Best semester I could have asked for July 22, 2020

By (Emerson College) - abroad from 09/14/2019 to 12/16/2019 with

Arcadia: London - University of Westminster

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
YES! The ability to live somewhere out of America and see how people live is so important. Having the ability to travel is also something that I loved more than anything.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were not too difficult because the school system in London is different. Classes meet to discuss topics and readings but there is no "homework" past readings. Finals are at the end of the semester and that is the only assignment done.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Loves my area and having a sink in my room!

* Food:

The food in London is AMAZING. I do wish that our program set up something so each student didn't have to buy their own cooking stuff every semester. Maybe set up a way to rent them?

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My program did help me and has a 24/7 hotline where I could call someone that I knew. We also had ISOS which I called at 2am. They gave me the advice that I needed and did go to a hospital the next day. The healthcare system in the UK is milestones better than the one in the US. I walked into a hospital, gave them my information, they told me it would be 30 minutes or less but since my issue (pneumonia) was serious I was taken in immediately. For someone with a phobia of needles having to get an IV and blood drawn is the worst news, but the staff were SO good and helped me through every step and helped me be comfortable. They encouraged me to stay the night since I was there alone and my friends from home were not in London yet. The NHS is truly brilliant.

* Safety:

London is as safe as any major city, you just need to be smart. I am from Chicago and go to school in Boston so this was nothing new to me. I did feel safer in London when I was alone/alone at night as I am a female. People generally keep to themselves (especially on the tube) and are respectful. If you do take the tube alone at night always try to choose a car that has lots of people or sit next to another female/non-binary person.

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

Finances

* 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)

this is very dependent on how you eat/live. I cooked most of my breakfasts and a good amount of lunches. The food there from the markets are much cheaper than stores here but eating out is more expensive. I am a huge food person so I ate out a lot and traveled to 6-7 cities and I spent around $5000 total my whole time in London.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 200-300 not including travel
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save up before you go! If you plan to travel, book as early as you can and try to take trains. Use Easyjet or Ryanair and book your Gatwick express/Heathrow express train tickets MONTHS before to get great deals. Get a student oyster card AS EARLY AS YOU CAN. If you can get it the month prior, do it. They take long to get but are SO worth it.

Language

* 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

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • resources
  • small events throughout (Kings Parade)
* What could be improved?
  • move in situation/being prepared/where to buy home things
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Not to bring so much stuff!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'