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Student life at Kingston University

Students in the atrium of the Business School buildingThere's so much more to being a student than simply studying. University is about growing as a person as well as building your knowledge, and Kingston offers a huge range of events, activities, places to visit and things to do. No matter what your hobbies and interests are there will be something to suit you – and plenty of opportunities to try something new.

Get involved

  • Societies: The Union of Kingston Students offers more than 100 active societies who organise and run weekly activities related to culture, faith, academia, arts, activities, liberation and campaigns. More than 3,000 students join at least one society during their time at Kingston. From Anime to Cake, Entrepreneur to Pharmacy, Street Theatre to Wine, there's bound to be something that you'll want to get involved with!
  • Sports: The Union of Kingston Students also runs more than 30 sports clubs, collectively known as the Kingston Cougars. There are traditional competitive and team sports such as football, rugby, cricket and tennis, or you can try something new and exciting such as sub-aqua to snowboarding. These types of clubs often arrange weekend trips too and there is an annual sports tour offering you the opportunity to go abroad and play sports with universities from all over the country. The home of the Cougars is Tolworth Court sports ground, owned by Kingston University.
  • Volunteering: sign up to become a Kingston volunteer for a whole host of opportunities. You can do one-off volunteer events at festivals or the local dog sanctuary, work regularly in a school or care home, mentor a teenager, run your own project from scratch – the possibilities are endless. Make new friends, develop skills, increase your confidence, give something back to your community, make a positive impact on the lives of others' – and most importantly have fun!

The social side

  • International events: International Development organises events and activities specifically for new overseas students; our special International Arrivals and Orientation programme.
  • On-campus bars: the Union of Kingston Students runs three student bars on campus, each with their own unique atmosphere. There are monthly promotions, pool tables, games machines and lots of events such as comedy night and karaoke. You can also relax on the sofas with friends in these spaces during the day, get something to eat and connect to the wi-fi.
  • Lively Kingston: Kingston upon Thames itself offers lots of social venues. Entertainment in Kingston is a lively and varied offering featuring everything from the latest theatre productions through to performances by up-and-coming comedians. Many of the venues in Kingston are found at stunning riverside locations, including pubs and clubs where you can enjoy a cool drink whilst soaking up the beautiful view. There are also lots of fun festivals in Kingston throughout the year such as the International Youth Arts Festival and the Kingston Food Festival.
  • Some faculties often offer educational (but fun) day trips to places in London or even field trips abroad as part of your course. Some faculties also hold end of year celebrations, such as a Business Ball or the Journalism Awards.

On-campus, the local area, and beyond

  • Kingston campuses: there are lots of places on campus to study or just relax with friends. Aside from the Union bars there are also cafes in the libraries and canteens on each campus serving hot food during the day. A river runs through Knights Park campus which is lovely to sit by during the summer, and there is a reading garden at Penrhyn Road. You can also relax by the pond at Kingston Hill.
  • London living: only a short train journey away is central London, home to the famous West End, hundreds of museums and galleries, thousands of cafes, restaurants and clubs, world-famous tourist attractions such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the Olympic Stadium, the Royal Family...the list never ends! Central London plays host to nearly every world or stadium tour for musicians and bands, hosts hundreds of films premières and organises lots of festivals such as the iTunes Festival and the Holi Festival of Colours.
  • Nearby attractions: Kingston is not only based on the River Thames but also surrounded by beautiful Royal Parks, where you find swans, squirrels, ducks, rabbits and, in some, deer and antelope roaming free. If you're a thrill seeker, Kingston is just one small bus journey away from Chessington World of Adventures, a theme park, zoo and sea life centre. Thorpe Park, an award-winning theme park, is also close and accessible by public transport.
  • The gateway to Europe: with five major airports and the Eurostar leaving from St Pancras International train station in London, it couldn't be easier to get into Europe for a short trip during the university holidays – or even to spend a day in Paris.

Contact us

Visa and CAS enquiries
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3645

General international student enquiries
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3411

International students
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