An Amazing Year in London August 03, 2018

By (International Relations, Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/21/2017 to 06/08/2018 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 a lot about myself in terms of handling money when it's tight and socializing with new people. And I really treasure learning the different style of "learning" in the UK - it was a transition but I found that it really worked for me, being SO personally responsible for my own study the way you're forced to be.

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.

It was very difficult for me, from an academic point of view. I was challenged more than I expected, but I had and used the resources available and thanks to this I pushed through.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It took a long time to make appointments for every administrative need - everything was snail-paced. But, once I met, everything got taken care of, and there was a wonderful system of updating over email afterwards.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It was 25 min away from the university, which I absolutely loved, in a quieter part of town with a lot of student accommodation halls and coffee shops around. Getting to classes wasn't difficult, the busses in that direction came every 4-6 minutes (actually!) for those lazy mornings. The hall was catered, which was actually lifesaving at times. The rooms were very old, I was put off by that at first.

* Food:

If you like eating fish, you're okay. I enjoyed the food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everyone speaks English, I think it's easy enough to integrate. Be social - grab a drink at the bar with some classmates or people from your hall.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any medical experience at all.

* Safety:

I felt safe enough, even late at night, BUT a lot of phones get stolen in London, and many of my friends experienced this throughout the year.

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

It was everything - I got to live in a large city, right by the center, I got to immerse myself in a different culture (similar enough for it not to be a shock but still new in many ways) and I was really challenged academically. I made a lot of progress in my field of interest and am thrilled with the classes and professors I got. Lifetime experience.

Finances

* 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)

It's expensive but I kept a very tight budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Under 20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make your own lunches, watch the pub spending - drinks are expensive! Shop at the smaller/cheaper grocery stores, (not Waitrose). Bring your own clothes - don't shop on the spot much.

Language

* 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

  • 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
  • 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?
  • Classes
  • Professors
  • Being in London
* What could be improved?
  • The accommodation
  • The expense of living there
  • The length
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I would get very homesick - I really didn't expect to. And I wish I had known just how much fun I would have living in and exploring London, I was definitely underwhelmed before I got there. The coffee shops are amazing - drink as much coffee as you can!

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!