Artistic aspirants from all walks of life find their place at Kingston University in London. Destynee Oakley from New York has found much more. She discovered a strong international community filled with local and foreign students seeking not only a high level qualification but also cultural perspectives. In small classrooms full of heated discussions, she made even more lasting bonds.
Life off campus was just as vibrant. With Friendsgiving dinners, after-class dates, impromptu karaoke nights, Tuesdays and Thursdays tacos at O’Neill’s filling their schedules, Oakley and his peers have never been short of excitement.
The hustle and bustle of central London – which is just a stone’s throw from campus – kept this New Yorker in her element throughout her studies. “I tried to take advantage of being within walking distance of so many things,” she shares. “I slowly started to feel like a local. “
As part of it MA in Creative WritingOakley had plenty of opportunities to share his experiences through pictures, videos and, of course, the written word – his favorite was the paid role of International Student Vlogger. The litterator remembers her work on the platform as an invaluable experience that developed her skills in ways traditional methods never could.
Stories like Oakley’s truly express what the experience of a student at Kingston University in London entails. This top 40 institution is home to a diverse group of 18,949 students, representing more than 140 countries. Everyone is delighted to share their journey and there are never two identical stories.
Word trainer friend and international Vlogger student, Amanda Zazueta of California pursued a MA in Creative Writing and Editing. She chose to study in Kingston to bridge the gap between the technical and creative elements of professional writing – a rarity in academia. However, it is a combination that Kingston University London is most familiar with. Amanda won the show to prove it.
“What I will miss the most about my studies in Kingston are certainly the opportunities that have been presented to me,” she shares. “I was able to volunteer and attend various publishing-related events. I also wouldn’t have started writing what I’m working on without the workshops and the invaluable critiques, critiques and suggestions from my teachers and fellow students.
Clearly, Kingston is the perfect institution for budding creatives. It ranked third in the UK and first in London for education, fashion and textiles; first in the UK for design and crafts; and first in London for media and film studies, more journalism, publishing and public relations. It ranks among the top 40 in the UK, according to the 2020 and 2021 editions of the Guardian University Guide.
The accolades demonstrate Kingston’s ability to provide quality education. Visit the campus and you will find the facilities that make this possible. For I-Ling Lai of Taiwan, it was the offers at the Kingston campus that sealed the deal. Choose the MFA Fine Arts meant securing an allocated studio space to practice one’s craft. What more could an art lover ask for?
“Kingston has an excellent library and makes it easy to find art-related books and magazines,” says Lai. “The university is also in a great location close to central London, which means there are plenty of opportunities to browse through various museums and art galleries.”
Those interested in more forward-looking fields of study are also spoiled for choice in a university surrounded by inspiration. For example, Advait Naik from India studies a MA in Product and Furniture Design to Kingston School of Art. Since his arrival he has been able to create products “based on research but driven by creativity”.
State-of-the-art tools have greatly contributed to its growth. “The ideology of ‘thinking through manufacturing’ was reflected in the access to many amazing spaces such as the 3D workshop which houses all types of machines imaginable; the Digital Making workshop with its high-tech 3D printers; and the photography studio, where we take pictures worthy of a portfolio! He enthuses.
“The technicians in the workshops are very friendly. They guide me through the process with genuine interest.
With expert advice, well-stocked spaces, a welcoming community, and a great location, it’s no wonder that many students achieve outstanding results with their Kingston qualification. Many are even driving positive change with their new knowledge.
Take Chevening scholar Lara Machado, for example. She studied the Contemporary Curating Design MA (in partnership with the Design Museum) before co-founding Arca Fine Arts. The social enterprise focuses on training migrant women in the production of art prints through workshops.
By learning to organize and develop one’s professional profile through the Design Museum and alongside institutions such as the Architectural Association, the British Council, the Gallery Fumi and the Royal Academy of Arts –– Machado has developed all the necessary skills.
“Studying in Kingston has really helped me think critically, deepen my knowledge of the UK creative industry, broaden my professional network and make lifelong friends,” she says. “It was a once in a lifetime experience.”