Studying at Westminster was the best experience possible! July 27, 2020

By (University of Wisconsin - Madison) - abroad from 01/20/2020 to 04/20/2020 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 be confident in myself! Living in a new country on my own and not knowing anyone was a push outside my comfort zone, but I did it and had a blast. I learned how to travel and manage time with schoolwork and home life in America. I learned the value in seeing other countries and cultures. Going abroad is a great experience to push yourself outside your comfort zone and live a life you always dreamed of. It's a great fresh start and opportunity to live how you want to live. It's a great way to make lifelong friends and amazing memories in new cities with.

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.

My overall education experience was very pleasant. The instructors were well knowledged on their topics and explained their expectations clearly. What I enjoyed most was that a few of my courses allowed for outside excursions in place on an indoor learning experience. This allowed for a true immersive London learning experience, which is so appreciated by someone who is eager for any way to explore the city. The instructors were also great at encouraging people to participate and get to know one another. Most of my classes had other study abroad students which also helped with comfortability levels as a new student. The half star less is only because I thought the classes were not as challenging as my classes in America.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was very helpful. you have one day dedicated to looking over your courses you've been given. On this day you are set up with an advisor who will confirm and move around things to your liking. The orientation day was welcoming and warm as well. They gave us expectations for living in London and assimilating as foreigners.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Marylebone dorms and absolutely loved it. The building is connected to a class building, which actually made me feel very safe living in the city (you had to swipe your ID every time going in and out and there was always front desk security of the class building and dorm building). The front desk at the dorm was always always so warm and willing to help with anything from mail to osyter cards to directions. The housing also had weekly fire alarm testing and monthly bed bug testing. They had cleaners come once a week. Occasionally the heating and water would give out, but maintenance worked on it fast. There were two elevators (one for the even floors and one for the odd). The even elevator was always broken which made getting to your specific floor funny, but never that much of an inconvenience. You need your key card to get onto your floor and your indiv. room. I locked myself out of my room quite a bit because of this but ended up becoming friends with the security staff who let me in constantly! The downstairs lounge has a TV, foosball, vending machines and a few hangouts with free food and movie screenings. Overall, I enjoyed my time in the Marylebone dorm. I made great friends here!

* Food:

The food in London is amazing. The best part of London is that it's a multi-cultural hub. This means there are GREAT restaurants for many different cuisines all over! There are fast take away places all around Marylebone's dorm as well as some nice sit down places. My friends and I got into the routine of visiting a particular indian restaurant just down the street often together. There is truly no shortage of good eats in London -- it's a great lens and means to explore the city!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The local culture was great. The thing about a fast-paced city is that people are always on the go. So, as long as you are okay with that, you will like living in London. I've always liked to say that while the city is fast-paced like NYC, the people in London are more friendly to helping. Because the city is so diverse, I never felt like a true minority or left out. There were multiple areas of the city for each ethnicity and group to feel at home. The best way to become a londoner is just to get out and explore the different neighborhoods multiple times!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no experience with heathcare.

* Safety:

Living in a big city always has it's safety concerns. While i did have one friend get pick pocketed, I can't say that I personally had any bad experiences. I will say that I was quite prepared at all times. Being on alert and knowing your surroundings is just a given in a big city like London.I often traveled a lot and used the tube and buses late at night and never felt threatened by anything. Just being smart with yourself is all you can do! Download City Mapper to know your exact route on the Tube before you go. Always have your keys and wallet close to you. Travel with friends (especially at night) and don't listen to things with headphones too loudly. Watch for cars as they're opposite of here in America.

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

I loved that the classes weren't too challenging for being in a new surrounding, which is already quite taxing /hard. The Marylebone campus was so central to everything -- I walked to class every day and had tons of stores and restaurants all around. The instructors were pleasant and grading was not harsh. I made lifelong friends from this program and am eternally grateful for it!

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)

Budget well before going. Set aside money for trips because London is great for traveling to other places. I learned to bus to Lidl to get cheap groceries to cook in my dorm rather than eating out all the time. While London's activities and restaurants are so tempting, you will learn to figure out what is worth it and when. Be smart about your day-to-day purchases and you'll find that it isn't so hard as people say.

Language

* 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

N/A

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

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?
  • Meeting people
  • Dorm
  • Surrounding culture of London
* What could be improved?
  • some dorm things (elevator broken a lot)
  • discounts for students living in london
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew to not be so afraid. Starting new in a new country is scary but it's also so great in so many ways. I wish I knew that it was okay to be slightly nervous but to focus more on just getting out there and trying my best right away to be open to everyone, every place, interaction, etc.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Art and Society

Course Department:
Instructor:
Instruction Language:
Comments: I highly recommend everyone who is studying abroad at Westminster to take this class. You get to go to a museum with the class once a week and get an up-close look at specific pieces. This class encourages you to see the culture that London has to offer -- that you were probably going to do anyways -- for class credit! You work in smaller groups later to piece together common threads between artwork you view throughout the semester. Very laid back, really fun!
Credit Transfer Issues: