Pitt in London Semester

Study in one of the most vibrant, exciting and culturally rich cities in the world. Pitt in London offers a variety of courses across different disciplines and an optional part-time internship. Your lecturers will be faculty from universities throughout the city along with Pitt faculty based at the CAPA London Center. Whether you study English Literature, Political Science, History, or Business London will be your classroom and textbook. If you decide to do an internship - we guarantee the placement! Take advantage of the unique opportunitiy to get international work experience for credit and advance your intercultural communication skills. 
 
Pitt has collaborated with CAPA International Education to run this program for over 25 years, and you can be confident that you will feel safe and supported throughout your entire experience in London. The CAPA London Center will host your classes and CAPA staff will be there for you to answer any questions and provide guidance.This immersive study abroad program will give you an incredible opportunity to live like a Londoner and challenge you to grow academically, personally, and professionally. 
 
And if you still have any doubts, learn about the program from the students who have done it. Read students' blog here.
 

What You'll Accomplish

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity:

  • to learn how to navigate living in a big city: from using one of the world's busiest metro systems to managing time and resources
  • to explore rich and diverse culture and history of London and the UK, and analyze current political, economic and social challenges the country is facing
  • to advance your intercultural communication skills and develop deeper understanding of opportunities and challenges the globalization brings to the academic and professional environments 

 

If your first thoughts of London are the Royal Family and Downton Abbey, prepare to be blown away. English history and culture are juxtaposed against streets lined with Indian restaurants and Chinese New Year celebrations. The birthplace of the English language is now home to speakers of more than 30 other languages – and that is not counting the variety of English accents you will hear. Skyscrapers tower over 17th-century buildings while Big Ben overlooks the River Thames. Study abroad in London and you find yourself constantly surprised by what you discover in one of the world’s most diverse and global cities.

Where You'll Live

Part of the experience is to live like a Londoner. The overwhelming majority of students choose to live in shared apartments – the English call them flats – spread across the city. While apartments are as varied as the city itself and no two flats are alike, all of them are located in safe neighborhoods and secure buildings. Regardless of where you live, you can expect a 45- to 60-minute commute to the CAPA Center.  We’ve got your commute covered with an unlimited pass for Zones 1 and 2 on the London Underground.
You can expect the following:

  • Shared bedrooms (2 or 3 students/bedroom, single bed or bunk bed)
  • Bedding, but need to bring your own towels
  • Shared bathroom
  • Shared kitchen 
  • Internet access (for general browsing, but not meant for heavy downloading or streaming)
  • Coin operated laundry 
  • It is not typical for UK residences to have air conditioning or dryers

Please note that meals are not included in the program fee.
You will receive your address, roommate information, and neighborhood description about 2 weeks before your departure for London.
 
We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions.
 
If apartment living does not appeal to you, homestays are also an option.  Email your Pitt program manager for more information. 

What You'll Study

You should have no trouble finding Pitt in London courses that meet your requirements – just a take a look for yourself below.  Each course is worth three credits; you can take from 12 to 18 credits during the term.  Doing an internship?  Remember that counts as one class (3 credits).
Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found below:
Fall
Spring

Learning through Internships (ARTSC1903)

The Learning through Internships program is a unique and innovative opportunity for students to combine their internship placement (and living abroad) experience with a weekly in-class educational and mentoring experience (session), which aims to develop students' personal and professional skills while earning academic credit. The Focus Seminars and Regional Identities lectures and activities which make up an important part of the program are designed to provide theory and practice around societal themes which inform and enrich the internship experience. Students enrolling in ARTSC 1903 will earn 3 semester credits and intern 15-20 hours per week.

Ethics in the Media (COMMRC1156)

This course addresses the principal ethical issues facing print and broadcast journalism that arise almost daily in media coverage of matters of public controversy, such as crime, war, and privacy. Problems of regulation and codes of practice are also examined alongside London's global importance as a media hub and the distinctive media culture of the UK.

