This experience was very worth it! Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/24/2012 to 12/14/2012 with

Goldsmiths, University of London: London - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I feel like I grew as a person a lot. I feel like I gained a greater independence and a knowledge of a new city. I know a lot more about europe and the uk. I am more aware that I should be more attentive to world news not just the us news. I feel like I grew up a lot. I learned money management. It was very worthwhile.

Review Photos

Direct Enrollment: London - Goldsmiths, University of London Photo Direct Enrollment: London - Goldsmiths, University of London Photo

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.

The courses were informative and there was a good amount of reading for the classes but the resources were not like Middlebury. Their online resources were not as accesible as Middlebury. You had to pay a considerable amount for printing. They had tutors but it was a little unclear how to connect with them. The one tutor that was very helpful was their dyslexia tutors who also helped students who had ADD. The women I had was great and really helped me organize my time and helped me with my writing.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The abroad staff could have done a much better job at providing all the information and resources we needed. We did not know our schedules until we got to London. Our emails were not working correctly and we never knew where to go. The abroad office and all the other offices were only open for a small window during the day. When you talked to the abroad staff they were very friendly. Not having a lot of the information especially before I got to London made me and my parents very nervous. I also still have not gotten my grades back and it is February. They did give us a care package when we got to London and that was it.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My dorm was awesome! I had a single in a 8 person flat. We had a shared kitchen and there were bathrooms in our room. The only downsides were that there was no wifi and the ethernet was slow and the laundry was expensive and many times out of order. The laundry was also far away.

* Food:

There was no meal plan on campus. The food was British and there were not a lot of options especially healthy ones. It was also pretty expensive like everything else.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The area of London we were in was not like central London. It was definitely poorer. My school was very hipster, artsy, alternative kids. There were a lot of internationals not just from America but from all over the world. The school is gated in at night with a lot of security and I would not suggest walking around alone at night but during the day it was fine. We were right next to a tube station. As for the people at school many were very friendly and a lot of fun. The other abroad students were really nice too. There are a lot of pubs near school and there is a nightclub in the student center. A lot of live music too. Central London is amazing!! The tube is so easy. It was all very expensive but worth it. Go to pubs they are so fun and you meet a lot of people

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had a bad sinus infection and then a fever while I was in London and I went to a free clinic down the street from school because it is universal healthcare in London and I saw a nurse I think and she would not give me antibiotics because she did not believe I had a sinus infection. I got the flu shot before I went because I knew I would be on public transportation a lot. The United States health care system is much better.

* Safety:

New Cross London is not as safe as other parts of London. It is crowded and a lot poorer than central London. The school is very safe. Public transportation is very accessible and easy. At night the tube shuts down at midnight which made it difficult sometimes there were night buses but you should not go on them alone. Taxis are very expensive. At night you should always walk around new cross with a buddy because there a lot of pubs there are also a lot of drunk people at night. Goldsmiths is very safe but at night you just need to be careful in New Cross.

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)

It was expensive. Laundry was expensive, food was expensive, and transportation was expensive. It was better to shop at the grocery store which was close to campus. I tried not to do laundry that much but you kind of had to. It was much nicer in central London so I wanted to go there a lot but the tube is very expensive. Get a student oyster card.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around $125 a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? get a student oyster card, get a credit card that does not charge exchange fees, grocery shop a lot and cook for yourself, air dry your laundry or hand wash it, share kitchen ware with your housemates, cook meals with friends, drink before you go to the pub, ask places for student discounts, when traveling use edreams easyjet or ryanair and hostelworld.


* 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
  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • a lot of freedom
  • classes were pretty easy and lecturers were good
* What could be improved?
  • organization of the program-more upfront information
  • better communication
  • ability to get more involved at the school with local kids like sports and things
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Have a bigger budget. I wanted to be in central London more. My class schedule. They weigh your carryons when you leave the uk. How much free time I had. Write your essays before the last week. There was a reading week with no classes in the middle week of your semester

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Ethnography of a Selected Region I – Africa

Course Department: Anthropology
Instructor: Dr Pauline Von Hellerman
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The lectures for this class were interesting sometimes but they could be pretty boring at other times. The discussions were not that fun because no one read but the discussion teacher tried really hard to keep it interesting by talking about her own experiences and breaking us into small groups to talk about the readings. The readings were pretty manageable. Some were really informative but others were repetitive. The essay was the only thing we were graded on and the question was really broad. I ended up doing better than I thought on it.
Credit Transfer Issues: My grades still have not come from London and it is very frustrating. London's system is slower than America
Course Name/Rating:

World Politics

Course Department: Politics
Instructor: Dr Jasna Dragovic-Soso
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The lectures in this class were awesome. I thought I got a lot out of them. It was unnecessary to do the reading for this course because it was talked about in lecture and then in discussion it was repeated almost exactly. I loved the lecture for this class and hated the discussion. The discussion consisted of a bunch of softball questions that people still could not answer because they did not read or listen in lecture. I tried to ask critical questions in discussion and the professor would shoot me down or ignore what I had just said. The essay question was difficult but they were thought provoking. It was some of the only critical thinking I did the whole semester. I leaned a lot about how to think about world politics but it was very euro-centric and the discussions were terrible. The essay was the only thing we had to do that was graded, I think it was 2500 words
Credit Transfer Issues: I have not gotten my grades yet; the uk system is slow
Course Name/Rating:

UK and European Comparative Governance and Politics

Course Department: Politics
Instructor: Samantha Laycock
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was by far my favorite class abroad! Sam is an amazing professor. She is a no nonsense kind of professor. Her lectures are well structured. I had her for my discussion section too and she was awesome. She asked great questions and made sure you were involved. She used all the international student's experience to help compare British Politics. Note that this is a year long course so she only taught about UK governance and the spring was supposed to cover the UK more in depth. I felt like I learned the most from this class and it definitely enhanced my abroad experience. The only graded work was 1 essay 2500 words. Tough questions but she is available to meet with you. Also some of the readings are difficult to access. There was reading week for this class but it was manageable.
Credit Transfer Issues: Still have not gotten my grades
Course Name/Rating:

Anthropology of Development

Course Department: Anthropology
Instructor: Dr. Alpa Shah
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Lectures were pretty good. I felt like I learned some things but not a ton. The discussions were interesting when a lot of people showed up. The readings were dense but really interesting once you got to the meat of them. The discussions were a little depressing because you walked in thinking you could save the world and you walked out feeling like there is no hope. The people in the class seemed passionate. I felt like I still had a lot of questions left unanswered but all in all I think that I learned a lot from the class at least how to think more realistically about development. I participated a lot in this class because I had a lot of questions and I liked the people I was discussing with. The only thing we were assessed on was one essay 2000-2500 words. Also keep in mind many of the kids in this class are in the masters program but do not let that deter you because it still was not difficult to keep up and contribute.
Credit Transfer Issues: I still have not gotten my grades for this class