By (Kinesiology and Exercise Science., Truman State University) - abroad from 06/27/2012 to 07/28/2012 with

College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS): London - Kingston University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
An incredible sense of independence and empowerment. I am so proud of myself for planning this on my own, getting around and learning all about the culture on my own, meeting new friends, etc. I gained an incredible sense of culture and life experiences. It was 150% worth it- the best experience of my life! I loved every second and will tell everyone of my time in London!

Review Photos

College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS): London - Kingston University Photo College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS): London - Kingston University Photo College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS): London - Kingston University Photo

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 professors were all very supportive, helpful, kind, and had a passion for what they taught. They adapted the study very appropriately to students that are abroad/are only abroad for a month. I loved it!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Chloe and Cath, the two ladies who ran the program through the Kingston Study Abroad Office, were INCREDIBLE. They were kind, organized, and always did what was best for us and not what's easiest for them. I REALLY appreciated all of their hard work. They came up with creative ideas for entertainment and help for us.I always felt comfortable in approaching them with any questions or concerns I had. They were brilliant, and the program would not be the same without them!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really liked being at Clayhill Residence Hall. I liked having my own bedroom and bathroom, which gave me an opportunity for privacy and alone time if I needed it, but I also liked sharing a flat/kitchen with 3 others, which gave me the opportunity to meet people and socialize as well. The only downside is that it was about a 25 minute walk to campus/Kingston and a 20 minute walk to Surbiton. I would have liked something a little closer, but that wasn't a big deal at all.

* Food:

Food wasn't provided by the university, so we had to eat out and/or cook ourselves. At times, I loved this because it gave me the freedom to eat whatever i'd like, but other times, I would have liked to have meals prepared for me. It would have been easier. But, considering all the free time we had, just having us cook on our own was the better option.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was very easy to adapt to the culture, as it was simliar to my own. There was no language barrier to worry about, and everyone I met was very kind, welcoming, and helpful.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any issues with Health Care, but I know if I did, I would have been well taken care of. I felt comfortable knowing that.

* Safety:

I felt extremely safe during my entire stay in London. I felt comfortable navigating the trains/tubes, even at night. It was important to keep an eye on my belongings, though. I had a great purse that I kept at the front of my body at all times, preventing any pickpocketing throughout the entire trip. We never had any safety related incidents among myself and my immediate group of friends. It is just important to always keep safety in mind, to have a safe and secure purse or bag you carry your belongings around in, and to not be stupid. If something looks sketchy, avoid it, and you'll be fine.

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


* 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)

Being in London, it was tough to stay on a student's budget, as the pound to dollar exchange rate isn't very good. And because I had to buy groceries or eat out for every meal, that was an extra cost. I would say I spent between 100-200 on food/personal expenses per week, depending on the week. For students trying to save money, I would definitely suggest buying groceries and packing a lunch when going out on day trips to places. That way you save money instead of having to buy a meal out somewhere.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-$200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Grocery shop if food isn't provided, find deals on souvenirs, don't eat out too much if you can, find a credit or debit card that doesn't charge international fees, make a list of souvenirs before you leave so you don't end up buying too much.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* 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 places I went- all over London, Paris, and Scotland
  • The friends I made
  • The experiences and memories I made
* What could be improved?
  • Some more organization couldn't hurt. Not that it was unorganized, but some parts seemed a little thrown together.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how easy it was to travel around London/Europe and I wish I would have stayed longer and traveled more! I also wish I would have grocery shopped more to save money.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

London and Its Literature

Course Department:
Instructor: Dr. Nicholas Foxton
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was challenging enough, but not too challenging to be negative. He was understanding of our busy schedules while abroad. He DEFINITELY made use of the location, and the field trips were to places that corresponded to the literature we read but were also interesting and fun to attend. The professor was very knowledgeable and had a contagious passion for the literature and topics we discussed. I participated less often than I would at my home institution, simply because I am not a Literature major/it is not my specialty. I sat back and listened mostly, taking in what others had to say. We were assessed with 2 papers- 1 1000 word critical analysis of a passage from a text from the class, and another 2000 word essay based off of a prompt we could chose from 7 the professor gave to us.
Credit Transfer Issues: Before leaving, I made sure to fill out a credit substitution form, which I was cleared for. I'm hoping that it will end up showing on my degree as a Liberal Arts mode/International Experience mode.