtedly last a life time, and opportunities for learning both in and out of the classroom. Our professor was very knowledgeable and encouraged a classroom environment in which any questions and discussions were welcome. I entered the program with an interest in medicine, and after taking the class I could not be more certain that pursuing a medical career is the right path for me. London feels like a second home now, and I remain in touch with the brilliant people I met there. As I begin the application process to university, I realise how much King’s prepared me for future academic endeavours, and I am so glad that I participated in the programme.

Want to know more about our summer school? Visit our website for detailed information. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at summer@kcl.ac.uk.

My summer at King’s: Nia Sam

When choosing what to do during my last summer of high school, I knew that I wanted to do something that was meaningful and not just spend it as I had done previously – unwinding on vacation for eight weeks. At first, I wasn’t too sure how I exactly wanted to spend it, but I did know that I wanted to spend my summer doing something that would enhance my abilities academically before entering into my last year of my IB.

I moved from London to Singapore five years ago and I saw the summer programme as an opportunity to revisit my home country alone, and have a chance to experience what it was like to live in London again five years later, but this time as a student.

What made King’s College London’s Summer School different was that it was all about giving students the experience of an undergraduate course of their choice, but also the experience as a university student living in London. I chose the Business Management course as it the subject I want to study in university, so I felt like this was an opportunity for me to ensure that it was everything I had expected.

When I first arrived at my accommodation, I was greeted by so many other eager students that I instantly began to make friends (many of whom I am still close with today) and began to feel a lot more comfortable than I initially expected.

The university offers you two weeks filled with undergraduate-level content, with varying teaching styles. We had lectures in the morning followed by seminar sessions in the afternoon, and within the two weeks, each course had two different course-specific excursions. We had the freedom to hang out at our own leisure, as long as we adhered to the curfew, which was a great aspect of the summer school because it offered students a lot of independence to make their own decisions. The closing event party was held at the Bush House roof terrace, which had a panoramic view of Central London. After singing at the talent show, I had the opportunity to perform again at the closing event party which I really enjoyed, as music is one of my passions.

Attending the programme gave me the chance to experience what studying at university felt like, but more specifically what it is like to study at King’s. I feel a lot more prepared to go to university in 2019 and reassured me that I am choosing the right course. It offered me both an ample amount of academic and social opportunities to participate in.

I would recommend it to anyone, whether you plan to study in the UK or are still unsure as to which courses you wish to study when you eventually go to university. King’s will offer you a fantastic experience both academically and socially.

My summer at King’s College London was by far the best summer experience I have ever had.

Nia Sam

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!

 

 

 

My King’s Experience- Anaelle Prioux

My name is Anaelle, but everyone calls me Ana. This year I was lucky enough to experience King’s College and the beautiful city of London. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about my experience at King’s is the international environment. It would have been easier for me to stick with people from my country- France, but King’s has students from over 100 different nationalities, so I wanted to take advantage of having a multicultural university experience.

My closest friends were from Hong Kong, Singapore and Ireland. They’ve taught me how to make dumplings and speak rudimental Irish. It’s honestly a lot of fun to be around students from different cultures and it’s made my time at King’s a lot more enjoyable.

Another important aspect is that this international culture is also present in the academic life. When studying at King’s, you get professors and seminar leaders from all over the world who specialise in interesting disciplines and are able to teach you new perspectives. In the History department, there are a lot of non-Eurocentric modules about post-colonial Africa, early modern China and the African heritage of Latin American cultures.

So, what makes studying at King’s a good experience? The location of it’s main campuses. Waterloo, Strand and London Bridge are all in the heart of London, in bustling areas that are also close to major monuments and attractions. It helps with discovering the city, especially if you’re new to London like me! Trafalgar Square, the West End and the National Gallery are all around the corner from Strand and Waterloo. From Guy’s campus, you can easily pop to the Tate Modern, the Shard and my favourite- Borough Market with all the amazing food options it offers (I highly recommend Ethiopian Flavours and Luminary Bakery).

The last point I’d like to mention is the variety and quality of non-academic activities organised by King’s College London Student Union (KCLSU). King’s Sports runs a great programme called BeActive and organises sport sessions in badminton, yoga, football, basketball, running (and a lot of other activities). It’s been a really good way for me to stay fit without the commitment of a formal sports team!