London: Big City, Big Budget, Big Perspectives. Past Review

By (Theatre, Truman State University) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes. Absolutely. Some things (the particular school, details of my living arrangements) I would be happy to go back and change, but the confidence and better understanding of what things are really important in life - to me, but also, I believe, objectively - are going to be invaluable.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I don't like the grading system (too much weight on the final assignment!), and the teaching method (very hands-off, comparatively) was a challenge for me as a student.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They seemed quite knowledgeable, accessible, willing and able to help out. I never had cause to take them up on it, though, so I can't really comment.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Kingston had a program to deal with the housing, so my hostess selected me through them. I didn't need to buy any living items to stay with her, and I was treated more as a guest than a family member, which was a bit stiff at times but OK.

* Food:

Cook your own food. If you don't know how to cook, learn. It saves a lot of money and it's easier to be healthy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I don't remember healthcare being an issue, and as for safety, it was mostly sensible things - let people know where you're going, stick to the lit areas, don't party with stupid people, etc. I didn't do many things you could call "risky behavior," so I wouldn't know.

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


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? On an uneventful week (meaning, no eating out or big trips into the city), about 20 pounds.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead for travel. Buy your tickets early. Make reservations ASAP. The costs of changing your plans (buying emergency plane tickets, for example) at the last minute can be, quite literally, hell.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The best person for this program would be, in a word, Self-Motivated. Nobody is going to push you, check up on you, take care of you, but you. My advice would be, "Write down why you came and what you came for, and keep that before your eyes. Then take another piece of paper and leave it blank, filling it during your stay with the things you wouldn't have expected to find, both helps and hindrances. When things get overwhelming and home and familiar things seem very far away, this will help you remember who you are and why you're here, while reminding you of the flexibility you need to have so that when you go home, you can still find yourself changed for the better."