The City Made Strange (ENGFLM1493)

London has existed for more than two thousand years, and the ghosts of the recent and ancient past remain abroad in its streets and its culture. This course aims to explore the deep funds of strangeness and otherness that permeate London’s places and spaces, through examining films and television series that show the city as a brimming reservoir of past and future shocks.
The course will examine science fiction, horror and noir/neo-gothic cinema and television from all eras, with a particular emphasis on works that take London itself as a major part of their story. These might be disaster or alien invasion films that see the city as a site of destruction or devastation, horror films which render a familiar city frightening and strange, or noir explorations of London’s underbelly that expose sides of the city that are normally hidden.
The course will both present an alternative history of London on film, and also provide students with rich possibilities for the analytic study of film and television. Horror and science fiction are notorious as vessels for the expression of both social and political anxieties, and the selection of films would encourage analyses of both psychological content and broader contexts (areas might include, for instance, Cold War-era fears, body horror, racial or class concerns).
Readings will be both critical and complementary, and hope to locate uncanny London on film in relation not only to American cinematic tropes in genres such as horror, but also to the large fictional and occult literature which features London as a place of archaic energies and occult forces.
All students develop their basic skills in analyzing film texts, and will also develop a good grasp of long-trends and recent themes in British horror and science fiction cinema. They will gain insight into the ways that film can reflect and respond to contemporary social and political conditions and events, and the way that film and television relate to literature. Students will gain an understanding of horror and science fiction as key genres in British film, and gain awareness of some key points at which these genres in British cinema and television differ from their counterparts in US film.
As a result, students on this course will:
- understand and engage with the international history of cinema (as well as that of other visual media forms) and be able to ­place media texts within their social, political, cultural and historical contexts.
-have hands-on experience in at least one area of film and media production (e.g. photography, film, video, video installation, or digital imaging).
-be able to write clearly, coherently and skillfully about the cinema (its history, theory, aesthetics, and/or social/cultural context).

City Symphony (ENGFLM1495)

The city symphony film emerged in the 1920s, when filmmakers were experimenting with the mobility of viewpoint enabled by the portable film camera and more sensitive panchromatic film stock. The city, in particular its interwar technologies of urban transport and machinery, provided the ideal testing ground for the newly sensitive and mobile camera. It demanded to be seen, and shown, in a new mode that for Brazilian director Alberto Cavalcanti, only film could provide. But of all the international cities that were given the symphony treatment in the 1920s – New York, Paris, Berlin, St Petersburg, Sao Paulo – London was missing. If London lacked its own ‘city symphony’ film in the 1920s, what were the significant representations of the urban experience? This course looks at the ways in which London both invited and defied the filmmaker’s gaze in this critical period of early cinema, and considers how a contemporary city symphony for London might be composed.
The city has been an integral part of the filmmaker’s vocabulary since cinema’s genesis in the late nineteenth century. The urban environment and the craft of film grew up together in the twentieth century, seasoned by various convergences of technology, one notable one in the 1920s with broadcast radio, telephony and the talkies, and another over the last fifteen years, with broadband, smartphone cameras, and digital media. This course bridges these two periods, drawing on history and theory to interrogate the form of the city symphony film essay, and develop an urban filmmaking practice that allows students to gather and formulate their own reflections on London.
The course will be run alongside Urban Scavenger, in which students will develop and make their own film within a taught theoretical framework. Students will be strongly encouraged to bring ideas from one to the other, and to combine critical analysis with practical filmmaking.

Contemporary British Film (ENGFLM1190)

The 1990s and 2000s saw the British film industry undergo a number of dramatic changes. From an all-time low at the end of 1980s, during the early 1990s British cinema entered a period of confidence and success that was mirrored by a major structural and financial reorganization. The course will chart the development of British film during the period 1994-2010 through the critical study of key films, and will examine the way that these films both emerge from and transform the earlier British cinema tradition. Readings will focus on the critical reception of the films and the manner in which they have been absorbed into the canon. There will also be particular focus on the political and social context of the films.

Political Media (ENGFLM1490)

This class pursues three related lines of enquiry about cinema as a political practice:
1) Examining the ways cinema has been used by dominant groups – such as states, militaries, corporations – to advance both broad and specific goals for the political and economic management of populations. (E.g. the state development of propaganda; the corporate innovation of Public Relations; the development of a corporate financed and controlled mainstream industry producing film for commercial gain (sometimes in collaboration with the state).)
2) Examining the ways oppositional, radical, political groups from diverse perspectives have innovated and developed a political cinema to challenge power at either local, national, or global level. We will examine some aspects of the global history of these movements, from early oppositional cinematic practices to the flowering of a post-colonial cinema of resistance beginning in the 1950s, to the current proliferation of a digital activism like for example that seen recently in relation to the ongoing intifadas in the Arab world.
3) We will examine these practices, across history and geography, in dialogue with writing that sought and seeks to explore the politics of cinema and media, looking closely at manifestos written by cultural activists and traditions of political modernist scholarship on cinema. Likewise, our examination of the films will enable us to learn about the specific conjunctures of political and economic struggle. The films will help us learn about the past in ways often occluded in mainstream media, and in particular the enactment and struggle against forms of territorial and economic imperialism, and the more recent (post-1973) intensification of a globalizing capitalism enshrined in the neo-liberal agendas exported with devastating consequences from the industrialized West.
Our (expansive) goals are to understand the role film and media plays in the orchestration of power, and how this has been contested and transformed.
In the midst of our 3 broad agendas, the class pursues some pragmatic objectives:

