IFSA Summer in London
Your London summer is full of options that suit your studies in business, arts, social science, or psychology. Take one or two classes per six-week session, diving into UK culture and a topic that fascinates you, from the computer game industry to forced migration, and London’s complex world of class, gender, and race to the economics of professional soccer. Along the way, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get to know London’s traditions and history, and explore icons like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London.
Details at a Glance
3 - 12
During your IFSA Summer in London, customize your study abroad experience by taking one or two classes during the six-week Session 1 or take one or two classes during the six-week Session 2. You can also extend your studies by enrolling in both Session 1 and Session 2.
SESSION 1 CLASSES
Computer Games Cultures and Industry
This class explores the computer and video games industry from an interdisciplinary critical culture and creative industry lens, with readings, resources, classes, guest speakers, and site visits focusing on the intersection of business and culture in the computer games industry. From mass culture multinational corporations through to smaller ‘indie’ games developers, this class examines the evolving structure of the computer games industry with an in-depth exploration of industry innovation, investment, changing demographics, and cultural appeal and implications. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Drawing directly from the fields of sociology and psychology, social psychology is the examination of the perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals within their social environments. This class provides a grounding in social psychology topics such as social cognition, attitudes, social influence, individual motivations, collective behavior, and cultural influences. Content and assignments are designed to illustrate how the individual and social interaction shape and are shaped by the cultures and social structures in which they exist. Students are introduced to methodologies used to investigate social psychology phenomena, and the course will aid students’ understanding of the application of social psychology research to “real world” problems. Several carefully selected in-class exercises are included in order to facilitate application of theory to practice. As a special topic of investigation, particular attention will be paid to the examination of socioeconomic class in Britain and its implications for social psychology issues in Britain. As part of the class, students will be guided by the instructor in brief visits to certain neighborhoods within London to provide rich context for discussions. In this way, the city of London will serve as a vibrant laboratory of learning. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
New Media and Behavior
As individuals increasingly consume news from sources of personal choice and become producers of news through social media engagement, this class investigates communication patterns and human action. The relationship between media reporting and its impact on the psyche and decision making provides a basis for class discussions. In this class, students will be introduced to the field of media psychology. Through the application of theories of psychology and principles of communications, media psychology seeks to understand the interaction between media use, message content, and the effects on users. Students will explore issues of new media through the lens of various theories.
Specific topics of discussion will include the nature of participatory media culture, the complex interactions between media technologies, individuals and societies, and the differences between online and in-person communications and the connections of each to the ways in which humans make meaning of their worlds. We will ask ourselves questions such as: How does social networking affect our views of ourselves and others? How does our personal selectivity in news media consumption impact our behavior? What kinds of actions are taken by individuals through social media engagement that might be viewed as the production of news? The concepts of discourse, controversy and critique underpin the content and delivery of this highly interactive class. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Urban Identities: Gender, Race, and Class in London
Drawing from anthropology and sociology, this class utilizes intercultural learning theories to foster awareness of one’s own perspectives as well as those of the myriad communities comprising London. Multiple approaches to framing the multicultural city and appreciating common and contested spaces as inherent to urban diversity are included. This class will examine the role, function, and effects of identity as it relates to the lived experiences of Londoners. While case studies examine gender, race, religion, and class specifically, the class will approach identity from the perspective of intersectionality, in which the dimensions of diversity are understood as the simultaneous interplay of multiple factors. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
SESSION 2 CLASSES
This class will focus on the relationship between humans and their surrounding environment. It will explore topics such as hygiene, hazardous waste, sanitation policies, natural resource use, and air quality. The goal is to analyze how these factors play a role in human health. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Forced Migration, Refugees, and Change
More than 60 million people are displaced by war, violence, and environmental destruction in the world today. Half of them are children. Refugees, along with other migrants, affect both their home countries as well as the countries receiving them. The large numbers of forced migrants have created crises in the countries of Europe as well as the United States and elsewhere. This class focuses on Europe and the ways that governments, NGOs, citizens, and researchers seek to solve problems associated with forced migration. This class uses ethnographic approaches to investigate the sociological and political forces behind the current increase of refugees and forced migrants currently impacting Europe. The class goal is to encourage solutions to problems this migration creates by looking at what has been accomplished and what can be done in the future. This is an experiential learning class encouraging the development of transferable skills that have practical use in solving these and other societal issues in Europe and elsewhere. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
The purpose of this class is to place psychology in a global perspective, to understand that cultural differences impact behavior, but to explore through a cross-cultural approach those behaviors and mental processes that may be universal. In so doing, we will examine and critically analyze theories associated with multiculturalism and diversity. This class examines how “cultural traditions and social practices regulate, express, and transform the human psyche, resulting less in psychic unity for humankind than in ethnic divergences in mind, self, and emotion” (Shweder, 1991, p. 91). It will explore the ways in which psychology is socially constructed and will pay particular attention to the following factors as they influence human development: oppression, language, acculturation, economic concerns, racism and prejudice, sociopolitical factors, child-rearing practices, religious practices, family structure and dynamics, and cultural values and attitudes. We will explore the meaning of culture and how it affects our thoughts and behavior. Culture is a powerful influence, and often an invisible one. If we can learn to see this invisible force in our own lives, we can come to better understand the role culture plays in our interactions with those who have different cultural expectations. While cultural differences impact our behavior, what sorts of behaviors and thought processes do we share? What commonalities can be found? And what do these observations tell us about the development of multicultural competencies, whatever they may be? Questions such as these will guide our discussions. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Marketing Soccer from Local Teams to Global Standards
When Celtic Glasgow won the European Cup in 1967, all 11 players were born within 30 miles of the club’s ground. Today, the top soccer teams in the world predominantly feature foreign players and strive to attract a global fan base. This class explores how major soccer teams have transformed into global luxury brands, employing sophisticated marketing strategies to target international audiences and convert fans into profitable customers. Furthermore, this class critically examines the current model of relying on foreign players and pursuing global fan bases. Students analyze the potential consequences of this shift, including the possibility of fans becoming completely disenchanted with the sport as it evolves into a more globalized and commercialized entity. By combining theoretical knowledge with practical experiences, such as stadium visits and attending local games, this class provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the complex relationship between soccer teams, their finances, marketing strategies, and the global fan base they seek to cultivate. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
- You must be at least 18 years of age. Students under 18 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
- You must be currently attending or recently graduated from a U.S. or Canadian community college, technical college, two-year college, four-year college, or four-year university.
