Spring Quarter in London

"Literary London"

March 28 - June 7, 2013

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (courtesy freephoto.com)

The English Department's "Literary London" program began in 1986 and continues through Spring Quarter 2013! Here's what some of our past participants have to say...

"Studying in London has been the highlight of my time as a UW student. Words can't really describe how exciting the city is and how much there is to experience and learn. Sometimes I couldn't believe how much history was at my fingertips. The faculty was great and the classes were fun and interesting. My fellow classmates also became great friends during our stay in London, a bonus which I count immeasurable!"

-- Erin McKiernan, Spring 2009 participant

"In Spring 2003, I was privileged enough to go to London with the English Dept. I have to say that it is still one of my fondest memories of my undergrad at UW. Even six years later, I am still in touch with many of the friends in London that I made there. I still have great memories of my visits to the British Museum, walking the Thames, and the amount of music I bought there!

I just wanted to let the Department know how important and how lasting of an impression such foreign exchange opportunities are to students during their academic tenure and beyond. It has been about 5 years since I made it back to London (blame it on graduate school), but I just wanted to extend my thanks to the Department for having this opportunity continue to exist for future study abroad students."

--Zachary Y Kerr, Spring 2003 participant

“There is nothing like having a classroom the size of a city and its surroundings – literally! Class time inside an actual classroom is minimal, as most learning takes place on the city streets, at historical sites (such as churches, museums and castles), at The Globe and other theatres in and near London, etc. The teachers also hold classes outside the city limits at places such as Stratford-Upon-Avon and Brighton so students can be exposed to more of an English experience than just London. The assignments are just as unique as the classes and turn out to be keepsakes, as the teachers create an incorporation of learning and visiting a foreign country through their assignments and classes, catering to the students' learning needs as well as their curiosity."

-- Lauren Duncan, Summer 2008 participant

The Program

During Spring Quarter 2013, 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's Contemporary Theater taught by UW English Professor John Webster, Representing London: Writing and the Mediation of Experience, taught by UW English Professor Anis Bawarshi, Art, Architecture, and Society taught by British Professor Peter Buckroyd, and Contemporary Britain taught by British Professor Michael Fosdal. Professors Buckroyd and Fosdal are our London faculty, and have been teaching our students to rave reviews for more than ten years. (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.



John Webster

London's Contemporary Theater

ENGL 444, Dramatic Literature: Special Studies, VLPA

5 credits

Taught by Professor John Webster, UW English Department Faculty

The goal of this class is to help students become more informed, confident and, especially, active readers and watchers of contemporary theater. We will approach this goal in five ways. First, we will be seeing a series of theatrical productions during the course of the quarter, and discussing each of those productions both before and after we see them. Second, we will be reading several of these plays before we actually see the production—thinking about possibilities for dramatic representations of what we read. Third, students will be writing about what they see. They’ll be keeping a theatre notebook as their contribution to the formal work of the quarter, and I will be reviewing material from that notebook on several different occasions. Fourth, we’ll be engaging in a range of informal dramatic exercises throughout the quarter, introducing students to a range of theatrical techniques that will significantly increase their ability to “see” what’s happening on stage. And fifth and finally, we’ll be visiting several physical sites with special importance to the history of drama in London--the Globe Theater, The National Theater, The Royal Court Theater, The Theater Museum, The Southbank environs of Shakespeare's London. For this is the place!—for fans of the English-language theater, London is the sacred ground of sacred grounds. (The course will also be linked with an excursion to Stratford Upon Avon and what will by then be the newly reopened Memorial Theater.)

This course meets the Senior Capstone or the Forms and Genres Requirement for English majors.

