Spring Quarter in London

March 26 - June 5, 2009

photo: Trafalgar Square, London (B. Norquist)

During Spring Quarter 2009, the Department of English will again offer its highly successful program of study in London. We have found that by keeping our numbers small, by tailoring our courses to what is immediately able to be seen in London and in England, and by asking students to actively participate, everyone emerges feeling fuller, as students, as tourists, as people.

The program will consist of four courses: London Theater, taught by UW English Professor Tom Lockwood, and Modernist London, taught by UW English Professor Jessica Burstein. Art, Architecture, and Society will be taught by Professor Peter Buckroyd, and Contemporary Britain will be taught by Professor Michael Fosdal, both British faculty who are experienced teachers of American students. (Three classes are considered a full-time load, but students may take all four if they wish.)

Students in the program will maintain their UW residency and any financial aid eligibility already established. Credits earned will be recorded on students' UW transcripts and apply directly to UW graduation requirements. Credits earned in English courses may be used to satisfy requirements for the English major.

Housing and board for students will be arranged with families in London. A London Transport pass, good for travel on all subways and busses, will be supplied.

If you would like to be added to an email list to receive updates about this and other English department study abroad programs, please click here to subscribe to the engl_abroad mailing list.


Tom Lockwood

London Theater

(ENGL 444 Dramatic Literature: Special Studies)

5 credits, VLPA

taught by Tom Lockwood, UW English Department Faculty

London is a great theater capital, immensely vibrant and competitive. If you are a playwright, you want your play staged there. Shakespeare came to London for that reason, and so has many another writer since. If you are an actor, you want to perform there. And if you are a playgoer, you definitely want to be there watching. Each week of this course we will be reading a play and then seeing it performed, with focus on the work both as a reading text and performance piece. We’ll do a mix of classical and contemporary drama, old and new, cheery and challenging. Extras may include backstage tours at the Globe or National Theatre, the London Theatre Museum, a talk to the class by a working London actor. (ENGL 444 meets the Senior Capstone requirement in the English major.)

Jessica Burstein

Modernist London

(ENGL 490, Study Abroad Program)

5 credits, VLPA

taught by Jessica Burstein, UW English Department Faculty

Urban epicenters, like London, are linked with the rise of modernism and the avant-garde. This course takes the city as its focus to examine modernist culture from the late 19th to the late 20th century. After a discussion of /flâneur/ a Parisian invention encompassing the street walker (in both senses) as spectator and spectacle and the idea that there is something inherently modern about a metropolitan psyche, we will move on to prose—by Wilde, Woolf, Waugh, and maybe Martin Amis--that features pedestrians and focuses on the city. We’ll also pay attention to the manifestos of some of the artistic movements and to the impact of the First World War in this period. (This course meets the Histories of Language and Literature requirement in the English major.)

Peter Buckroyd

Art, Architecture, and Society

(ART H 399, Special Topics in Art History)

5 credits, VLPA

taught by Professor Peter Buckroyd, British Faculty

This course is interdisciplinary. The material is London itself. The course is taught entirely on the streets and in buildings, ranging from medieval, Elizabethan and Jacobean to Victorian, modern and post-modern. As well as equipping students to look more carefully at buildings, pictures and sculpture, the course encourages them to do some imaginative re-creation, considering what it might have been like to have lived at different times in the past as a member of different social classes. Field trips, to locations like Stratford Upon Avon, are included, typically via chartered bus with professional drivers. Students usually stay in established B&B's for any overnight trips.

Michael Fosdal

Contemporary Britain

(HIST 490, Topics in History)

5 credits, I&S

taught by Professor Michael Fosdal, British Faculty

This course introduces students to various aspects of life in Britain, from royalty to the homeless, from politics to sport. There is a major emphasis on direct contact with the people and institutions of contemporary Britain, including meetings with homeless people and politicians, visits to Parliament and the media, and individual research projects which encourage students to follow up their own interests. The course also looks at issues such as race, crime, the family and the problems (and delights) of being young in Britain today. The course should enable students to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary Britain and equip them better to understand their own society.

