The Place Was Worth Going to the University Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/20/2015 to 06/10/2016 with

London School of Economics (LSE): London - General Course, Year-Long Study Abroad Programme

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
London is a place I would move to for a job offer.

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.

Clearly a top ranking university, with many resources. That being said, the majority are geared towards grad students. That in itself isn't an issue, however undergrad students will come in contact with a class twice a week, for what is often an hour and fourty minutes total. In my experience, after that week, the often topic would change near abruptly without building on previous lectures. Worst yet, many of the classes are taught by grad students who previously had little contact with the material being taught, and even less experience teaching.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Their administration was okay, if overly bureaucratic at times.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The commute is not easy, if one is disabled. My commute everyday was at least a 25 minute walk in each direction, however, that was not something I personally minded. The location was ideal financially and aesthetically. Additionally, the dining hall saved me time and money with regards to food, and the staff there was for the most part very welcoming and eager to help.

* Food:

London has great food, in large part because most of it isn't British. In the right spots is also surprisingly affordable. The dining hall itself was decent with several options, and constant fruit and vegetables available.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

As an American, London is a very easy location to adapt to. The language similarities certainly help, but more than that LSE does not actively group American students together. Many of my class friends were regular students that spanned the continent, and few events and gathering were exclusively for American students. The rest were for all students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Apparently, I had free or cheap health care. I should have taken greater advantage of that.

* Safety:

The area I was in felt quite safe for the most part. That being said, I was in Central London, near several landmarks. In general, at most times of the day there will be a crowd wondering around, and many cameras. That being said, pick pockets are very active. I would advise women hold their purses/bags in such a way that the zipper always faces in front of them, and that they hook their tote bags forward with their thumb when walking.

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

London is that great a place. Additionally, I fully appreciate going the full year, and London School of Economics looks good on the transcript.


* 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)

They gave me enough for food, housing, and a few other miscellaneous necessities (e.g. transportation).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Because I had a dining hall cost built into my rent, my costs were surprisingly minimal, minus the start up cost.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Location matters. Check out the location of the institution, and how much transportation is to get there. Central London is very expensive, whereas Southern London is considerably cheaper. Try and buy groceries weekly as opposed to monthly, so that there is less waste. LSE has a guy who gives out free vegetarian lunch for 3 hours out of the day. Many people use him, so it is no shame to eat there to save money. Museums are free, clubs are free before a certain time. Student bars are cheaper than regular bars. Walk if you can. It truly saves money.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

The United Kingdom would prefer to the rest of the world spoke The Queen's English, I'm sure.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? A level 200 Latin course. If I didn't study abroad I would have taken a 300.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Don't choose a dead language.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Living in London
  • Being near Europe
  • Being academically challenged
* What could be improved?
  • The length of classes
  • How many times classes meets
  • The class teachers
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Finals is going to hurt. No matter if you studied the full year, because you have little actual contact with the material, it will be like relearning a full year in a month.

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 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.