PROGRAM TYPES

CONNECT WITH US

IES Abroad participants in Sydney Opera IES Abroad participants in Sydney Opera

IES Abroad London Summer - UK Today

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best Summer Ever!

I travelled abroad to London for 8 weeks as a part of IES Abroad's 2015 UK Today program. I had the time of my life, with so many amazing new friends! I had the experience of fully immersing myself in a different culture and meeting people from all over the world. I got to take in an incredible amount of beautiful art, and try new foods that I never would have tried before! I was able to travel outside of the UK and extend my experiential learning in other countries. I came back to New York a changed person with a refreshing new outlook on life, and it's all because of studying abroad. I couldn't be happier to have had this amazing experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Summer in London

Spending my summer in one of the best cities in the world is an opportunity I will always be grateful for and always remember. It was without a doubt one of the best summers of my life. I chose to study abroad for several reasons, however two of the most important reasons would have to be to find a sense of self and to immerse myself into another culture. England already offered me so much comfort because I knew I wouldn't have to worry about a language barrier.

I believe that traveling the world is the best form of education one can receive. IES Abroad gave me so many opportunities to explore England, especially in the summer months. London has so much to offer such as music festivals, activities in Hyde Park, free museums, Wimbledon, as well as many other activities and IES offers trips to Brighton, Stonehenge, and Bath, and so much more. Being in a big city gave me the chance to push myself, grow in self confidence and expand my view of the world through my interactions with people from all over.

The academics are a little different from the U.S. style, however, it was very easy going and a fun environment. I choose to take British politics and British pop culture in order to fully immerse myself into the British culture. The staff at the IES center is extremely friendly and can always offer suggestions for hidden places to explore in the city. London is truly a great place to be!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I had the time of my life with IES Abroad!

My study abroad experience with IES Abroad was one of the best times of my life. Having never been abroad before, I was nervous about the how I would handle being in a huge city thousands of miles from home. But after a quick orientation of Life in London (and its public transportation) given by IES staff, my silly worries were quickly but to rest.

I learned so many life lessons through the UK Today program and have found a better sense of who I am as a person. Both of the classes I took met in specific locations in the city, such as the National Portrait Gallery or the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, and required lots of walking and picture taking (two things I throughly enjoy). My classes let me see London in its natural environment and gave me insight into its incredible history. In our spare time my friends and I would visit the free museums, watch the world cup games at a local pub, or have some lunch in one of the many green spaces (Kensington Gardens was a favorite!), and we quickly found our own side of London.

The program also offered many opportunities to visit popular spots outside of London during the weekends including Stonehenge and Bath, though Brighton was my personal favorite. I met so many wonderful people abroad and I enjoyed getting to know the IES student assistants as well as the world-renowned Professors. I am so grateful for the experiences IES abroad has given me and I will always see London as a second home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Without a Doubt The Best Summer of My Life

My most memorable experience happened the first weekend we were in London. It was the weekend of the Queen's official birthday celebration, and we went to see the parade called the Trooping of the Colour and watched several royal bands and guards march by, along with the entire royal family! It was an unreal experience. From there, IES had organized a trip to the Globe Theater to watch A Midsummer Night's Dream. We were in the standing section (we were groundlings!), and it started to pour - but that didn't dampen our excitement. By the end of the day we were exhausted, but you couldn't get more British than the Queen and Shakespeare! I will never forget that amazing day.

My sister had previously studied with IES in London for a semester, and I knew their course options would transfer for credits at my university. The location, awesome reputation, courses, and trips truly sold me that there was no better program.

Nido Spitalfields is a student living facility in a really convenient location, and I had an awesome view of the Gherkin and the Shard from my room. There were two grocery stores very close by, a daily market five minutes away, and plenty of restaurants and pubs around. It's also in one of the financial districts of London, so the vast majority of people in the area are locals. Once it started getting hot during the summer, it got a little unbearable in my room because there is no AC in the rooms or common rooms and the sun set facing my window, so it encouraged me to go elsewhere. This was pretty difficult when I was violently sick one day but was forced to go elsewhere because it was too hot in my room. Also, it was hard to do work in the lobby or upstairs Skyline cafe because they would blast music to keep a youth-friendly feel as well as welcome large and noisy groups of people pre-gaming to go out each night. At first I liked it, but it got frustrating since there wasn't a quiet (and cool) place to work in the STUDENT living facility and I had more classwork to do. When asked, the staff was generally rude and unaccommodating in this sense. Reception generally wasn't very helpful as well, so I would usually wait to ask IES staff if need be. Laundry was expensive and usually ineffective, as it could take multiple cycles for one load of laundry, but they offer a similarly-priced service in the lobby that returns your clothes (folded!) in 24 hours. Overall, it was a great place to live for the amount of time I was there, but I don't know if I would have liked living there for more than seven weeks.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    N/A

Without a Doubt The Best Summer of My Life

I loved studying with IES. They made our summer incredibly fun and memorable. Since studying with IES, I have studied with another program in a different location, and I have truly come to appreciate how special of a program it was. The staff truly felt like my own friends by the end of the summer, and they would go above and beyond to ensure we had everything we needed and answered all of our questions. The classes always held my interest and made me truly appreciate British and London culture. The living situation wasn't perfect, but it was nice for the amount of time we lived there. The trips IES had organized for us to take were absolutely wonderful. They hire the best, funniest, and most interesting tour guides and really aim to make each trip memorable, while still allowing for free time to do some exploring on your own. I never felt unsafe in the city, no matter what time of night, and I felt prepared to handle it if any problems did arise based on our safety orientation at the beginning of the trip.

