By (Neuroscience and African Studies, Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/02/2014 to 05/28/2014 with

SOAS, University of London: London - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Study abroad is as much about the in class experiences as it is about what you do outside the classrooms. Study abroad gave me a more confident voice. I learned what I liked and did not like and how to go after the things I wanted. I learned it's okay to change your path in life. I met people from many places and that you meet your best friends in the strangest situation. I would do this all over again in a heartbeat.

Review Photos

School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS): London - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

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.

SOAS is as difficult as you the student makes it. Depending on classes and structure, all courses are very manageable and students should be able to adapt fairly easily. I took courses in Development Studies (one a graduate school course) and African studies and found them while challenging to be extremely satisfying and doable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I didn't really utilize the administration often but when I did send emails they were replied to promptly. Sophie was an absolute gem.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Dinwiddy is Dinwiddy. You have a bed, a desk, a closet, and an ensuite bathroom. Luxurious it is not but it gets the job done. There is also a shared kitchen with your flatmates so it's pretty swell.

* Food:

Learn to cook if you don't know how. Eating out will kill any kind of budget you have because London is not cheap. Budget for food and groceries and drinks. If you have family willing to feed you, take them up on the offer. Food gets expensive but it doesn't have to be.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was pretty well integrated. I made friends with people from my lectures, my lecturers, etc. I met people from going out and it was all in all a good social and cultural immersion. Mind you it's London so you will meet people if you want to. You have to be a hermit to not meet people especially at SOAS.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had a few incidents while abroad. I didn't use the school health system but I did use the national health service and it was great. Waiting time is ridiculous but they are very good.

* Safety:

London is so safe. I am city savvy so that might be why I feel this way but be cautious when out at night. Common sense things. I've walked home alone at 4 am and been fine. I had one bad interaction and that was outside my flat with a crazy woman which isn't typical.

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 budgeted what was important to me. I'm not a picky eater so food costs was never the issue. I spent maybe 20 quid a week on food approximately 35 dollars or so. The travel expenses were the issue. The tube is not cheap and living in Central London is not cheap. Eventually you will learn to walk everywhere that is within walking distance

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? For all my expenses probably $110 every 2 weeks.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET. Before you go abroad if you can not when you get there. Get a visa that allows you to work if you can. You will have a lot of free time.


* 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
  • 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?
  • Classes
  • Lecturers (Kwadwo Osei Nyame and Michael Jennings A+ lecturers)
  • Students
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing. It was the learning things as they happened that was the most impactful.

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.