King’s announces virtual alternative to study abroad for next semester

Modules will be taught online by King’s and partner institutions

King’s recently announced that all study and work abroad placements had been suspended for semester one in 2020.

The university has now announced there will be a “virtual alternative” for those planning to study abroad next semester.

The languages department has since emailed all modern languages students who were planning to go on their compulsory year abroad in September with the alternative plan.

The email explains that students “will instead take part in a three-pronged programme of activities provided by the College and our external partners”.

“1. Language tuition. You will participate in 3 hours/week of language tuition (2 hours of classes; 1 hour supervised small group work). This language programme will make use of cultural materials and media resources to allow you to develop your knowledge of French, German, Spanish or Portuguese-speaking lands, as well as to improve your linguistic ability.

“2. A curated selection of online courses offered by a range of partner institutions. We are in the process of surveying our partners to establish their online offering in semester 1 of 2020/21. We’ll provide you with more details as soon as they have replied.

“3. An enrichment programme offered by your language department(s). The departments of French, German and SPLAS are putting together a comprehensive programme of workshops, masterclasses, guest lectures, discussion groups and screenings for the course of the semester. You can expect on average one session a week. We’re in the process of putting together a whole range of fantastic activities for you and are really excited about working with you in this part of the programme.

The year abroad will be credit only meaning that students’ marks will not count towards the degree but they need to pass the assessments. Language classes will be worth 15 credits and assessed “through an e-portfolio of short assignments.” The second 15 credits is made up of a “portfolio of short pieces of writing in response to your online courses and/or enrichment activities.”

The email confirms that “All of the activities will be offered virtually” and “there is no need to find accommodation in London for the short period of semester 1”.

Students who were supposed to be doing an internship in semester 1 have been told to contact their study abroad tutor.

For students who were planning to do the ELA, “King’s and other universities are currently in conversations with the British Council about plans for ELA” and will be in touch with more details.

If students have any questions the email advises them to contact their personal tutor, study abroad tutor or Head of Department with the Global Mobility office also available to answer questions. The languages department explains they will be in touch with more details in early May.

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