Goes by too fast! April 12, 2021

By (Queen Mary University of London) - abroad from 09/09/2019 to 12/19/2019 with

University of Ottawa: Ottowa - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Learned to be more independant, learned about my favorite subject (medieval history), learned how to adapt to a foreign place, learned to get around a big city and learned that I'm a great lonely traveler :))

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I loved it! It was easier than in Canada and left me plenty of time to explore. I barely had to hand in essays and the readings were fairly quick and easy to do. I understand course material easily and write essays relatively quickly, so I didn't have any issues that needed attending to. Also, the courses were SO interesting, I'm never really able to study medieval history in Canada, and so I learnt so much about my passion while abroad!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very helpful and quick, needed to change a class + get out of the country to get my passport stamp and I had help from the appropriate offices very quickly and the information they gave me was correct.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

They were great! I had a big room and I loved my flatmates. However, the sink would clog all the time and my mattress was so tough, I had a really hard time sleeping.

* Food:

Wasn't too much of a fan, the cafeteria's vegetarian options were kind of bad. They tasted good, but they didn't give any protein so I was hungry all the time. I compensated by eating huge portions and so I gained 10lbs in a semester... the drinking probably didn't help either.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everyone I met was so nice! British campus culture is a lot more friendly and talkative than here. On my home campus, I barely have friends: I left the UK with a lot of friendships I still maintain to this day. Also, there were a lot of other exchange students eager to make friends, and so the intergration was very easy. By the end of the program, I felt very at home, my British flatmates taught me a lot about contemporary culture and slang (my boyfriend is also from Manchester, so I already had a fair bit of familiarity with British culture).

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No health issues

* Safety:

I think there should be a bit more safety warnings during the introduction because London's east end isn't always the safest: like not going into Tower Hamlets, being careful at night etc. Also some student got stabbed on campus (he's fine) while I was there so that was a bit spooky!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I had a great time! Queen Mary really is ideal for foreign students who want to live in London: you're central, the professors are understanding that your main focus isn't studying, you get outings with the class sometimes that make you see things you wouldn't otherwise, the students are really friendly and you're close to many airports and train stations that offer options for low-cost traveling!


* 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)

The underground eats so much of your money!!! There was an Asda near campus so food wasn't too much of an issue but getting around and shopping is very expensive in London.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? On food and essentials like TP was around 20 pounds/week but for fun like going out and traveling was probably more around 50-70 pounds a week...
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save up your scholarships if you can (Canadian tuition isn't too expensive so it was easy for me) and work hard during the summer! Out of your salary, take out 75% towards savings! Bring food from home at work and limit your purchases each pay if possible.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

My case is special since I'm French Canadian, so for me English was a foreign language in some sense. I had to use English all the time, no one speaks French in the UK and I didn't wanna spend my time with people from France, since they're a bit snotty towards Quebecers.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Cégep English I think?
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+

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
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Friends
  • Courses
  • Traveling
* What could be improved?
  • Safety tips
  • More explanations about the UK grading system
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I should be going out more and sleep more to have more energy to visit the city

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!