AIFS Study Abroad in London: Semester or Academic Year

Video and Photos

About

Study in London and earn up to 15 credits with courses in art, business, economics, history, psychology and more at Richmond, The American International University in London.

AIFS in London offers a unique academic program. Because of the wide range of degrees offered by Richmond, AIFS students have an array of courses to choose from. Students can opt to do a Certificate in British Studies Program and focus on courses related to British culture, or choose from a myriad of courses in business, finance, economics, public relations, psychology, sociology, journalism, communications, art, history and more. Volunteer opportunities are also available.

Live in a Residence Hall in the central London neighborhood of Kensington and enjoy cultural and social activities such as guided city tours, museum visits, theater and musical performances, sporting events, and day trips to nearby cities.

Highlights
  • Show in the West End
  • Day trip to Brighton
  • Day trip to Oxford
  • Ride on the London Eye

Questions & Answers

Yes this university has a great history program! I took History of London while I was there and got to take field trips to different locations throughout London that I wouldn't have thought to go see otherwise! I also to a British Art and Architecture course which was so great because it was history and art together!
I'm not entirely sure about their film program. I did my study abroad in 2007, and they had an excellent art, art history, and photography course that my roommate and I both did at that time. So, I would say their art program in general was terrific!

Reviews

96%
based on 41 reviews
  • Academics 8.1
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 41
Jada
10/10

Home Away From Home

When I was choosing a study abroad program, I wanted to make sure that I felt like I had a support system while I was abroad. Since it was my first time leaving the country and I was doing it alone, I knew that I wasn't going to be as sure of myself as I usually am. The on sight support through AIFS is unimaginable and from the beginning until the end, I felt like I always had someone on my side. I felt safe to really explore and have the time of my life while also feeling like I was getting a school experience. It was an amazing experience. The faculty is well educated and also well versed in all of their perspective areas of study. Housing was very near central London, so you truly got the city experience. Traveling was easy and mostly inexpensive. Since everything with AIFS is all inclusive, you truly had the chance to use extra funds for school and things you wanted to do. I would recommend this program over and over again! Even after being home for a few months, I still feel so connected to AIFS and professionally prepared to graduate and talk about my study abroad experience to potential jobs.

How can this program be improved?
I truly think this program is great as is.
Yes, I recommend this program
Nick
10/10

Best experience of my life!

Studying abroad with AIFS in London was the best decision I have ever made. Studying abroad in London was such a good choice for me, as it was my first time outside of the US. Where London provided the perfect home-base as it is a well balance of not being too foreign yet being a new world to culturally immerse yourself in. Regarding why AIFS in London is perfect is due to it's location and program specifications.

With AIFS, (for most students) you are placed in an American style dorm housing in the greatest neighborhood in the world! Kensington is home to so many amazing things to do, while remaining fairly quiet, and being a 5 minute tube ride into your favorite parts of central London. The dorms of Atlantic House and Ambassador Hall just a few minutes away from all that Kensington has to offer from Hyde Park, to South Kensington Museums, and all the shops High Street Kensington has to offer. The location is truly the best that I know of compared to any of the other programs that my friends have been a part of and I am beyond grateful that I had the opportunity to spend 4 months of my life living in Kensington.

The specifications of the program including the academics, on site staff, cultural experiences offered, and all the other details were so great. The study part of study abroad was a great environment to learn, with students and professors from all around the world are present in the classroom, resulting in not just a typical learning environment but a great lesson in learning about different perspectives of the world. The on site staff are some of the best people out there, as they are so helpful with everything you need or have questions about. And the cultural experiences are very fun activities such as going to plays, the London eye, day trips that are very well planned, and so much more.

Overall, this is the best program if you're studying abroad in London!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Danielle
10/10

A Semester to Remember

My time abroad was one that I will never forget thanks to AIFS. Their all inclusive program and optional flight package meant that all I had to worry about was having fun. I never once had to worry about the logistics of anything, and if I did have to, the staff were more than helpful in making sure we as program participants knew what we needed to to. Once abroad the location and the staff on site couldn't have been better. Being housed in the heart of South Kensington was the highlight of the trip. Food, palaces, and tube stations were all within reach. The friends I made during my time abroad are friends that I know I will have for a lifetime.

