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Semester in London - University of Westminster
CISabroad participants CISabroad participants

Semester in London - University of Westminster

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    9

Semester at University of Westminster

I thoroughly enjoyed this program. The Onsite Directors were resourceful, helpful, and super friendly. It was comforting to have them as I lived in this foreign city. The university has a great study abroad office as well, so they were available for any questions I had regarding academics. Speaking of, academically I remained on track. I even had thee chance to take a class geared towards study abroad students: Modern Art in London. 10/10 recommend.

I also had the freedom to explore and make new friends. My flatmates were all international and remain some of my best friends today (a year later!) I honestly fell in love with London and I could speak on it forever.

If you're considering this program, don't forget to mind the gap!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Great Program

Their staff is very friendly and are there to help you with anything along the way. I was abroad in London and they did weekend trips and dinners. They made sure I was safe and knew where I was traveling.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    8

Living Large In London

This program is an excellent way to ease into travelling abroad. There is no English language barrier to overcome, and many of the customs are similar to those in America. Also, London is such an international city with diverse multi-cultural opportunities within its borders. Also, the European transportation system allows for easy travel between London and all of Europe, so it is a perfect launchpad for more adventurous souls. Regardless of what you are hoping to gain through your study abroad experience, you will find it here and much, much more than you can imagine!

The CISAbroad staff are always available to answer questions and provide advice, or just a friendly face with an American accent. They are very knowledgeable the area, the program, and how it feels to be far from home and family.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    2

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    8

CIS University of Westminster

I had a great semester studying abroad in London through CIS abroad. However, I felt the school, University of Westminster was very unhelpful when I had issues living on their campus. I was placed on a campus where I had to commute 30-40 minutes to class everyday. Also, the University itself was often very rude and would try to nickle and dime me for almost all of my actions. London is a great city, and I did enjoy my time there. CISabroad was a great program and was very helpful but unfortunately I cant say the same my experience with Westminster.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    8

London life

Studying abroad through CIS in London for a semester was the best decision I have ever made. I always knew I had wanted to do a full semester, and now that I am back I wish I could finish school out over there. London is huge and the CIS team did a great job of helping us get acclimated the first couple of weeks when we got there. They picked us up from the airport, took us to our apartment/dorms and then took us shopping to get linens, towels and other necessities that we would have otherwise not known where to go to get such things. Every week they had office hours at a local Starbucks that we could go to ask anything we needed to school, London or traveling. Each Saturday they would have what they called 'Cultural Saturday' where we could all meet up and go to a palace, museum or any other neat thing that was going on that weekend. With all the markets, food, history and culture, London was the perfect city and I was very happy that I had such a great team of advisors over there that helped me see that.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Alright

The city was amazing but the program could have been more organized


Living Situation:
More fans

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

fantastic

The entire experience was amazing. I wasn't thrilled with our housing, but that was mainly because the rooms echoed and I had loud roommates- that combination left little room for sleep. But everything else was awesome!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Good

CISabroad was the absolute best. I could tell I had made the right choice in traveling with CIS when my plane was delayed 9 hours and I still had a CISabroad staff member waiting for me when I landed. She gave me a huge hug and said, "Welcome to London!" After all of the frustration from my delayed flight it was really nice to know that I had someone looking out for me in London.

Living Situation:
I loved living with people who were from all over. I not only became really good friends with people from the USA but I also made a lot of friends who were from other countries.

Cultural Immersion:
I felt like I was completely immerged into British society.

Program Administration:
I had originally applied for the internship program at CIS and at first when I didn't get accepted into it I thought it was just because I wasn't academically qualified but after talking to other CIS students it became apparent that there was no one who got matched up for an internship.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

A Life Changing Experience

It was unbelievable. It was the most adventurous and life changing five months of my life. The culture I experienced, the people I became friends with, and the trips I went on were ones that I will always remember.

Academics:
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Living Situation:
--

Cultural Immersion:
--

Program Administration:
--

Health and Safety:
--

Social Life:
--

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Amazing Experience

Study Abroad!! It is the best experience ever! Sounds cliche but it's true.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    4

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    7

Weekend Markets

The weekend markets are always fun and a good way to get a variety of options in terms of food, souvenirs, etc. Some favorites were Borough, Brick Lane, and Portobello. A good market that is less tourist filled can be found in Hackney called Broadway Market.

