A Series of Unfortunate Events in a Beautiful Country/City June 23, 2017

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/26/2016 to 04/14/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to roll with the punches and how to survive living alone. Though I spend a lot of time working on class assignments and really put in a lot of effort in that area, I feel like I didn't really learn much. I learned how to budget my money and how to plan successful trips. I learned how to travel alone and to feel safe in a big, foreign cities.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I think study abroad experience varies at Westminster depending on what courses you are involved with. I was mainly taking classes at the Art and Design school (Harrow Campus) and had a very difficult time. As a student at Wellesley College, I am used to academic rigor, but the work given to students who were only enrolled in one class (rather than a whole module like the full time students) was unreasonable. The study abroad students in the art school were often treated as after thoughts. We were not allowed to enroll in an entire module (taking all the television production classes of a certain level for example) but were often expected to do work from other classes in the module. There was very little support or understanding from the education abroad department, and it was often difficult to meet with the professors. Again, this seems to have been a common thread of students involved with film, animation, television, radio, etc classes and less so for students in the humanities or sciences.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very unhelpful--offering little support or understanding

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really enjoyed having my own bathroom and a shared kitchen, but the lack of common spaces made it difficult to form a campus community or get to know other students.

* Food:

N/A- I never really went to the cafeteria. There were a lot of off campus options.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Again, I felt like the study abroad students were kind of second class and weren't offered a chance to integrate with one module/program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no idea what to do with this. Luckily, I never got seriously ill.

* Safety:

Though there were a few dangerous incidents in London while I was studying abroad, I usually felt very safe. We had security guards on campus who were very friendly. I knew all of the staff.

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

The only reason I say yes is that I could not find any other schools that had a study abroad program that offered film classes. If Wellesley can come up with an alternative, that would be great! I loved London, I think the classes at Westminster would have been great if they took better care of their study abroad students!

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)

Once I was able to figure out how to best use my budget (I had some challenges my first semester), I found it was very reasonable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 80 dollars (60 pounds) on food/hygene
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Figure out where it is cheapest to get things and choose one day of the week for your overall shopping trip. If you do a big shop once a week, it is easier to save money to spend on food expenses when you go out. Make sure you write down how much money you are spending each week, so you can adjust if need be. This also helps you notice little expenses that add up (coffee, small treats here and there). Be careful when buying perishable items- you don't want to end up throwing away food! Use them quickly and buy them in smaller quantities.

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Travel opportunities
  • Good film/animation equipment
  • Good location
* What could be improved?
  • Classes offered to study abroad students should come in sets
  • Support for study abroad students (orientation was only a day!)
  • Community building
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? -how to get a bank account as a 2 semester study abroad student (don't bother) -how to get a phone without a bank account (monthly SIM top up through 3) -3 UK classes=4 US classes -weekend travel is pointless. Wait until you have longer periods of time to go! -You have to study abroad to STUDY or to TRAVEL. It is VERY hard to do both

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.