Queen Mary and London: a fab time Past Review

By (Scripps College) - abroad from 09/14/2016 to 06/09/2017 with

IFSA: London - Queen Mary, University of London

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was very worthwhile. I learned a lot about myself, and how I operate, but I also learned how to put myself out there more and be more adventurous so I could take advantage of every opportunity that was offered to me. Now that I'm home, I think back on what I didn't do, and I'm somewhat frustrated with myself that I let trivial things get in the way of me enjoying those potential experiences.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes are of an intense nature. I had two hours of contact with the professors each week, and students are expected to do a lot of independent learning for the exams. Professors seemed to not be as available to students as they are in the US, and when it came time for exams, it was all a guessing game about what would be on the exam as there are no midterms, or ways to assess your knowledge before the exams.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IFSA-Butler was very involved and offered frequent events for those of us on their program, including an adventure retreat weekend in the Lake District.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a six bedroom flat on campus. I had my own ensuite, which was nice, and a shared kitchen. However, since I did not choose my flatmates, I rarely interacted with them, which made my flat a fairly unwelcoming place.

* Food:

I prepared my own meals on the program, but London has so many different culinary options available that you can find anything you want.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel like I fit in and was able to blend in after a couple weeks. I felt very at home in London, very quickly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any real health issues but when I tried to get something checked at the on campus doctor, I was told that I needed an appointment (no walk-ins), and that they didn't have anything available for several weeks. When I wanted to get a flu shot, I had to go to a Boots as the school didn't offer them.

* Safety:

The safety in London is as it is in any other big city. I never felt unsafe.

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

I loved London. Something clicked with me, and although QM's classes were difficult, and the exams were far from fun, I made friends and got to join their theatre society, so I was involved with the student body. I had time to enjoy the city, while also enjoying the campus and what that entailed.


* 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)

There were a lot of unexpected expenses. Food had to be bought every week, I had a monthly phone bill, laundry had to be topped up every week because it was more expensive than I had thought, and I had to top up my Oyster card approximately every 10 days. However, I was able to get a job, which helped pay for the leisurely activities I wanted to pursue.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? -Plan your trips while abroad in advance to save money (train/plane tickets are much cheaper when bought in advance). -If studying at QM, budget in travel as the tube is not super cheap and can eat up your budget faster than you expect


* 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

  • 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?
  • location/the city
  • societies available on campus
  • free time to explore
* What could be improved?
  • how the school interacts with associate students/acknowledges their existence
  • helping prep associate students for exams
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how exams were going to happen, and how my courses were going to be laid out. I wish someone had told me that at Queen Mary, they don't inform associate students of a lot, and to get certain information, you have to go out of your way to find it/get answers.