How can this program be improved?
Better food
Yes, I recommend this program
female in nature
Rachel
10/10

Best location possible!!!

AIFS provides the best location in London to study in. Just steps from Hyde Park, London's largest Royal Park and steps from Kensington Palace, home to William and Kate (and now Harry and Meghan!). Campus is also steps from two tube stations giving you the ability to be anywhere in London within a half hour. Also just steps away from Kensington High Street, filled with both high-end shops and a variety of restaurants you can find anything you need. The neighborhood is home to many celebrities including the Beckham family! When I was there some people actually ran into David on the Street. The Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is also the most expensive borough in all of London, I never felt unsafe while walking the streets.
Other than the location, the staff is absolutely wonderful, the two Resident Directors Nicki and Anderson were like family to me. They will help you with anything from homesickness to school.
My only complaint would be the food in the dining hall, but that made me go out and explore all the tastes London has to offer.

How can this program be improved?
Larger variety of food in the dining hall
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Tiffany
9/10

Unlike NYC... London is the city that does sleep

I was born and raised in NYC, and by staying in the city for college I never really experienced living in any place other than New York. Prior to coming to London, I expected there to be little differences in living in London than living in NYC. While I do think it was an easy transition, one difference you'll notice is that stores in London close much earlier than those in NYC, so if you're coming from a big city don't expect frequent late-night dining, especially on Sundays!

Overall, I loved London. Compared to New York's MTA, London's public transportation was faster and, in my opinion, more straight-forward, than that of NYC's, so don't worry about getting lost on the train or bus! Did I mention it's a lot cleaner, as well? While you'll have endless opportunities to try English food, London is a multicultural city so you will be able to eat different types of food, as well, such as Indian, Thai, Italian, and Caribbean to name a few. London is big on free museums, so be sure to check out the British Museum, Natural History Museum and the Tate Modern Museum (those were my favorite). Whether you're a fan of hanging out with friends in a big park, pub crawls, doing all the tourist-y things imaginable (who doesn't love a great view from the London eye?) or a combination of all of the above while finding time to explore the equally as interesting cities outside of London, London is a great place to study abroad!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Mikayla
10/10

Take Me Back

Plain and simple: My semester abroad was the best thing to ever happen to me, and that largely had to do with AIFS. London is an amazing city, and you would have a great time no matter what, but the AIFS program puts you right in the middle of Kensington, the nicest and safest borough in London, in an international university where you get to meet people from all over the world and truly immerse yourself in the diversity London has to offer. This was HUGE for me, and I know my time there wouldn’t have been the same if I wasn’t in that location. Our resident directors were also a really important part of the trip. I have barely left the country, let alone flown on a plane by myself, before I studied abroad. It was really important to me that I had support overseas if I needed it. My RDs had an open-door policy and had awesome relationships with everyone at Richmond, but especially the study abroad students. I grew really independent when I went to London, but it was nice to know that I had people to help me if I was feeling homesick, needed to go to the doctor, or whatever. (Thankfully neither were too big of an issue.) It was also a really nice aspect that AIFS’ program is all-inclusive. There is one fee that includes EVERYTHING, and then an optional flight package for another small fee. I personally don’t have financial aid, so having everything all in one place and then all of the scholarships AIFS offers on top of that was a huge help, as well. I look back on my program and only have good memories. I wish I could go back every day!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Danielle
10/10

Semester of a Lifetime

Your semester or year abroad really will be the time of your life. Going abroad was one of the best decisions I could have made, but going abroad with AIFS really was the best. From the application process to my whole time abroad, everything was simple and easy. With an all-inclusive program like AIFS everything is taken care of for you. Once I applied and filled out the paperwork that was it. My housing, food, flights, and transportation once I landed was taken care of. There were even activities included in the cost for once we were in London! All I had to worry about was getting myself to the airport. Not only was the process simple, but the staff on-site were incredible. The resident director really was our mom while we were in London. She took care of any issues we were having no matter how silly they may have seemed. The academic advisors and the professors made the academic experience all that it could have been. They were always there to help if there was a problem. My time abroad was one that I will remember forever and going abroad with AIFS was the best decision I made.

