A bad day in London is still better than a great day anywhere else :D Past Review

By (Business, Anthropology, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/05/2015 to 06/13/2015 with

Arcadia: London - University College London

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes. It was worthwhile. I made loads of friends, travelled and learnt a lot about myself as a person..

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.

It was what I expected out of a study abroad experience. I expected much more out of UCL though, while the coursework in terms of regular assessment was light, classes were way too big so it was hard to get personal attention, easy to get lost and there was too much pressure to do well cause its that one and only final exam that counts for your grade (usually). Its not just UCL, its the entire UK which is basically like this so if you're bad with testing (like I am) then this puts a lot of pressure on you..

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The UK especially UCL system is back in the stone age. The admin sucks. Nothing is central. Every department has its own protocol and admin to take care of it so often one can get caught between two departments as things are different everywhere. Arcadia's admin was smooth, very efficient and good.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The building sucked, it was one of the oldest UCL buildings - the heating didnt work, and the whole cold water-hot water tap was irritating but my flatmates ended up making the experience so beautiful that by the end of it, all the housing arrangement problems seemed to small to be cared about.

* Food:

I cooked my own food so it was good ;) And London has soooo many great options, one can never run out places to eat (even though one may run out of money hahaa)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My healthcare was easily accessible thanks to HTH. The doctors were kind and flexible in terms of appointments. It was very prompt and I was taken care of. It was definitely better and easier than the USA.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* 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)

London is a very very expensive city. Its easy to lose track of one's finances. Transport, food, groceries itself cost a lot.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100-150 pounds minimum.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Get membership cards at Tesco and Sainsbury's. You end up saving 3-4pounds every month. Its not a lot but its something. Get a student oyster card and buy alcohol at duty free at the airport itself.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* 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?
  • Travelling
  • London as a city
  • People I met
* What could be improved?
  • UCL's admin facility. Get out of the stone age!!
  • UCL's housing on gower st!
  • Quality of education.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Not much except honestly how expensive it would have been. Everyone keeps saying it will be very expensive but you only realise how expensive is very when you get there..

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.