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Name: Neelam  Mohammed   Email:  Neelam.mohammed@vanderbilt.edu   City  Studied  Abroad  In:  London,  UK   Program:  IFSA-­‐Butler  University  College  London     Program  Details:     -­‐One  semester  (September  to  December/January  to  May)   -­‐Courses  offered  in  every  major  subject  fields;  I  took  courses  in   Anthropology,  Political  Science,  and  History   -­‐Courses  taught  in  English   -­‐Lived  in  a  four-­‐story  flat  in  Notting  Hill  with  other  IFSA-­‐Butler  participants;   approx.  25  min  travel  time  via  underground  transportation;  option  to  live  on   campus  as  well   -­‐Very  large  program,  open  to  students  from  other  universities  like  Princeton   University,  Duke  University,  University  of  Virginia,  and  St.  Joseph’s  University   -­‐Program  also  included  weekend  trips  to  the  Lake  District,  Bath,  and  Dover,   as  well  as  holiday  parties  and  dinners  at  restaurants  with  the  IFSA-­‐Butler   staff     Courses  Taken:   -­‐Introduction  to  Theoretical  Perspectives  in  Social  Anthropology  and   Material  Culture   -­‐Man  and  Animals   -­‐History  of  Parliament   -­‐International  Development  and  Public  Policy     Other  Courses  Offered:     -­‐See  UCL  course  catalog     Favorite  Parts  of  the  Program:     -­‐The  weekend  trips  to  other  areas  of  England  were  a  blast!  We  had  an     adventure  weekend  in  the  Lake  District  up  north,  where  we  participated  in     exhilarating  activities  like  mountain  climbing  and  gorge  scrambling  through     rivers.  We  also  visited  Bath  to  see  the  famous  Roman  baths  and  Dover  to  visit     the  castle  and  the  famous  Shepherd’s  Neame  brewery  in  the  nearby  city  of     Faversham.   -­‐The  four-­‐story  flat  was  an  amazing  living  and  learning  experience,  where  we     lived  with  about  30  people  from  across  the  U.S.  and  were  able  to  explore     London  and  other  cities  with  these  other  students.   -­‐London  is  a  huge  city  with  much  to  offer,  ranging  from  world-­‐famous     museums  to  theatre  performances  to  royal  palaces.     -­‐There  are  many  outdoor  markets  to  shop  at,  especially  during  the  weekends.     My  personal  favorite  is  Portobello  Market  in  Notting  Hill.   -­‐Traveling,  eating,  and  shopping  is  very  expensive  because  of  the  pound-­‐to-­‐   dollar  ratio;  BUT  tax  is  included  in  all  the  prices  you  see  so  you  never  have  to     guess  how  much  you’ll  be  spending  on  groceries,  meals,  or  shopping  


-­‐Take advantage  of  the  student  discounts  that  a  lot  of  museums,  movie     theatres,  and  performance  halls  may  have   -­‐Though  you’ll  be  tempted  to  travel  to  other  cities  and  even  countries,  make     sure  to  explore  London  as  much  as  you  can.  I  was  there  an  entire  semester     and  didn’t  even  explore  a  quarter  of  the  city!     Least  Favorite  Parts  of  the  Program:     -­‐The  IFSA-­‐Butler  housing  (off-­‐campus  flats)  are  fairly  far  from  campus  and     require  these  students  to  pay  a  lot  more  to  travel  to  school  via  the     transportation  system  (commonly  known  as  “the  Tube”);  on  average,  you     spend  $150  USD  on  everyday  travel  per  month  (try  to  obtain  a  student     Oyster  card  through  your  school;  it  gives  you  discounts  on  the  tube  and  bus     rides)   -­‐Very  strict  attendance  policy  for  study  abroad  students  so  you  cannot  miss     your  classes  more  than  once  or  twice  a  semester   -­‐Customer  service  does  not  really  exist,  so  don’t  be  put  off  by  unfriendliness       Other  Things  I  Think  You  Should  Know  About  Studying  Abroad  in  the  United   Kingdom:     -­‐It’s  normal  to  grab  a  beer  at  the  pub  with  a  professor  (drinking  age  is  18,  by     the  way)   -­‐Do  NOT  try  to  keep  up  with  the  British  students  when  it  comes  to  drinking;     they  have  had  plenty  more  years  of  experience  with  their  heavier  beers  than     you  probably  have   -­‐My  favorite  part  about  studying  abroad  in  London  was  learning  that  a     culture  that  we  oftentimes  consider  to  be  similar  to  American  culture,  was     actually  quite  different  from  ours.  Even  simple  terms  like  "bangs"  for  your     hair  was  shocking  to  the  Brits,  who  took  the  term  in  a  more...sensual  way     (their  term  for  "bangs"  is  "fringe")   -­‐The  grading  system  is  very  different  and  perhaps  more  difficult  than  the  U.S.     system;  they  don’t  start  at  100  and  mark  you  down  for  what  you  get  wrong,     but  start  from  0  and  give  you  points  for  what  you  get  correct.  This  means     you’ll  have  much  lower  scores,  but  don’t  fret,  a  65  at  UCL  is  equivalent  to  a     B+.  An  A+  is  virtually  unheard  of  because  to  obtain  that,  you  have  to  get  at     least  an  80  and  that  would  mean  your  work  is  publishable  (no  one  I  knew  got   an  A)   -­‐English  food  is  not  that  great.  But  London  is  filled  with  all  sorts  of   ethnicities,  so  the  ethnic  food  is  fantastic.  Indian  food  is  a  must  in  London.   -­‐Don’t  talk  loudly  in  public,  especially  on  the  tube.  People  immediately  peg   you  as  being  a  loud,  obnoxious  American  and  are  very  cold  towards  you.   -­‐Dress  up  for  classes.  Sweatpants  and  the  “just-­‐rolled-­‐out-­‐of-­‐bed”  look  is   inexcusable.  London  is  a  fashion  capital  and  the  students  remind  you  of  that   fact  everyday.     -­‐ARRIVE  ANY  AND  EVERYWHERE  ON  TIME  OR  EARLY.  It’s  considered   extremely  rude  to  be  tardy  to  any  meeting  or  class  in  London  and  professors   will  call  you  out  for  it.  

IFSA-Bulter, University College London, Neelam_Mohammed  

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