Yes, I recommend this program
Celeste Gregorio
Celeste Gregorio
10/10

Get the London look

Studying abroad in London was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. It truly allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, meet so many new people, have class in Parliament, and visit several incredible places. AIFS was extremely welcoming and friendly which settled my nerves and made the entire process run smoothly. Living in Kensington (West London) was one of the major perks to the study abroad experience. The area was beautiful, our backyard was pretty much Kensington Palace (neighbors being Will & Kate -- no big deal), we were a short tube ride away from Big Ben, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and Buckingham Palace...just to name a few. However, the downfall to living in such a nice area was that it was very expensive to eat out and get drinks. On the bright side, it was easy to find a cheap bite to eat in East London or settle for a cheeky Nando's nearby. AIFS also provided a meal plan during the weekdays as well as a Student Union Card at Imperial Student Union Bar where the drink prices are reasonable and the curly fries are mouth-watering. There are typically no classes on Friday which is a perfect opportunity to travel around the UK or to other countries. RyanAir, trains, hostels, and student travel companies are all affordable and convenient ways of seeing as many countries as your heart desires. It's always a 3-day weekend so why not jet over to the Amalfi Coast or take a quick flight to Dublin?
There are endless opportunities and I would do it all over again in a heart beat.

How can this program be improved?
It would have been nice to have even more trips and events planned throughout the semester rather than just during the first couple weeks.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Emma
10/10

Experience of a Lifetime

I would like to start by saying that AIFS has been a huge help with getting students to where they need to be every step of the way. This experience of traveling really opened my eyes to new surroundings and backgrounds while it changed my perspective every day. While being outside my comfort zone, the staff of AIFS did a great job supporting all students making it the best experience that I could have asked for. Overall, I think that this program is a great one and really helped our traveling experiences reach their full potential!

How can this program be improved?
I think that this program could be improved by having more information about the two separate campuses in London for Richmond University and maybe to have a more updated website for the school so students have a better idea of what they are getting into.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Emily
8/10

Experience was great. Living in the building was ok.

Living in London is amazing, the city and the people, incomparable. However it was hard going home (the dorm) to a single room. I was put in a single room tucked away in the corner of the dorm. This made it hard to make friends since everyone was pairing up with their roommates. Also, the food was terrible. I found myself spending extra money to eat out most nights which wasted a couple thousand of dollars.

How can this program be improved?
Change the food!! Let us either eat there or save money so we can eat out
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alyson
10/10

Living the London Life

I spent a total of 3.5 months in London and I wish that it had been longer!! To say that London is amazing is an understatement! My favourite memories from my trip would be the random excursions all over London I made with my new mates who were in my program! I really appreciated the variety of classes offered at Richmond University; I fairly enjoyed all of my classes – both the course content and tutors! Students get the chance to really get to know their tutors – who are always willing to help students if they needed it! This program is run through an American International University in London, which meant that they ‘acknowledge’ American Holidays, like Thanksgiving (there is still classes during the day, but they cook up a pretty decent Thanksgiving dinner in the cafeteria!!). A huge plus for this program would be the awesome Day Trips and activities that AIFS students automatically get to participate in for no extra cost – we went to Bath and Cambridge, we saw Wicked during Orientation Week, and we got to take a flight on the London Eye – in addition to group excursions around London that were open to any student at the University! While the program is a great fit for those who are going out of the country for the first time, it is not exclusive to first time travellers. If you are given the opportunity to study in London, take it! Seeing this city through the scope of a student is entirely different than visiting as a tourist. I would not have learned half of the interesting information or met the people I did if I had just come during holiday. The time spent there will always be a highlight of my college career :) Cheers!!

How can this program be improved?
The program could've done more to provide students information on classes and policies ahead of time (let participants know specifics for living arrangements, where to buy things, course syllabi, and other expectations before the start date) this way students can make the transition to a new country smoothly with less confusion and stress.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Shannon
10/10

Best Semester of my College Career

This program was the best experience I could have asked for! Located in the beautiful area of Kensington, there is plenty to do in this area! And I always felt extremely safe which is very important when living in a new area! With the Kensington Gardens, High Street Kensington and tons of shops and restaurants within walking distance, this is the place to be. Not to mention you are only a 10-15 minute Tube ride away from the center of London! The program itself was amazing too with a jam packed orientation week that includes a ton of fun activities throughout the city, helpful and friendly staff that make you feel at home, and interesting classes that take you out into the city! I would definitely recommend this program and am jealous of everyone who gets to do it in the future because I'm going to miss it so much!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Emily
8/10

Celebrity sighting!

