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London Semester Study Abroad
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London Semester Study Abroad

7.8 Overall Rating
7.8 Overall Rating
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Location

England

Program Summary

The FIE Open Enrollment Semester in London incorporates 14 weeks of study with an FIE Key Course and two to three elective courses. The semester is divided into two phases with an orientation at the start and a mid-term break, for a total of 15.5 weeks. All students will take courses during the first phase, and can choose one of four course pathways during the second phase: internship, research, service learning or study. Each pathway grants academic credit. Courses may be taught in phase one only, phase two only, or throughout phases one and two. This is determined by enrollment and student course selections.

Key Course:
Studying in another culture can be challenging for even the best students. Each FIE student will enroll in a Key Course such as British Life and Cultures to help them contextualize their experience in London in a broad, academic manner. This course serves as the anchor for FIE study abroad in London and will span both semester phases.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

Response to FIE administration commentary on Manson PL 15 / London experience

FIE: Foundation for International Education responded to this review March 23, 2018 at 7:24 AM
Dear Student,

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!

Thank you,
FIE Team




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

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

FIE for the win! :)

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!

Overall Rating

2/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    1

  • Cultural Immersion

    1

  • Program Administration

    1

  • Health & Safety

    1

  • Community

    3

Worst study abroad program ever

First off, don't take part in any FIE program if you want this to be the worst semester of your life. I will give them credit for having great classes to choose from to benefit your academic program, but they are the most unhelpful people in the most way. Dealing with people who work for FIE are the worst. They aren't responsive, they don't show support for the students, and when you ask them for help, they won't give it to you and if they do it's the bare minimum! The living conditions are the worst. Parts of them are okay, like the cooking spaces, but the sleeping arrangements and set-up is not good. I get that they can't control a certain area, but they can do things to improve the insides of the buildings. One building had a roof cave in and had to evacuate everyone out, another has the fire alarm go off all the time and they don't come immediately to check it out, they make us wait outside, and sometimes very cold for 20+ minutes. This program is an absolute joke. The only thing I like about it is the classes, the teachers, and the housekeeping staff who is absolutely amazing. I know that they will probably comment at this and try to cover everything up, but don't believe a word they say. It's all false and their co-curriculum programming doesn't emerge you in the culture or have us interact with students from the UK. I haven't had the opportunity, and I've taken many to even meet people from other US schools, let alone other students my age from the UK. This is suppose to be an eye-opening experience, a culture shock, but I felt like I am at home. Orientation is a big waste of time and all you do is get lectured at and learn nothing. I had a situation happen in our Flat where we live, and I reached out to FIE. They did nothing, actually lied to my face. My teacher than reached out and they shut her down and hung up on her. Very disrespectful for not respecting the student and or doing anything about the situation. Also, don't let me catch you in your lie. I also was leaving my Flat one day and granted there are cameras everywhere for our safety, which is nice, but a group of people who work for FIE basically followed me and were waiting for me at the next building because they had watched me leave my residence hall. Talk about being a stalker? And laundry costs about $8 every time you want to do it. The least they could do is provide facilities for free for the amount of money you pay them to come on this program. They haven't offered me one thing that makes the $7,000 worth it to come on this program. Prepare to just be thrown into London and basically having them say GOOD LUCK! They make you look like your stupid and underrated. Overall, FIE is a joke, not helpful, unorganized, and most disrespectful/untruthful company. If you can find another program, then I suggest that you head in that direction. Luckily I made the most of my London program without the help of them and look forward to coming back to London without the help of a company that's only in this for the profit from hundreds of students!

  • FIE: Foundation for International Education responded to this review March 23, 2018 at 7:24 AM

    Dear Student,

    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!

    Thank you,
    FIE Team

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    3

  • Living Situation

    3

  • Cultural Immersion

    4

  • Program Administration

    1

  • Health & Safety

    6

  • Community

    4

London is incredible...FIE is not

I loved London. Absolutely 10/10 go to London. Don't go with FIE.

Housing sucked. They put 22 of us in two flats of 11 people each with one kitchen. We didn't interact with anyone from other schools or anyone from London unless we went out of our way to find them.

Classes were either great or awful. All the work was clustered around finals so we ended our trip (after doing essentially nothing the whole semester) with five essays. Grading was arbitrary, some of the teachers were just not very good, and there was no support from the FIE staff.

FIE was its own mess. They were unresponsive, didn't communicate, didn't seem to care about what we had to say, and didn't help much. If you can find another program, it might be worth doing.

  • FIE: Foundation for International Education responded to this review July 26, 2017 at 3:15 AM

    Dear Anonymous Lewis and Clark Student,

    We’re sorry you were disappointed with your study experience in London.
    During your time with us, our staff from the Facilities Support Team, Student Life Team, and Residence Life team were all in contact to support various concerns and complaints throughout the semester and we feel these were handled swiftly and effectively.

    Our housing is not purpose built, but rather converted 18th-century town homes, and our facilities in Manson Place range from large flats with large kitchens to small flats with small kitchens, as seen on our website: http://www.fie.org.uk/manson-place We hope you found the opportunity to live in a historic and listed building in such an exclusive area of London to be as exciting as we think it is!

    FIE hosted students from 20 different American colleges and universities during your time here. We’re sorry you feel you were unable to meet anyone during orientation week including the welcome reception, the 13 extra-curricular activities that are open to all FIE students from all schools, or through your membership to the Imperial College Student Union. We do generally house students from the same home university together, but feel we provide various opportunities throughout the semester to meet students from around the US and the UK.

