I really enjoyed my time at King’s College London, where I had the opportunity to study international relations from a different cultural prospective and also attend workshops and lectures. For my Early Modern Britain course, two classmates and myself took a fieldtrip to the V&A (Victoria and Albert) Museum to study the Stuart and Tudor periods, and then present our finding to our class.
My classes took place at the Strand Campus, where the Kings café overlooks the Thames River from the north bank — it was a great place to relax.
Victoria Embankment Park
A typical King’s day began with a cup of coffee in my dorm room, a two minute walk to the London Bridge Station, the train across the water to Charing Cross, and then a ten minute walk to class as I attempted to avoid being run over by the masses of cyclists and buses right behind them. I honestly do not know how the cyclists do it. I really enjoy how fast the London Underground is and how easy it is to reroute if something breaks down. What I did not enjoy was the regular bruises I had on my shoulders from the rush hour traffic people that would smack into my shoulders on a daily basis as they were rushing in the opposite direction.
King’s itself is a maze of buildings from different architectural periods, with most of them connected via bizarre breezeways and stairways. There are stairs that go nowhere and elevators that do not stop at every floor. It’s a little strange. One of the buildings that I had two classes in was an old Victorian House and the classroom was up five flights of stairs and no elevator, which sounds okay except the stairs are rickety and with two people attempting to pass each other, it is a little scary because the steps are not the same width all the way across. King’s is also attached to (and has been endowed part of) Somerset House, an arts and cultural center that housed part of London Fashion week and created an outdoor skating rink during the holidays. It also has an outdoor patio and café that overlook the Thames.
After my morning classes, I would head over to the 19th-century neo-Gothic Maughan Library on Chancery Lane (where the attorneys hang out), about a ten minute walk from King’s. But on the way I would typically stop at Apostrophe Coffee on High Holborn St. for coffee and a snack — the best coffee in London! They are located directly across from the Royal Courts of Justice, which some days made for great people watching, including the day Julian Assange (wikileaks) was arraigned, oh yes, that was a spectacle. Sometimes I’d meet up with classmates and just relax before we all headed to the library for a full day of reading and research. Usually, I’d wander down the street to one of my favorite restaurants to grab lunch and then sit in the Maughan’s garden and eat before heading back inside for more research. As I emerged from the library it was always dark, often because it was late, but occasionally because it turned dark at 3:00pm in the afternoon during the winter.