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Anis Bawarshi

Representing London: Writing and the Mediation of Experience

ENGL 381 Advanced Expository Writing

5 credits

taught by Professor Anis Bawarshi, UW English Department Faculty

In this course, we will explore how writing can shape the ways we experience place. We will do this by analyzing and producing textual representations of London, and then considering how these representations mediate the ways we encounter, experience, and make sense of the city. The course will begin by asking students to analyze various London-related “travel genres” such as travel guides, tourist maps, postcards, websites, and brochures. Students will learn and apply methods of genre analysis in order to examine how these genres work to construct our sense of place. In the second part of the course, students will conduct mini-ethnographies of various places around London. We will learn strategies for conducting fieldwork, and then each student will visit a selected place (historical landmarks, popular tourist attractions, lesser known, quotidian sites) over a period of time in order to conduct observations about what happens (and does not happen) at that place, how people interact with each other and experience the place, what artifacts they use in that place, how, and why, etc. After they complete their fieldwork, students will write up their observations as ethnographies. In the final part of the class, and based on their ethnographic research, students will be asked to produce their own travel genres related to the place they observed. They can select the genre that would be most effective, and then they will write/design it in a way that will, in their view, enable visitors to that place to experience it in a richer and/or a more alternative way. Students will share their projects with each other, and will be encouraged to use each other’s genres to visit and experience the places they represent. Throughout the course, students will have a chance to workshop, present, and get feedback on their work in progress.

This course meets the Forms and Genres requirement for English majors.

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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.

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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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Pre-Departure Orientations

Participants will be required to attend two pre-departure orientations in Seattle during Winter Quarter. The first orientation will be on Friday, January 25, from 3:30-5:00pm and the second will be on Friday, March 8, from 3:30-5:00pm.

Program participants must also attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office.You must register for this orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of the IPE website to view the current orientation schedule.

The IPE Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Any problems or financial losses that occur as as a result of not attending the orientations are entirely the responsibility of individual students.

The Spring in London rogram begins with two days of required on-site orientation sessions in London scheduled for all day Thursday and Friday, March 28 and 29.

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Spring 2009 group (photo courtesy Erin McKiernan, Spring 09)

The London program values diversity. Any UW student from any campus, including Evening Degree, is eligible to apply to the program. It is recommended (though not required) that applicants have successfully completed a 200-level literature course at the UW prior to participation. 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 Webster.

Enrollment is limited to 30 students.

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Application and Deadlines


To apply, please use IPE's online application.

Application Deadline: November 9, 2012

The application includes

**In most cases, we require that letters of recommendation come from UW Faculty or Teaching Assistants. However, if you are a new transfer student (particularly if this is your first quarter @ UW) we will accept letters from faculty from your transfer school(s) in lieu of (or in addition to) UW Faculty recommendations. Letters from family friends, employers, high school counselors, or high school teachers generally will not meet the requirement. If you have any questions about this or any other part of your application, you are more than welcome to contact Bridget Norquist or Professor Webster.

Following the on-line application process, students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview.

Spring in London 2013 Online Application

Depending on the applications submitted, we may maintain a waiting list for the program. Students who are invited to participate in the program will be required to return a signed payment contract and risk form before the deadline indicated in their acceptance email.

Questions? Contact Bridget Norquist in English Advising for more information.

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The program fee will be $6,650. This fee includes: instructional costs, room, two meals per day (breakfasts and dinners), a London Transport pass, excursions, and textbooks. No additional tuition payment is required, resident and non-resident students all pay the same fees.

Fees do not include: the $300 non-refundable IPE fee, airfare, weekday lunches, mandatory health insurance, mandatory pre-departure health screening, or personal spending money.

So how does this compare to a quarter at the UW? According to the UW Financial Aid Office, a Traditional, Resident Undergrad would budget for about $8,161 per quarter for resident tuition, books, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses.

Source: UW Financial Aid Office.

Warwick Castle

As mentioned above, participants' tuition, books, transportation, housing and two meals per day would be covered by the program fee of $6,650, and all group excursions and field trips are also included. So, how much might you spend on airfare, weekday lunches, personal expenses, and health insurance?

