I'll never forget you, London! Past Review

By (Spelman College) - abroad from 07/10/2020 to 08/24/2019 with

CEA CAPA Education Abroad: London, England

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned more about myself in terms of what I am capable of independently. Spelman prepared me for experiences such as this one, and London was the test. I am prepared for the next trip!

Review Photos

CEA CAPA Education Abroad: London, England Photo CEA CAPA Education Abroad: London, England Photo CEA CAPA Education Abroad: London, England Photo CEA CAPA Education Abroad: London, England Photo CEA CAPA Education Abroad: London, England Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My time in London with CAPA changed my life! I had never traveled internationally before this trip, and I have been thankful for the experience ever since! I was lost my Sophomore year in terms of figuring out if I would attend summer school or get involved with an internship, but CAPA helped me do both. I got to complete my Shakespeare credit in six weeks while working with one of London's most prestigious literary and talent agencies, Agora Books. Courses provided more lively experiences than my classes back home, which included trips to museums and plays around the city, including the Globe! Living within the culture of London taught me more about my ability to move among the city independently. CAPA's staff was proactive in providing resources needed for both inside and outside the classroom. London was everything I needed at the time and more!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CAPA London's host administration gave us all the information we needed, and when I had trouble accessing my financial aid during my trip, CAPA worked tirelessly in helping me get the information to my school as soon as possible! They were unbelievably kind and took the time to get to know students and provide advice on how to get around in the city of London!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements were not what I expected. I did not necessarily enjoy being in a bunk bed, but it was all they had. CAPA London staff informed us that because it only gets really hot in the city only two weeks out of the entire year, we ended up being there for one of those weeks. We pushed through as well as we could with no air conditioning, using wet towels and drinking as much water as possible. Everyone came out alright. I will say have discussions with your suitemates in advance in terms of cleanliness. There were a few times we had critters coming out the kitchen due to lack of washed dishes and rarely taking out the trash. If you are not in the business of cleaning up after others, make that clear from the start. Once you are the one consistently taking care of other people's mess, they'll keep thinking it's okay to be messy.

* Food:

I took care of myself as best as I could despite not coming with a lot of money when I first showed up to London. I meal prepped well and took lunch with me often to my internship. On the few occasions that I did go out, it took about a week or two to get out of the mindset of constantly looking for American food, and some of the American restaurants I ate in tasted much different from how I tasted it in the States. Everything is relatively cheap, which made me enjoy the food even more. I live for the morning croissants from Sainsbury's market.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

What I appreciated most is that no assumptions were made upon me about my American culture. People were proper in the way they asked about how I grew up and where I go to college. My colleagues were extremely kind, as was the surrounding community on GoldHawk, which is where I stayed. I did not picture London as being as diverse as it was when I first got there, but that made me more comfortable knowing that there wasn't one type on London citizen.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I cannot speak on this service as I had no use for my healthcare while traveling.

* Safety:

CAPA London's staff provides a service for students in case of emergencies. If they assume or suspect anything is wrong, the app requires that all students check in to confirm their location and their safety.

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

I enjoyed every trip, tour, and person I encountered.


* 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 had to be the downside to my trip, as I could not do as much as my peers in terms of food and travel. By the time I was accepted to CAPA, I was too late for most of the scholarships. Therefore, I came out of pocket for everything else. My school for some reason withheld my financial aid for the summer and I did not see that money until the last week of my trip. My budget was tighter than others, as I meal prepped for most of my trip on chicken, spinach, and potatoes, all of which was really cheap from the local markets.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Between meal preps, I never spent more than 25 pounds.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be sure that you complete your study abroad applications about two semesters or a year in advance. This should be a great amount of time to find scholarship money and to save up for your trip. Research more about the cost of groceries in your traveling city so you'll know what to expect before you get there. Be humble with your money. You may get caught up in the culture so much that you forget about what is actually in your bank account, so pace yourself with your money. Budget as much as possible. You would much rather go home with money leftover, versus running out of money before it's time to go.


* 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?
  • Shakespeare
  • My internship
  • Being on my own
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
  • Outline of program fees
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Get my money up as much as possible. Be sure to be more financially prepared.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Shakespeare & London

Course Department: English
Instructor: Robert Ball
Instruction Language: English
Comments: While the course offers its many challenges, I never backed down from any of them, and Robert Ball never relished in an opportunity to fail a student. He was extremely helpful in ensuring we had an ample amount of time and resources as we headed into class discussions, presentations, and our two final papers in the Shakespeare course. We must have gone through ten different plays in a six-week span, and had I been studying this course back in the States, this would have taken more than the five-month semester that was required of me. Despite there only being five of us in the classroom, I am a big fan of smaller, more intimate classes. Field trips and class visits from special guests were a great addition to the course. I fell in love with the exhibits from the Victoria and Albert Museum, especially the entertainment industry costume designs and the royal jewelry collection. Visits to the classroom included actors our teacher had instructed in past productions, and a few had found great success in plays at the Globe.
Credit Transfer Issues: The grades were not assessed yet by the time I arrived back to Atlanta, and the professors were not allowed to let their students know what their grades were before departing from London. However, the course load in terms of grades is pretty easy to keep up with. I received notifications about my grades about three or four weeks later. I will say keep tabs specifically on your registrar's office to ensure the grades are included not just into your records, but into your Degreeworks, or whatever service, your school uses to check which classes are still required of your major. While the grades were still there, I did have to email the registrar's office about exempting my Shakespeare credit since I had already taken the course overseas. Be sure that the department head of your major has approved of every course you are planning to take before you leave for study abroad as well.
Course Name/Rating:

Internship Workshop

Course Department: Internsip
Instructor: N/A
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was in conjunction with all students' most current internship positions in London. Our instructor was helpful in offering suggestions and alternative plans for those who wanted to get involved more in their workplace or felt that they were not being proficient enough in the roles they took on at their internships. Projects and papers we had for the course helped provide others with a great example of the things I did while I worked for Agora Books. Class discussions helped very much too, since it wasn't just the instructor, but other students that provided both great insight and advice to handling professional conflicts. I do not recall us having a course like this at Spelman, but I am proud that I got it the knowledge when I did.
Credit Transfer Issues: Same as Shakespeare.