‘Studying at King’s College Madrid helped me to adopt a ‘can do’ attitude, so important for university, and generally for life’

Posted on 23rd Sep 2020 in School News, International Schools, Spain, International Students

Q&A with King’s College, The British School of Madrid alumna Laura Closas

Laura Closas, 22 years old, has a very clear answer to the question “What would you tell your younger self? “Focus on what is important to you whatever it is, build relationships that will last a lifetime and make the most of all the resources that are given to you to help you succeed”. Although Laura was born and spent all her childhood in Madrid, she feels she was raised in a “very multicultural environment” in King’s College, The British School of Madrid. She started at the school as a baby, and now, having finalised her studies for a BSc in Economics with Industrial Placement at the University of Bath, she has secured a position as an Analyst Consultant in Accenture London. She is so grateful for the experience that King’s College gave her.

1. Why did you decide to apply for a place at Bath? What did you study?

I always wanted to study abroad – I think it is part of the inherited culture at King’s College. Despite the fact that my parents are both Spanish and don’t speak any English, I was raised in a very multicultural educational environment, which sparked my enthusiasm for languages and different cultures. During my last two years at King’s, I considered all the options available to me and thought the UK offered a good level of education but was also relatively close to home. When I first applied, I was unsure about which universities to apply to, but Bath is highly recognised for its placement years, (taking a year out to gain work experience in your field of interest). Being the career-driven individual I am, this was definitely a decisive point for me. I chose to study Economics, with the idea that I wanted to work in the financial services sector but also because it focused around numerical, analytical and problem-solving skills, all of which I thought would be very transferable in the future.

2. How was the admission process at Bath University? What was the most difficult part of that process, and how did King’s College help you achieve your goal?

The admission process is slightly stressful; however, all staff at King’s College Madrid have always been very helpful in making that process easier. Ultimately, it comes down to the individual as to which universities they want to apply to. King’s alumni are spread all around the world, and it is very easy to contact people across different universities to help make up your mind. Potentially the most nerve-racking part of the process is writing out the Personal Statement (PS). It is unlike anything you have written before at school and genuinely uncomfortable to sell yourself on paper. Despite this, King’s College greatly helped by patiently guiding me and walking me through this process in order to ensure I was able to curate an excellent statement. From sessions targeted at demonstrating exactly what a PS includes and how to write it, to one-to-one sessions to tailor your letter to the best version of yourself. The school also help you prepare for face-to-face interviews and have extensive resources for you to learn from. Grades are a big part of your application, however, increasingly universities focus more on extracurricular activities. King’s has a lot to offer in this regard, they are always open to new ideas and let you run your societies with independence, preparing you for university life.

3. How have you adapted to an academic environment as demanding as the University of Bath? Do you think that King’s College prepared you well to face this environment?

Adapting to university was challenging, but probably more so through the daily routine aspect rather than the academic. You have no choice but to become independent very quickly, and it is being able to balance those that I found most challenging. The educational structure is very similar to what you experience at King’s, you have lectures (bigger audience) and seminars (more focused groups) but the contact hours are significantly reduced. As a result, it is imperative that you are productive and self-inquisitive, something that was encouraged at King’s. In order to do well in most aspects of life, including university, you must be able to adopt a ‘Can do’ attitude, this is something that King’s reinforces and helped me develop from a very young age.

4. What did King’s bring you beyond the academic?

King’s, like university, is much more than academics. It is the people you surround yourself with, the activities you get involved with, the values you portray and the experiences you live that shape your experience. King’s has a great way of balancing academics with non-curricular activities, whether that is sport, volunteering, music or theatre. This helps you pick up key soft skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership, which come in very handy at university and in the workplace. Aside from that, King’s inculcates you with their core values; Honesty, Faith and Courage which are very useful once you graduate.

5. What memories do you have of King’s College? Do you miss it?

I have many! I started in King’s College Madrid as a baby and walked out of the building when I didn’t have a choice but to do so as a graduate. Even then I came back to work in the summer school after that! King’s is my second home; I am eternally grateful to all the teachers that have shaped me and helped me get to where I am today. From leading and organising a fashion show, through playing Sherrie from Rock of Ages to having roasted chicken in the dining room, it all has a flavour of home. Year 13 was definitely the best year for me, my year group became very close, and the months leading up to the graduation event were very special. I definitely miss it; I had a very nice upbringing at King’s.

This article first appeared in John Catt's Guide to International Schools 2020/21, which you can view in full here: