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My Story: Hannah, European Studies at King’s College

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Hannah, I was born and raised in beautiful Salzburg in Austria and spent my school years at the Akademisches Gymnasium Salzburg. When I was younger I used to swim competitively, I also played Handball for a while, but then decided to focus on school, taking all the language classes I could get hold of.

Why did you apply to study European Studies at King’s?

I did not think too much about which degree to apply for, but I had participated in a few Model European Parliament sessions and had been invited to Brussels after winning an essay competition set by an Austrian MEP, so I thought European Studies sounded interesting. My top choice was Politics (HSPS) at Cambridge, but after not knowing that I had to send in essays and interviews that I didn’t know how to prepare for, I didn’t get an offer. Looking back, European Studies fits my interests much better than the very theoretical nature of HSPS at Cambridge. I was always very good at all subjects in school (apart from art) so I was looking for degrees that were very broad and flexible, and European Studies is just that. To make things easier to understand, I sometimes say I am studying Economics, History and Languages.

What was the application process like? Do you have any advice for prospective applicants?

My advice is to research the degrees you are applying to really well. The best person to give you an insight is someone who is currently reading the course, because even degrees with the same title can be very different and you should make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. You should invest some time to get to know some of the basic literature of a subject and ask yourself why you find it interesting, what further questions you think there are and how the degree can prepare you for what you want to do in the future. I know, it is impossible to know when you are still in school, but it does not hurt to ask your mentor what kind of jobs his or her colleagues are thinking of getting after graduation.

What did you worry about before moving to London?

Coming to London from the small town of Salzburg was really fascinating. I made friends with people from all around the world and I learned at least as much from them as in the formal part of my degree. I was a bit worried because I did not know anyone in the UK, but on my first day in my halls I realised that everyone was in the same situation and eager to make friends and explore London together.

How are you finding your experience at King’s so far?

I really enjoy my time in London, King’s is in the very centre of the city and you can just pass by the London Fashion week in Somerset House or pop into the British Museum on your way to lectures. My course is very flexible: One can apply to European Studies and either Spanish, German or French and the degree is split half and half. Most students focus on an area, Politics, War Studies, Literature and Culture or Economics like me. This is perfect if you are just exploring different options in your first year and develop more specific interest later on. Last year I was studying at Complutense University in Madrid, where all my courses were in Spanish. To challenge myself and deepen my Economics knowledge I took lots of Econometrics and Statistics modules which was fun. So you see, European Studies can be anything.

Hannah is from Austria and is studying European Studies and Spanish at King’s College London (History, Economics, Spanish). She is the Director of Content at Project Access.

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