3 1/2 months of pure happiness August 15, 2016

By (University of Massachusetts Amherst / UMass) - abroad from 01/11/2016 to 04/23/2016 with

CAPA The Global Education Network: London Study or Intern Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I could not have asked for a better study abroad experience. I gained so many life long friends and traveled to more places than I could have imagined. I learned how to travel at an affordable price, the safest and easiest ways to get around cities, and became more of an overall independent person.

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.

Classes were long - about 3 1/2 hours. They weren't too rigorous however.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CAPA did an excellent job of planning weekend trips, setting up opportunities for students to get to know each other, as well as keeping all students well informed about what's going on each week through Monday Memo emails!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Awesome location - really close to tube station, bus stops, Oxford Street (shopping center), and Hyde Park. Apartment itself was VERY small and not the best however living with other CAPA students was a lot of fun.

* Food:

Plenty of options - multiple grocery stores super close to apartment, tons of restaurants and fast food within walking distance.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Where my apartment was located was primarily Lebanese, so restaurants and stores were all in arabic as well as english.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Luckily I didn't have any health issues while abroad however there are plenty of convenience stores available where you can get medicine. There's also a chain of stores called Boots where you can do walk in appointments for minor colds/medical issues. CAPA was very good at helping students set up appointments and refer students where to go.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe while traveling throughout London. The tube system is super easy to follow, there are always lots of people out on the streets, and everyone is very friendly. Most places have free wifi as well so if you ever get lost and don't have data don't get scared, stop in a shop and log onto their wifi! That being said, it is smart to always travel with a buddy!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I loved my time abroad - I traveled to more countries and cities than I ever imagined and met some amazing lifelong friends along the way. The only reason I would not choose to do CAPA again is because I did not like my internship as much as I had hoped. The internship was time consuming yet I didn't learn much. I had an event planning internship and I had hoped for doing more hands on work with running events but I was doing mostly computer based work, fixing up the society's website, doing inventory, and organizing various things in the office.

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 is a very expensive city so you will spend money! But there are plenty of options for various grocery stores, fast food, etc. So as long as you do your research and are smart with your money, you will be fine!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100 per week if you weren't traveling that week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do your research! Look for cheap deals for hostels, flights, and transportation.

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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Close-knit community of students
  • Great housing location
  • Weekend trips always available
* What could be improved?
  • Courses offered
  • Weekend trips could be better planned out
  • Extending length of time abroad
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known a bit more about what my internship was going to be like before I committed to the program. Had I known my internship was mostly going to be computer based work or organizing rather than hands-on work with events I don't think I would have done the program. That being said, most students did like their internships, I was one of the few that didn't.

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.