General Tips

Tips for Successful Traveling

  1. Traveling alone is not recommended. Although you may FEEL safe, always travel with at least one other person that you know.
  2. Purchase an A to Z (pronounced "zed") map book once you get to London. It will allow you to travel around London without getting lost. In addition, you will receive in your orientation packet a day planner and several bus and tube maps of the area.
  3. Be prepared for a variety of weather conditions. The weather can change very rapidly in the U.K. The best way to keep warm is to use LAYERS so that you can add and subtract to make yourself comfortable.
  4. Keep your passport with you when traveling, even just around London.

Things to Take

  1. Good walking shoes/warm boots - These are essential! You will be walking A LOT! Walking long distances, all day long is common on class field trips and personal excursions….best if waterproof.
  2. Your up-to-date major curriculum chart and large Biola catalog - These will come in handy for any course changes you may need to make and for Spring 2005 pre-registration. Know your BSI number before you go.
  3. Pictures from home - Some say this is essential.
  4. Camera and lots of film - Film is very expensive. If you run out of film, Dixon brand film from Dixons on Putney High Street has quality comparable to Kodak --no visible difference in quality--and it is much cheaper.
  5. Personal initiative - Will make or break your trip.
  6. ATM cards - It is suggested that if you are planning on using an ATM card that you carry two…..just in case the machine "eats" one. (It has happened).
  7. Raincoat, or all-weather coat…waterproof shoes, umbrella, hat or hooded sweatshirt, scarf, gloves. Some wear warm boots.
  8. British pounds (in change)- for use in airport pay phones, etc.
  9. Personal - Toiletries, Bible, duffel bag. You can buy inexpensive hair dryers and curling irons there and you won't have to worry about the electrical outlet plug conversion.

Before Leaving States

  1. Be sure to clear everything with Biola's Financial Aid Office and Biola's Accounting Office before you leave. You must be sure that your student account is up to date, and if applicable, you must make sure that your financial aid is confirmed before leaving for England. *Biola requires a 60% down payment before August 15th with the balance due according to your payment plan. When calculating your down payment, be sure that your financial aid is confirmed so that your account will be credited properly. It is STRONGLY suggested that you work with the financial aid department before August 15th, because they become involved with regular registration after that time and they will not be able to respond to you in a timely manner. *(Required of all students, regardless of whether or not on financial aid).
  2. If you have financial aid, it may be helpful to give your parents a "Power of Attorney"before you leave the United States. That way if any signatures are needed on your loans or for any documents, your parents can sign for them and things will not be held up because a document needs your signature. Power of Attorney forms may be purchased at Office Depot, Staples, etc. Fill the form out completely and then you and the person receiving the power of attorney authority must sign the completed form in front of a Notary Public. Be forewarned though, that getting a "Power of Attorney" does not always mean everything will continue smoothly! Some students have reported that Biola's Financial Aid Office, in the past, has ignored their request and gone ahead and sent their financial aid information to England. If you give a "Power of Attorney", signed, notarized copies must be given to the Biola Accounting Office, the Biola Financial Aid Office and the Biola London Semester Office.
  3. Carefully read the correspondence that Roehampton sends you over the summer. Make sure to return any forms or information they ask for so that it will not hold up any part of your registration or your accommodations when you arrive in England. If you leave home early and material from Roehampton or Biola is sent to your home, it is your parents' responsibility (NOT BIOLA'S) to see that all Roehampton/Biola material is sent on to you immediately. Otherwise, you may miss some valuable and even pertinent information. Make sure your parents know how to reach you at all times. We would suggest using the fastest method available to get the material to you, such as priority, next-day service or FAX (if applicable).
  4. If you or your parents have any questions, PLEASE be sure to ask in the Biola London Semester office FIRST. There are many abroad programs on campus and each is handled differently. It is difficult for all other departments to remember the different procedures for each individual program. We will be glad to run interference for you! So PLEASE don't hesitate to call here FIRST. Mary will be in the office most of the summer, with the exception of July 1st - July 20th. Please e-mail or call and we will respond as quickly as possible. To leave a phone message at Mary's office number, please call (562) 903-4768 or e-mail her at To reach Dr. Pickett, Biola London Semester Program Director, please e-mail him at or leave a phone message at (562) 944-0351 x5580.
  5. If you must talk to a specific department, please ask for specific people who have some knowledge of our program, such as Debbie Favello in the Biola Accounting Office or Paula Carrigan in the Biola Registrar's Office. Their e-mail addresses are:

*The following is part of a note about language and culture from Ruth Anne Reese, the former advisor for the Biola London Semester. We thought it might be of interest to you.

"While the United Kingdom shares some things in common with the United States, it is still very much a culture and place of its own. One of the most obvious signs of this is the difference in the common language, which they share. After four years, I am still surprised when I find that people don't understand me because of the words I use or that I do not understand them. There are words which we share in common but which have different meanings on each side of the Atlantic. Here are some examples.













parking lot

car park



"How are you?"

"You all right?"





cider (apple juice)

cider (alcoholic)

"These are just a few examples, and I am sure you will discover many more while you are here and even learn to use them.

"Not only are there differences in language, there are also differences in social customs. And probably the largest social institution for meeting people, talking, and going out is the pub. Many people spend a great deal of their free time socializing over a drink in England. People often go to the pub before going to the movies or dancing, or they go to listen to live music from jazz and rock to traditional folk music or just to talk.

"The second national custom must be tea. Not many people still have the traditional tea at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, but whenever you go visiting you will be offered a drink and tea with milk is usually at the top of the list with coffee following a close second. 'Come round for a cuppa' is a nice invitation to visit someone for a hot drink and a chat. On a cold rainy day, this can be a delightful invitation.

"While the British are generally helpful and polite they are not as effusively friendly as Americans can be. They tend to make friends slowly and cautiously and allow time to help move friendships onto more intimate planes. To Americans this attitude can seem cold or unfriendly even though that is unintended by British people. It can be difficult to make friends with some British people, but general experience has shown that when one does make a friend that friendship will be a solid, reliable relationship rather than one that will disappear as quickly as it was made. Friends are neither made nor lost in an instant."

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