Loved London! Camberwell classes based on units, not terms. Do a full unit. Past Review

By (Massachusetts College of Art) - abroad from 01/03/2012 to 03/17/2012 with

University of the Arts London - Integrated Study Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned some things about myself, as I learned about the city I was in- because it's impossible to learn about living in London without learning how well I can live in a new city. I made wonderful friendships, and it was very worthwhile. I fell in love with the city, and I do hope I can get back soon.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Camberwell is the school in the University of Arts London my main course was at, but I also took a short course at Chelsea College. Both are within the same university.
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The resources were surprisingly good at Camberwell, but the academic program was not designed around the term I was there, but instead around program units. I found there was a lot less rigor in the weeks I was able to attend than my fellow providor students had in their programs at other schools.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

He was great until our sign out day from the housing. Any problems we had (and all of us seemed to have some issues that morning) were no longer his problem, and he told us to figure it out on our own. Up until then, however, he was great, and was both helpful and planned fun events for us to enjoy as a group.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

NIDO Spitalfields is a lovely building. It is a mix between a high-rise apartment building and a dorm building. It was probably a lot nicer than the normal dorms for the University students, but with a price to match.

* Food:

I had a lot of great food in London, but central London is expensive. Finding a good balance comes from urban living and budgeting. There were a lot of different cuisean options, as well as some quality "local" foods that people don't always acknowledge when talking about England.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I made a network of friends that have lasted beyond my stay, and I did respectably well at getting around on my own. I feel like I could go back in an instant and feel like I fit in again, however I had time to assimilate because my school program was very spare.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was fine, and brought my headache medicine of choice with me, but someone in my provider's program with me had dental and medical issues, and those seemed to get handled very well. We all had automatic NHS coverage for emergencies, and anyone with a visa that allowed working (more than the student visa that I didn't need to apply for) (Class 4?) had full coverage.

* Safety:

As far as cities go, it seemed fairly safe.

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)

There were ways to live on a tight budget, but it was enjoyable to get out and try more things and food. My local providor advisor had great advice for saving money on local transportation.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $300?
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you want to save money, you need to eat in and not shop too much, or spend too much on either travel or entertainment. It is worth it to indulge enough that you get to enjoy the culture you have made the effort to live/study in.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • experiencing London
  • meeting new people and trying new things
  • the network of museums and artists that was available to me
* What could be improved?
  • the academic program was not suited to erasmus students in my position
  • my commute was an hour and a half between where I lived and my school
  • facilitating leaving London/my living space/ getting to the plane was outside of my skillset, and was a difficult challenge with a massive time crunch.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I'd known I'd benefit more from two terms instead of one. I wish I'd been able to consider trying programs in other art forms that would have a more complete program within the time I was there. I know now some ways to spend less money, such as living in a cheaper area, that I did not suffer for not knowing the first time. It was nice to live well, even if my next trip to London will be on a tighter budget.