• England
    • London
Academic Year, Fall, Spring

Program Details

Program Type
Direct Enrollment
Degree Level


Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details: www.IESabroad.org/london
What's Included
Accommodation Classes Some Activities Some Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
Aug 21, 2019
Aug 14, 2016

About Program

This is your chance to live and learn alongside students from the UK and around the world by directly enrolling at a prestigious London university. As one of the world’s leading universities, University College London (UCL) offers you challenging academic options across many disciplines. The UCL undergraduate program consists of a series of lectures, seminar, and tutorials. Tutorial classes are much smaller than lecture courses and, in some departments, are taught on a one-on-one basis.

You apply to one or two academic apartments and then select courses from these departments. UCL offers a wide range of disciplines with particular strengths in Art, Archaeology, Economics, English, Geography, History, Philosophy, and Psychology.

IES Abroad London is dedicated to enhancing your study abroad experience with superior student services and opportunities to fully experience life in London. Our staff in London will help you make the most of your experience abroad!

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IES Abroad Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

$500 - $5,000

Program Reviews

9.43 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
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  • Academics 9
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 8.7
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad = A Dream Come True

Studying abroad in London had long been a dream of mine, and going there with IES Abroad helped me realize that dream. They made me feel supported, even before I left home. My advisor at their Chicago office answered any question I had (they emphasized "there are no stupid questions"). The London staff was friendly and were clearly there to make sure the experience went as smoothly as possible. They helped organize doctor's appointments for me and always had someone available via their emergency phone number. The academic advisor was very helpful in answering questions about the British university system, especially about University College London, where I was directly enrolled. Direct Enrollment was a great way to be immersed in London university life and I highly recommend it!!
One major draw of IES was the field trips they organized. They were well spaced out throughout the semester and brought me to several different places in England. They were also extremely affordable, especially for what was provided: lodging for the weekend trips, dinner on some of the trips, transportation, and top-notch tour guides. This made a huge difference to me. Brighton, for example, was a fun beach town that I definitely want to visit again. If not for the IES trip, I wouldn't have thought to go, especially if I had to organize lodging. Dover was another favorite of mine. I had heard about their white cliffs, but when IES brought us to the castle, I was blown away. It is well preserved and furnished, so you really got a feel for what it would have been like centuries ago. I returned with my history-buff boyfriend when he came to visit and it was his favorite part of his trip.
I would recommend IES solely based on their field trips, so the fact everything else was so good made for an incredible experience abroad!!

What would you improve about this program?
One disappointment was my flat, which was where all the IES student at UCL stayed. One of my friends was the only American in her flat, while mine had no British students whatsoever. I'm not sure how much control IES has over these room assignments, but I would have preferred to be immersed with the British students, as I can live with Americans at my home university.
5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Unique Opportunity

Having studied in London for my first semester freshman year, I always knew I wanted to go back. The idea of returning to a place that was familiar suited me better than finding somewhere new and it allowed me to focus more on my studies and the school I enrolled in. The Courtauld, in the art history world, is known for being one of the best schools, and some would say it is the best.

In terms of resources, the Courtauld is unparalleled. The faculty are some of the best in their field, the library focuses solely on art, and the Courtauld gallery holds some of the most famous paintings in the world. London itself is a vibrant city for the arts, with its free national museums and smaller galleries waiting to be discovered. Not only did I study at the Courtauld, I spent much of my time around the city in various museums and I volunteered in a small exhibition space at Two Temple Place. The Courtauld, however, and this program with IES, is very much what you make of it. It’s an unusual and often-disorganized institution, meaning it is very much on you to make sure things happen, especially as a study abroad student. During 2014-2015, there were a total of eight study abroad students, including myself. The small size is fantastic for getting close to fellow students and professors but also means the Courtauld is less accustomed to dealing with temporary students than other, larger institutions might be. It’s merely a different way of doing things, but make sure this is what you want.

It’s also a very different academic system than in America. I took two courses per term and all of the work handed in for those courses wasn’t formally assessed. As an academic year student, my final grade was made up of my four exams and a 4000-word essay; this was beyond daunting to me and it does lend the time spent studying a different intensity than the workload at an American university might have. For semester students, the work produced in classes is assessed for a grade, but there is still much less of it than in the US. It’s given me a very different perspective on how people learn and how institutions chose to teach art history. The Courtauld’s had many of the greatest art historian’s pass through and they acknowledge that history and the mistakes its made along the way, able to critique its own methods.

Living-wise, I lived in King’s Cross, which is a great location and not far from virtually anything in central London by Tube. The rooms are small, yes, but you adjust surprisingly fast and again, it’s really what you make of the situation. Be prepared to cook and share a space with other students and be open to whatever happens. I made some great friends at the Courtauld and spent plenty of time with them and in their house, and this was a large part of what made my time at the Courtauld so enjoyable. I felt like I fit there and it was an amazing feeling to have after spending an entire year there.

If you’re looking for an intense and different study abroad experience, I definitely recommend the Courtauld for someone who’s adaptable and willing to work.