    Studying in London is just as much about personal growth, problem-solving, and confidence building as it is about putting something great on your resume. We hope you found the co-curricular activities in the city to be unique and complementary to your courses. A semester with FIE is still very much a STUDY abroad program and not a ‘trip’, so we are sorry you did not feel that working throughout the semester was fair to your experience.

    We’re happy you found London to be an exciting place to explore and we hope you’ll be back soon!

    Sincerely,
    FIE London Team

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

The Semester of a Lifetime

Even though I've been out of the country previously, my time abroad in London was by far my favorite. I spent my four months exploring, visiting museums, walking the streets, and emerging myself in one of the most exciting and beautiful cities I've been to. Through my classes, I was able to learn even more about London's rich history and get a deeper understanding about the city's role within the United Kingdom. My internship allowed me to work amongst locals and with many from around the world, as well as develop my skills as a young professional. This semester gave me a deeper appreciation for diversity and the beauty of stepping outside of my comfort zone. While I traveled to different cities and countries during my semester, I continually found myself wanting to return to London to explore and experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life."

When first deciding to study abroad going to London was not in my top choices. I chose to study abroad the last semester of my senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison so I didn't have the time to really master any foreign language and if I was going to really communicate with people efficiently I needed to go somewhere where English was a first language. London seemed far enough away from the United States and close enough to continental Europe that it could still provide me with the experience I was looking for. My expectations were exceeded upon immediately arriving in London, it is definitely a place that is underestimated until you experience it for yourself. The staff at FIE made us feel right at home and were extremely helpful to us during our stay. Our flat was located in the Kensington borough of London directly across the street from Hyde Park. It was the perfect location to fully indulge yourself in what London had to offer. The classes were located a few blocks down from where our flat was located and close enough to Imperial College where we had access to the student union. Me and a few other students were even able to join on to a few of Imperial College's club teams during our stay which made our experience even better since we were able to make long lasting friendships abroad. I would say studying abroad in London was one of the best decisions I've made in my life because not only did I learn more about British culture but I learned more about myself and what different situations I'm able to handle alone.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I want to move back

I had the time of my life doing this program. I have traveled a lot in my life already and seen a lot of great places in the world, but London is one of the places that I call home after spending a little bit more than 15 weeks there. I did not only study a new culture, but I also got to live and work in it. It's a once in a life time opportunity and I do not regret working my butt off and saving my money all summer before I went to London. I miss talking to my professors over a cup of tea or going to a beer brewery with class. You'll experience a totally different way of life with FIE.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    2

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

The Best Four Months of My Life

While the room I was given to live in was painstakingly small and forced to fit four girls with vastly different personalities, FIE otherwise provided a location that can't be beaten, with unrivaled opportunities for its students. It was the perfect mix of the hustle of the world's greatest city, London, yet located on a rather quiet street, in arguably the safest borough of the city. It was a 15 minute walk to classes, which was conveniently across the street from a tube station, which can put you just about anywhere you want to be in London. There is very little more that can be asked for in a study away program than to be in a fast pace city, living in a top notch facility, where students feel safe and secure.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Academics

    10

Amazing opportunity, amazing experience

I had every intention to not participate in this program because, through my school, it cost more than I was willing to spend. However, I am glad I ultimately decided to go. The travelling by itself would have been sufficient, but the whole experience of studying abroad, using the city as my classroom and forming new relationships miles away from home was absolutely breathtaking.

One would assume that studying so far away from home during summer break would be hard, but I am not sure five weeks is enough. The city of London is expansive and phenomenal, and I am honored I was able to experience it through such an incredible program with an even more incredible staff.

FIE excelled in every thing it did for me; ease of cultural integration, travel advice, 24-hour help, etc. It was easy to see how much the staff members cared about the organization and its students. I am so glad I went on this trip, and no amount of money spent could damper this unforgettable experience.

Overall Rating

5/ 10

  • Academics

    4

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    3

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health & Safety

    5

  • Community

    3

My semester in London

I had an amazing time in London through my study abroad program. A few feedback points: all of the class work was concentrated around mid term and finals week. It would have been more helpful to have had the work more spread out. Also, taking classes with all other American students made it hard to get to know local British students.

Overall Rating

5/ 10

  • Academics

    3

  • Living Situation

    2

  • Cultural Immersion

    4

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    4

  • Community

    4

FIE London Study Abroad

FIE has great staff that are always available to help in any given situation. Unfortunately, there were many problems that needed to be solved during my semester abroad that could have been avoided with more effective programing. I also wish there was more interaction with British citizens, not just some of our professors. Overall though, the city made the trip wonderful not the program.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Community

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Academics

    7

The center of the world

London is the center of the world because it has every culture imaginable.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    3

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    5

Love London, hate the building

London was beautiful, but i hated the staff in our housing. The RA stole all of the pans, leaving us with barely anything. The cleaning ladies threw out my retainer. Oh and the night shift subs are creepy, im pretty sure one tried breaking into my room. The classes were okay. My Islam professor was incredible bias. He actually showed a video saying 9/11 was justified because of the Crusades... who does that!? It was a fun experience, but the housing staff and the housing in general was the worst part.

Health and Safety:
all doors are electronically locked

Social Life:
everywhere is expensive. Be ready to drop 10 to 15 pounds if you want to go out to a club JUST TO GET IN

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