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IES Abroad London Summer - UK Today
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IES Abroad London Summer - UK Today

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

IES UK today - an unforgettable experience!

My experience with the London IES UK Today summer study abroad program was easily one of the best things I have gone through in my life! Before I left for London, the IES Abroad staff not only provided excellent pre-departure materials that made it clear what I should expect in the process of arranging my trip, but they were also incredibly attentive and quick to respond to any questions I had via email. When I arrived in London, the staff did everything they could to make me feel comfortable and safe. This pattern extended beyond our orientation days, and throughout the rest of the program. In addition, the classes I took via IES were really interesting. Both of my professors loved sharing their thoughts about London and the best things to do and see in the city and around the UK. For one of my classes, I barely spent any time in the classroom, as nearly every class meeting was a field trip to a landmark or museum. The IES-facilitated field trips were also amazing. During one, we toured George IV’s palace in Brighton and were given the freedom to browse the seaside shops, and take a dip in the English Channel. Another field trip was to Kenilworth Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s birthplace), which was surreal for a theatre major like myself. Our other field trip was a two-day trip to Stonehenge and Bath, which was unforgettable. In addition to these trips, IES encouraged us to do our own exploring around the UK and Europe, and were always available to answer any questions we had about travel. Without the guidance of the IES staff, I would not have been nearly as comfortable to take trips to Paris, Brussels, Dover, Wimbledon, Windsor, and Oxford. Also, if you are questioning which city to study abroad in – CHOOSE LONDON! It was the dream location for the theatre and history nerd within me, as my days were spent in museums (and class!), and my nights were spent discovering London’s West End. I cannot wait to go back!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

UK Today adventures

I had an amazing experience studying abroad through the IES-UK Today program. Not only was the staff organized, but they were constantly checking up to make sure that you were always comfortable and transitioning well into a new country. I would HIGHLY recommend this program it changed my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

UK Today - Summer 2016

My summer in London was full of memories and experiences that will last me a lifetime. I was able to learn from phenomenal professors who truly immersed us into the culture rather than just sitting in the classroom every day. I was able to travel within and outside of the UK, and I will truly never forget the wide variety of experiences and beautiful sites that I was able to take in. I witnessed the Queen's 90th Birthday and Jubilee parade, experienced the day Brexit was passed as I rode on a train to Scotland, and watched the EuroCup 2016 throughout the summer. Over a year later, I still talk about it and still reminisce on photographs from my study abroad experience. I am so grateful to IES for such a unique and immersive summer, and I know I will go back to London as soon as I can.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The Best City to Study Abroad

I studied in London in the Fall of 2016, where I enrolled in 15 credit hours of courses and worked about 16 hours a week for an internship. The IES program gives you the option to choose from some really interesting classes that you wouldn’t normally take at your home school – I chose to take a film production course while some of my friends chose architecture or theater courses. The internship program is amazing as well because IES will put you directly in contact with businesses and organizations that fit your interests and career goals. My internship experience matched my interests perfectly and helped me to grow my business and cross-cultural communication skills.

If I were to do it all over again, I would still choose London – hands down. In my personal opinion, London is the best city to study abroad in and the IES program provides you with incredible experiences and plenty of opportunities. Students get to live right by Kings Cross station, from where you can get virtually anywhere throughout London – and promise me, you will never run out of things to do in London! Ask the IES advisors or professors if you ever need recommendations. Due to the way university is organized in the UK (the bulk of your projects and exams are towards the end of the semester) I felt that I had plenty of free time during the semester explore the entire city of London, and to travel around the UK and to other countries in Europe. If traveling is important to you, keep this in mind!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Two different countries in one wonderful experience

London, my choice city, is anything but ordinary. Walking on the popular Holborn street in London where I took most of my classes I heard just about every language except English, an indication of diverse cultures. The courses that I studied in London, including one at Oxford University, immersed me in the healthcare world of the United Kingdom (UK). A lot of the courses challenge you to find solutions of the modern day health problems, which are mainly Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs). My program also included a service learning section working with Healthwatch Tower Hamlets. This organization acts as a liaison between the National Health Service (NHS) and their clients. I was able to visit hospitals, clinics, day centers and mental clinics in London and to see the approach the U.K. takes in providing healthcare for its citizens.

The study abroad program included a 10 day trip to Jamaica. In Jamaica we were placed at the island’s leading tertiary institution, the University of the West Indies. The program included visits to health clinics in both rural and urban areas in the capital Kingston. This experience gave us first- hand experience in comparing and contrasting the health care services in both UK and Jamaica. Professionally, my study abroad experience has made me more diverse in my field as a Health Management major. Health is global and this experience exposed me to the different healthcare systems employed by European countries.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

Living in London: expensive but worth it

I had a phenomenal time during my study abroad experience in London the Summer of 2016, but I will not deny that the finances of the city made it tough at times. I spent most of my time in the city as it was only a six week course, while some of the other people on my program would spend every weekend traveling. At the end of the program, I was so in love with the city that I had come to understand, and I cannot wait to go back. This program in particular had great professors and fun trips outside of London, but it was easy to spend a lot of time with the other people on the program instead of meeting Londoners, which was mainly due to the fact that the classes were not with London students. Regardless, this is an awesome program and I had a really great time. Research all the different events happening in London before you go, get to know your professors and they will tell you about stuff you have to do while there, and befriend your roommate so you have a buddy who you can go on adventures with!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

My amazing adventure

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to travel to England. I grew up on Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia, and I always loved British culture. In high school, I was determined that in college I would study abroad in London. Last summer my dreams came true when IES Abroad gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. Honestly, I had a lot of doubts about going overseas by myself for an entire summer. Would I get homesick? Would I make any friends? Would my classes be too hard or too boring? But IES made me feel at home in London and created the best experience possible for me.
The staff at IES London were absolutely incredible. They were always there to help us, give us tips and ideas, or even just to chat. There were so many trips and events for us to attend in our free time and I feel like the program really helped me make the most out of my time abroad. My classes were great, as well. The professors were knowledgeable and made the classes exciting. I learned so much and experienced the city in different ways through my classes. Although, there wasn't much of an opportunity to make local friends, I made a group of friends in my program that I wouldn't trade for anything. They absolutely made the experience the best it could possibly be. We spent so much time exploring and even just hanging out together, and we still keep in touch.
I know it sounds cliche, but I really do believe I grew as a person because of this experience. I gained a new sense of independence and a new viewpoint of the world. Without a doubt it was the best summer of my life and the best choice I have ever made to study abroad. No matter what you are studying or what doubts you have, study abroad sometime during your college career. You will not regret it. I loved my experience with IES Abroad and I miss that summer every day!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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 & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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 & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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 & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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 & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    7

Life changing experience

I studied abroad last Summer and had such a wonderful experience. The IES staff is extremely helpful and do everything they can to help you. The rooms were updated and in such a convenient location. The classroom structure was clearly explained and with the syllabus provided I was able to plan my trips ahead of time! I would highly recommend this program.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    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 & Safety

    9

  • Community

    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 & Safety

    8

  • Community

    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.