London, Worth the Hype? June 20, 2019

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/02/2019 to 06/08/2019 with

IFSA: London - University College London

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to adult! Since I was living in a flat with a kitchen, that meant I had no meal plan. I learned how to provide for myself and since London housing tends to be far from universities, I had to plan ahead for my 25 min commute to school.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Different style than US with very limited interaction with professors.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

London has lots of cuisine, however I cooked for myself the majority of the time.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I struggled to make friends with locals as the IFSA program is primarily US students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

While I wished I interacted with local students more, I do appreciate how structured the IFSA program was.

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)

London is expensive! Especially when factoring in the exchange rate!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Perhaps 70 pounds/week? About 30 pounds/week on groceries, 20 pounds/week for the tube, 25/pounds for London attraction
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to all the museums as they are free and walk everywhere! Consider getting a railcard if you plan on taking the train outside the city (ie:Cambridge, Dover, Edinburg) and connect it with your Oyster Card this will you give you 30% off and it immediately makes it worth it. Plus, the rail discounts off-peak tube travel (ie: the evenings and the entire weekend).

Language

* 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?
  • Events throughout the term
  • Airport pickup
  • Resources onsite
* What could be improved?
  • Interaction with local students
  • more events
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Getting a railcard early on since they take a while to process and that there's different sized Sainsbury's (grocery stores) - the bigger ones are cheaper than the small express ones

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.