FIE: Foundation for International Education
FIE: Foundation for International Education Programs
FIE: Foundation for International Education Reviews
FIE does a wonderful job
Submitted by Brett Z - College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University | June 01, 2018
I cannot say enough positive things about my experience with Foundation for International Education (FIE) in Dublin. (I was abroad in Spring 2018.) The city was fun and easy to navigate anywhere on foot. Additionally, I completed an internship as part of the program which was a great way to immerse myself into the local culture while also building professional skills.
Three points that come to mind about my experience are the accommodations, the excursions, and the FIE staff.
We lived in the Binary Hub student housing, and the quality of the apartments we were in far exceeded my expectation when I applied to study abroad. You get your own individual bedroom and bathroom/shower and share a kitchen and living area with others (mine was a 5-person). Almost everywhere we wanted to go in Dublin was less than a 30-minute walk, and groceries were only 5 minutes away.
The included excursions in the Dublin program helped me get to see so much more of Ireland. We went on two weekend-long trips to Northern Ireland and to the west. We had a great instructor on the bus with us to tell us all about what we were seeing. FIE also organized several small day trips as well as events around Dublin at a discounted rate.
Finally, the FIE staff is incredible. They were as nice as could be, helpful, fun, and caring. Their office is at the ground floor of Binary Hub, and we found ourselves stopping in on our way in or out of our building just to say hi and chat. They are always there to answer questions/concerns, but they never were overbearing. There also were two student life assistants who lived in apartments near us who were on call in the evenings and weekends to help us, and they couldn’t have been nicer.
I attended Dublin Business School (DBS) and took classes that count toward my business major in the U.S. I was expecting to be with Irish students but was surprised that wasn’t the case—DBS is a highly international school with many students studying abroad from other European countries. So while I didn’t get to study with people from Ireland, it was fun to meet people from all around Europe.
All in all, I would highly recommend the Dublin program and FIE to anyone looking to go abroad. I felt independent yet never alone or lost without help. Being in a city with a large international airport also helped me see more of Europe as I flew to other countries several times on weekends or reading week. I wish I could do it all over again!
An ideal mix of culture and college
Submitted by Jake Mulick - the college of new jersey | April 08, 2018
FIE provides its students with what is truly an ideal combination of school, work and the realities of life in another country. FIE truly allows their students to embark on what is life in London. They allow you to live with relative convenience in what is one of the world's greatest cities. The classes tailored to not only english life, but also courses that fit in seamlessly with an english educational experience. In addition their partnership with nearby university provides opportunities to the students that are entirely unique to a program of this nature. I truly cannot recommend this program enough to any and all considering study abroad.
Response to FIE administration commentary on Manson PL 15 / London experience
Submitted by MansonPlKid - Loyola Marymount University | April 06, 2018
FIE: Foundation for International Education responded to this review March 23, 2018 at 7:24 AM
We’re thrilled you have enjoyed your classes at FIE and have connected with our amazing faculty and housekeeping staff. They really are top notch and dedicated to you having an amazing study abroad experience in London.
This goes for all of our FIE staff including our Residence Life, Student Life, and Facilities teams which is why it is disappointing to hear that you do not feel your expectations were met. As an adult embarking on a semester abroad, we try and give you enough support to make your own decisions and come to conclusions on your own, while providing a safe environment with a fully trained staff capable of offering help if needed. We try not to hand hold as students’ personal growth and confidence are some of the key developmental parts of your semester with us.
We are aware of some of the issues you mention in the residences but feel our teams offered a reasonable amount of support and response to each of them. For the record, the roof of Manson Place DID NOT cave in – there was a leak from above as a result of improperly disposed of sanitary items (something mentioned in orientation as a real problem as toilets and sewage systems here are not as equipped to handle them as they are in the US). The ceiling was replaced swiftly and students from all flats affected were informed of the works. We realize orientation can be seen as ‘a big waste of time’, but had the students living above you taken care to listen to our facilities team at the beginning of the year, this situation could have been avoided.
We have also upped our fire alarm sensitivity and frequency of drills since the Grenfell fire in the Kensington neighbourhood last year, which made world news headlines. We realize standing outside might be an inconvenience, but with our buildings at max capacity, we feel this is an appropriate safety measure for our students.
As for our staff lying and ‘stalking’ a student and hanging up on a faculty member, we feel these maybe these are exaggerated claims in the heat of the moment, but if you were truly concerned at all, we have a very detailed student complaints policy on our website and in your student portal that can be accessed anytime. We keep closely in touch with visiting faculty and your home campus staff and would have taken appropriate measures if any of these instances had occurred.
We hope that you do return to London sometime soon and enjoy the Kensington area again. It really is an amazing city!
The review will be in direct refutation to what FIE responded to the previous student who mentioned the problems in Manson Pl.
