Reading Study Abroad Past Review

By (Journalism, Doane College) - abroad from 09/19/2014 to 12/13/2014 with

ISA Study Abroad in Reading, England

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that even similar cultures do mundane things extremely different than us. I learned how independent I am and can be when needed. I learned I love travelling and never want to be put in something that limits me from going abroad. I learned an incredible amount about myself and the world that simply can't be read but must be experienced.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Loved ISA and felt very fortunate to have gone through them!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It's a traditional style dorm full of first years.. things would get a bit rowdy but generally in good fun.

* Food:

If you are planning to study abroad for the food, England is not the place for you.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

England truly isn't that different from the United States, so I never felt culturally shocked. However, I did feel very immersed in English culture and loved the little differences I noticed.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

While health care is free, I was not impressed. I got sick my last month there (it turns out I have a form of asthma) which made it difficult to enjoy my last few weeks. I went and saw the health care clinic twice and the first time I was told: "You'll just have to suffer with the rest of us..." and the second time I didn't have a temp and nothing looked wrong so they only saw me for five minutes then told me to leave and 'get rest.'

* Safety:

We would walk to the train station at 3 in the morning and I felt completely safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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 prepared and saved a lot of money knowing I would spend a lot on this trip. When I went, the pound was twice the worth of the dollar, which made things very pricey. But the money spent was well worth it, however, you spend what you want and I chose to travel and expend my account while another friend had a very tight budget and only left Reading once.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? My program fee included on-campus dining. I spent different amounts each week because I went some place new each week. If I had stayed in Reading I probably would have spent $20 max on food/other expenses.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Remember you have three months (or however long) to spend your money, so you don't need to do it all at once in the first month! I spend $1,000 dollars getting things I thought I'd need but really that was a hasty waste of nearly $500 of that thousand.


* 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
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • The people
  • Access to travelling
  • My program - ISA
* What could be improved?
  • Home stay opposed to dorm life
  • Communication of exact costs
  • More opportunities to mix with locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had clearly defined what I wanted out of study abroad before I chose Reading. I truly loved Reading and my experience, and when I say no that I would not choose my program again it is not because the program was bad, it is because it is not what I wanted to get out of my personal experience. I wanted to learn about other cultures and be immersed in a place so vastly different than America, and England just isn't that place. It would have been great had I been wanting to just go to Europe and go abroad, but I am really into the cultural aspect of study abroad and I found that difficult to find in England. However, I still highly recommend England, and especially ISA.

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.'