Exhausting, Expensive, Exhilarating. Can I do it again? Past Review

By (History And English, Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/07/2013 to 06/07/2013 with

King's College London: London - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My study abroad experience was more than worthwhile. I grew up a lot, learning how to take care of myself in simple and challenging circumstances. My time abroad wasn't easy and it wasn't always fun. There were times when traveling was more difficult than it was enjoyable, but it was always a valuable experience. I learned above all that you need to take certain things in stride and not expect everything to be perfect and still be okay with that.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I really enjoyed what I learned and was glad to experience a bigger university atmosphere, but I definitely prefer the more intimate classes of my home institution. It was challenging to get to know professors and feel really connected to the class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was relatively helpful, but took very long responding to emails and queries. Overall, they seemed disorganized, but I was still able to figure my way out without too many problems.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My living arrangements were one of my least favorite parts of study abroad. I lived in King's Hampstead residence, which is a half an hour trip outside of London (and to class) on a good day. The rooms and buildings themselves weren't bad, but I felt pretty far removed.

* Food:

No food provided. You learn how to cook really quickly.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Getting there in the spring semester, it was really hard to get to know King's full time students, who were already settled with their friends and organizations. Yet King's is in the heart of London so you have access to living like a true Londoner, which was amazing.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No health issues.

* Safety:

I never had any problems or concerns with my safety while at King's or at Hampstead Residence.

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)

I was able to get by easily enough, but much budgeting was involved. You have to plan on cooking rather than eating out and really narrow down what trips you want to take. London is a very expensive city but it's doable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? On average and including trips throughout Europe, about $150.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn how to cook so you don't need to spend a ton of money at restaurants. When you do eat out, especially while traveling when it's unavoidable, look for food carts or markets where you get great food (and free samples) and they're mostly inexpensive.


* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • London
  • Flexibility to travel
  • London
* What could be improved?
  • Living arrangements
  • Making connections with locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I vastly underestimated how expensive London would be and how miserable the weather could be sometimes. I was shocked at how much the poor weather affected my mood. Regardless, London was an amazing city, but these are important things to keep in mind.

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.