I would go back in a heartbeat! August 13, 2019

By (Hope College) - abroad from 01/02/2019 to 04/12/2019 with

IES Abroad: London - Study London

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad is definitely worthwhile. Even if the experience doesn't 'change you' (as so many say it does), you will still learn a lot about yourself in the process.

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.

My classes (humanities based) were fantastic. I learned a lot about the history of London, and the differences between American and British styles of literature and theatre. All of my classes offered field trips and cultural experiences all around London. Classes were challenging, and professors were knowledgeable in their fields.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IES center was helpful, welcoming, and kind. They were always willing to answer questions, and were there when you needed help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a flat in the borough of Islington. It was a very safe neighborhood, with tons of places to eat and beautiful parks. I was only a twenty minute bus ride from the center, and thirty minutes from central London.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

After the first few weeks, I felt like I knew my way around London. Along with the trips into the city with my classes, the center offered extracurricular activities such as running club and yoga club. Both of these things took us out into various neighborhoods in London that weren't as touristy, and we probably wouldn't have explored otherwise.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got sick with strep my last week in London, which was also our exam week. The staff at the center was so helpful in getting me a doctor's appointment as soon as possible. They were also extremely accommodating when it came to my exams, since I couldn't come in to take them right away.

* Safety:

London is a very safe city, if you know what you're doing. IES prepared us in our orientation as for possible things to look out for, and places to avoid. I am grateful they did that, because I felt very safe in the city I was calling home for four months

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

I loved my program and all of the opportunities it presented us. I learned a lot, felt comfortable living in a city that was not my own, and cultivated friendships that will last for a while.

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)

You just have to pick and choose what things you want to do/participate in. London is a very expensive city, there is no doubt about that. I probably didn't prepare/save as much as I should have, but I was still able to live and have a good time while abroad.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150 pounds
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Start saving your money as soon as you start thinking about studying abroad. Even if you're not sure yet, you'll be extra prepared when you decide to go!

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The cultural immersion
  • My classes
  • The independence
* What could be improved?
  • Giving us information (housing etc.) a little bit more in advance
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You might not feel like you've been given a ton of information before you leave, but you will get all of that information during your orientation!