Academics:
Professors, for the most part, read off the power points and the engagement level is very low.

Living Situation:
Alexander Fleming is a great location.

Cultural Immersion:
Subjective.

Program Administration:
Average.

Health and Safety:
CCTV everywhere made me feel very safe.

Social Life:
Londoners like to keep to themselves.

Overall Rating

5/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health & Safety

    4

  • Community

    6

How much effort are you willing to put into your time abroad?

Studying abroad is the best decision I've ever made in my life and I don't want to leave. Ever. Although UD has a great study abroad program, being out of state, the tuition was too much for me and decided to go through an outside company and settled with CIS because it was the cheapest and gave me the most options in terms of classes I could choose from. Living with people who came through different programs and hearing their stories I would say definitely do your research and see which program works the best for you. I unfortunately didn't get to go on either of the free trips CIS offered because I was late to the bus station for the first one (the directions weren't super clear) and was away for the second one, and other programs do other events, like Thanksgiving dinner and whatnot. I am very independent though and didn't need the program directors help with much, and it's all on you how much you immerse yourself in the culture here. They don't really help after the first day, which I didn't mind at some points but it is what it is. I joined Smoke Radio (student run) and met some amazing people, and I met loads of people in my classes and can say I have a good group of people I'm going to come back and visit in London. It all has to do with you though, and looking back I might have chosen a different program to be honest just because the process that it took to get over here was more stressful than I wanted. But that's not knocking CIS at all, they have been doing this for a long time, but the price was what ultimately hooked me into using them because I saved a LOT of money.

Academics:
The University of Westminster was not a challenging as I was expecting it to be compared to my home university and there was barely any classes (which wasn't always a problem) either. Just the overall atmosphere of European university vs American university is so different.

Living Situation:
Loved loved loved the area I was assigned to! A quick tube ride into central London and Shoreditch is a very young area and it's also walkable to some major tube stations if you don't want to go to Old Street everyday.

Cultural Immersion:
The only real way to immerse yourself with London and with locals is to do it by youself, which isn't all that bad if you're willing to do it. I was because I knew I was only going to be here for a semester and wanted to meet as many people as possible and I can say I made a lot of British friends while I was here for 3 months but you really have to be outgoing to make it possible.

Health and Safety:
Nothing happened to me (thankfully) but one of my flatmates had his phone stolen right outside of my flat, another one almost got robbed, my best friend who is also here studying in London and I were out and her phone got stollen when she put in on the table for literally 2 minutes. And she got her replacement stolen as well. Don't put anything in your back pocket, be extra careful at night, blah blah blah and you'll be fine.

Social Life:
This is all up to each person because I'm not a big drinker, and don't like going out all that much but that being said if you are (and most people I know here go out at least 3 times a week) London is a great spot to do it. Lots of pubs, clubs, bars, something for everyone. In terms of students, its the same thing, if you make an effort you'll make a lot of friends here like I did, and if not, you'll end up like a friend of mine also with CIS who has been counting down the days until she goes home (from like a month into being here) because she wasn't making friends and was alone all the time. Just be open and people will love talking with you!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    9

Best experience of my life

Overall I had a fantastic time in London! I met life-long friends and had experiences that I would never have dreamed of. Every weekend was a new adventure; whether it was traveling through Europe, or exploring the city. Everywhere I went, there was so much culture and history to see. I definitely recommend traveling as much as you can! When else are you going to be able to have the opportunity to ski the Swiss Alps! CISabroad did a wonderful job! If I ever had any questions they were more then willing to help! Two excursions were included in our trip- and were fantastic.

Living Situation:
I wish there was a program set up where students could donate their belongings to future students. I did not like how I needed to buy everything for the kitchens. I expected at least plates and silverware. It is silly that if I try to leave my plates and silverware for the next students. They will just throw them away.

Health and Safety:
I always felt safe to go out at night. Just like any city, you just have to be smart.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    3

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    1

Advice

Great program but definitely not what was advertised. The living situation is awful. How do you expect kids to meet and hang out with out common living areas, such as a living room. No one wants to hang out in the kitchen. Either put couches in the kitchen or televisions to make it a little more comfortable/homely.

Social Life:
Like I said the living situation is awful. I have a social life and I have had an amazing time but the set up could be a lot better. I can go all year without saying one word to my suitemate. I should be able to open my door and be in a living room/common area with friend, not have to prop my door open just to see a hospital-like hallway.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    4

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Best Experience of My Life

Studying in London was the best experience I have ever had. There is so much to do in this city that you never get bored. It's also super easy to travel to other parts of Europe!

