For students who crave independence, an academic challenge and big-city life. Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/19/2016 to 06/09/2017 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?
It was an invaluable experience to take courses that weren't from a US-centric perspective, and to experience living outside the US. I learned so much both in and out of class.

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 took courses in the sociology, philosophy, and social policy departments and I learned so much in all of them. The standards are high, especially for assessed written work, and there is a lot of assigned reading. My lecturers and class teachers were all very knowledgeable and helpful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There were plenty of resources and support available for General Course students, though professors didn't really know anything about the program and usually assumed I was in the same 3-year program as other students in the class. This was usually fine, but it means you have to be proactive in asking for clarification if you don't understand something.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I found my own accommodation off-campus, so this rating doesn't reflect LSE's residence halls. I lived half an hour away from campus (on the Tube), which was an easy commute.

* Food:

Again, I cooked for myself, so this doesn't reflect any of LSE's food offerings. There are some cafes on campus that can be handy for a quick bite, though I didn't frequent them. They aren't any less expensive than buying prepared food off-campus, though.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I think it's entirely up to to the individual to get as involved as they want to. I joined a choir through the University of London network (so not just LSE) which is primarily how I met people who weren't American/General Course. You could also join societies at LSE. People are friendly in class, but since it's not a residential campus you do have to go out of your way to make connections with classmates. There are also a few pubs on campus where a lot of people go to talk and hang out.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I registered with a GP (primary care doctor) but I never needed to go. You have to pay a fee when you apply for your visa, which automatically gives you coverage under the NHS, so then you're all set if you have an emergency. I didn't need any vaccines to go to the UK.

* Safety:

London had a few terrorist attacks this year, which were scary but didn't affect my life in any significant way. There are risks to being in London - it's a large, crowded city, after all. But I never felt unsafe, and LSE buildings had plenty of security.

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)

Groceries were cheap, but everything else is expensive in London (eating out, rent, transportation). You can save a lot of money cooking for yourself, though.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~$50 (food/transportation/other)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Fantastic courses
  • Lots to do in London
  • Opportunity to travel (year long program with month-long breaks)
* What could be improved?
  • Professors having a better understanding of the General Course's procedures/requirements/grading system
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's not a residential campus, even though there are LSE residence halls - you won't miss out if you live off-campus. Class schedules are determined after, not before, you pick your classes. It might be hard to take weekend trips. You'll do more schoolwork than a lot of your friends who are also studying abroad, but it's worth it.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!