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Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
UVA in London: Culture of London: Past and Present
London, United Kingdom (Education Abroad Programs Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Budget Sheets Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 01-MAR-2018 10-MAR-2018 28-MAY-2018 16-JUN-2018
NOTE: If accepted to this program, you must commit to or decline participation by March 15.
Fact Sheet:
Class Status:
1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.75
Open to Non-UVa Students:
Yes Housing: University dormitory
Language of Instruction: English
Credit Type:
Direct Credit
Program Type:
Faculty led
Tuition Payments Made To:
Education Abroad Advisor:
Kathleen McLaren-Hawking
Application Fee:
Study Abroad Administrative Fee:
Subject Area:
English Language and Literature
Program Description:

In the words of Virginia Woolf, "London is enchanting. I step out upon a tawny coloured magic carpet, it seems, and get into beauty without lifting a finger."

A enchanting academic adventure indeed, the Culture of London Program is an intensive summer program designed for students in the humanities and social sciences interested in encountering the rich culture of one of the world's great cities. Alongside a course of reading in the literature, history and urban experience of London, the program will take full advantage of the extraordinary resources of the city. Through regular visits to theaters and galleries, museums and monuments, and streets and squares, students will have the opportunity to acquire not only an academic understanding of a complex culture, but also the powerfully immediate experience of personal discovery that is at the heart of international study. From the fiction of Zadie Smith and Woolf to the paintings of the city's most contemporary artists, from the architecture of Christopher Wren to concerts in St. Martin's in the Fields, from the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum to the intense life of contemporary British drama--the power of such texts, events and episodes can only be felt within the immediate physical context of a city that has been fairly called a "work of art." (Newsweek preferred the phrase "the world's coolest city.")

The last few years have seen a spectacular change in the face of London. The Tate Gallery opened a new gallery of modern art next to the recently reconstructed Globe Theatre; the world's largest ferris wheel stands on the banks of the Thames, giving views of the entire metropolis; a new pedestrian bridge links the cultural centers of the South Bank to St. Paul's across the river.

English and American instructors jointly lead the month-long course of study that continually moves from the classroom into the rich urban surroundings. Students will discover London's architecture by standing within such glorious buildings as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Abbey. They will study paintings by sitting before them in the Tate or National Galleries. They will study literature while following the paths walked by fictional characters and history while occupying the spot where history was made.

While London is the focus of our interdisciplinary work, the program is also interested in the methods and goals of international study. How does the experience of life abroad affect our academic aims? What does it mean to participate in a global community? What role does our own national identity play within the context of international study? Questions such as these form an essential part of our course.


Avenue Garden, Regent Park

The class will meet approximately four hours a day in and out of the classroom, Monday through Thursday mornings, for four weeks. Afternoons during those days will frequently be used for excursions through London. During this four-week period of intensive cultural exploration in England, students will attend the theater regularly; visit museums and monuments; hear lectures from distinguished British and American scholars; read in the literature of London and its social history; study the urban environment; and engage in group discussions at Regent's University. The boundaries between classroom and the surrounding world will weaken visibly. To move throughout this remarkable city will become an activity linking academic and non-academic pursuits, thought and feeling, nationality and internationalism.

The period Friday through Sunday will be kept open for travel. In the past, students have frequently (and inexpensively) traveled to such cities as Dublin, Edinburgh, Bath, Paris, Rome and Prague.

In addition to earning one (1) hour of credit for academic work during the summer weeks, UVA students can earn three to six (3-6) hours of major-level credit by enrolling in one or two independent studies in the following autumn and spring terms. University of Virginia students will receive credit through the English Department.

Housed in Regent's University's Reid Hall in the heart of London's most beautiful park, the participants will have full use of the University's well-appointed facilities: tennis courts, basketball court, soccer pitch, library, art gallery, computer services, and dining hall. In addition to the excursions that are part of the formal program, students can rely on the Regent's University staff to arrange weekend visits to such sites as Bath, Oxford, Edinburgh and Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as Prague, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin and Rome. Regent's University is located near the Baker Street station of the London underground (Map of London Underground), which rapidly brings passengers to anywhere in the city.


The Culture of London: Past and Present
(ENSP 5821; 1 credit)


The Cultural History of London
(ENSP 5822; 4 credits)

Course Information
2018 Summer: Program Credit Options

Read: 2014 Program Student Comments


London Eye at Night

The program cost and payment schedule are listed under the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page.


Accessibility Statement
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.

Passport and Visa Information
All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program.  Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program return date. US passport holders will not need a visa to participate in this program. International students should meet with their International Student Advisor and Education Abroad Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process.

Program Director, Professor Michael Levenson,, has frequently lived, taught and conducted research in London. Deeply committed to the value of international study, Professor Levenson will be satisfied with nothing less than a student exhilaration that can match his own.

Professor Clare Kinney,, is a scholar of the English Renaissance with strong interests in Shakespeare and Shakespearean London and also in modern British drama. She has lectured on the Globe Theatre and in the course of 2006 she recorded a series of lectures on Shakespearean Tragedy that will be available for use throughout the world.

Program Assistants:
Eliza Fox,
Jon Readey,



Parliament Building and Big Ben