Sub-par academics, but a great opportunity to travel through europe June 02, 2017

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/14/2017 to 05/10/2017 with

University of Westminster: London - Direct Enroll Study Abroad & Internships

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about English culture and how to travel. I gained a lot of self-awareness and confidence about my ability to live on my own. It was definitely worthwhile to come!

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.

I learned a lot while at the University of Westminster. However, I feel I would have learned more if I had signed up for more relevant classes. This could be fixed if there was more information available to study abroad students about what each class entails and what regular students are expected to take. (If I had taken all of the same classes as the regular students, I think it would have helped me a lot.)

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The people working at the study abroad office are nice, but they weren't informed on the classes.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had my own private bathroom. My room wasn't large, but it was big enough. Although Harrow campus was further outside of central London than I expected, I was very happy with housing.

* Food:

Indian food is great around Harrow Campus (especially Taste of Lahoor). But actual British food is fairly bland. The on-campus Cantina was very good for cafeteria food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because I applied directly to the University of Westminster, I had way more interactions with full-time students than most of my peers who studied abroad elsewhere. I feel that I now have a good understanding of English culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not need any healthcare while abroad, but this website won't let me finish this survey without answering this question.

* Safety:

London had two terrorist attacks while I was studying there. I don't think there's anything that can really be done to predict where those are going to happen. But because the Harrow campus is on the edges of London and not particularly close to crowded tourist areas, I felt very safe there.

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

I would do direct enrollement again, but only because I had two friends who did this with me. Otherwise, I would have been very lonely and confused about basic things that I think they tell you when you use an actual program (such as how to get my phone to work and what transportation options to use).

Finances

* 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? $80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The "meal deal" (£3 for a sandwich, drink, and side item) can be found in any Tesco or Sainsbury's. They also offer it at the Costa and the Student Union shop inside the Forum on Harrow campus. It's a lifesaver!

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Location in London
  • Courses designed for study abroad students are great
  • I got more interaction with locals than if I'd gone through a program
* What could be improved?
  • The course registration process needs to be less rushed, and the assistants should be better informed on course options
  • An informational pamphlet about basics in London (such as phone stuff, recommended ways to get around, basic University and food terms translated into American English, etc.) would be helpful
  • Allowing study abroad students to enroll in all of the same modules as students who are full-time. Professors did not accommodate the fact that we were taking other courses, so the University should allow us to just take all of the modules in one major, like the full-time students.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I'd known how much less human interaction I would get by enrolling directly. I did not have the built-in friend group that many students who used a program did. Ultimately, I think that taught me a lot more about myself, but I was also much lonelier at the beginning of the semester than I thought I would be. Also, download City Mapper!!! It's way more helpful for navigation in London than Google Maps.

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!