Coming from New York City, London was an easy transition for me and a great way for me to experience urban life in a different city—to the point where I decided to come back in a future date. Thanks to Gregg and Shani, natives to the city, Gregg curated amazing itineraries for the interns and recommended spots that made one feel like a local to the city. Shani was in-charge of the logistics of our stay while in London and always open to answer any questions regarding our stay. Both Shani and Gregg were great conversationalists and were stars at making sure the interns and I had a pleasurable time while in London. Gregg’s insight, attentiveness, and enthusiasm for anything UK-related made my stay so interesting and exciting and would do it over again in a heartbeat outside of Global Experiences.
Aside from my overall experience being in UK/Europe for the summer, please reconsider this program heavily if you do not have the sufficient means to not only live in a city as expensive as London through this costly program (roughly over $10k spent). Keep in mind the Pound is stronger than the Dollar.
Not only is the program extremely expensive for unpaid interns, but GE false markets the program on their website. I was interning somewhere where I initially did not want to intern at because of bad reviews, and brought it up to GE about it before submitting my visa paperwork, for which they refused to change me to… even if I am spending huge amounts of money to be able to do go abroad. While there, my coworkers were nice, but I did not receive the experience I ultimately wanted, studied, and paid for. I knew I did not want to continue working there, and ashamed in myself that I didn’t push GE to help me find another worksite.
Spending over $10k for your free labor, in retrospect, is a poor decision—especially if it is not in your field. Although I am thankful for the opportunity to have interned abroad and diversified my portfolio, networked with people abroad, and gained experience in my field, GE failed to include sponsorship fees, expedited visa costs, and flight costs—very important expenditures related to your trip. You are made to pay a set fee of $8k, but this does include transportation throughout your entire stay, your flight, your visa, or your sponsorship, although GE crafted the program in a way where the $8k had already included everything. Reconsider this program if you are already a college graduate and aren't at least getting college credits for this program, at minimum.
Fragomen, the sponsor, was unresponsive and did not care to help answer any questions in relations to my visa, but quick to charge interns over $1k while we were on our last pennies on the last week of the program. When asked to provide proof or an itemized list about the cost, it was not given to me and failed to mention why the sponsorship visa fee was as high as it was. This was highly inconsiderate and was briefly mentioned in the website.
Apart from the extremely high costs, London is an AMAZING place to build your career and an easy transition if you had lived in a city prior to this one. Reminiscent of my hometown, NYC, London’s diversity, work-life balance, and academic/career opportunities are highlights and easily digestible than in America, especially if you want to pursue a career in marketing.