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University College London

GlobalNomadGlobalNomad Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
edited October 2011 in Parents Forum
Does anyone have experience with / knowledge of this university?

Our DD is considering a semester abroad there, and we'd appreciate any and all insights. According to their website, they do not guarantee housing for one-semester students. Will that be an issue? :-/

Thanks in advance.

(BTW, cross-posted in "Study Abroad".)
Post edited by GlobalNomad on

Replies to: University College London

  • GlobalNomadGlobalNomad Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    BUMPing this up, just in case. TIA.
  • stradmomstradmom Registered User Posts: 4,879 Senior Member
    D2 did a semester there last year through the Arcadia program. Arcadia provided shared apartment housing a couple of blocks away from UCL.

    She absolutely loved her time there. As you know, the British system of education is different from the US, and some of her roommates struggled with the large amount of writing, but D is enrolled in a writing-intensive college so it didn't faze her.

    Food was a bit of an issue since the cafeteria was rather expensive. She did learn to cook a few basic dishes, though. She found the clubs and activities very open to study abroad students and she was able to rent an instrument and perform with one of the college orchestras.
  • SoccerGirlNYCSoccerGirlNYC Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    It's one of the best universities in the UK, located in central London. Re Housing, Dionysis gave you the UCL link, and friends I know who went to UCL also lived in Camden or Kentish Town. My advice would be for her to find a houseshare and not rent by herself. Not only would that be incredibly expensive, it could also be very lonely. Renting with a group would be much more fun, cheaper and give her a group of ready made acquaintances. If they are full time British/European students, then even better, as that would be a great way to immerse yourself in London student life....

    Where are you from in the US? Have you been to London before? I don't find that UCL has a very defined campus (not for example if you were to compare it to Columbia in NYC), it would be more like NYU.....
  • SoccerGirlNYCSoccerGirlNYC Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    ETA - and agree with Stradmom above about making sure you understand the differences in the UK education system before arriving and what this might mean for impact on GPA (if her UCL grades are to transfer back home)
  • GlobalNomadGlobalNomad Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    Thank you both for your replies!

    stradmom, our D will be an "affiliate" student (direct enrollment into UCL with "permission" granted by her U here). Therefore, she will not have the benefit of any program's (such as Arcadia) assistance, orientation, housing help, etc. We hope and trust she'll be able to handle all the logistics by herself. She's attending a writing- and reading-intensive U now (and is a strong writer naturally), so that's a help. As for food, she's been cooking simple but healthy meals once or twice a day since her sophomore year!

    SoccerGirlNYC, your suggestion to houseshare sounds like good advice. I'll pass the link on to our D. We're actually a very mobile family (hence my username!) and we've been living around the world since before D was born. She's grown up in several global capital cities, and she's eager to "try out" a new one for a while. :-) As for grades, I believe she said her credits will transfer back to her US college but the grades she earns at UCL will not be factored into her gpa. ;-)
  • mjscalmjscal Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    We are in London now. Helped daughter move into UCL housing last week. UCL is one of the top Universities in the world. Generally considered in the top five in the UK along with Oxbridge, LSE, and Imperial. My daughter is an affiliate student and I believe she was guaranteed student housing in either UCL or University of London housing. Choice of housing was either in catered or non catering housing. There are two catered halls at UCL where one gets breakfast and dinner Monday through Friday. There is a small kitchen on all floors in these halls for the weekends etc. There are multiple different non catered housing options. Will try to answer any questions if I can
  • UKgirl23UKgirl23 Registered User Posts: 2,922 Senior Member
    Firstly, UCL is NOT considered anywhere near as good as Oxbridge, although it's a decent college.
    Also, it may be worth looking at the (british) Sunday Times university rankings (if they're available online) as they go in to detail on good and bad points of every university. I seem to remember UCL getting very low sudent satisfaction ratings. This is probably due to the expensiveness of the area and the lack of student housing (although this may not affect you if you're doing a term abroad).
    Check the UK forum, there's probably a thread there already.
  • GlobalNomadGlobalNomad Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    @mjscal: That's great you're able to help your D move in. (Ours is a bit too independent to allow us that pleasure...) We're hoping she too can secure UCL or UL housing; maybe a UCL student will go study abroad in January and our D can take over that room until June! Thank you for the offer to answer further Qs; I'm sure more issues / concerns will come up as time passes.

    @UKgirl23: Thank you for your comments. I too have read reviews that "ding" UCL for being in an expensive area and not guaranteeing housing, but that's true for urban schools in the US as well, so it's not a deal breaker for us.
  • CollegeMom08CollegeMom08 Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    GlobalNomad: We have recent experience with UCL as my daughter spent her junior year abroad there last year. PM me if you have any questions.
  • GlobalNomadGlobalNomad Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    CollegeMom08: Thank you!
  • daffymomdaffymom Registered User Posts: 456 Member
    GlobalNomad - my son spent fall semester 2009 at UCL and loved it. He chose to go through the Butler University Study Abroad Program as housing was guaranteed and he ended up in a very nice un-catered dorm (his choice) with a shared kitchen a few blocks from the campus. Other Butler students had to commute. Butler provides ready access to his UCL transcipt and that has been handy for job search and grad school considerations.
  • GlobalNomadGlobalNomad Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    daffymom: Thank you for that info! I'll have our D investigate both the Arcadia and Butler programs, although her U makes no mention of them on their Study Abroad webpage. (They only say the UCL study abroad is an "affiliate" arrangement and the students apply directly to UCL).
This discussion has been closed.