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Participants will be required to attend two pre-departure orientations in Seattle during Winter Quarter. The first will be on Friday, 1/23/09 at 3:30pm and the second will be on Friday, 2/20/09 at 3:30pm. Students enrolling in the program should take these dates into account when registering for courses for Winter Quarter 2009. Any problems or financial losses that occur as as a result of not attending the orientations are entirely the responsibility of individual students.

The program begins with two days of required on-site orientation sessions in London scheduled for all day Thursday and Friday, March 26 and 27.

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Spring 2008 group

The London program values diversity. Any UW student from any campus, including Evening Degree, who has successfully completed a 200-level literature course at the UW is eligible to apply to the program. Admission will be granted strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. Some years some students applying on the date of the application deadline have been shut out, so please apply and turn in your payment contract as soon as you are able to make your plans. We try to provide as much information as possible on this site and in our printed materials, but that is no substitute for human interaction. We strongly recommend that interested students attend an Information Session or meet individually with Bridget Norquist or Professor Streitberger.

(see Contact Information)

Enrollment is limited to 30 students.

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Application Deadlines

Peacock Garden, Warwick Castle

Applications are available from the English Undergraduate Advising Office, A-2-B Padelford.

If the program fills before the application deadlines, a waiting list will be kept of all interested students who have applications on file.

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Total Program fees: $6560 plus the $200 International Programs and Exchanges fee.

After a student is accepted to the London Program, they will be sent a payment contract and risk form which must be signed and returned to English Advising in order to hold their spot. Payments will then be charged to participants’ UW student accounts, and will be payable to the Student Fiscal Services Office according to the following schedule:

Total fees: $6760.

Program fees include: instructional costs, room and board, London Transport pass, excursions, and textbooks. No additional tuition payment is required. Fees do not include: airfare, International Student I.D. Card, weekday lunches, health insurance, or personal spending money.

Program fees are paid in dollars; most program expenses are paid in pounds. The English Department program in London reserves the right to modify the program fee based upon dollar devaluation or severe inflation. If such a change occurs, students will be notified of the increase and an adjustment will be made to the final program payment.

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Refund Schedule

Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing to the Department of English Advising Office and to the Office of International Programs and Exchanges. The withdrawal date is considered to be the date a withdrawal form is received by the IPE office.

Any student withdrawing from the program on or before January 9, 2009 will not be responsible for any payments beyond the non-refundable, $350 deposit and the non-refundable, $200 IPE fee (a total cost of $550).

Any student withdrawing from the program after this deadline will be subject to the following refund and withdrawal policy:

Students will be responsible for paying any charges posted to their student accounts by the designated due date, as well as late fees incurred for late payment. Any reimbursements of program fees will be credited to student accounts once a withdrawal has been processed. Typical withdrawals are processed 4-6 weeks from receipt of complete withdrawal paperwork.

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Financial Aid

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

Most forms of financial aid can be utilized during participation in the program. Participants who are on financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office to verify that their awards will apply.

Students should reference the IPE website, including their Fiscal FAQ, for more information about Financial Aid and scholarships, including the quarterly IPE scholarship.


UW Financial Aid Office

UW Scholarship Office

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Janet Dunlop

Since 1986, Janet Dunlop has been our London Homestay Coordinator. She screens prospective homestay families for our program, and matches students up with London families. Homestays are an integral part of the program, giving students a unique opportunity to live like a Londoner, a cultural experience that dorms and apartments just don't provide. Janet Dunlop lives in London, and she is available to assist students throughout the program.

A London Neighborhood

London is a large city. Few people can afford to live in the very center of town, and commuting is a way of life. Students should expect a commute to and from class of about 35-45 minutes, via The Underground or bus. All students will receive a London Transport Pass, good on all underground trains, over ground rail, and busses between the homestay zone and central London (included in the program fee.)

