London: A Culturally Enjoyable Experience Past Review

By (English (Creative Writing), SUNY - Binghamton) for

SUNY Binghamton: London - Semester in London

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
As anything in life does, the London Program had its ups and downs. Fortunately, there were more ups than downs. The city of London was both comfortable and enjoyable, and the country's rich history really showed through in both its architecture and its museums. Interactions with others in the program gave me a greater understanding of the variety of people I'm likely to run into my life, and compromise and communication were key to our getting along. While it would likely be difficult for me to get a job there, I would absolutely go back.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Teachers gave us plenty of time to explore and adjust to London while making the experience relevant to our studies.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Emily was usually very accessible.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There were occasional problems, such as the initial lack of heat, a clogged drain and a burst water pipe, but it was fairly clean and held up for the four months.

* Food:

Most restaurants served good food, but cheaper pre-made grocery store products tended to be a bit bland.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

One absolutely must see at least one play in London. The tour inside Westminster Abbey is also completely worth the price and there are any number of wonderful (and free!) museums to visit. The trip to Paris was a bit rushed, but the one to Stratford upon Avon was enjoyable.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I personally felt safe in London, aside from the pickpocketting problem. If one keeps an eye and a hand on their cash and belongings at all times and avoids drunks, there shouldn't be too much of a problem. As for the health issue, the emergency room staff at the hospital was quite helpful. Although the wait is usually anywhere between forty-five minutes to two hours, the service is free. Waiting for a doctor instead of a nurse would take at least three more hours waiting time, though.

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? Anywhere from 30 to 100 pounds a week. While food could be fairly cheap (especially at Tesco and Sainsbury), other things added up, such as maintenance of the flat, toiletries, souvenirs, entertainment, the occasional restaurant, and trips outside the country.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Keep a list of expenses and budget your money as best as you can.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Someone capable of budgeting their time and money, gets along well with others, and just wants an easy chance to explore Europe. With the course choices, an English or Theater major has the most options.