1. For Home Students: A London Maintenance Loan Without the Central London Accommodation Prices! One of the biggest factors in my choice to ultimately come to Kingston Uni was how affordable the rent was compared to central London. Halls of residence in central London are few and far between, which means you might have to go a few zones out and end up spending hundreds every year on transport costs just to get to class every day. Most of the halls of residence here are close to a KU campus – and even if you’re a bit further away, there’s a free inter-site bus service which runs regularly, meaning you don’t have to spend a penny on transport. Furthermore, as KU is a London-based university as well, Home students are also entitled to the extra maintenance loan awarded for living in London – so studying here definitely has its perks financially!
2. Part-Time Job Availability Kingston-upon-Thames is a well-established retail centre, with new restaurants and shops opening up all the time – and with that, new job opportunities! I was pleasantly surprised (and I know my course mates were too!) at how quickly I was able to find a job after I started studying, and it definitely helped take a weight off my mind financially and stop me from dipping into my student overdraft. Kingston University also hires a significant number of students as Student Ambassadors, Library Assistants or Academic Mentors, which allows you to work around your studies whilst also learning London Living Wage and gaining valuable work experience – a bit of a no-brainer.
3. For Art Lovers: The Workshop Facilities! I study at the Kingston School of Art, so I couldn’t help but include this one! When I attended one of the KU Open Days back when I was in sixth form, I was completely won over by the sheer number of workshops they had in the Knight’s Park Campus. Whether it was steel working, printmaking, film or photography, Kingston had a TON of workshops which had only been recently renovated and looked brand new, and since coming here, I’m never out of them. I’m going to be honest, though – I still don’t think I could count how many Macs there are in the Digital Media Workshops! 4. The People! Okay, okay – this one is a bit cliché. However, as someone who came from a secondary school where every student tended to have similar background and set of life experiences, KU was an absolute breath of fresh air. I’ve met so many different people and learnt so much about different cultures and lifestyles that I never would have had the chance to if I didn’t study here, and I genuinely feel a great sense of community between my course, the societies I take part in and my teachers and lecturers. Like all first years, I was worried about settling in and finding ‘my people’ last year – and luckily that hasn’t been a problem!
What are your top perks of studying at Kingston University? Are they similar or completely different? Or, if you want to know more about studying here, drop a reply down below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.