Preparation in Germany
With the planning for my semester abroad I started about six months before the start of the semester. My search for suitable universities abroad and the application to London South Bank University went smoothly with the help of MicroEDU. The application process was described in detail, questions were answered very quickly at any time and I quickly received feedback from the university abroad. To apply to LSBU, you must submit a letter of motivation, a letter of recommendation from a lecturer, a language certificate and a current overview of your performance in English.However, it is advisable to leave about six months before the semester abroad begins, as it can take some time to collect the documents and re-register from the university abroad.
Finding a good and, above all, cheap apartment in London is very difficult. If you are looking for private student accommodation with your own room and bathroom, expect an average of £ 250-300 per week. The same applies to private rooms in shared apartments. Apart from that, the demand is very high and the supply is therefore quickly sold out. It is all the better that the LSBU also offers international students rooms in its own five student accommodation around the campus. These are very inexpensive at around £ 120-170 per week by London standards and the university can be reached on foot within five to 15 minutes, depending on the accommodation.There are different types of rooms, mine being a room with a washbasin in a 4-person shared apartment. The kitchen, bathroom and toilet were shared. Alternative options are 6 or 8-person shared apartments with private bathrooms, but the rooms are allocated to the students according to preferences and availability. Overall, after initial skepticism due to the difficult living situation in London, I was pleasantly surprised. The apartment was clean and functional and the bottom line was that you generally spent very little time in London in your room.
The LSBU is located directly at the Elephant & Castle Station in the south of London in Zone 1. The area is very mixed, but is being modernized more and more. The good transport links mean that you can get to central London within 10 minutes by underground or within 20 minutes by bus. Shops (supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s or drug stores such as Boots) are in the immediate vicinity.
The LSBU offers a large number of courses from a wide variety of areas. The course selection in advance is almost impossible and was also very chaotic on site. In the case of master’s programs in particular, it is difficult to find out the exact content of individual courses on the website or to find out which courses are actually taking place in this semester. If the home university specifies which criteria must be met for the crediting of the courses, this can cause difficulties and flexibility with regard to the course selection should therefore be possible.
As an exchange student, there is the possibility of choosing courses from different courses of study in a department (e.g. International Business Management and Marketing Communications), but this can lead to overlaps in the timetable or in the exam phase. In order to receive 30 ECTS, you have to choose three courses at LSBU, each with a lecture and a seminar, and accordingly have a relatively large amount of free time next to the university. However, the effort should not be underestimated, as there are a lot of homework, presentations and group work that have to be distributed over the semester. The level is off course varies greatly in relation to course and can be compared with the one in Germany, whereby a very practice-oriented approach was found. The courses were also very mixed culturally and there were many nationalities, which made the Cross Cultural Buyer Behavior course very interesting and authentic.
I found the lecturers mostly very committed and helpful. I paid around GBP 2800 for the postgraduate semester in International Business, which is quite cheap compared to most other universities in London. It should be noted, however, that a bachelor’s semester is slightly more expensive than a master’s semester.
Everyday life & free time
According to Toppharmacyschools, in London there are seemingly endless opportunities for free time and even shortly before the end of the semester abroad, you discover new places and things that you haven’t noticed before. There are countless offers, especially in terms of culture, street food markets, restaurants, pubs and shopping. Since life in London is very expensive, it is also worthwhile to go to areas a little further out. Street food and vintage markets as well as local shops, pubs and cafes offer products there at lower prices.
The weather in London is unpredictable and can change from one minute to the other. So it is definitely beneficial to always leave the house in an onion look with sunglasses and an umbrella. Since I studied at LSBU in the winter semester, I experienced autumn and the pre-Christmas period in the city, which I think was the most beautiful. The lights and Christmas decorations on Regent Street and Oxford Street are incredibly beautiful and unusual and the Christmas markets, such as Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park (which is more like a fair than a German Christmas market), offer a change from everyday university life.
The central location of the LSBU was the main criterion for me to choose it as the university abroad. Since you can almost call a central, affordable apartment in London a luxury, I really enjoyed the four months in this diverse, exciting and beautiful city. The course content at LSBU was also very interesting and, above all, the influences of different cultures gave me new perspectives. Linguistically, professionally and personally, I was definitely able to develop myself further during this time. Apart from the negative point of criticism that the course selection at the beginning and also the organization were sometimes very chaotic, I was completely satisfied with my semester abroad in London and can recommend LSBU as a university abroad!