  • It will expand knowledge of cinema history, including different histories of production, distribution, and exhibition. (We understand “cinema” here broadly to refer to the production and dissemination of moving pictures.).
  • It will explore different forms of this cinema (documentary, experimental, propagandistic, fictional) and lead us to explore the politics of form cross history.
  • It will explore the writings of cultural activists and academics as they examine questions about media, power, and influence.
  • It will produce knowledge about past political struggles as mediated through film (and push us to learn about the socio-political contexts in which the films were made and circulated).
  • Plus it will necessarily prompt questions about how different state systems engage with media and how the production and regulation of media are political acts that shape the possible public sphere. In pursuing these lines of enquiry our work will necessarily be inter-disciplinary, and we will draw in particular (but not exclusively) from scholarship in political history and political science, public policy, film, media, and cultural studies, history, and broadly progressive traditions of historical, cultural, and media analysis. 
Post-war Pop Culture in Britain (ENGLIT1760)

This course will look at some key theories of popular culture, and include case studies of selected examples from the British Isles since 1945. Popular culture versus subcultures will be examined. The main aim will be to enable students to think independently about this topic. The course will include study visits to galleries, museums and other sites as an important learning experience. This course aims to draw in the students' previous educational and life experiences of culture and history, including oral cultures, popular and ethnic cultures and social and religious movements. It will compare British and American experiences of popular culture, the differences, similarities and cross-influences.

Introduction to Shakespeare (ENGLIT0580)

For a portrayal of the variety and depth of human emotions, Shakespeare has never been equaled. In this course, a selection of plays will be studied in depth, with equal focus on the genres of comedy, history and tragedy. Through visits to Shakespearean plays in performance, to the Globe theatre workshop, and through guest speakers, the plays will be examined not only textually but also as living plays that tell us as much about modern identity as the development of the early modern identity. Students will examine the notion of Shakespeare as 'timeless' to understand how vitally he moves from the concerns of his day to ours. This course requires an addition $70 fee to cover the cost of theatre tickets while in London.  You will pay this via credit card upon arrival.

London Across History, Literature, and Film (ENGLIT1199)

The course is designed to introduce students both to canonical literary texts from Johnson to Conan Doyle and to contemporary representations of multi-cultural London.  In the first half of the course we visit the places where famous literary projects were first conceived.  In the second half of the course the class will be visited by an author or director working in contemporary London.
This course takes its students on a historical tour of the capital with great writers and film-makers as our guides.  We start with a boat trip from Westminster to Tower Bridge: a view of the city from the river on which it was built.  Our first stop back on land is Samuel Johnson and the world of eighteenth century literary London.  We look at some of the variety of Johnson’s writing and also visit the house in which he wrote his dictionary and the pub (The Cheshire Cheese) where he entertained his friends.  We then move onto the Romantic poets and read poems about London by Blake, Wordsworth and Keats before visiting the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum.  We then pass into the nineteenth century world of detective fiction and some of the stories of Sherlock Holmes.  The second half of the course focuses on contemporary London and questions of class, race and culture. We read Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia and Zadie Smith’s NW and watch a series of films which show the changing face of London over the last fifty years. 

Introduction to Science Fiction (ENGLIT0626)

What lies beyond “The Final Frontier”? Why does it matter if androids dream of electric sheep? What will our future look like and who will be there to enjoy it? What role does technology, ethics and/or politics play in imagining our future? Why has science fiction become such a central metaphor for our daily, lived experiences? Introduction to Science Fiction discusses them all! This course is designed to expose students to broad spectrum of science fiction. We will examine representative texts from each of the modern, roughly defined as the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, “periods” of the genre. The class will discuss the ongoing debate surrounding the “work” performed by the genre, as well as its themes, and stylistic movements. Whether you are a geek, or are geek-adjacent, this course has something for you!
 

