Gaining global friends, perspective, and experience! December 12, 2015

By (Advertising, University of Hartford) - abroad from 09/02/2015 to 12/12/2015 with

CAPA The Global Education Network: London Study or Intern Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad really opened my mind to the world and gave me a global perspective on everything. In general I feel like I grew so much during my time abroad through meeting new people and especially my internship. It taught me about the type of place I can see myself living in the future, and it taught me how valuable experiences can be. Back home where things often get sort of mundane, I forget to appreciate moments but here I literally took in every single moment to the fullest. Even though I was so incredibly busy all the time and hardly had down time, I felt so fulfilled and happy. It was the best 4 months of my life and I would recommend it to everyone!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

CAPA did a good job I think of balancing academic work with field study work, along with acknowledgement that we would be traveling and very busy throughout the semester. I felt challenged in my classes, but never was given anything that I couldn't handle.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were always available to answer any questions and had resources available to us anytime. With anything that may have come up - be it a problem with a class, a sickness, or just a general question, they always could find the answer or direct us to someone who could help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Even though we were in a small apartment, I think that was the charm of living in a big city like London! I really felt like I was living like a local would. Our apartment was great, just enough space and they provided us with basic kitchen necessities, and also a cleaning service once a week which was literally a godsend because living with 5 girls gets messy pretty easily. There were CAPA accommodations all across the city and I really loved that we weren't all in the same place. It helped up to immerse ourselves in the culture more since we weren't completely surrounded by other Americans. I really loved out little London flat!

* Food:

We were responsible for buying and cooking our own food, but that was never a problem - I definitely prefer that to having a dining hall! The food in London was just an expense you have to be ready for but overall it was not too major and things were priced pretty reasonably or at least comparable to the prices in America.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated with the local culture! I think the fact that we weren't housed in a massive complex with only Americans helped us to meet locals and get outside of our comfort zone. Also, having an internship in the city really immersed me in the culture. I learned so much being in the workplace in London and got to work with amazing people from all around the world!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never encountered any health issues, but CAPA was always available at the emergency number if there was a problem, and could direct you to a doctor if you needed one. They also helped handle insurance claims afterward as well!

* Safety:

I felt very safe in London, honestly more so than I do in America! The residences had a code to get in, and then two doors with locks until you got to your actual apartment. I always felt very safe.

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)

London was definitely an expensive city. There were weeks when I was able to stick to a budget but others when I realized I went way over. Going out to dinner, out to the bar, and to shows/exhibitions really adds up, but it was all completely worth it! Just definitely have to be prepared because things cost a lot in London and the exchange rate is terrible.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I probably spent about $100-$150 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy groceries and use them, the times when I went to the big discount grocery store and bought food for the week were the weeks I spent the least money.

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 location - loved London and also the housing location
  • The people - they paired people up really well!
  • My internship
* What could be improved?
  • Timeline of excursions - they were all at the beginning of the semester
  • No internship class, just the internship
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I should have been more prepared for how expensive London was, it wasn't a negative but I wish I had known how much basic things cost here.

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.'