Through English Eyes – My time at King’s

I am currently on a 5 year MEng programme studying Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University, England. My third year involves completing a ‘Personal Development research Project’.

It has always been my ambition to visit Australia and therefore I took this opportunity to fulfil that dream. The University of Queensland’s high reputation for academia and sporting excellence appealed to me immediately. I was lucky enough to be accepted onto Professor Zhu’s team to carry out advanced research in ‘fuel cell technology’. My next step was to research the many Colleges available at UQ.  King’s College ticked every box and Rachelle Hynds made the whole application process so easy. I can honestly say that applying to King’s College is a decision I will never ever regret.

I arrived February 13th feeling jetlagged, nervous and apprehensive. No need….the first time I walked through the glass doors I received the warmest of welcomes from the Master, Greg Eddy and the Registrar, Rachelle who then immediately introduced me to a residential Assistant (RA). He gave me a tour of the grounds and shared past stories with me. From that precise moment I knew this was going to be the ideal place for me.

0-week started about a week later and I have to admit I was a little undecided as to whether or not I should get involved. I did and it turned out to be an amazing week with so much fun and laughter. It was such a well-planned and organised week that allowed individuals to integrate with people from all different backgrounds and form friendships like no other. It emphasised to me the values that all Kingsmen will take with them throughout their lives and future careers – integrity, honesty and respect. This was such a refreshing experience when I compare it to the equivalent of 0-week at my home Uni where far too much emphasis was put on partying and alcohol and not enough on bonding with fellow students.

Every week I tell my family and friends at home that I am having ‘the time of my life’. King’s College has been the perfect place to balance my academia with my social life. I have thoroughly enjoyed the College parties, the night life in the city and especially Sunday nights at the RE Hotel which always end at the famous Dino Kabab shop not far from King’s.

The facilities at King’s are beyond compare: I have made full use of the swimming pool/gym to maintain fitness and the Learning Centre to focus on my research project. I have been impressed by the level of support that the students receive academically from the tutors and even though I am not an actual student I have been accorded the same support.  I have also been impressed by the support the students give each other.

I am certainly going to so miss the Dining Hall at King’s with its delicious and plentiful food. The kitchen staff are second to none – so friendly and professional with breakfast, lunch and dinner always served to the highest of standards. A Kingsman will definitely never go hungry. Every day I would sit with a different group of people and talk to them as if I had known them for years.  It really has been a great place to make friends and is a major part of the King’s community.

King’s has given me the platform to continue my rugby development and I have been heavily involved in the King’s team. King’s rugby is of a very high standard with incredibly talented players and this together with the team’s synergy and high morale has made the experience very exciting. I have been enlightened by the “acknowledgement to the country” speech we carry out before each game as a tribute to the original indigenous Custodians of the land and their long and continuing relationship with their Country. Along with other fellow Kingsmen I have proudly represented the UQ rugby team. In 2016 UQ Rugby came to England on tour and played against Loughborough University which I represented at that time. It was amazing to see some recognisable faces of players who were once my opposition but now my team mates. I have learnt a vast amount about the Australian style of rugby compared to home, the significant differences being the level of skill, the efficient utilization of the backs and the level of respect between team mates.

I shall never forget ANZAC day. It was incredible to learn about the history of this day and it was a great honour and profoundly humbling to pay my respects to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who displayed such bravery and courage in the support of Britain during the world war.

Overall my time as a Kingsman can be summed up in three words: Enlightenment, Enjoyment and Commitment. Although it has been short lived I have made connections and friends that will last a lifetime and memories that I will cherish forever. It gives me great pleasure to say I am a Kingsman and I WILL be back.

By William Lockhart, Kingsman.