Childhood's Books (ENGLIT0562)

This course examines writing for young people, with a focus on children’s books about cities. We will consider how represen-tations of childhood in literature change over time and in response to specific historical and cultural events, with special focus on literary representations of children in urban environments, and the role of the city in the development of children’s literature as a genre. We will explore the relationship between books for children and the historical experiences of children in London. Readings will include classic and contemporary children’s literature by British, American, and African authors, including Peter Pan, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Zarah the Windseeker, including novels and picture books. The class will take field trips to notable sites in London relevant to the history of childhood and children’s literature. Students will write regularly in response to course readings, field trips, and lectures, and they will conduct original research about the relationship between the history of children’s literature and the city of London, and present that research in class.

Syllabus:
Detective Fiction (ENGLIT0625)

This course addresses the development of the modern detective novel, British and American, from the late 19th century into the 21st.  Detective and crime fiction is one of the most popular forms of narrative, appealing to writers and readers with widely diverse interests and ideologies.  It can offer intense action, intellectual challenge, access to criminal underworlds, political and social critique, and exploration of the psyche.  The focus in this version of the course will be on cities (London and Los Angeles) as sites of criminal imagination, and on detectives as explorers of the city’s hidden connections.  Whether or not they bring about “justice” will be an open question.  Our approach will be broadly historical, from the British amateur sleuths of Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, through the American “hard-boiled” private eye, to the contemporary “police procedural” in television and film as well as fiction. 

Gender and Citizenship in Modern Europe (GSWS1140)

This course analyzes women's claims for citizenship throughout the 20th century from a variety of European perspectives, and charts the ways in which women have adapted to and attempted to challenge the ideological, political, and material conditions of citizenship in 20th century Europe.

Introduction to Modern Art (HAA0030)

This course examines modern works of art from the late nineteenth century through to the present. The course begins by analyzing the ways in which the seeds of Modern Art were sown at the end of the nineteenth century, before moving on to work made during the twentieth century - particularly art produced in response to the First and Second World Wars; and culminates with reference to contemporary practice.

Creative Industries in Digital World (HAA0870)

This course will focus on the ways in which the Creative industries are structured, and how arts administrators successfully share creativity with the public and leverage the commercial opportunities of creative production. Key topics to be explored will include the arts as a business; managing financial imperatives and the artistic process; promoting and presenting cultural products. Case studies will be drawn from a variety of fields such as film, digital media, gaming, theatre, museums, and publishing, and students will have the opportunity to engage directly with practitioners successfully working in various fields of arts and culture and those managing the interface between creativity and business in London.

Modern Britain (HIST1181)

This course surveys how Britain has responded to political, social, and cultural forces during the twentieth century. Topics include: changing perceptions about the role of the state; the decline of empire; the effect of two world wars; economic strategies; the development of multiculturalism; and the role of women with an emphasis on how the lives of ordinary British people have changed during the last century.

West European Government and Politics (PS1311)

Where and what is Europe? Who are the Europeans? What is Europe's future? "Europe" has been a cultural idea that European elites have struggled to impose on the chaotic diversity of their continent. How has the concept "European" been defined historically, and in relation to whom? This interdisciplinary course addresses these fundamental questions of politics, geography and identity by tracing the history of "Europe" as a political concept and the cultural, political and economic factors that have shaped modern European countries. Such issues have been brought into close focus by the implications of European integration, destabilising assumptions about the territorial extent of Europe and the scales at which government, sovereignty and citizenship should operate. This course outlines the contemporary structures of the European Union and also investigates the various processes that have made Europe such a distinctive, dynamic and highly varied region. It also examines the historical roots of current tensions between - and within - the nation-states of Europe, such as ethnic nationalism, the legacy of imperialism and the politics of remembrance, and demonstrates how they continue to shape European politics today.

Global Perspectives on Human Rights in Action (PS1675)
Child Development in a British Context (PSY1050)

This course investigates the aims and principles of developmental psychology as a scientific discipline, and describes the methods used to obtain knowledge about children and their development. Issues such as children's early attachments, the development of the self, the emergence of consciousness, and the role of play are examined, with an emphasis on the role of education and child care practices and policies in the UK in shaping children's development.

