Grey Skies and Bright Lights Past Review

By (International Political Economy, Fordham University) - abroad from 09/17/2012 to 06/07/2013 with

Arcadia: London - University College London

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I mostly learned how to be independent and truly sort problems out on my own, simple stuff like opening bank accounts, phone plans, budgeting for transport and groceries. University in Europe is rigorously dependent on your own dedication and it took me a moment or two to really understand that I could technically do whatever I wanted and not have anyone running after me. London may seem like the easiest option to choose when coming from the US considering that it's English medium and quite cosmopolitan. However, I wouldn't underestimate the level at which the cultural nuances can discombobulate you. I learnt to go many places by myself, to travel by myself and to enjoy my surroundings by myself--not because of a lack of friends, but because being away from home kind of forces you to learn about yourself and the only way you can really do that is alone. Also, travelling in Europe, particularly from London, is easy as pie and I have had a lovely, affordable time going places.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 80 GBP
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It is hard not to spend money in London. Buy long-term travel cards to save on transport costs. It will save you time, hassle and most importantly, MONEY!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Independence
  • Lecture/Seminar style teaching
* What could be improved?
  • Administration
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Do NOT underestimate the grey skies and perpetual wetness. If you are from a place where the weather is fine and the sun shines, be weary. It can get depressing.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.