I went abroad in 2020 (yep during the pandemic) BUT I ABSOLUTELY LOVED MY TIME February 11, 2021

By (Pennsylvania State University - University Park / Penn State) - abroad from 01/14/2020 to 04/24/2020 with

IES Abroad: London - Study London

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I had never left the country before this so I grew so much as a person and my perspective is just so different in the best possible way. Also, I gained so much confidence living in a city and traveling to other countries because I had to do all the planning and budgeting on my own with my friends that I just made there and not my parents.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were something you definitely couldn't just slack off on, but they were taught by amazing professors and they understood you were studying abroad. ALSO, they were all on such interesting topics so in a way, it didn't feel like class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

If you do this program, live in Chapter Kings Cross! THE BEST!!

* Food:

London food is so good!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any personal experiences but I know a handful of students had experience with healthcare and they said it was smooth.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe.

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

I absolutely loved my time in the IES Study London program. We had a large group of students from so many different universities in the United States so we were able to make friends from all over the country with all different majors, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, passions, etc. But don't fret if you like small classes because that's exactly what you get and I made great relationships within my classes with my fellow students and with my professors. On top of that amazing aspect, we were in the hub of London and I personally stayed right up the street from Kings Cross Station at Chapter Kings Cross which I would recommend 10 out of 10 times to anyone doing this program. You could choose to take a quick tube ride to the IES Center (where classes were) or it was also an easy walk through some cute areas of London. I personally chose the walking route because that was more reliable in terms of time, plus I got to see the most adorable little streets. A lot of my fellow IES Study London program people lived in Chapter (there are two other living options) and it was so nice to see familiar faces in the building. Also, there are communal kitchens on every floor but I never had a problem with that and most of my friends that lived in my building would all congregate in one kitchen and cook and eat together, hang out, play games, plan trips, etc. I have made some amazing friends through this program and I only got two months and had to leave somewhat abruptly due to COVID-19 shutting down the world. I wouldn't trade this experience or program for the world and mean it in the most sincere way that you should do IES Study London. From the super helpful staff to the amazing classes and professors and everything thing in between, DO IT and DO IT NOW!


* 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 definitely an expensive city, but I never felt strapped for cash/money.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would go to the grocery stores and stocked up and meal prep so I could use my money on travel.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friends I made within the program
  • Being in London
  • The classes were really interesting
* What could be improved?
  • The time of classes (on Monday, I had a 5 hour gap in between my two classes so I had to get creative on how to spend my time)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I knew not to take any day for granted but I don't think I realize HOW MUCH THAT MATTERED (especially since I went during COVID)

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.