This four-week, accelerated summer program will enable students to experience and understand the richness and complexity of British culture and explore those experiences in writing. This program is composed of a course on travel writing taught by best-selling author Professor Michael Meyer as well as a course on British popular culture.
The Travel Writing course is designed to offer you the opportunity to study and practice the art of travel writing. There will be a variety of readings, many of them focused on London and its environs, and most, but not all, from contemporary travel writers. This course will prove the occasion for you to stop, think, reflect and process all that you will be learning and experiencing as a traveler during your time abroad.
The course on British popular culture will help you understand what popular culture means, and how subcultures and countercultures resist or support this definition.
It will allow you to understand the advantages and disadvantages of globalization on culture; to question whether globalization is making culture the same the world over; to appreciate how subcultures are linked to the urban environment and that many subcultures are city-based; to recognize that Britain’s diversity has influenced the national culture, but to understand that there are still inequalities; to demonstrate through social dynamics that subcultures are inescapably linked to the mainstream.
As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity:
- to practice the art of travel writing under the guidance of a best-selling author
- to learn about British pop culture and research teh advantages and disadvantages of globalization on mainstream and subcultural movements
- to recognize how Britain's diversity has influenced the national culture and social dynamics
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.
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.
You will take 2 courses for a total of 6 credits.
Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found at www.abroad.pitt.edu/geneds.
This course offers students the opportunity to study and practice the art of travel writing. There will be a variety of readings, many of them focused on London and its environs, and most, but not all, from contemporary travel writers. Short writing assignments will send students out into the city to find a story, others are designed to draw upon other independent travels. You can think of this course as providing the occasion for you to stop, think, reflect and process all that you will be learning and experiencing as a traveler during your semester abroad. This course meets the “W” (writing intensive) Gen Ed requirement.
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.
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.
Dr. Shawn Alfonso Wells is a Professor of Anthropology at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh where she teaches in both the History and Anthropology and Africana Studies Departments. Dr. Alfonso Wells has published articles and conducted workshops on Cuba and Cuban Identity. She specializes in the Caribbean and Latin America. She is also the director of Abc Spanish Playtime and Adventures in Spanish, two language learning programs for children in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.
Pitt Faculty Member - Michael Meyer, the author of the acclaimed nonfiction books The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed and In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Time, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian, Slate, Architectural Record, the Chicago Tribune, the Iowa Review, on This American Life, and in many other outlets. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer to China, and has represented the National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations there. He is the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar award, and residencies at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy. He is a current fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations‘ Public Intellectuals Program and affiliated faculty with Pitt's Asian Studies Center.
Items Billed by Pitt
|Study Abroad Fee||$300||$300|
|Total Billed by Pitt||$6,299||$6,499|
Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs
|Airfare||$1,000 - $1,200|
|Personal Expenses and Meals||$1,000 - $1,500|
|Local Cell phone||$100|
|Visa (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.
The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only. Pricing for 2020-2021 will be posted and announced in the fall term.
As a part of your Pitt in London fee, the follow are included in the program:
- Tuition for 6 credits
- Orientation in London
- Cultural Events and Activities
- Unlimited Tube Pass for Zones 1 and 2
- Health Insurance
- Membership to the Student Central facilities
Dates for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in the fall!