London Thames

SU London Program

London, England


Southwestern University, in collaboration with IES, has created a program in London, England specifically designed for Southwestern students.  The SU London Program is a fifteen-week, sixteen-credit program for students who have attained at least sophomore status at the start of the program.

Students apply to Southwestern, not to IES, directly.


Tower Bridge, London, EnglandApplication Deadline: March 1

Program Start Date: August 26, 2015

Program End Date: December 13, 2015


The tentative cost for this fifteen-week program is equal to Southwestern’s on-campus tuition, room, and board charges for the fall semester of the academic year during which the program is run.

A $250 non-refundable application fee will be charged to the student’s SU account upon applying to the program.  

The program cost includes:

  • Tuition for sixteen credits
  • Housing in a modern residence hall, Nido King’s Cross 
  • Food stipend in the amount of £240/month
  • IES on-site staff and access to the IES Center
  • Medical insurance
  • Comprehensive on-site orientation, including a welcome lunch and bus tour of London
  • Local transportation passes within London (Zones 1 & 2)
  • Ground, and air (when applicable) transportation on all IES organized cultural excursions, day trips, and field trip
  • Entrance fees during cultural excursions, day trips, and field trip
  • Hostel and breakfast costs during organized field trip
  • Tickets to nine theatre performances

The program cost does not include:

  • International airfare to and from London: students are responsible for their own flight arrangements
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Personal expenses: Internet café, toiletries, activities, snacks, personal travel, etc.
  • Additional fee for participation in the optional Academic Internship
  • Textbooks


The curricular focus of the SU London Program changes every fall.  The curriculum of the 2015 SU London Program will include courses in History and Theatre.  Several courses are also cross-listed with other departments.  Students majoring in these fields will find the course offerings especially appropriate, though students in all majors can fulfill general education requirements, gain general elective credit, and benefit from the experience of living and studying abroad.  Credit transfer is not required as students enroll through Southwestern.  Courses taught by Southwestern faculty are developed to take advantage of on-site educational opportunities within London.  In addition to courses in the focus disciplines, the following basic courses are offered every year:

British Life and Culture (UST 05-224)

All students in the SU London Program enroll in this core course to ensure a common educational experience and to provide the background necessary for understanding British culture.  This core course examines the traditions and institutions that have shaped British life in the 21st Century.  Visiting lecturers from British academic, political, and social institutions as well as field trips to locations in London and throughout southern England are planned as part of the course.  The course is designed to help participants develop an appreciation and understanding of the British culture in which they now find themselves residing.  This course is taught by a British faculty member.

Theatre Arts in London (THE 74-114)

A theoretical and experiential survey of the theatre, its past and its present, with an emphasis on the role of theatre within society.  Emphasis will be on attending performances in London. This course is taught by a British faculty member.

This course satisfies the Fine Arts Lecture (FAL) general education requirement.

Academic Internship

Students are placed with organizations in London to gain practical experience in their field of study. Requires the permission of the SU Internship Coordinator in the Office of Career Services.  An additional fee applies.


2015 Curricular Focus:




Humanitarianism and Human Rights - HIS 16-304 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Britain established a self-image as a moral and humanitarian empire (largely based on its role in globally enforcing a ban on the slave trade). Many major human rights and humanitarian groups were founded in the UK in the twentieth century (Oxfam, Amnesty International), and continue to operate there today. We will trace the evolution of humanitarian ideas and actions from early religious charities through contemporary foreign aid policies. At the same time, we will consider how humanitarian ideas have interacted with the development of a human rights agenda—at times these two ideals have supported each other, at others they have been at odds. The course will focus on British developments, but include comparisons with other European states and with the US.

This course is cross-listed with Political Science as PSC 32-304.

This course is cross-listed with Feminist Studies as FST 04-304.

This course satisfies the Humanities general education requirement (if taken as History).

This course satisfies the Social Science general education requirement (if taken as Political Science).


Muslims in Europe - HIS 16-514

This course traces the history of European-Muslim interactions. We spend the first few weeks looking at the expansion of early Islamic empires into European territories. Next we consider the attitudes and policies adopted by European imperial powers in their interaction with the Muslim residents of their overseas holdings in Africa and Asia. Finally we examine the more recent reception of Muslims on European soil. The course will pay special attention to British relationships with Muslims, from the British role in the Crusades, through the practices of the British Empire, up to the Rushdie Affair and other contemporary British conversations.

This course is cross-listed with Religion as REL 19-534.

This course is cross-listed with Race and Ethnicity Studies as RES 37-524.

This course satisfies the Humanities Division general education requirement.

This course satisfies the Intercultural Perspectives general education requirement.

This course is part of the Mediterranean Mingling Paideia cluster.




