The best choice I've ever made! Past Review

By (Longwood University) - abroad from 02/08/2012 to 06/02/2012 with

ISA Study Abroad in Stirling, Scotland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was the best thing I have ever done. I made so many friends and learned so much about the world and myself. I am infinitely more independent, and I have so much more appreciation for other cultures.

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.

There were plenty of resources available to us, so there was no problem with researching or studying for classes. Also, the course load was extremely light in comparison to classes in the US (with all of the grades being reflected in 1-3 exams, presentations, or papers) so it left lots of time to experience the culture of the area and travel.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everything was very professional and all the people were very attentive. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Aside from having to move halfway through the semester (the flat above ours caught on fire...sounds a lot worse than it was), the accommodation was fantastic. I chose to live in a flat (as opposed to an on-campus hall) and I was so happy with that decision. Three of my flat mates were from all over the US, and two were from Denmark. We became incredibly close and I consider them to be some of my best friends in the world. I gave this category 4 stars for 2 reasons: half a star off because the university won't give you the names of your flat mates ahead of time to try and establish contact (I got really lucky, others didn't) and another half a star off because the refrigerator was TINY. Sounds like a joke, but really... six girls in that tiny little thing was miserable. Also, we had to pay for electricity, but it turned out to be really reasonable with all 6 of us paying. The only potential inconvenience (I didn't mind it, but some people might) of living in a flat was having to take the bus to campus. It wasn't too far to walk or bike, but it was definitely far enough to justify public transportation. The bus came every 8 minutes and cost 25 pounds for a 4 week unlimited pass.

* Food:

Britain isn't exactly known for its cuisine, but I lived about a block from Tesco, and we cooked for ourselves pretty regularly. Plus we ate a lot of fish and chips.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I have so many new British friends! :) We lived right in the heart of it all, our classes were just regular classes that everyone took... it was like we had always been there.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The health care system in the UK is pretty good to begin with. There was an on campus clinic (half a star off because the hours were awful and you had to make an appointment either the morning of or a week in advance) that could prescribe medicine and everything, plus you were covered under their national health care as a student.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe. There was a porter for our complex available 24/7 and we were given all emergency numbers we needed.

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)

The only thing about the UK is that it's really easy to spend lots of money, because 1 pound is about 1.6 dollars. That makes it pretty hard to keep track of how much you're spending.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $50-75/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Keep a diligent log of what you're spending, and convert it as soon as you can. I wish I had done that, and my parents probably do too!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Everything... there's no way I could only choose one thing.
* What could be improved?
  • I honestly can't think of anything at this time.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? My flat mates... not that I would have traded them for the world!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

FMS9A4- Digital Media and Culture

Course Department: Media
Instructor: Graham Meikle
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was incredible. I learned so much about things I thought I was an expert in (like Facebok, Twitter, and other digital media forums) that are also relevant to my everyday life. The lectures were engaging and often hilarious, and most of them featured at least one picture of a cat doing something silly, and who doesn't like that? In my tutorial group, we all became very close and ended up revealing a lot about ourselves in a very comfortable environment. Plus there were people in my class from all over the UK, America, Canada, Australia, and even Bulgaria. It was such a good experience to learn about those cultures as well.
Credit Transfer Issues: There were no issues, as I discussed everything with my school before I left.