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A Day in My Life: Studying Abroad in London as STEM Major at UCL

by Emma Sophie Moore
STEM Major in College studies abroad at University College London through AIFS Study Abroad

Studying abroad in London was one of the very best decisions I’ve ever made. I learned so much about British culture and history, ate a lot of really great food, and made wonderful memories.

Each day was jam-packed with activities and beautiful sights. I made sure to balance my studies at University College London (UCL) with city exploration and relaxation with the friends I made abroad.

Whether you’re planning on studying abroad in London or are just curious about it, I’m going to give you an inside look at a typical day in a student’s life at UCL!

STEM Major in College studies abroad at University College London through AIFS Study Abroad

Morning Routine

Breakfast in London at UCL | AIFS Study Abroad

My UCL course, Nerve Injury Treatment, had long hours: typically 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM with an hour commute. So, each morning I woke up at about 6:30-7:00 AM to get ready. Two of my classmates and I met in the dorm lobby and grabbed a quick breakfast at EAT or Pret-a-Manger before taking the tube to the hospital. My favorite on-the-go breakfast is porridge with banana and honey with an Americano.

The Commute

On the tube, I would typically pop in my airpods and listen to a podcast or some Elton John. The commutes were a bit confusing at first, but quickly became second nature. Once you get into the routine of something, it becomes much easier.

Class Time

STEM majors in college, shown here in scrubs, studies abroad at University College London through AIFS Study Abroad

My class was taught (for the most part) at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, England. This incredibly interesting class consisted of listening to lectures, shadowing surgeries, presenting research topics, suturing fake wounds, and playing with virtual reality and haptics. I definitely recommend it for anyone interested on the pre-medical school track.

Every day, we learned about something new in the world of peripheral nerve injury. Some days, we did so in scrubs.

We ate lunch at the hospital canteen, which was surprisingly pretty good food! On the few days we were actually on campus, we would find a local Pret-a-Manger or Pod to grab a quick bite.

Outside of Class

The inside of Shakespeare's Globe in London | AIFS Study Abroad

After classes were over for the day and the squad took our commute back to the flat, we always found something new to do. Here are some examples:

  • We saw shows (Waitress the Musical and Aladdin) on West End. 
  • We saw a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • We shopped on Oxford Street, which is a super bougie area with high-end fashion and restaurants. 
  • We visited monuments like The Shard, from which you can see the entirety of London! It’s beautiful and totally worth it.

On more low-key nights, my flatmates and I would sometimes chip in for a Sainsbury’s grocery haul and cook a cheeky meal together. Sometimes, all you need is a slow night with your friends to ground yourself and relax after a long day.

Of course, I also had to do a fair amount of studying and researching for my UCL course. In the afternoons, I often spent hours at a time at the UCL student library, working on my course work. 

College students at Stonehenge | AIFS Study Abroad

On the weekends, my flatmates and I loved to explore the sights *outside* of London! We went to Bath, Stonehenge, Cambridge, and Oxford! Next time I go, I’d love to visit Brighton Beach — and maybe even Scotland!

Although my days studying abroad in London were incredibly exhausting, it was so worth it. I’m so glad that I got to do all of the things I did during my 3 short weeks in England, because I’m not sure when I’ll be back! I do hope it’s very soon, though.

I hope my ~day in the life~ was helpful to you prospective study abroad Londoners! Make the most of your time while you’re here! ‘

Snapshots of a day in the life of a college student who is a STEM major spending summer at University College London through AIFS Study Abroad
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