The Time of My Life in London January 07, 2014

By (Mass Communication, Merrimack College) - abroad from 09/04/2013 to 12/14/2013 with

CAPA The Global Education Network: London Study or Intern Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about many different cultures and people. I also learned about the international workplace. Most importantly, I learned a lot about myself and what it means to be independent, smart, and confident.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were definitely manageable, and I liked that they included field studies so we could explore London.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff was always there to help you. They were enthusiastic, and really wanted you to get the most out of your experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a flat in Camden (a London borough) with 5 other girls. I lived in a triple room, and my flat also had a double and a single room. We had a large living room/dining room, a kitchen, and two bathrooms. The flat was really nice, and the neighborhood we lived in was fun and exciting. It was my favorite area in all of London! My flatmates and I got along so well, and we still talk all the time!

* Food:

London seems to get a bad reputation for food, and I am not sure why. I had a great experience with it! The most important thing is to budget, and try to find deals and inexpensive places. I also saved a lot by buying groceries and cooking for myself instead of going out all the time.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The activities that CAPA organized allowed for lots of cultural immersion that I probably would not have otherwise had. Also, I tried to take advantage of every change that I had free time, and explore a new museum, market, or area. Through those and through my everyday routine, I truly felt like a Londoner.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe in London. It is a big city, so you have to keep your wits about you as you would in the U.S. Watch out for pickpockets, but as long as you are aware you should be fine. I felt totally comfortable.

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)

I saved for about a year before I went to London. I did not spend all of the money I saved, but I am happy that I saved as much as I did. London is an extremely expensive city, especially with the exchange rate.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? My advice would be to do your research, and budget ahead of time. I limited myself to a certain amount of money for food for the week, as well as for other expenses. Through doing this, and finding the best deals on things like food and transportation, you should be able to manage your finances while in London.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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?
  • The constant variety of things to do
  • The people! Both American and locals
  • Being able to travel to so many incredible places
* What could be improved?
  • Internship placements
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The only thing I can think of is that I wish I knew how much I would have to do to prepare to return to my home institution. If possible, try to figure out your schedule/living situations/etc. before you leave, so you do not have to stress over it while you are abroad!

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.