When I was applying for universities I knew I wanted to be close to London but not necessarily in the thick of it. Kingston University seemed like a natural choice as it's only half an hour away from the city by train. Choosing to study at Kingston has turned out to be far better than I expected because as a student midwife I am part of the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences which is shared between Kingston University and St. George's University of London. This means that essentially I am part of both universities, allowing for access to a vast amount of resources from two libraries (one in Kingston and one in Tooting). The benefits of being able to use two libraries are vast, especially when there are many students after the same books! I am also permitted to join societies from both universities, so in my first year I was part of the KU Film society when I lived in Kingston, and now in my third year I am part of the SGUL yoga society. Tooting is approximately 40 minutes from Kingston via a direct bus - my good friend the number 57!
In my first year I lived in halls in Kingston that were really close to the town centre so I was within walking distance from everything I needed. Kingston has everything you want as a student - there are plenty of bars, a cinema, gyms, supermarkets and parks. There are a few student union bars in Kingston and one in Tooting which often host fancy dress and comedy events to name a few. Kingston, particularly in the summer, is a lovely place to live. In the hot weather the river banks are lined with people soaking up the sun and Richmond Park is a great place to go walking round or if you're not feeling that energetic -for sunbathing in! There is a good transport system with plenty of regular and 24hr buses meaning you can always get where you want...and back home too.
The midwifery course is excellent with a nice balance of theory in the form of lectures and practical experience at a hospital. Each student has a personal tutor, with whom we are required to meet with every semester to assess our progress. The personal tutor is also there if you need them to read over a draft essay or if you just want to chat. All the lecturers are very experienced midwives (there are some lectures undertaken by nurses, doctors and outside speakers too) with lots of information to share, and it is a privilege to be taught by them. In autumn 2012 an Academic Mentoring Programme was set up, with student midwives in second year acting as mentors for first year students. Group revision sessions are held and this provides new students with a good support network and allows for a smooth transition to the volume of the workload required.
Kingston University was my firm choice when I applied back in 2010. The midwifery course is challenging but so worth it. It still comes as a surprise to me that by the end of August this year I will be a qualified midwife. It is a profession I can keep hold of for most of my life and can take all around the world. It is a profession that can make a positive difference to someone's life and help to improve the health of the nation. It is a profession full of surprises, highly emotional situations and constant learning. Choosing to study midwifery at Kingston University was one of the best decisions I have made. If you're passionate about becoming a midwife, Kingston University is the place for you.
Today's fun fact: Amsterdam has 1,281 bridges, that's a lot of bridges.
Two months of intense writing, and not a lot of sleep, and it is all over. That's right I've finished AND submitted my dissertation. Words cannot describe my relief and happiness right now; in fact I spent yesterday doing absolutely nothing, why? Because I could! What made the rush to get the dissertation in was that my midpoint assessment for my studio work was also due in for assessment so that was an added bit of pressure. When push comes to shove I always get through stressful points and now I'm in the unusual situation of not having anything to do. I'm complaining but I don't often find myself at a loose end. I could get on with some of my studio work but seeing as I had to leave all my sketch books and research to be looked over I don't really have the means. I tend to do a lot of preliminary sketches before I illustrate a comic panel.
That reminds me, I've now got my little comic site up and running (again). It's nothing special but it's something I want to build on so come my degree show I've got something that has a strong ground work and can keep running. Also the second reason for the site is that I'm planning ahead for when I enter the job market, that's if I don't do a Masters. The creative job market is terribly competitive and the key is being able to set yourself apart from the rest. But also be proactive; don't just wait for anyone to give you something to do, make work! Write material! The list is endless but the key is to show engagement and that you have a passion. I've included the link to my site so feel free to have a look. If you've got any questions about it or the idea of it, then drop me a question and I'd be more than happy to talk to about it.
Currently I'm happy with where I'm at; dissertation done and handed in, assessment nearly over, the website is working and I'm up to date with everything I should be. With all that over I can now enjoy my birthday in peace. It's my birthday next week and I'm turning 23 (slightly daunting because I still haven't got over being 21) but I'm still looking forward to it mainly because I am going away for a few days. Today's fun fact is about Amsterdam and this time next week I'll be in the Netherlands! Partly for my boyfriend's job and the other half is for my birthday because he knew I'd be mad if he didn't take me. My boyfriend is giving a talk on ‘Tools Development for Games' at a conference at Breda University NL, the conference seems fairly interesting so I'm tagging along and when he's done the next day we'll be going to Amsterdam for a few days. Last time I was in Amsterdam I didn't do much except go to the Zoo and get lost in the Red Light district so this time I'm going to make the most of it. Plenty of museums, quirky vintage shops and some beautiful sites so expect pictures of my trip, the one thing I'm not looking forward to is the cold. It's going to be really cold. Really Cold!
I'm so excited and I've got a lot to do before I go, like get some new warm boots as my current pair won't really help keep me warm. So that's my next plan, to go shopping! Bye for now!
BECAUSE IT'S SIMPLY AMAZING! Just kidding, I do have some better arguments than that...
Deciding which uni you go to is definitely one of the most important (and difficult) decisions of your life! Most of you have already chosen the course you want to study, but there are other factors such as the location, campus size, accommodation availability etc (the list could go on forever). So for all you prospective Kingston Law students out there, please read on and find out why Kingston should be your firm choice.
Law- the Law School at Kingston is very well respected, has great resources (found in the library around campus) and lecturers who are always happy to help you when you need it. Located in the picturesque campus of Kingston Hill, it's a great place to study, make friends and have an amazing uni experience. You also get the opportunity to take part in a year abroad or work placement sandwich year and have several ‘practical' option modules, which you would normally only get to do after your undergraduate studies (such as client interviewing and advocacy)!
Kingston itself- when most students are asked why they chose Kingston, I can safely say that over 70% will answer with "location". In fact, this was one of my main reasons for applying here. Kingston is conveniently located on the border of Surrey and London, so you really do get the best of both worlds. Whether you want to try out Richmond, Wimbledon or get the 20 minute train to Waterloo and venture into the big wide world of central London, there are reliable and frequent bus and train services that run late into the night. Within Kingston itself, there is PLENTY to do and see. One of the main attractions is the shopping. The town centre is internationally renowned for its extensive range of shops, markets and services. It even won the title of the premier retail centre in the South West of England. As well as having a modern shopping experience there is also the "Ancient Kingston Market" that runs six days a week, selling fresh fruit, clothing and much more.
In terms of eating out, Kingston has a huge selection of cafes and restaurants to suit every taste and budget. My favourite cafes are along a road I like to call "Cafe Road" (original I know!) or "Panini Alley" as my friend likes to call it! Here you can find a whole street of cute cafes that sell the most delicious and best value for money meals I've found in this area. Seriously, I love this road and it's the perfect place to hang out with friends when the weather is sunny and watch the world go by. Another one of my favourite places to go is The Riverside. When the weather is hot and people are sipping their chilled drinks outside the row of cafes and bars lining the River Thames, you feel like you're in a foreign country and on holiday...perfect!
On to the action packed nightlife in Kingston; there are numerous bars, clubs and traditional pubs offering something for everyone. You'll learn plenty about these during your Fresher's Week and no doubt you'll soon start to regret those late nights in Oceana when your 9am lectures start! There's also a huge entertainment complex called The Rotunda which is packed full of restaurants and fun things to do such as bowling and an Odeon cinema.
I hope that was helpful for those of you that have to make those important decisions about uni soon! Until next time, take care and feel free to ask us any questions you have about uni life and studying here.