I was inspired to choose London as my study abroad destination because I’m an English major and I wanted to study all the literary greats in the best place in the world to study English literature. I’m also a huge fan of British pop culture and history, and I knew a short-term summer program was too short, so a fall semester program was the perfect length for me to be able to fully enjoy the city to its fullest!
I chose AIFS because of the appeal of their all-inclusive program fees. It can also include airfare if you choose the flight package where and AIFS will arrange your flights and have someone pick you up straight from the airport and take you there when your program ends. I didn’t choose this option because I wanted to explore Europe with my mom after my program ended, but this option is unique to AIFS that I didn’t see with other study abroad providers. They also provide lots of scholarship opportunities through their super easy application, and I won two! They accepted all of my financial aid, and they provide cultural activities with the cost of the program as well as covering all housing and meal plans.
My favorite part of London was how different each borough felt. I lived in the Kensington borough, and I always felt safe in my area. There’s always something new to explore, and London is the perfect city for anyone who loves food and museums. Almost all museums are free, which is something that surprises most London visitors. It is an expensive city to live in, but I found many ways to make it affordable, including shopping at Sainsbury’s for food on the weekends, Primark for clothing, and Boots for hygiene products.
Local staff supported students before the program started with lots of access to online resources, and they developed a great orientation program before classes started so students can get acclimated to the city and connect with other students in the program. They were great people to talk to about anything and get recommendations from. I only had one incident with a student where I needed to report inappropriate behavior, and I wish the consequences were heavier for the actions the students made, but going forward I think AIFS is taking diversity and inclusion more seriously, so improvements will be made in that regard.