You'll Never Be the Same Past Review

By (Business Administration, Boston University) - abroad from 01/09/2011 to 04/24/2011 with

Boston University: London - London Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to enjoy everything in an experience, especially what seems bad initially. Those will be the things you laugh about with your friends when your back in the states.

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.

Academics at BU London had their positives and negatives. The program is split into two "mini semesters" with the first being pure study and the second being a study and internship mix. None of the three classes I took were very rigorous compared to any domestic class in my past. Some of the course material in the Marketing/Advertising class was a repetition to concepts I had already learned. That said I was definitely interested by all classes. Each professor did a great job tailoring their class to the British/Euro market, helping students to understand cultural differences from US business. In addition, the classes were much smaller than my standard US class which provided a more intimate environment to get to know the professor and learn a bit more Brit culture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

BU London is a runs a wonderful program focused on immersing their students in all things British. They not only provide dozens of opportunities to play tourist (program-run excursions to all famous sights and events throughout the semester) but they also send out weekly emails with more local event knowledge. The Program Director, Michael Oliver, not only meets every student positively but pushes you to break down your comfort zone and really live the type of abroad life that you want to brag to your friends about. The also had a student life manager, Dave Bradshaw, who was a from the area and whose sole purpose was helping us blend in live like and Englishman.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

If judging solely based on facilities, then BU London's living situation is exceptional. Three different buildings all located in South Kensington, London...possibly the nicest neighborhood in the city ( I mean J.K. Rowling lives there, need I say more). Generally the rooms are doubles with private bathrooms and a shared kitchen with 8-12 other students. I really liked this set up. I learned to cook better and made friends with my kitchen-mates. Even better all three buildings are a 5 minute or less walk from Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens (think a much classier Central Park including a Palace) which is a great place to get lost for a day. The buildings are staffed by a live-in custodial crew...if you can find a place that pampers you more your living at a hotel. Also because there are so many students in each building, it is a great way to meet new friends.

* Food:

If anyone ever tells you that British food is bad then you have my permission to slap some sense into them. London is like a food court of deliciousness. With so many cultures immigrated in to one city, you can find exceptional and diverse cooking anywhere. For those brave souls, their are many culinary adventures to go on. Even more interesting is, due to ethnic dominated communities, a short tub ride can take to the heart of new food experiences based on the neighborhood you chose...i.e. Edgware Road for Middle Eastern, Brick Lane for Indian/Bangladesh. My favorite activity were the weekend food markets. You're first stop in London should be Borough Market on a saturday afternoon (be prepared to gain (and lose) a few pounds.)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

If their was any shortcoming to the London program it would be the difficult integration with our British peers. You live and study entirely with Americans and although there are some partnerships with with Imperial College, it is difficult to meet lots of English 20-somethings. That said what the program does provide is travel opportunities. I had never been outside N. America prior to my study abroad and was able to see much of Europe (9 countries in 4 months). In addition, the internship portion of the program allows you to get to know some cool brits in a real life working environment.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Great. BU provides you with doctors close by as well as emergency medical contacts if needed.

* Safety:

For all those used to city life the program is no problem. London is a big city but if your aware and not stumbling around alone at 3 in the morning, you should be fine. Also, being in the "poshest" neighborhood in the city makes for a lot less stress. BU also takes some good safety measures including a text message system to inform you of anything pressing both when you are in country or traveling.

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 an expensive city but deals are easy to find. You should be willing to spend a little because come on...these are what all those birthday checks from Grandma are really for.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 200ish
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Sandwich World is a life-saver. Go grocery shopping on the deal days. Don't save money, you'll regret it when you get home.


* 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

  • Americans
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?
  • travel
  • culture
  • history
* What could be improved?
  • cultural immersion
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take as many risks as possible