19th and 20th Century British Costume in Literature - THE 74-304

Utilizing novels that have their setting in Britain during the 19th and early 20th centuries and that make use of descriptive costume as part of their storytelling and character description, the class will examine historical costume through this lens.  In addition to these novels, students will make use of the costume collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the films based upon these literary sources to further understand the silhouette, vocabulary and context within which these garments existed.

Students will combine primary research from, not only the V&A, but also the Fashion Museum at Bath combined with lecture and readings to understand costume from a sociological, political, historical and cultural standpoint.

Special attention will be given to understanding the cultural and sociological mores set within the novels that create the restrictions that manifest themselves in clothing from each particular period studied.

Upon completion, the student will have a better understanding of British history in the 19th and early 20th century, an appreciation for literary works from the period, a broad vocabulary of the terms used to describe costume components that no longer exist in our current age and an ability to recognize and analyze historical instances that may bring about a change in popular dress.

This course satisfies the Fine Arts Lecture Division general education requirement.

This course is cross-listed with English as ENG 10-304.

This course is part of the Investigating Identity Paideia cluster.

Aesthetics of Theatrical Design - THE 72-304

Grounded in the philosophy of traditional aesthetic criticism and appreciation, this course will seek to introduce the student to the art and architecture of the theatrical space and how one creates a theatrical world within the space through scenic, costume and lighting design.

Plays selected from a variety of genres and produced in a variety of venues will be used to cultivate a greater understanding of the theatrical space.  Students will read and analyze a variety of plays, research and create a design concept for those plays and present them to their peers before attending a production.

Each performance will be critiqued based upon this informed aesthetic appreciation.  The student will be expected to communicate their ideas in the form of artistic collage and rendering and through written critique.

This course satisfies the Fine Arts Performance Division general education requirement.

Housing & Meals

Students are housed in double rooms for single occupancy with a private bathroom in a modern residence hall, Nido King’s Cross.  Each room includes two beds, two writing desks, and two wardrobes.  Bedding is provided, but students are responsible for providing their own towels, which can be bought on-site or at the students’ convenience.  The private bathroom facility in each room contains a toilet, sink, and shower.  Additionally, each room has a live data port with free, 24-hour Internet access via an Ethernet port.  To utilize the data port, students need to bring their laptops that contain an Ethernet PC card, as this card acts as a modem for access to the Ethernet.  

Approximately sixteen students share one kitchen, which is equipped with basic cooking equipment.  In addition to basic utensils and dishes, students share a lockable fridge, cabinet storage, dishwasher, two stove-tops, and two ovens.  The kitchen is also furnished with a dining area.  Additionally, there is a café on-site serving hot and cold meals.

There are coin-operated laundry facilities in the basement of the residence hall, as well as in common rooms on various floors, which are furnished with comfortable seating and Wi-Fi.  Some floors contain a television in the common room, while others have been established specifically for reading and studying.  All residents have access to the fitness facility on-site for a required one-time induction fee of £10.

Along with 24-7 security coverage, there is an electronic key-card entry system to the residence hall.  Each student will have one key that provides access to the front door, bedroom, and kitchen.  The front desk in the reception area of the residence hall is also staffed 24 hours a day.

The student housing is within walking distance of stops for London buses and the Underground or “Tube”.

Students are provided a monthly meal stipend of £240 for the purchase of food.

Cultural Activities & Excursions

Students will participate in several local cultural excursions in London throughout the semester.  Previous activities and excursions have included: a backstage tour of the West End Theatre, a guided tour of the Globe Exhibition, cream tea, attendance at the Tower of London Key Ceremony, attendance at a professional soccer (football) game, and a tour of the British Museum.

Day trips to the following locations are also cultural components of the program: Bath, Cambridge, and Brighton.  The day trip to Bath includes round-trip bus transportation, a guided tour, and admission to Stonehenge.  The Cambridge trip includes round-trip bus transportation and a guided tour of the city.  Round-trip train transportation, a guided tour of the city, and entrance to the Royal Pavillion are included in the day trip to Brighton.

Additionally, students participate in a three-night/four-day field trip to Edinburgh and Inverness, Scotland.  This field trip includes a flight to Inverness, a bus to Edinburgh, and train transportation to London.  Students share rooms in a hostel on this trip.  Breakfast is included each day.  Additionally, two lunches and one dinner are included as part of the field trip.  Students are responsible for all other meals.  A guided tour of the Cairngorm Mountain Reindeer Centre, a boat trip at Loch Ness, a visit to Urquhart Castle, a guided hike through the Glen Coe Valley, and a visit to Edinburgh Castle are components of this field trip.

Apply Now:

Click here to apply now.

Southwestern University Faculty Contact

Kerry Bechtel

Associate Professor of Theatre

p: 512.863.1701


Melissa Byrnes

Assistant Professor of History

p: 512.863.1501