I could not recommend any other program more than I do IES. They are a fantastic program and made preparation and transitions painless. I would absolutely study with them again if I was given the opportunity.

Academics:
I absolutely loved the classes I took with IES. I thought I knew a lot about British culture and history already, but I discovered so much more than I would have ever expected - and then experienced these locations and traditions for myself!

Cultural Immersion:
I felt that I got a really good sense of what living in London was like and what the usual UK traditions are. I didn't get an opportunity to meet many locals because all of our classes were within the program itself, but it's really easy to do this at pubs or clubs around London. There's a huge nightlife scene (as expected!) in London!

Program Administration:
I cannot express how helpful and accommodating each member of staff was at IES. They helped us from day one, giving us tours of the areas we lived in and were taking classes in, creating core groups, and giving us a safety orientation (which came into use when my friend's ATM card was scammed while traveling). They also created numerous opportunities to experience UK culture by creating free or subsidized field trips to places like Windsor Castle, Wimbledon, the Globe Theater, Stratford-upon-Avon, Brighton, and more. They highly encouraged getting out and experiencing more of London and the rest of the UK, giving any recommendations or help they could when asked. We all built relationships with the staff, and they were willing to help us out at any time. I could not have imagined a better organized or more successful execution of the summer term!

Health and Safety:
I never felt unsafe in London. I was always aware of my surroundings and was careful for pickpockets in areas near tourist attractions, but neither my friends nor I ever had a problem. As long as you're smart and are fairly aware of what's going on around you, there shouldn't be an issue. There are also police patrolling many areas of the city. To ensure our safety, IES did have a safety and crime awareness portion during orientation with a London police chief which made me more confident and comfortable around the city.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

IES provides the summer of a lifetime for a first time international traveler

Last summer (summer 2016) was the best summer of my entire life, and I have IES Abroad to thank. I lived in London for 7 weeks and I can’t wait to return! The summer program involved 2 courses and Friday’s off. I took a class on British censorship and another on British architecture. Both courses were very interesting and the instructors were extremely knowledgeable in their fields.

What I loved most about IES was their incredible customer service. Before the program even started they provided plenty of informative materials to ensure I felt comfortable flying overseas alone and making it to my housing. It was my first time leaving the country, so IES’ support really helped me feel confident about my trip. Once we arrived in London, they provided a comprehensive training that included topics like health and safety in London, transportation, traveling on the weekends, and their academic policies. Throughout the program they went above and beyond to teach you how to immerse yourself into London’s culture, and that was one of my main goals of studying abroad. They encouraged us to ride the tube, read the Evening Standard, and visit pubs and neighborhoods outside of tourist attractions. Oftentimes I visited the staff members after class and asked for restaurant suggestions or interesting activities to try on the weekend.

The way the IES program is structured you will have plenty of time to explore London and travel on the weekends. IES provides trips to Stonehenge, Bath, Salisbury, and Brighton. They also organize group outings to places like the Brick Lane Market or The Making of Harry Potter studio. I traveled all over the UK and Paris.

The only complaints I have about this program is that it was a little difficult to meet other British people of college age, and the residence hall was undergoing serious construction at the time. IES provided ideas to meet other British students, but I just never found the time to follow through on any of them. As far as the construction goes, this may no longer be an issue as it’s been over 2 months since I left and the end product is supposed to be really nice! Also, IES organized a sizable refund for us since we lived there during the construction.

Overall, it was an incredible program and I highly recommend it!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

London

My IES Abroad experience was a one of a kind experience. I loved every single minute of being abroad, and I learned so many valuable life lessons. I became a more confident person, and I learned the importance of travelling alone. The people who work for IES Abroad are wonderful people who helped me when I did not know what to do. They also challenged me by not solving all of my problems. I learned to successfully navigate the tube, and I quickly found my favorite London spots. The food in London was probably one of my favorite parts, because it was so diverse. I loved that there were a lot of free museums, and the parks were always enjoyable to walk around. It was also nice that there were so many places outside London that I could get to easily. I am so grateful for my study abroad experience, and it will forever have one of the biggest impacts on my life.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

The summer of my life

I spent this past summer (2016) in London for 7 weeks. London was an absolute perfect location and the program itself brought me so many opportunities. I only took two courses, one class each day Mon-Thurs, and still had so much extra free time to explore the city and travel on weekends. If you recall, the UK recently underwent the Brexit vote, and our program put us in the midst of the entire process. IES gave us multiple resources and tons of information in order for us to stay informed and to avoid certain events that would bring anger voters to the streets. While staying there, the building we were housed in was under construction and resulted in many amenities becoming unavailable or difficult to get a hold of, but nothing too extreme, and it seems like the result will be beautiful. The flexibility to travel on weekends took the entire experience to another level. Europe makes it easy to travel to different countries by train or by airplane at a fair price, and it is 100% worth it. Overall, my study abroad experience was one of the best experiences of my life, and I have wished I was back in the heart of London ever since I left.