The Parliamentary Aide Experience with Hansard Society Scholars October 11, 2018

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 05/18/2018 to 07/13/2018 with

Hansard Scholars Programme: London - Hansard Society

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was certainly worthwhile for the public policy experience alone.

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 British academic system has some stark differenes in content and expectations, but the program did a great job of alerting students to these differences and helping us to work around them.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program's staff in the UK was super approachable and very helpful on everything from academics to travel.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in the center of London was slightly expensive, but the perks of being so close to so many cool areas and living with the other members of the program made up for it.

* Food:

Board was not provided by the program, but you are provided with a well-equipped communal kitchen.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Extremely. A large part of the course-work in this program was in examining the political culture in the UK and putting the students into that culture. They do a great job with this task.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We had no problems in my program. But the staff were extremely proactive in setting up expectations on their part and on the part of the students in health situations.

* Safety:

London had had some safety issues, especially around parliament where many people in the program had internships. I never ended up anywhere in London where I didn't feel safe, and the increased police presence around parliament and in public transportation only increased the feeling of security.

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

No other program I've seen had the access to the center of politics in the UK like the Hansard Society Scholar program. Being in the halls of Parliament, it was immediately clear just how special and rare this experience was

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)

London is an expensive city, especially as there were a whole lot of social activities the group ended up doing outside the program that drove costs up over the weekends.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? probably a couple of hundred dollars.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It is pretty easy to get low-cost pre-prepared food in London, I spent more on coffee and yogurt every morning than I did on lunch, I tried to adjust my morning routine accordingly.

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

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Working in Parliament
* What could be improved?
  • Pairing people with desired internships
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The program description was pretty clear, but a better academic expectations section would have been nice.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.