I miss the Britishness. Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/09/2014 to 06/06/2015 with

IFSA: London - Queen Mary, University of London

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much not just about the UK and the history and culture there, but also about how the other world perceives the US and our culture. I got to travel around Europe and see all the history there. I ate so much good food. I can't even explain how amazing this year was.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Not too much outside work. Mostly a lot of readings but the professors expect a lot and expect you to know the material and be able to analyze it critically.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IFSA staff were great! Very helpful and attentive. They came by campus once a month or so to check in and offered great advice and really made an effort to get to know everyone. The Queen Mary Study Abroad office was a little less organized but the people there were very nice.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a single room with my own bathroom in a larger flat.

* Food:

I had to make my own food and I'm not the greatest chef. Groceries in London can get expensive but there are multiple stores in walking distance from campus so that is convenient.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Being there for a year helped! Although, I mostly hung out with other Americans all my classes were with local students and hanging out around London is a great way to learn about the history and the culture!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't use the health services that much but I found that making appointments for both counseling and the health center on campus could be difficult.

* Safety:

Queen Mary isn't in the nicest part of the city but it is very lit up and I usually felt perfectly safe. The intersection across the street is a little bit scary and cars tend to go fast- just be careful. During orientation IFSA gave us advice on personal safety which was all important information but I never felt that I needed to use it. London is a big city so just use common sense.

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


* 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 expensive...


* 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

  • 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?
  • living on a campus
  • being there for the year
* What could be improved?
  • london is expensive...
  • more accessible health care services
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How weird the UK education system is. Classes end in March. Finals are in May and it feels strange. Like a two month long finals week (with some traveling in between)

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.'