SCHEDULE NOTE:  As noted above, the program begins with two days of required on-site orientation sessions in London scheduled for all day Thursday and Friday, March 26 and 27. Students will be expected at their homestays Tuesday or Wednesday, March 24 or 25, and must plan their travel so they arrive in London no later than March 25 so they will be ready to attend the first on-site orientation on Thursday morning. They will be expected to leave their homestays on the morning of Saturday, June 6.     Homestay Tips

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Teaching Style/Classroom

Visit to Sir Albert Memorial

Michael Fosdal's
"Contemporary Britain" class

All courses in the London Program employ the 'peripatetic' style of teaching. The courses in Art, Architecture, and Society, for example, is taught entirely on the streets and in the museums and art galleries of London. All other courses in the program include some walking trips. To successfully participate in this program, students must be capable of meeting the physical requirements the courses demand.

Russell Square, Bloomsbury
a short walk from the classroom

While much of the program will take place on the streets and in the buildings of London, there will, of course, still be time spent in our classroom on 6 Great James Street, which is located in the Holborn neighborhood in central London. Credits and grades earned on the London Program will count toward UW residency and degree totals. Students receive regular, numeric grades that are factored in to their UW GPAs.

Concurrent Enrollment for UW Study Abroad programs will be discussed at the pre-departure meetings. Students may also reference the IPE website for more information.

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Excursions/Group Trips

Some excursions and group trips are included. Transportation for field trips will be via chartered bus with professional drivers. During overnight trips, students are housed in established hotels or bed and breakfasts. Pictured here are some typical destinations, but please note that the Spring 09 excursions have not yet been finalized.

bus ride to Stratford


view from Warwick Castle ramparts

Stonehenge, courtesy freephoto.com

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Contact Information

a decorative gate, Bloomsbury

Bridget Norquist
Academic Adviser
A2B Padelford

The Globe Theater, London

Professor W.R. Streitberger
London Program Director
A 510 Padelford

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You will need a passport to travel to the United Kingdom. It can take time for your application to be processed and your passport issued, so it's a good idea to apply for (or renew) your passport as early as possible. As of February 1, 2008, according to the U.S. government's passport services website, the total cost is $100 for a 10-year passport, and the University Neighborhood Service Center, 4534 University Way NE, is the passport acceptance facility closest to campus. The most extensive passport information, including application procedures, fees, office locations, and even printable application forms you can download, is available from the State Department's passport services website. Some general information on applying for passports is also available by calling the National Passport Information Center toll-free number: 1-877-487-2778, while an automated appointment line and some general information is available at the Seattle Passport Agency: (206) 808-5700.

If you are not a U.S. Citizen, a visa, or additional documentation, may be required for your period of study in the United Kingdom. For more information, please contact your home country's consulate or embassy. If a visa is required, international students participating on the program are encouraged to obtain their visas and/or any other required documentation no later than January 30, 2009.

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Travel Arrangements

Statue of John Betjeman
St. Pancras Station

Participants make their own travel arrangements - there is no group flight to London. Airfares fluctuate too often and too much to make any estimates here, but we encourage students to begin shopping for flights as soon as they are officially enrolled in the program. Council/STA Travel is a student-friendly travel agency we recommend, but students often find great deals on their own by taking advantage of frequent flyer miles and individual airline promotions.

NOTE to participants: Please be wary of some of the cheap airfare websites. Read all the fine print. Their tickets are never changeable, at least, not by you. Students have run into problems with these sites in the past. Just use your best judgment and consider your options carefully.

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London Weather - What to pack?

The photos below were taken in April 2008, within a few days of each other. Londoners open many conversations with comments about the weather - and with good reason. London weather is unpredictable and often mercurial; over the course of a single, Spring day, one might see sun, rain, hail, and sleet. Students often ask us what to pack. There are two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they did. We recommend that students pack a week's worth of clothing, with options for layering. Comfortable shoes and a waterproof shell are must-haves, and students should keep in mind that they will have limited storage space in their host family's home. For more packing and backpacking ideas, check out the Rick Steves' website.

London, April 5, 2008 (yes, that is snow)

London, April 8, 2008 (a bright, sunny morning)

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More Web Sites 

There are innumerable sites on the Web pertaining to London and the United Kingdom.  Let your favorite search engine loose and explore. Here are just a few links to help you get started:

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