Airfare is even less predictable than exchange rates, but you might spend around $1,000 for a plane ticket. Personal expenses can be a tough thing to estimate, since they can vary so much from person-to-person, but considering that participants will already have paid their basic expenses (room and two meals a day, London transport pass, excursion tickets) as part of the program fee, we’re really talking about lunch money and pocket/shopping money. You can lunch reasonably on £ 7 ($11) or less a day if you are economical; other costs will vary immensely depending on what you like to do, and whether you like to shop. London is a fairly expensive city with lots of good things to spend money on. A ballpark figure for a moderate spender has been about $2,000 for the quarter ($200/week); if you like to shop, it will be more, but if you are economical, you can get by with a little less.

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to participants' MyUW student accounts and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. A $350 non-refundable program deposit and $300 non-refundable IPE Fee will be charged to your MyUW Account once your signed contract has been received by the Study Abroad Office.

  • $350.00 non-refundable charged upon receipt of payment contract.
  • $300.00 non-refundable IPE fee due April 12, 2013.
  • $6,300 remaining program balance due April 12, 2013.

Note: 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. In this unlikely event, students will be notified of the increase and an adjustment will be made to the final program payment.

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The University of Washington has a mandatory comprehensive health insurance plan that is specifically for students studying abroad on UW programs like the Department of English Spring in London Program. It has a very low premium: approximately $37 per month for the duration of the program (March - June).

Please visit their webpage or contact the International Programs and Exchanges Office for more information.

Mandatory UW Study Abroad Health Insurance Plan

The $350 program deposit and $300 IPE Fee are non-refundable. Students withdrawing from a program will be responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy will be included in participants' payment contracts. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the Study Abroad Office.

Shakespeare property, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing, completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

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Financial Aid

Warwick Castle

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions may not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Revision Request:

You can request an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds) from the Financial Aid Office if the cost of the program exceeds the regular budgeted amount for a student living in the Seattle area. To do this, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

1. Revision Request Form

2. Budget of student expenses for your program: e-mail ipe@uw.edu


Please remember that financial aid and most scholarships will be disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid award will not be disbursed until after the start of the program. If your program begins after the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid award will be delayed until the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare and health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you plan your foreign study.

Short-term Loans:

The Financial Aid Office does have a Short-Term Loan Program to assist students with temporary cash flow problems. To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled in regular classes in the UW Student Database. Students studying abroad during Spring quarter will need to apply for a short term loan before the end of Winter Quarter.


There are funding opportunities through the Global Opportunities Program, and students should also reference the IPE website, including their Funding Options page, for more information about Financial Aid and scholarships, including the quarterly Fritz Grant and Go Global Scholarships.


The Global Opportunities Office information session schedule for Autumn Quarter:

GO! and Fritz Scholarships Info Sessions

10/9 from 3 – 4pm in MGH171

11/2 from 12 – 1pm in MGH171

· For Pell Grant or Husky Promise-eligible students and declared social science and humanities majors studying abroad in winter or spring 2013 – deadline November 8th

· goglobal.uw.edu


Additional information for Financial Aid and Scholarships:

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 28 and 29. Students will be expected at their homestays Tuesday or Wednesday, March 26 and 27, and must plan their travel so they arrive in London no later than March 27 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 8.  

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Teaching Style/Classroom

Visit to Sir Albert Memorial

Michael Fosdal's
"Contemporary Britain" class

Courses in the London Program are taught as much on the streets and in the museums, theatres, and art galleries of London as possible. Thus all the courses in the program include travel and walking to various London destinations. 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 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 2013 excursions have not yet been finalized.

bus ride to Stratford


view from Warwick Castle ramparts

Stonehenge, courtesy freephoto.com

view from the top of St. Paul's Cathedral

Museum Visit with Peter Buckroyd

Historic London Pub Tour

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Contact Information

a decorative gate, Bloomsbury

Professor John Webster
London Program Director

Bridget Norquist
Academic Adviser

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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 December 10, 2012, according to the U.S. government's passport services website, the total cost is $135 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 31, 2013.

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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.

IMPORTANT:  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 28 and 29. Students will be expected at their homestays Tuesday or Wednesday, March 26 and 27, and must plan their travel so they arrive in London no later than March 27 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 8.

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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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