Learning about myself in London Past Review

By (Illinois State University) - abroad from 01/06/2012 to 05/26/2012 with

CEA: London, England

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself. It was very worthwhile as I was completely on my own which makes me ready to take on any job, person or other speed bumps in my future.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: University of Westminster
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.

I really enjoyed CEA, but University of Westminster was not helpful to their study abroad students. Even though I did go through a tougher time than the average study abroad, everyone I talked was not happy with how they were treated by the Universities study abroad office.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CEA team in London was great. I did go through a rough time and wished the person representing me from CEA would have helped me a little bit more when the University administrators were bring rough.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Harrow campus. Although I loved living with english students, unlike the Baker Street students, I was unaware of the prices I would pay for living outside central London (110 pounds a month!). My friends and I all had internships in central London, which made for long and expensive days! We also could not stay out in London past the tube closing (midnight) which was tough because we are all 20 and 21 year olds who want to have fun some times. We could take the night bus, but that seemed unsafe when we tried, and cabs were very expensive.

* Food:

England isn't known for it's food! But I found myself cooking my own meals to save money. Making going out to eat even better! Soho and the markets were the best places for food!!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved London. Everyone was very friendly and it was a great location for further travels. Being in an English speaking country was important as I was looking for an internship!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

London is a safe place, but again, we lived so far away and the night bus was a bit sketchy! As anywhere, just be careful!

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)

Obviously, the american dollar is not doing well, so that made it tough for us with the pound being so strong! London is an expensive city! But just pay attention and budget yourself. Having a kitchen really cut down on cost!

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook your own food! Find out what home-goods the school can offer you to cut down on those costs as well.

Language

* 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

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • CEA was helpful with a representative in London
  • There were a lot of students from all over America in my program
  • living with english students
* What could be improved?
  • The study abroad office employees at the host university
  • The Internship team should be better with partnering the right internship for students
  • Information about Harrow being so far and so expensive
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How expensive the tube really is! Studying abroad really is about learning about yourself, so I enjoyed figuring out a city on my own.