Over the course of four weeks, Penn State students and faculty will stay in shared apartments in Bloomsbury, located in central London with easy access to the London Underground. Nearby attractions include the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kensington Palace and the Natural History Museum. The program will include walking tours, visits to museums, theatre events and historical sites. Students will be issued an Oyster pass for tranpsportation within London. Some formal class meetings will held at Florida State facilities within walking distance of the apartments. However, many classes will be held outside of the classroom, 'on site' in the city of London.
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.
All students must take six credits but the courses may be selected as follows.
Insanity and Imagination in London (3 credits)- ENGL402, 199 or 499 taught by Mary Miles (select one)
"We of the craft are all crazy," Lord Byron said of himself and his fellow British Romantic poets. Creativity and madness have often walked hand-in-hand among the most prominent of London's intellectuals. Did groundbreaking thinkers and artists such as Charles Darwin, Virginia Wolfe, C. S. Lewis, and even J.K. Rowling create despite the challenges of mental illness? Or, did their dances with insanity actually generate new avenues of innovation? This course makes extensive use of the London location to analyze the roles of mental illness and psychology in the creative processes of 18th-20th century British thinkers. We will explore sites of psychological importance, such as Bedlam and the Freud Museum, while also examining the homes and haunts of those whose struggles with mental illness were often entwined with their efforts to write and think in novel ways.
Potential Topics and Sites: Byron, Mary and Percy Shelley, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Charles Dickens, Helena Blavatsky, Virginia Wolfe, Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud (Center for Child Psychology), Charles Darwin, C. S. Lewis, Beatrix Potter, T.S. Eliot, J.K. Rowling, James Barrie; history of British psychology, psychical research, and parapsychology; visits to the British Museum, Psychological Association, Oxford, Cambridge, homes and archives; British modernity and mental illness.
Avant-garde Movements in London (3 credits) - ENGL 455, 199 or 499 taught by Matthew Weber (select one)
“On or about December 1910, human character changed,” wrote Virginia Woolf in her essay “Modern Fiction.” This famous declaration alludes to an upheaval in a medium other than writing: England’s first exhibit of Post-Impressionist painting, something that previously didn’t even have a name. In the same spirit of newness, this course will immerse us in a new place, and in various versions of “the new” that have come to exemplify British modernism. Although “modernism” serves as an umbrella term for a lot of writers who experimented and broke boundaries all over the globe, the avant-garde movements out of London alone are extremely diverse.
While we explore the vast collections of Post-Impressionist visual art in London’s museums, we will also read examples from Imagism and Vorticism, two (mostly) literary avant-garde movements, along with manifestoes from those movements and others. Our survey will send us into the archives of modernism and its “little magazines,” where we will bear witness to the circulation of polemic and experimentalism among tight-knit—and often quarrelsome—groups of artists and intellectuals during a crucial moment in aesthetic history. The course will conclude with a look at one contemporary avant-garde collective, Tom McCarthy’s International Necronautical Society, who are very weird and funny and obsessed with death (see necronauts.org). Students will give presentations about found objects and write their own manifestoes.
Artists and Writers: Vanessa Bell, Clive Bell, Roger Fry, Virginia Woolf, Ezra Pound, H. D., Wyndham Lewis, Mina Loy, F. T. Marinetti, George Orwell, Tom McCarthy.
Excursions: Monk’s House (Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell); the Courtauld Gallery (Impressionism and Post-Impressionism); Tate Modern (Vorticism, propaganda); the British Library (Little Magazines, Orwell’s propaganda collection); an array of contemporary art galleries (TBD).
Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.
Successful applicants will complete pre-requisities for the program
Minimum 2.5 GPA
All students must hold a passport which is valid until six months after the last day of the program (or date of return to U.S if students is extending travel)
Housing and Meals
Students will live in shared apartments in Bloomsbury. They will be responsible for providing their own meals.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Summer budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit theFunding Study Abroadsection of the Global Penn State website.
For More Information
For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.