It’s that time of year again! Applications are open for the King’s College London Summer School. We hope that this blog will once again be a source of extra information for all potential students, and give you a better insight into why you should come to King’s, and what you will get out of your time here.
Why come to King’s for Summer School?
There are many reasons why we think you should join us this summer. Not only do we offer one of the largest varieties of summer courses in the UK, we are also one of the top 20 universities in the world* and based right in the heart of London, a truly global and vibrant city.
Our Summer School is different because we want your experience with us to be a total one, not limited just to the classroom. On top of your studies with wonderful tutors in small seminars, you will be offered the chance to experience a full social programme, and will get to explore London as part of your course and as a real Londoner. We hope the three weeks you spend with us will be some of the best of your life, and our team aims to help you as much as possible.
How do I find out more?
Well you can start with this blog! Here you can read student profiles, interviews with tutors and Summer School staff. We will be updating the blog weekly with lots of new content so please keep checking in!
Our website is where our most up-to-date news can be found. Details on courses, accommodation and more can be found here. We recommend reading all this information thoroughly before applying.
‘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!
This Summer King’s hosted the British Council 9/11 Scholarship fund, which is tailored for students who endured the death or serious injury of a parent or guardian in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Read more here.
A big thank you to everyone who made this summer so special. Don’t forget you can always contact us with any questions or queries at any time, and remember to keep in touch via our Facebook and Twitter pages.
To join our mailing list for Summer School 2014, please email us.
If you are interested in our Pre-University programme, you can find out more information here.
Finally, if you are interested in writing about your Summer School experience for this blog, please please get in touch directly at email@example.com! 🙂
Interested in using Mathematics within your career? The King’s College London Mathematics Summer School is offering free evening lectures this week by professionals who use mathematics in their careers. These are free lectures and are taking place in Stamford Street Apartments tonight (17:45 – 19:00) and for next 2 nights. Find out how studying mathematics to a high level can open doors to a wide range of careers. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/mathsschool/Summer-school-evening-lectures.aspx
my #lingssummer is still going strong! Remember if you want to be with a chance of winning a FREE space on the Summer School next year, you need to get involved! Check out our twitter for inspiration – https://twitter.com/KingsSummer
The King’s Summer School is starting in less than a week and here in the Summer Programmes office we are gearing up for our biggest summer yet! Over the coming weeks we will be bringing you lots of fresh content, including posts from our incomingstudents, pictures of our social events, and much more.
This year we are celebrating the Summer School with our new competition, My #kingssummer. We want you to tell us about your experience with us this summer, your highlights and best memories from your time at King’s. You can use whatever medium you like – instagram, vine, youtube, or just an old fashioned picture – and upload it to our Twitter with the hashtag #kingssummer and a caption on what London and King’s means to you.
The winner will be offered a free place on Summer School 2014, with runner-up prizes including an iPad and King’s merchandise. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity!
‘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.’
Every year the Summer School likes to offer its students a lively and varied social programme to complement the academic courses. Some events are free; others may require purchase of tickets, but whatever we offer we always strive to provide value for money for our students. This year we are especially delighted to be offering for the first time ever weekend trips outside of London, which offer our students a chance to explore Europe while knowing they will be enjoying their time with friends, led by experienced guides, and knowing you are guaranteed value for money.
Details of how to book social events is available to Summer School students as part of the welcome information you receive after you have paid fees. Some of the ticketed events offered in 2013 will include:
This is a truly once in a life time chance to explore not only one of Great Britain’s most beautiful cities, but also the dreamy surrounding areas of The Trossachs, which inspired so many of the great writers and poets. The trip, offered in Session One, includes a stunning train ride from London to Edinburgh, accommodation, and excursions in and around the city. Don’t miss this chance to discover ‘the Athens of the North’.
What better way to discover the city of light then with your new Summer School friends? Offered in Session Two, this two night trip includes Eurostar to Paris, accommodation, a three hour scenic tour of Paris, and much more. You will also have plenty of time to explore the city on your own, getting lost in markets and pick up trinkets for friends and family back home. A trip not to be missed.
Visit two of England’s most striking and historic locations as part of a guided day trip. The tour will take you west to Windsor to skirmish with its 900 year old castle where the queen calls home.
You will explore Windsor Castle’s extraordinary history within the walls and it includes a visit to the St George’s Chapel. Here kings and queens are buried. Henry VIII, despite a spectacular mishap en route from London, lies in the royal vault alongside his favourite wife. This afternoon will take students to Oxford with a walk that goes by many of the principal university buildings such as the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Camera and Christopher Wren’s Sheldonian Theatre where degrees ceremonies take place. The highlight will be a visit to New College – dating from 1379.
Boat trip down the Thames
The Thames boat trip is a chance to get to know your fellow Summer School students and see the sights of London from the river Thames, from the Strand Campus down, under Tower Bridge to maritime Greenwich before returning to Camden.
Canal boat trip
Explore London’s backwaters on this Canal tour from Little Venice to Camden, along The Regent’s Canal through Regent’s Park, London Zoo to Camden Lock ending in Camden, famous for alternative music, great food and a buzzing atmosphere.
This year we are planning several walking tours in London, from tours of local street art in East London to literary pub crawls. Tours are still being decided but if you would like to suggest any tours, please send us an email with suggestions!