When it came to deciding what university to go to, King's was an obvious choice. Not only is it based in a perfect location, right at the heart of the capital, but it is one of the world's best institutions with excellent teaching and research standards.
King's has one of the finest History departments in the UK, and its heavy emphasis on research coupled with its good choice of modules was what attracted me most. Studying at the Strand is a genuine pleasure; it's a nice feeling knowing that you are right in the centre of arguably one of the best cities in the world, with the impressive Maughan Library only a few minutes walk away.
By far, one of the greatest experiences was living in halls. I lived in Stamford Street, only a 10 minute walk away from class and slap bang in the middle of the South Bank. Being so central means you are never short of anything to do, as there is always something going on.
For me, university is an experience that you create for yourself, by way of making new friends, trying new things and achieving a first-class education. I know I will go away from King's with the secure knowledge that I have achieved all these things and more.
After having taken an incredible gap year full of adventurous experiences, I knew I needed to go to a university that would keep me inspired. Choosing a degree in history, I was naturally drawn to the impressive breadth of specialism of the King’s History Department, as well as its leading stance in the international league tables. I remember walking across Waterloo Bridge on the day of my interview; a cityscape of the symbiosis of London’s rich History and it’s buzzing modern identity. To the left; the Houses of Parliament, overlooked by the London Eye, and, to the right, a vision of St Paul’s and the Gherkin, poking out of the tops of the city. I still have to stop every now and again and take that view in!
At King’s I quickly filled my time with work and extra-curricular activities; I joined the new Jazz Vocal band, with whom I did several gigs throughout the year, raising money for Barnados as well as shows for the public at a pub in Barnes. I’m also a lover of sport, and found my niche in football and rugby, which have a great social side as soon as practice is over!
Of course, the degree itself has been an eye-opening experience; just last week I was at Brick Lane in the East End, listening to a podcast about the history of the immigrant population and the violence of the Whitechapel area. The course is so varied and challenging that I always feel mentally-charged. Then, come the new year, I will be the first from the department to spend a semester at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. I have always tried to seek out and make the most of opportunities, and being at King’s has definitely enabled me to live this way and fulfil my ambition. Although I’m not yet certain where the future will take me, perhaps to an MA, perhaps a Law-conversion, I know that I’ll jump into it head-first and full of spirit – that’s what King’s, and London, does to you!
One aspect I enjoy most about History at King’s is the opportunity to study under leading academics, a situation you are frequently reminded of when you turn to your professor’s publications whilst engaging with the course.
I chose to study History at King’s for two key reasons. Firstly, the department is an incredibly respected one, ranking second in The Sunday Times University Guide in 2011. Such a reputation coupled with the exciting prospect of studying in the centre of London really swayed me.
However, since arriving at King’s, and having gained the knowledge I have now, I would point to a number of other strengths King’s holds. This year I founded the History Outreach Programme, an initiative which now sees King’s History students running seminars on a fortnightly basis at over ten schools around London. The creation of this programme would not have been possible if it weren’t for the encouragement and support of our Student’s Union and History Department. As a result of this experience, I would highlight King’s’ active involvement with London’s vast community as a great strength of the University. Such a connection very much relies upon the strength of the relationships which exist between academics, staff and students at King’s.