An inspiring year in London Past Review

By (Trinity College) - abroad from 09/01/2016 to 06/15/2017 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?
I learned how to operate effectively within the British higher education system. I expect this will be worthwhile because I hope to attend graduate school there.

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.

The UK system requires fewer contact hours and assignments. That being said, the LSE is a fabulous and academically rigorous institution that would appeal to anyone seeking that kind of study abroad experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

This program has some institutional support, but not as much as most American students will be accustomed to. Be prepared to advocate for yourself and rely on your program advisor (Ifsa Butler in my case.)

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a graduate student University hall located two miles away from the LSE in Southwark. Many American students were surprised to find that their accommodations required that they commute to the school, but I assure you this is standard in a city like London. I bought a bike which improved my 30 minute direct bus commute to a 15 minute cycle ride.

* Food:

London has amazing food and nightlife options. The ethnic food is outstanding, especially Indian, and there are affordable options all over town. There's also a grocery store on every corner, and seeing as my hall was equipped with a kitchen I did lots of my own cooking.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The LSE is something like 70% international students (and many of them North American.) This is pretty representative of London as a whole, but if your study abroad goal is to meet loads of British people you might consider looking elsewhere.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health issues the year I lived in London, but the NHS is free to the point of need if you pay the immigration health surcharge (required with your tier 4 student visa.)

* Safety:

London is a big city so vigilance is key. Overall, the city is well monitored so I didn't encounter any safety issues. Terrorism is a concern, but my study abroad program (Ifsa Butler) ensured that we were safe whenever there was any reported incident.

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

I especially enjoyed the academic rigor and independent ethos of the LSE.


* 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)

London is an expensive city, particularly going out and transport (tube and bus). It is possible to reduce costs by cooking yourself and going out less, or buying a bike as I did.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $80-100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy a bike and a REALLY good lock.


* 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? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Independence
  • Academic rigor
  • Location in central London
* What could be improved?
  • Student advising
  • Study abroad integration
  • Administrative communication
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think I was pretty well equipped upon entry. I know a lot of other students were not as prepared to set themselves up with UK bank cards, phone contracts, and travel cards.

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.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

GY244 Human Geographies of London

Course Department: Geography
Instruction Language: English
Comments: An interesting and amazing class to take while studying abroad in London.
Credit Transfer Issues: Great for social science credits.
Course Name/Rating:

GY103 Geography of Europe

Course Department: Geography
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Although this was a first year/introductory class, I found it pretty challenging. It proved an excellent introduction to the political economics of the European Union.
Credit Transfer Issues: Great transfer credit for social sciences.