Summer was arriving and I still hadn’t envisioned what I wanted to do after graduating. I kept thinking maybe university was not for me and I could get my own food truck and become a chef. After all, I still hadn’t found a subject to dedicate three years of my life to. UCAS applications were going to open in early September and I had to make the choice for the summer. I suddenly came to the realisation the best way to decide would be to attend a summer course.
I kept frantically searching and after trying to find the ideal summer camp I finally stumbled on the Pre-University Summer School at King’s. I had never studied politics but being given the opportunity to learn about what moves the world seemed like an amazing opportunity.
Summer came and before I could realise, I was on my way to Waterloo station. When getting to the Stamford Street Apartments I was greeted by a mass of bright orange shirted people, these were the ambassador, KCL students who would be our guides the two following weeks. I was taken to my room where I met my four other flat mates and Spencer, my ambassador. The room had a single bed, a wooden desk, a wardrobe and an inbuilt bathroom. Opposite to my room was the kitchen, which had all the basics and a table with 5 chairs. Aside from keeping some food in the fridge the only utility the kitchen had was to host our daily rendezvous.
Throughout the two weeks, the summer camp organised several activities which were all enjoyable. The first and most memorable was the icebreaker event where we went on a treasure hunt and had to take pictures around the city. Two and a half hours later we were lost somewhere around Borough looking for the London Dungeons. It came to us as a surprise when they announced we hadn’t won (everyone knew we took the best pictures) but the experience of learning about all my flatmates and Spencer was more than enough.
The politics course was taught in the building opposite our accommodation which made travelling easier. The course itself was extremely complete and interesting. We wrote an essay on “The tragedy of the Commons” and created a presentation on the sustainability of New Delhi. It was also during the course where I met students from all over the world such as two friends from New York and who I still keep in contact with. The course was also complemented with several lectures. One of them taught by a postgraduate philosophy student from Kings ended with the whole class arguing about Kant’s philosophy and the “trolley problem”. During this time, we also visited the “Imperial War Museum” where we saw the breath-taking WW1 exhibition which complemented the lecture on the “centenary of the Somme” by professor Spence.
Being fascinated by history and being able to attend the lecture finally made me settle to study War Studies and History at Kings. Since then, I have made KCL my firm choice and hope to meet my offer.
What truly made the experience memorable was the people. Living together and going to class with people you’ve never met before help create a strong friendship bond. Up to today I keep in contact with most of my friends from the summer course and we are trying to organise a trip for this summer. I urge everyone I know (who is in doubt or who wants to see what university life is like) to attend the King’s College summer camp as I believe it’s truly an amazing experience.
New for summer 2017 is our Pre-University Summer School in the USA. This commuter programme is a unique experience designed for 16-17 year old students (typically in their last two years of study), which aims to provide higher education experience in a senior high school environment.
Teaching will take place in our partner school, Brooklyn Friends School in New York and will run from 7-18 August 2017. Students will have the opportunity to study one of two exciting modules- Into Space: Exploring Space Through Science and Politics and International Relations: From Grassroots to Global Impact.
The Into Space course will provide students with an overview of the physics and astronomy behind manned spaceflight, as well as the science needed to make leaving Earth possible. And the Politics and International Relations course will focus on the core aspects of studying Politics at this level, whilst examining political challenges when responding to current global issues.
The fee for the programme will be £1660 which is approximately $2000. This fee includes tuition, relevant course excursions and a certificate of attendance. There will also be scholarships available for this programme and more details will be announced on our website soon.
You can submit an application for the Pre-University Summer School in the USA now and you will have until 23 June 2017 to do so. If you have any questions about the programme please email us. Alternatively follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for up to date information about the Summer Programmes Team.
The Summer School should be fun. But also achieve interpersonal growth and fire up passion for higher education. Still further, amidst the busy lives of young people, it should bring about such outcomes with speed and panache; most certainly, it should be a substantive variation on information available via Wiki, FB, Twitter, et cetera. So, what is it like to teach faced with such challenges?
I teach Politics and International Relations and my experience has shown that the humanities encourage creativity. I still want students to read without worry they’d be called nerds if they do so also over the summer. A vital tool of Summer School teaching is the practice of the subject. My students partake in daily strategy games, such as negotiations and simulations, like the United Nations Security Council Reform Group; international trade games; smart city building exercises, and the rest.
My own expertise is key to inspiring and supporting creativity. It comes from constantly researching the subject matter of political science. A great enabler of this is seeing students as a lively focus group that literally takes the pulse of the course through their seminal comments and feedback. Because I teach international students in London and then also take Politics and IR ‘on the road’ to India, my students cover between them a substantive portion of the globe and bring together a myriad of views and expectations. Making sense of the world is about acquiring a key skill, which is the ability to separate information from knowledge. One of the most memorable sayings I heard, whilst lecturing in India, was: “Google cannot find your slippers in the Temple” (which in Hindi translates into something like: Google Apni Chappal Mandir Se Nahi Dhoond sakta.) Indeed, my students often find that social media is a phenomenal way to exchange beacons, whilst the Summer School enables the connection of a great series of these to create a whole and gain a different (critical!) understanding of the world altogether.
In my next entry, I will offer a practical example of this, focusing on the forthcoming UK in/out EU referendum, now only weeks away!