As Europe's largest city, with a population of about eight million, London is much more diverse than one might expect. While it is home to well-known tourist attractions like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and St Paul's Cathedral, it is also home to a population that speaks about 200 different languages. London's Bond Street has been a center for world commerce far longer than Wall Street, and the British media industry—from the BBC to "fringe" magazines to the London Times—influences political and social debate worldwide. While in London, you can visit one of the city's many pubs and dine at restaurants serving traditional British fare, as well as high-quality Chinese restaurants and Indian curry houses. The concert halls, theaters, museums (many of which are free) and bookshops of London make this city one of the world's best centers for the arts.
The program in London is one of the oldest international programs sponsored by the Colleges. It is offered in collaboration with The Foundation for International Education (FIE), our on-site partner, and is designed to provide students with a variety of academic and cultural experiences in one of the world's leading cities. The centerpiece of this program is an internship with a local business, agency or organization. Through this experience and related coursework students will gain an understanding of historical London as well as the city's evolution as a modern, multicultural city.
All students MUST take a credit bearing internship, one "key" course in British Culture (Either British Life and Culture or British Culture and Visual Media), and two electives from FIE's broad array of options.
Internship (1 credit)
Internships are arranged by The Foundation for International Education (FIE), the Colleges' on-site partner in London. Insofar as is possible, students will be placed in an internship according to their particular field of study and interests. Internship positions are typically available in advertising and public relations, arts administration, architecture, banking, accounting, marketing, personnel, planning and retailing, education, health care, law firms, medical research, museums & art galleries, politics, pressure groups, publishing, social services and theater, and urban planning. Students will begin the internship in March. They will typically work three-four days per week and will participate in a related seminar designed to develop their understanding of the UK workplace and enable to them to make the most of their experience in their internship placement. Participation in the seminar will include development of a portfolio, an internship report, a presentation, and periodic discussions of work experiences.
British Life and Culture OR British Culture and Visual Media (1 credit)
The aim of the course is to take students beyond the initial aspects of cultural difference and to offer insights as to what makes British culture distinct. The course will cover the historical processes that have shaped British society and that govern the social attitudes and outlook of modern Britons. A variety of issues that have become central to British political and cultural debate will be examined, including differences between English, British, and European identities, the role of monarchy, Parliamentary democracy and London's socio-economic development. In addition, the British Cultural and Visual Media course will familiarize students with the different styles and types of British media. Both courses offer some practical assistance in enabling students to adapt to the context of living and studying in London.
Elective Courses (2 courses/2 credits)
Students will select two additional courses from those offered by FIE. Among the titles typically on offer are British History 1815-present, British Politics, Contemporary British Theater, Creative Writing, Diaspora Studies, Economic Integration in the European Union, International Marketing, International Trade, Media in Britain, Music in 20th Century Britain, Shakespeare and Elizabethan Literature, Social Welfare Issues in the UK, and Understanding Civilizations: Islam and the West. Note that some courses offer an optional study tour. If a student chooses to take such a tour, it will be at their own expense and is not included in the tuition fees. Click here for detailed course descriptions.
This program can accommodate students from a variety of disciplines and is particularly recommended for those in English, economics, history, media & society, international relations, politics, and sociology. It is NOT suited to students in the sciences and mathematics.
Students will reside in residence halls with shared bath and kitchen facilities in central London. Students will travel on public transportation (the underground or "Tube" and bus), enabling them to experience daily life as a Londoner.
The program will include a variety of excursions in and around London relating to the content covered in one of the British Life and Culture "key" courses. Optional excursions (for a modest fee) will also be offered to locales such as Wales and to local theatrical and artistic events.
This program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors in good academic and social standing. The minimum GPA requirement is a 2.5 when this program is led by an HWS faculty director and 2.7 when there is no faculty director. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees and a $550 administrative fee. This will cover credit for a four-course semester, health insurance, housing and course-related excursions. Note that no board charge is included. Students should plan to bring their board fee to London to cover meal expenses. While these expenses will vary according to individual tastes, we estimate that about $2200—$2400 should be sufficient for students who typically prepare their own meals. Additional expenses not covered include: airfare, books, visa, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $950-1150 from the East Coast, visa at $485 and books at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1,500 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation. NOTE: The Foundation for International Education (FIE) sponsors the $1000 Sharif Rahman Scholarship, open to students who have been accepted to this program. For more information, consult FIE’s website.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.