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Kings College Study Abroad Application Essays

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King’s College London

King’s is a comprehensive institution with five campuses spread across central London.  Students are able to partake in an exceptionally broad range of studies in arts, music, education, health science, mathematics, computer science, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, life sciences, and more. Almost 30,000 students are currently enrolled at the university, including 6,000 international students from 150 countries. Students are can pursue courses from multiple disciplines or departments as long as they have the appropriate pre-requisites. Students also have the option to pursue special tracks in “Health & Society” and “Global Health & Social Medicine”.
For additional information, visit the King’s College London website. 
The City of London

London is one of the most exciting and dynamic places in the world to be a student - a city at the cutting-edge of developments in every field. With more than 8.5 million inhabitants and an incredible concentration of history and creativity throughout the city, you can find yourself among a sea of both British and worldwide cultures. All major media, entertainment, and business firms can be found in this unique world city.

Did you know…?

King’s College London counts John Keats, Florence Nightingale, Rosalind Franklin, and Desmond Tutu among its alumni.

With one of the oldest Students’ Unions in the UK, King’s College hosts many events for regular and exchange students. 


The program at King’s College London is for College credit and SEAS students.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.3 GPA

Language Prerequisite: n/a
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of at least three relevant courses within your proposed field of study by the end of the academic semester prior to departure.  Language of Instruction



A full course load at King’s College London consists of 4 classes per semester.  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

Note: Psychology courses are ONLY available to students who spend the entire academic year at King's. 
Penn will not grant any Communications course credit for courses taken at King's. 

Students can choose from a variety of subjects and course levels, but should be aware of academic background requirements for upper level courses:
  • 4 is a first year undergraduate module (introductory) - modules at this level are generally open to everyone but some subjects, such as the sciences, Music and Informatics require relevant and sufficient background even at introductory level
  • 5 is a second year undergraduate module (intermediate) - modules at this level require students to have already taken 3-4+ modules in this subject area at their home institution
  • 6 is a final year undergraduate module (advanced) - modules at this level require students to have already taken 6-7+ modules in this subject area at their home institution
Students on the Health & Society track must take the "Health & Society" course along with three courses of their choice. Students on the Global Health & Social Medicine track must take the "Introduction to Global Health" and the "Introduction to Social Medicine" course along with two courses of their choice. See the Special Features section for more details on these options.

King’s College London Academic Calendar
Specifics on what you can study
King’s College London Course Catalog for Incoming Exchange Students
Conditions on Selecting Modules at King’s College London
Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

American students are assessed in exactly the same way as home students. Generally, the final examination or essay counts for between 60% and 80% of the final mark, with the balance made up on one or more of the following: practical work, laboratory work, project work, course work, and other essays. Students in the fall semester program are usually unable to sit the final examination for a course. In this case, students will be set a special examination, or their grades will be based on continuous assessment. All final grades are determined in accordance with prevailing British standards and are then converted to their American letter grade equivalents as follows:

King’s College London GradePenn Grade
Orientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by King’s College London prior to the start of each semester.  More information on KCL orientation activities can be found on its study abroad orientation webpage.

Group Excursions

Through the King’s College London Students’ Union, excursions are offered.

Student Associations

Penn students studying at King’s College London have access to a wide range of sports and activities as well as more than 150 student associations. More information can be found on the KCL Students’ Union page.

Special Academic Tracks

Health & Society is a program designed to give pre-medicine students first-hand experience in the UK health profession. The program offers a strong grounding in both theory and practice, with input from a range of specialists in General Practice, Medical Sociology and Anthropology, Medical Ethics and Law. Included in the course are a series of clinical placement rotations in environments such as emergency rooms, walk-in centers, day surgery clinics and operating theaters. Students will take three additional courses in addition to Health & Society. Space is limited and early application is advised.

The Global Health & Social Medicine program examines the economic, political and cultural factors that shape the nature of health and disease and which explain entrenched inequalities in the provision of health care worldwide. Students enroll in two mandatory courses, Introduction to Global Health and Introduction to Social Medicine. Students may then select two other courses of their choice. The Study Abroad staff at King’s will provide guidance on health-related subjects if desired.
Please yet your program manager know if you are interested in pursuing one of these special tracks. Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

In order to be allocated university-managed housing, study abroad students must apply by the accommodation deadline. King’s accommodation is all apartment style with private bedrooms with shared living and kitchen facilities. There is no special accommodation for study abroad or international students, as King’s believes students will benefit from integrating with degree-seeking students. All King’s residences are non-smoking and provide CCTV, security, swipe card access and laundry facilities. Most accommodation choices are within Zones 1 or 2 of central London. A few residences are located some distance away from the central London campus of King's and therefore may require commuting up to 45 minutes each way from the residence to your classes. More information about the accommodation options can be found on the King's College London study abroad website and the accommodation website. 

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets

Academic Year

Scholarship Opportunities

King's College London offers Excellence Awards each semester to study abroad students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Students will be selected on the basis of their overall academic performance to date and a personal statement explaining their case for receiving a scholarship. Each applicant must submit a personal statement, in which they reflect on how their study at King’s relates to their personal and academic development to date, and how they will be able to benefit from it in the future. Upon accepting the scholarships, students agree to submit four blogs to King's during their time abroad.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

AASAP/UK Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship: Merit-based scholarship awarded to the applicant who demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of the value of an international educational experience and who agrees to share how the scholarship helped to fulfil their academic and personal ambitions. The award is £500 for a semester abroad or £1,000 for a full year.

BUTEX offers eight scholarships to North American students studying at a university in the United Kingdom. The value of each scholarship is £500 and will be paid to the winners once they have arrived and registered at their host university. Interested students should contact the appropriate Global Programs Manager in the Penn Abroad office.
For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in London, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.


Program Summary

Study abroad at one of the UK's most historic and prestigious universities! Students are welcome to study for a full academic year or for one semester of undergraduate or postgraduate study.

King's offers a range of flexible academic options with a choice of over 800 classes across all major disciplines and departments. You can either customise your experience by selecting courses across any available discipline or immerse yourself in a specific area of concentration to gain in-depth knowledge in a specific subject.

As a study abroad student, you will be fully integrated into the classroom and accommodation options. This means that you will be living and learning alongside other students, both British and international, who are completing a full degree at King's.

We invite you to join the 26,000 students from nearly 140 countries who have chosen to study at King's!

Program Highlights

1. Choose from 800 course options and have the flexibility to cross academic disciplines.

2. Study in a college that ranks in the Top 20 universities worldwide and has almost 200-year tradition of teaching Arts & Humanities.

3. Get the chance to study in London, an influential center of culture and finance throughout the world.

4. Widen expertise in a specific course and open up plenty of career opportunities in your chosen field.

5. Immerse in the culture and lifestyle of London and the UK.

6. Interact with British and international students as well as academic staff.

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