Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Valentin, I grew up in Salzburg, Austria. Prior to University I worked as a waiter and completed my mandatory civil service as a paramedic for the Red Cross, where I got to work in emergency services and refugee camps. In my free time I like to go running and cycling and I'm always up for an overly intense philosophical discussion.
What inspired you to study PPE at King’s College London?
For me the best part in school was always when I managed to combine different subjects to analyse a complex issue, so PPE was a natural choice. Furthermore, I wrote my graduation paper on the topic of "Ancient Greek Democracy" and included sections about Plato and Aristotle and a comparison of economic systems between ancient Greece and modern developed countries. I enjoyed writing the paper quite a lot and it has definitely made me more confident in my choice to study PPE at King's.
What was the application process like? Do you have any advice for prospective applicants?
For me it was quite tiring because I did not have any support or input and I was working during almost all of the application process which didn't leave much time for preparation. My advice for prospective applicants is to research their options well before making a decision and to make a clear plan before applying so that you won't be surprised by anything that comes up along the way, especially if you have much work to do besides the application. Start early and take your time, there is no need to rush it.
What has your experience at King’s College London been like so far?
It was a bit intimidating at first because I didn't know anyone here and I had never been to London before, but at Uni we're all in a very similar situation. King's is very international so you get to experience many different cultures and perspectives which makes studying even more enjoyable. London is really exciting, there is always something new to explore and it never gets boring. With King's in the centre you're all set up to enjoy London to the fullest. The many clubs and societies offer all kinds of activities and there is always some interesting event at one of the big Universities. Additionally, you're surrounded by all kinds of organisations that offer jobs and internships, so you'll get all the career advice you could ask for.
What is your top tip for applicants from Austria?
Make sure to have someone early on who can write you a good recommendation letter in good English and for some degrees you'll have to provide a graded essay written in English, so talk to your teachers as soon as possible to have this ready (e.g. for some history courses).