The best thing I've ever done Past Review

By (Art History, Criticism and Conservation., St. Cloud State University) - abroad from 01/04/2012 to 04/23/2012 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was the best decision I have ever made. I have grown so much from this experience, and the people I went on the program with are like a second family to me now. We've been back in the states since April, and we still keep in contact with each other on a daily basis.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was as can be expected for university students living in a 14th century castle, but even so, I think there are simple improvements that the program administrators can make.

* Food:

The food was very good, and the variety was okay, although we did get tired of some of the meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It's hard to become fully integrated unless you break apart from the group and do some things by yourself. But that is not for the program to dictate - it is up to the individual.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There were a couple people on the program who got sick during the semester and needed medicine. They just went to the local NHS clinic, may or may not have had to fill out paperwork, saw a doctor, and got medicine. The cost was either nothing at all or just about 4 British pounds for the medicine.

* Safety:

Alnwick is a very safe city. While we were there, there were no crime-related incidents. However, some students encountered hostile behavior from locals at night around the pubs. It's up to the students to know how to handle these situations - walking away and ignoring these people (who are usually just intoxicated) worked for us.

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 didn't spent very much on groceries per week, and I saved money by not going out and drinking very often.

* 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? About 40-50 British pounds
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't go to the pubs every night. Don't spend a ton of money on souvenirs all at once.


* 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?
  • The ability to travel cheaply not only around the UK but to other countries as well
* What could be improved?
  • Issue with food waste - a lot of food gets thrown away after the meals, and we were forbidden from even letting the professors have our leftovers
  • The blankets, duvets, and pillows could get washed more often
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew about travel rovers in the UK. If you go to, you can find deals on train/bus/ferry travel where for anywhere from 3 days to a month, you get unlimited travel by train and some buses for a certain area of the country. I used it to travel in Scotland and Wales. It is well worth looking in to.