Experiencing Globalization: Society, Space and Everyday Life in London (SOC1440)

The course aims to trace the play of uneven and contested globalizing processes as well as trans-local and transnational forms of connection and division in the lives of the people students will encounter during their studies and / or service placements, as well as the forms of social activism and political struggle that have emerged to address the challenges that these people face in everyday life.  This course also allows students to identify and assess the factors that have been most significant in shap-ing the ways these developments have been unfolding globally, in relations between London, its inhabitants, and the wider world, and in the specific settings students encounter in field studies and / or service-learning placements.

Islam and Britain (SOC1515)

This course examines how multiethnic diversity shapes and defines our understanding of modern Britain, through a specific focus on Muslim communities in London and the nature of their interactions with wider society. Students analyze the ways in which imperialism and its legacy, as well as Britain's global relationships, have influenced political policies and social attitudes toward multiculturalism and Muslim groups in particular.

Understanding Modern Britain (SOC1515)

One of the most effective ways of understanding a nation is by examining the images, values, symbols, and individuals by which a nation represents itself. This multi-disciplinary course explores a variety of forms of national representations, ideals and icons to investigate the ways in which modern Britain and British identities have been imagined, constructed, and experienced at home and internationally.

Analyzing and Exploring the Global City -London (URBNST1410)

This interdisciplinary course focuses on the modern development of one of the world's most significant global cities in comparative context. It examines London's changing identity as a world city, with a particular emphasis on comparing the city's imperial, postcolonial, and transatlantic connections and the ways in which past and present, local and global intertwine in the capital.

Experiential Learning Description

More than 75 percent of Pitt in London students complete an internship, and with good reason. Whether your post-graduation plans include entering the workforce, going to graduate school, or pursuing a different path, professional work experience always stands out on a resume.
 
Internships in London are 20 hours per week, excluding commuting time. In addition to workplace experience, you will also meet with peers and faculty for internship seminars to help you get the most out of the experience. Internships are always unpaid, always for three credits, and always pass/fail.
 
You can sign up for an internship regardless of your major as a part of the application process.  Keep in mind that you will not know what your internship placement is until 14 days before departure.  While this may seem like a long time to wait, remember that our partners are searching for an internship just for you. Your past experiences, coursework, and desired placements areas are all taken into account.  This kind of personalized service takes time but is well worth the wait.
 
Get in touch with your Pitt in London program manager, to learn more about internships. Please note that internships are availble for students in their second semester of sophomore year or higher. 

Pitt runs this program in partnership with CAPA: The Global Education Network. For more than 45 years CAPA: The Global Education Network has worked with institutions of higher education to build programs that meet students goals for learning abroad. 
The CAPA London Center is housed in 2 connected Victorian townhouses in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and their staff will be there to assist with any questions or challenges through out the program. 

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts

Oksana Stalczynski

Privet! I'm Oksana Stalczynski and I'm a Program Manager at the Study Abroad Office. I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, was an exchange student and Russian Language Scholar at Reed College in Portland, OR and did a summer language program in Dresden, Germany. A study abroad experience broadens your horizon, grows your circle of friends and improves your career opportunities. That’s why I think everyone should do one!

Feel free to contact me to find out more about study abroad programs at Pitt, and/or to learn/practice some Russian.  Get in touch with me at Oksana.stalczynski@pitt.edu or 412-383-3237!

 

Your In-Country Contacts

Tyler Bickford

Tyler Bickford is an Associate Professor at the English Department at Pitt. He specializes in contemporary children's media, especially popular music and digital technology. Trained as an ethnomusicologist, his research and teaching interests include childhood studies, popular culture, new media, education, music and language, and ethnographic methods.

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $9,314 $14,902
Program Fee $8,885 $8,885
Study Abroad Fee $400 $400
Total Billed by Pitt $18,599 $24,187

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare $1,000 - $1,200
Personal Expenses and Meals $3,000 - $5000
Local Cell phone $100
Visa (interns and non-US citizens) $500
   

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information

What's Included

As a part of your Pitt in London fee, the following are included in the program:

  • Tuition for 12-18 credits
  • Housing
  • Orientation in London
  • Cultural Events and Activities
  • An Unlimited Tube Pass for Zones 1 and 2
  • Excursions to Stonehenge and Bath, plus choose one of four other day trips!
  • Health Insurance
  • Membership to the University of London at Imperial College Student Union
When You'll Go

The fall semester starts on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. Please note that because of the time difference you will need to depart the US no later than Tuesday, September 3, 2019
 
The spring semester starts on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. Please note that because of the time difference you will need to depart the US no later than Tuesday, January 7, 2020