- You must have completed at least one (1) semester of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.
Not required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. A visa may be required if you are a citizen of another country.
Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. semester credit hour system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects courses taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost. See our Transcripts page for more information.
Activities and excursions are designed to pull you into the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. There’s no extra fee to participate in these optional outings—everything is included in your program fee.
Below are examples from previous terms; outings may be different for your program. We’ll make every effort to run them all, but sometimes things we can’t control, such as local regulations and health protocols, get in the way. As a result, we cannot guarantee these activities and excursions.
- Windsor and Eton: Roughly half an hour by train from London, the beautiful Berkshire towns of Windsor and Eaton occupy opposite sides of the Thames. There’s no shortage of history here, with Windsor Castle—an imposing architectural study, built by Norman the Conqueror and now a residence for the British Royal family—and Eton College—a prestigious all-boys public school with a long list of famous alums.
- London’s Southbank Walk and Borough Market: Wander the River Thames then nosh on fish and chips, Thai curry, and more—there are hundreds of produce and street food stalls to choose from. Soak up some history as you refuel—food markets have stood here since the Middle Ages.
- Get to know the real London with Unseen Tours: No one knows London like the locals. Explore the East End’s Brick Lane—known for its street art and multicultural heritage—or the West End’s Covenant Garden—once orchard garden for Westminster Abbey, now home of theatre, opera, shopping, and food galore.
- Brighton Day Trip: Widely recognized as UK’s gay capital, this seaside city is also where the mods and rockers were ’60s rivals. Home of Palace Pier, Brighton Royal Pavilion, historic streets, bohemian shops—and tasty fish and chips.
- Kent Day Trip: One day trip, three treasures. Wonder at stained glass, tombs, artefacts, and 1,400 years of history at Canterbury Castle. Explore Leeds Castle, once a fortress, then a royal residence with a spectacular “floating” island location on the River Len. See why Kent’s staggering chalk-white cliffs are a UK icon, forever linked to World War II, Shakespeare’s King Lear, and more.
- Shakespeare’s Globe: In London’s Southbank, travel back to 1599 and explore what’s arguably the world’s most famous theatre. Along the way, learn about Shakespeare and the history of this legendary open-air structure.
- Buckingham Palace: On the bucket list for countless UK visitors, here’s your chance to see the majestic London home of British monarchs since Queen Victoria in 1837. (Look for the Royal Standard’s yellow, red and blue squares that signify the king is in residence.)
- Thames River Boat Cruise: Get a perspective on London you can’t find from land. See why England’s longest river has long been a vital link for trade and transport as you take in icons like Big Ben, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, the House of Parliament, and the London Eye, and more, depending on route.
- Independence Day BBQ: You may be in the UK, but you can still celebrate the fabulous U.S. Independence Day with a festive get-together and meal.
Housing and Meals
Students live in central London in furnished flats (apartments) selected by IFSA, with IFSA students as flatmates.
- Living space: Many flats have single bedrooms and private bathrooms. Others have single bedrooms and shared baths; some have shared bedrooms and shared baths.
- Bedrooms include bed, desk, chair, wardrobe, and light for each student.
- Linens and towels are typically not provided.
- There’s comfortable space to cook, eat, socialize, and study either in your flat or in convenient common areas.
- Meals: Students cook or purchase their own meals. Flats include shared kitchens. Most are fully equipped; if not, kitchenware is easy to purchase nearby. Flatmates say cooking and eating together is a fun, social part of their day.
- Commute: Varies by location. Expect a 20- to 45-minute trip on foot and via the Tube (London’s subway) or bus.
Take a look at London Nest Lightfoot Hall, one housing option, to see what your London home might be like:
- Location: Chelsea, an upscale area known for beautiful architecture, galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and plentiful green space. Home of Chelsea Football.
- Commute: 30 minutes by Tube to the IFSA Program Center in Mayfair.
- Double rooms: Two students share one bedroom and one bathroom. Rooms include two single beds, desks, chairs, wardrobes, and TV. Bed linens are provided. Take advantage of fully equipped kitchens and comfortable, shared spaces for studying and socializing. (Students might be placed in single bedrooms, which incurs an additional fee.)
- Meals: No meal plan. Students purchase meals or prepare food in shared kitchens.
- Other details: Unlimited WiFi, staff and security on site 24/7. Laundry facilities on-site.
- Nearby: The Natural History Museum, King’s Road shopping, the Victoria & Albert Musuem, Battersea Park, Kensington Palace, the River Thames, and more.