Academics:
I didn't like the UK education system

Living Situation:
I loved having my own room and bathroom although the kitchen space was limited

Program Administration:
It was easy to communicate with the program directors while in London

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    8

A semester that has changed my life and I will never forget

This semester was definitely a rollercoaster for me. For the most part, CIS wasn't a big part of my experience other than the first and last weeks.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    8

Poorly Organized but Great Fun

I had several hiccups with the organization of this program on both Westminster's and CIS's ends. There were a few issues with me being signed up for classes, paperwork being received, and following through with plans. However, I had an incredible time in London. The program did the job, but the people and the place made it a fabulous experience.

Living Situation:
Needs to be renovated. The plumbing is unreliable and the interior could use cleaning/revamping.

Program Administration:
Organization could be improved.

Social Life:
This would have been an A+. However, the program is made up of almost ALL students from the US. That is a different situation than the advertised "international" grouping.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    10

Great Experience!

CIS is a good program because they are there for you when you need them, but more importantly, they give you the space you need to discover the city and lifestyle of London independently.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

6 Weeks of Fun

Choosing to study through CIS for the Summer at University of Westminster is the best decision I have ever made.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    9

It was great.

CIS did grandly. Great experience.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    6

  • Community

    10

Good program

Semester at westminster is a good program. I got life experience, and met new people.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

cool

Had an awesome time and met great people.

Living Situation:
great location

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    2

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

London 2013

I absolutely loved my experience in the city of London. I plan to move back after college. I will never forget these past 5 months.

Living Situation:
While I grew to love the people in my flat I did not enjoy being 30 minutes outside of the city of London, had I known that I would have found my own housing

Program Administration:
The only person who was of any help was Ibsa. Heidi did absolutely nothing for us this entire trip.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    2

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

A mostly awesome semester in London, hindered by my less than ideal living location.

I really lived my semester abroad. It was an amazing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I made great friends and really felt as if I was a part of the London dynamic. CIS helps you as much as they can with any questions or comments. I only wish that they had made it clear that I if you take certain classes, you will not be placed in a London campus, rather a suburb of London. This was very disappointing to arrive in London and not get to actually love there. Other than that, great program.

Academics:
Classes were not challenging

Living Situation:
I was told I'd be places in London when in reality I was placed 10 minutes outside London. Disappointing because it was not what I paid for.

Program Administration:
Usually answered my questions and helped out well, but some emails were never responded to.

Health and Safety:
Rarely felt unsafe.

Social Life:
London has great social scene.

Overall Rating

5/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    3

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

Overal Satisfaction

The program had a few mishaps dealing with flight scheduling, getting in , and reliability. Everything eventually worked itself out but it would have made going into the study abroad experience a lot simpler had it been more organized. The programs involvement in my experience progressively became less and less as the semester went on. I found that the reason why I enjoyed my study abroad experience as much as I did was because of the things I found on my own or with friends while exploring the city. The school was a little difficult to become assimilated into because of a strong distinction between exchange student classes and master courses with people who are in all of the same classes together. It was difficult to make local friends because of this. The UK grading system was never fully explained either which made it difficult to understand how coursework and assignments were handled.

Academics:
Some classes were very engaging and knowledgable while others fell short of expectations.

Living Situation:
The living situation didn't really give me a chance to get to know new people. Everyone's doors were always closed and I never got to know any of my flat mates particularly well because of how separate everything was. However, the location was relatively close to the building and in a really cool area of town

Cultural Immersion:
A lot of the classes that I enrolled in had strictly exchange students which didn't make me feel immersed in British culture or the classes had students who had all been studying the course together and already knew everyone.

Program Administration:
Occasionally difficult to get in with administrative personnel. It didn't seem like they were highly involved in the program.

Health and Safety:
The door of my flat would occasionally be hitched open because of a lock problem but that was soon fixed. Other than that, I felt very safe living in the dormitory.

Social Life:
I really enjoyed the night life scene in London. It was unlike any I'd experienced before. The social programs put on by the program were occasionally very nice but some seemed disorganized and weren't overly social. They eventually stopped altogether towards the middle of the semester. Most of the things that I enjoyed were discovered on my own or by friends.