First I will address the overall response as a way of offering constructive criticism to a company that has the potential to be great. If a student or students as seen on FIE's review page gives a critique it is a bit immature to respond to them in such a passive-aggressive tone. By this, I mean quoting what was said as a way to mimic the student who is giving feedback-- that is childish and immature. Secondly, every person and company alike always has room for improvement and FIE should be taking the feedback and finding a way to improve the circumstances when possible. This attitude should be reflected in any mature response to students even if what is being said is not tasteful.Next, I would like to address the situation of Manson Pl 15. As a resident who has affected the story that FIE is telling is not 100% true nor is it an actual explanation for why a ceiling came down (feces and sewer included) onto students clothes and all over the room ( attached pictures below). It is unlikely that a sanitary napkin caused an entire ceiling to fall. But even if that was the case after the ceiling/sewage was reportedly fixed in three weeks time --it began leaking again and the house next door also reported a ceiling leak. It seems as though there wasn't enough proactiveness in making sure that the houses were updated and checked regularly. But EVEN if it was the case that FIE had done everything in their power to make sure the houses sewer systems were up to par the response to a malfunction was perceived as nonchalant. We were offered initially a 20-pound "inconvenience fee". Some students had to reschedule their final presentations for class and we had to relocate a day before our spring break was supposed to begin.We had to move out all of our things in a very rushed manner with no assitance from any FIE staff. So inconvenience is an understatement and 20-pound gets you dinner in London. Nevertheless, we were patient with FIE and waited to move back into our house only to find that the ceiling had started leaking again and we were back to waking up to loud house renovations for at least a week after the house had reportedly been fixed. Another student in the house reached out to our campus study abroad office and asked that they advocate on our behalf for further compensation and if it wasn't for that we would not have received an additional 30-pound for the loss of groceries we all experienced and other general inconveniences. Overall the whole experience was truly annoying and it did take a bit of pressure to get some sort of compensation given that we are all paying to live here this isn't a free experience. We would have preferred if from the jump we were compensated appropriately and that the house was 100% ready for us to move in before we moved back. I don't --and I am sure the rest of my flatmates don't appreciate how dismissive the above post by an FIE employee was. The comment that maybe if we would have been listening during orientation doesn't make up for any of the other inconveniences that we had to experience for an entire month of renovation. It assumes that we (12 students) were the cause of an entire house malfunctioning when in all things considered some of this was a lack of proactiveness and attention by FIE -- the houses are in fact older and require a special kind of attention. We are hurt and shocked that an FIE employee would state such a thing about our situation and dismiss the troubles the house has a cause. As I type this there is maintenance roaming around the house fixing things while I am trying to complete homework. So "for the record " it is unreasonable for FIE to blame the complete malfunctioning of Manson Pl on students not listening during orientation and displays that they lack the ability to see when they are wrong and had made a mistake. They don't seem apologetic and that is a bit frustrating.
Now for the more positive feedback. FIE has a host of courses and opportunities that really emerge you in London. Despite a few bad apples in administration, the program as a whole is not all bad. Our location in London is stellar and the only thing I will say is that you do have to work a bit hard to make British friends as you only attend school with other American kids.
As for FIE, I hope you all read this feedback and not be defensive but grateful that a student took the time to offer real feedback and express themselves. As for a student planning to attend FIE --come ready and eager to take advantage of the city of London and all that FIE has to offer. But also come ready to stand up for yourself and address those who may have some power over you. You deserve the best as you are paying for this experience. #goabroad
Program: London Semester Study Abroad
The experience of a lifetime!
Submitted by Aubrey - University at Albany | March 28, 2018
The experience to live in London was the best decision I ever made, and doing it through FIE was the second! Living in South Kensington was the perfect location to feel comfortably at home and also explore my surroundings as much as possible. I was first worried that living and going to class with all Americans students would not allow full immersion into the culture but it only influenced me more to get out there and live the life of a local. The inclusion of the Oyster card with the program price truly allows you to do and go wherever the Tube takes you for 4 months and that was incredible. London's location is perfect to hop on a plane and get away for a few days on excursions to other countries as well. The professors really care about assisting in your learning by examining differences between the British and American cultures.
FIE for the win! :)
Submitted by A Minnesota Boy - College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University | March 22, 2018
Words cannot describe how well FIE accommodated me during my semester abroad in London. Without FIE, my experience would not even be close to the same! The program was able to facilitate growth, foster relationships, and provide a platform for me to completely immerse myself in the London culture.
I was challenged in my courses yet provided the opportunity to learn through excursions as well. The only negative part of academics was the long class periods (3 Hours versus the typical 55 minutes at my home University) but once I developed a routine, it became easier.
Overall, I would 100% recommend going through FIE if you plan to study abroad in London. Although costs might be a little higher than other programs, it's definitely worth it!
Program: London Semester Study Abroad