6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My Lovely London

I was never one of those students who dreamed of studying abroad. In fact, it was never part of the plan. But I'm always looking for a good adventure and I was inspired by some of the stories I heard from my friends and mentors, who eagerly encouraged me to apply to study abroad. And, you know what they say, the rest is history. With a little bit of luck, good fortune, and determination, I took the plunge and headed to London.
Five months after my plane touched down at Heathrow, I'd be lying if I said that my study abroad experience with IES Abroad and University College London (UCL) was anything shy of fantastic; almost too good to be true. London is truly a world class city. Whether I decided to take a walk through Covent Garden, visit the Kensington gardens, or strike up a conversation over a pint at the corner pub, I was sure to have a good time. My academics were also excellent. My professors were inspiring and my lectures were captivating and genuinely rooted in research, which I loved. I lived on UCL's main campus in dorms, which were perfectly located; I strolled past the British Museum on my way to class.
I fell head-over-heels in love with London and I made some wonderful friends who I am sure to keep in touch with. Take the plunge, just like me, and study abroad - you won't regret it!

4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Wonderful Experience

Choosing to study abroad in London is one of the best decisions I've ever made. I was a direct-enrollment student at University College London (UCL) through IES. Direct-enrollment is different from most study abroad opportunities, as you are treated like a home student at your host university. It was great to partake in studies in a different university setting from what I had become accustomed to at my home school in America. I learned how university life differs between America and England. Involvement in UCL's societies enabled me to further enhance my learning as well as meet new people. I learned so much about cultures foreign to my own through immersing myself in the city surrounding me and making close friendships with people from all over the world. IES aided me greatly in the application process, hosted orientations to make me comfortable in a foreign country upon my arrival, as well as supported me during the entirety of the time that I studied abroad. Direct-enrollment studying abroad for a semester with IES was a fantastic experience that I'd highly recommend to all students.

5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

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

London has almost everything you could ever ask for, and after living there for three months I truly believe there is no better place to live. As a whole, the program is very good. Every day you get to enjoy living less than 5 minutes from Kings Cross Station, which makes access to the rest of the city easy, and take classes at City University - most of which are easily manageable as long as you keep up with the lectures and reading. Most classes are at most a 2 hour long lectures with a short group class, allowing you ample time to explore the city the many sites and events the city has to offer every day. The IES staff makes you feel like family, which is very helpful when you're likely to be the farthest you've ever been from home.

What would you improve about this program?
If there is anything I would change it would probably be the way scheduling is handled, because the process during the orientation at City is pretty unorganized. You schedule by paper, rather than by computer, before seeing the timetables, so I had a difficult time getting all the classes I wanted due to conflicts. The staff at IES helped me sort everything out, but my first week or so there was a little hectic and stressful due to this.
5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Theatre Capital of the World

I studied abroad at Mountview Academy for the Theatre Arts, and I couldn't have picked a better place to study theatre than London. The school is one of the most prominent theatre conservatories in the UK, and the school definitely lived up to its reputation.

The students were some of the most welcoming and friendly people I had ever met. As soon as they met me, they accepted me into their family with open arms, no questions asked.

Most schools abroad are lecture based and have a pretty manageable schedule, like Tuesdays and Thursdays 11-1 and 2-4 and Mondays and Wednesdays 12 - 3 or something like that. But the schedule at Mountview was 9-6 Monday through Friday every single day. They kept us very busy. The students were all incredibly talented and the teachers were brilliant, many of them still working professional performers. Because my residence hall was so far from campus, I had to make a forty minute commute there and back. This made it a little difficult to stay in touch with my classmates outside of school.

But even so, one of the best parts about the direct enrollment program was the freedom I had. After my first day of classes, IES basically said, "There you go! Have a fun time! Call us if you need us!" and that was that! So I was free to go sight seeing, plan weekend trips like Stratford-Upon-Avon and Dublin. I got to plan my own events and live by my own ambitions.

More than a learning experience, it was a growing experience. I traveled by myself, handled clothes and expenses by myself, provided for all my meals by myself, got lost in the city and found my way home by myself. It was like a rite of passage being dropped in a different city in a different country across the sea and to be able to hold my own. Without a doubt, the best three months of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
With hindsight, I realized how much I wanted a roommate. As great an experience as it was being a broad, I feel like the experience would have been much richer to have someone to share it with, even though I didn't know it at the time.
6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

UCL Is an amazing school based in an amazing city

I LOVED my experience at UCL!
I got to take classes from world renown faculty on some great classes while experiencing one of the most diverse and fun cities in the world. On a daily basis, I would go to class, then once classes were done I would go exploring with my friends. Walking in London was great because there is so much to see and the tube stations were very close to our housing when we needed to go a little further away.
I also loved all the markets they had during the weekends as well as the authentic restaurants around the city.
The obvious tourist experiences were also very much enjoyed and I loved every single moment I was there.

What would you improve about this program?
If housing was with more British students it would have been better. We only had two in our hall way but other than that this program was amazing!
6 people found this review helpful.

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