An Unforgettable Experience! Past Review

By (Indiana University - Bloomington) - abroad from 06/04/2017 to 07/22/2017 with

IES Abroad: London - UK Today Summer

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I can be successfully independent from my study abroad experience. Outside of trips with IES, I traveled to Paris, Brussels, Oxford, Windsor, Wimbledon, and Dover. Each of these trips taught me that I have the capability of "choosing my own adventure." Similarly, a lot of my exploration of London was done on my own, which helped me really embrace my autonomy as a traveler and decision-maker. This experience was ABSOLUTELY worthwhile - I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Review Photos

IES Abroad: London - UK Today Summer Photo

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.

Classes were incredibly informative, but also reasonable in terms to workload. Most assignments were essays or quizzes, and professors were very understanding that a study abroad experience means having freedom to do things outside of the classroom as well.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IES staff were always available to answer any questions about classes, London, or travel around the UK and Europe. They were available over email and could always be contacted over phone in case of emergency.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The rooms were quite cramped, but a bathroom for each room and kitchen for each floor in the residence hall was awesome!

* Food:

A meal plan was not provided by this program, but London has great food options!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt incredibly integrated with local culture! When not in class, I spent my days exploring the city - touring museums, walking through parks and along the South Bank, learning about royal history in the palaces, and spending my evenings in the theatre.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

A terrorist attack occurred the day before I left for London, but I truly felt safe through my whole seven weeks there. As a general rule, I would say one should always get on a Tube train that has several people in it, try to only walk in well-lit areas at night, and generally be aware of your surroundings. London's biggest crime issue is pick-pocketing and phone-stealing, which can be easily be prevented through personal awareness.

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

First of all, London is the perfect city for me. As a history and theatre major, I was in my element, going to London's museums during the day, and attending the theatre at night. It is also a beautiful city full of gorgeous parks, and you can never run out of things to do. The IES Abroad staff was also really attentive and did everything they could to make me feel safe, comfortable, and prepared to explore London, the UK, and Europe independently. I also really enjoyed the classes that I took. My professors were incredibly engaging and loved answering questions about British culture. Almost every day of class included a field trip to some landmark or museum, which was amazing. Professors were also very understanding that study abroad is not just about class work, but about the experience outside of the classroom, so the program allowed for a lot of free time and autonomy.


* 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)

I bought groceries instead of eating out, and didn't go shopping very often, so food and personal expense costs were very minimal, even with transportation around London. Most other money I spent was on things like tickets to the theatre, travel around Europe and the UK, and admission to some museums.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $70/week (with other extra expenses, about $250/week)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be sure to prioritize ahead of time what you want to spend money on. For example, I wanted to make sure I traveled around the UK and Europe, and that I regularly attended the theatre, so I was okay with spending money on those things. However, for me, I didn't go into my study abroad program looking for an amazing food experience, so I saved by getting groceries rather than eating out. Some of your biggest expenditures will be on transportation around London, but it was worth it for me! Get the monthly pass for the Oyster card!


* 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
* 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?
  • London, as a city
  • IES staff, and their willingness to help us plan independent travel
  • Attentive and informed professors
* What could be improved?
  • Living spaces are cramped
  • Grades take a while to be posted
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That nothing was as scary as I thought it was going to be, and that homesickness is not a big problem when you're having the time of your life!

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.'