My study abroad experience in London has been amazing. What I love so much about London is that the city never sleeps but it is also so calm. There are celebrities everywhere that are dressed normally because this is there home. No one expects anything from them because it is as much their city as anyone else's. Today, while eating Nandos my friend and I ran into Adele. We were some of the only people in the restaurant. As soon as she saw us she realized that we had recognized who she was. Instead of freaking out and walking out of her meal. She sat down with her friend and had a nice lunch. It was incredibly surreal for no one to disturb her in any way. Refreshing to know that she can be treated like the human that she is in this city. London became my home this semester just like anyone else who spends time here.

How can this program be improved?
I honestly have no complaints about AIFS and the program that they put on in London. My problem was with the university that we were put at. Richmond did not know how to deal with study abroad students. Over half of the student population is comprised of study abroad kids and most of the professors constantly forgot that we had never taken classes at the school before. They were incredibly unaccommodating with academics. There were times when professors would forget that we had other classes to study for by giving us an entire semesters worth of studying for the final. The library was never open for us to study. If it was open it was never open on time or it would randomly close. The food at Richmond was horrible. There was hair in the food all of the time. If I had any kind of improvements it would be the partnership with the school.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Mackenzie
9/10

The American International University

Richmond University located in Kensington is in the perfect location. Kensington is extremely posh, but it's also centrally located. My major complaint is not with AIFS or the staff, but with Richmond. Most of my professors are visiting professors whose primary jobs are with other universities. The food is atrocious. The rooms are tiny and uncomfortable. The bathrooms are in horrible shape. The facilities are bad. But I wouldn't have traded my experience here for the world because London itself is so amazing.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Katie
10/10

Oh, What's In a Name

Oh what's in name is exactly right. When you hear the word "London" you immediately think of Big Ben or wonderful accents. But once you spend 3 months, or even just a week you begin to realize that there is so much more attached to that name, London.
I decided to study abroad, and due to some restrictions during the fall and spring semesters I needed a summer program. I Googled probably hundreds of programs, researched them all, and finally came down to my top three. I ultimately choose the London Internship program because it offered me an internship and it was in a country where I knew the language.
My first day in London, I was terrified. I didn't know anyone, I was super sleep deprived and I had just brought my two 50lb suitcases up four very large flights of stairs.
I met my roommates and of course of a little reserved. But AIFS was offering a quick tour of the neighborhood and we all decided to join. During this probably 15 minute tour of the surrounding area, I knew it was going to be an incredible semester.
I cannot rave enough about the professors I had. They not only enjoyed what they taught but they loved teaching it. And more importantly they loved us, and wanted to be immersed in our culture as well. My internship, honestly, was okay. But I have great friends, and it actually taught skills that I use everyday in my current job.
I was able to travel to other countries, and experience different cultures. I had afternoon tea, toured Buckingham Palace, and my favorite memory, I climbed the White Cliffs of Dover at sunrise.
London taught me to be adventurous and curious about the things around me. It taught me to reach out and meet people, and not just learn their name, but know who they are.
So "London" no longer just means funny people with strange teeth, it is a place I call home. Its a name filled with life long friends, experiences I'll never forget, and most importantly it's a part of who I am now.
So if you're debating where to go in the world, go to London. It's the gateway to everywhere else, and I promise you'll fall in love.

How can this program be improved?
I honestly thought the program was wonderful. The only thing I would improve is educating us at the beginning about different ways to travel around London and to the surrounding countries.
Yes, I recommend this program

About AIFS Study Abroad

AIFS is a leading provider of study abroad programs. Since 1964, more than 1.5 million students have traveled abroad with AIFS. Comprehensive program fees make it convenient for students to study abroad and experience all that the world has to offer....