The best experience of my life so far. Past Review

By (International Business., St. Cloud State University) - abroad from 05/15/2012 to 07/24/2012 with

St. Cloud State University: Alnwick - St. Cloud in England

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the British culture, and I also learned about the American culture from that too. I learned to look differently at the way our country and culture is, and I have been comparing that to the other cultures that I experienced. I learned to better appreciate other cultures as well as my own. It was a great learning experience to see things from other cultures' points of view. I learned so much more from it, and it was definitely worthwhile. I would do it all again if I could.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: St. Cloud State University
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses are more intense during the summer session because the professors have to really condense all of what they want to teach us, but I learned so much from each of my classes, even with the faster pace.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My program administrator amazing! He does everything he possible can to make things easy and comfortable. He is great at taking care of things, and he is always willing to help as much as possible if anything comes up. I felt really well taken care of under his instruction.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in a castle is unbelievable. The rooms are really nice, or at least where we stayed in Lion's Tower. I felt very comfortable in my room. The bathrooms were really nice too. After settling in, it felt like home to me, and I never felt uncomfortable or anything like that in our housing.

* Food:

The food was so good. I heard in the past that they have had some trouble figuring out the food, but I think what they had for us on this session was perfect. There was a mix of British meals and American meals, which made it interesting and homely, and it all tasted really good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I have rated this one a bit lower because I did not get to be really integrated with local culture because during the summer program, everything is going so fast that there is only little time to actually be with the local people. I did not feel like an outcast or anything; no one was ever mean, but instead very welcoming. We were just never in Alnwick enough to truly fit in with the local people. The summer session is really busy, but I did meet a lot of new people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Although the British healthcare system is different than the United States', I think the issues that came up on our trip were handle very well. The people that needed to use the services were given the help that they needed, and as much help as the doctors could do in another country. It was easily accessible, and my program director was always willing to take anyone in at any time of day if they needed to go.

* Safety:

Safety was one of my parents' main concerns for me on the trip, but they stopped worrying after they found out that I was inside castle walls that had guards at the entrances. I never once felt unsafe in Alnwick because it is a nice smaller town, that had nice and welcoming people in it.

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)

It was easy for me because I had been saving up for about four years to study abroad, and I lived at home, so I did not have very many expenses and had quite a bit of money saved up.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably around $40.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The main thing that helped me save money was by living at home. Other than that, if I wanted to buy something, I would just ask myself if I really needed it, and I would tell myself that I could be using the money spent on frivolous things to study abroad instead.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • Being taught by British professors
  • Experiencing a different culture
  • Living in a castle
* What could be improved?
  • Organization of the field trips-sometimes we'd be confused about what was going on
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I do not think that I wish I would have known anything. I felt very well prepared going into the program, so there was nothing major that I felt that I wish someone would have told me beforehand.