Love love love! Past Review

By (Central Washington University) - abroad from 09/15/2016 to 12/16/2017 with

ISA Study Abroad in London, England

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience made me grow into the confident person I've always wanted to be! I spent every day navigating and exploring a large city, learned to act like a local, and I now know how to navigate foreign countries on my own - I feel like so motivated to try out new places!

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.

QMUL is an amazing university for academics and their history program was above anything I had ever experienced - it was huge and diverse in focuses available. Experiencing a history program with clear funding and student involvement was something I had never had and I loved it. You only have one lecture and an hour of seminar (where your participation is not even graded) per class each week and two papers. The only downside was that international students are given the last pick at classes so you never end up with your first choices.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

ISA are some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet. They're extremely accommodating and helpful with any and all questions you have. They made excursions fun and exciting. They are slightly flawed in their communication of events and deadlines, etc with students though - I had to email them a few times because I was not sure about something.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We were housed in flat style dorms on campus and it could not have been more perfect. Living in dorms directly on campus proved to be absolutely amazing - we were able to get so much more involved in the university's activities because commuting was never an issue. We got to live with other British students in the way that they normally live - I had 4 British flatmates and 1 other ISA student with me. We each had our own individual rooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living area with a window view of the city. The rest of the ISA program was in the same dorm, mixed with British students, so you were always near your ISA friends and we always ended up becoming friends with their British flatmates as well. You have to buy your own toilet paper, paper towels, soap, etc for the flat.

* Food:

I did not eat often at the university itself (though the convenience store was wonderful - they had everything you might need!) and I commonly ate at the restaurants and pubs around the university instead. Since we had a kitchen, I would go to the local grocery store and cook myself.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I spent more time Americans than I spent with British people, and I did the utmost majority of my exploring with them. Since we all had British roommates we saw them all the time as well and it was easy to attend British social events both on campus and off - especially since in London there is always something going on. Most of my cultural immersion came from British friends from class.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

QMUL is located in East London and the neighborhood around it has a little bit of reputation but I never once felt unsafe and I grew to love the area very much. I would come home alone at midnight from late night trains and never had an issue. The area is very lively and busy at all times. QMUL has a giant gate out front that is guarded by a security officer and the dorms have 3 separate key check in's to get into your room.

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

I absolutely adored ISA and QMUL! I am the happiest with my decision and I do not regret it one bit.


* 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 and you are not given any meal plan - it adds up. My biggest expense was just grocery shopping. Paying for the tube (and using it pretty much daily), pubs, traveling, trains, etc. all need to be factored in.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $500
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget weekly, go to local markets to buy cheap food, and make use of student discounts!


* 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
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Excursions
  • University activities and clubs
  • Convenient location
* What could be improved?
  • Communication with students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had prepared more for weekend trips around Europe before I arrived. Start planning cities and budgeting before you arrive - you're going to want to spend your free time visiting cities with friends.