Past Review


SUNY Binghamton: London - Semester in London

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My study abroad experince was for sure worthwhile in many ways. The chance to live independently in another country was definently a learning experience that many people do not get. Learning about another part of the world was an experience that will stay with me for a long time.Exploring London and meeting some new people also made the trip worthwhile. The travel opportunity outside of London was amazing because of the closeness to the European continent. I have seen so many amazing things from architecture to movie stars that I have my study abroad experience to thank for that.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks
The term and year this program took place: Spring 2010

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I thought the actual academic portion of the program was well done. Having classes only three days a week helped in getting to explore the surroundings, classes tok us to some pretty cool places. Professors seemed to be genuinely interested in what they were teaching.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Emily was good at planning things and a knowledgeable guide on the side trips. She also helped out a lot with issues with the flats which was nice of her to do so. It felt like though she was more helpful to certain students and largely not to others, like favoritism. Sometimes seemed a little uninterested in the weekly meetings, but otherwise did her job as she was supposed to do.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was not as bad as others deemed it to be. The stairs were a challenge at first but one quickly got over that. At times it felt like privacy to have a conversation was hard to come by, but otherwise the housing was perfectly adequate. Some issues, with lighting and that but it is to be expected, some people just made way too big a deal out of things like that. <br /><br /> The housing itself was nice and provided the basic needed amenities, although some did not always work. It was a little cramped though with five people in a tiny space and only two bathrooms. The closeness to points of interest and the tube stations was really a plus. The neighborhood felt safe to go for a walk around in. Although it seemed to be loud and drunk student row occasionally at night.

* Food:

Let's be honest, London is not necessairly a foodie's delight. Dining out is expensive and certain things in the grocery store were pretty expensive. Otherwise, it was not hard to cook cheaply it just got tiring to keep eating the same thing just because it could be afforded. Of course too I am no where near a gourmet cook so I cannot fairly judge the food that I cooked. Mostly I stuck to pastas and other inexpensive items because food could et expensive quickly.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

London provided so many different opportunities to do things. From the West End shows to the markets to the movie premieres in Leciester Square I have met many local and other foriegners. Being able to explore on our own I htink helped people assimilate better and find their niche.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt that London was generally a safe place to be. Some places got a little sketchy at night, such as Piccadilly Circus area, but if one was paying attention to their surroundings or in groups they were fine. As with any places there some areas you would not go at all alone or at night. I would say though watch the sidewalks on some streets... they will trip you! As for my experiences with the healthcare system, I found them both to be helpful. The emergency room in London was pretty much like the ones I have been in at home. I was not quizzed on insurance and only had to give my name and address and then was admitted. I did have to wait four hours though, nothing new for any hospital. the private physician I went to was pretty much the same in regards to the insurance issue. The doctor took his time and explained the injury which was nice. I did not have to pay any medical costs aside from xrays.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 3,5000 was spent on all my expenses. The majority of my weekly budget was spent on food and transportation. I was able to afford a show/play on the West End about once a week. About $500 was spent on various trips throughout the continent. Probably about $750 on shopping and various non-necessities. The rest of the money went towards funding my oyster card (Underground/ bus transportation card) and shopping for food.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I think the program gave a god idea of what to expect to spend my money on before I got there. Just be aware that the food on the trips we took as a group is not included. Some people did not realize this which is why I say just be aware that you are totally on your own for food.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? What better place is there to study some of the most famous literary figures than the heart of London? Make sure London is the place for you and be prepared to have a great time in the English capital.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Writing About London

Course Department: English/Creative Writing 380R/Theater 389K
Instructor: Liz Rosenberg
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Writing weekly journals helped to recount our time in London, however I did not like being told to write in a specific way. Professor really did not harp on it that much but still, being told to write our personal journals in a specific manner seemed like we were not writing the truth at times. The books were not personal favorites, but that is just my personal opinion. I did like that we did not have to share our writings if we did not want to. Some assignments were unclear or hard to figure out what was wanted.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Insiders and Outsiders of British Literature

Course Department: English/Creative Writing 380T/Theater 389N
Instructor: Liz Rosenberg
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I liked that the class was small and that it was an open environment to discuss the works at hand. The book list was very good and accurately reflected the course aims.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

The British Experience

Course Department: English 450W
Instructor: Bernard Rosenthal
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I liked being taken to places that we may not have seen otherwise. I also liked that we were given the option of either a weekly assignment or a large paper at the end of the year. I felt that option helped de-stress the end of the year when all the work seemed to be loaded on. The assignments aimed to capitalise on our experience abroad which was nice because it made us focus on a different part of the world.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Shakespeare on Stage

Course Department: English 245H
Instructor: Bernard Rosenthal
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I really dislike the act of studying Shakespeare but I thought the course was good in explaining aspects of the playwright. I really liked that we were given the option of having a midterm and how we wanted to be graded. As someone who struggles with Shakespeare and oral presentations, knowing that my grade did not rely heavily on a presentation.
Credit Transfer Issues: