USF London: Coming this summer

In USF World’s new London program, students can study abroad and see monuments like Big Ben for only $4,500. PHOTO/WESLEY HIGGINS

If there are two things that don’t come cheap, it’s international travel and higher education. But through a new USF initiative, students who study in London this summer may still have a few pounds left to spend at the pub down the street from Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.

USF World, Academic Affairs and the Provost’s Office partnered in a joint effort to create more global citizens by providing scholarships and cheaper accommodations to study abroad across the pond.

“The thing that makes London such an incredible city … for anybody, is that it’s probably among the Western major capitals,” said Roger Brindley, vice provost and associate vice provost for USF World. “The most diverse and multicultural city. It is extraordinary, and people from all over the world gravitate to London.”

Since so many students are expected to travel to London this summer, the travel abroad program comes at a bargain price. The university negotiated to rent an entire hall at the University College London, located near the British Museum, for a cheaper price than booking students individually.

The total individual cost for the program is $4,500. This includes housing, tuition for six credit hours, various expenses (excluding airfare) and a bus to Bath and Stonehenge. 

“I have seven (faculty members), and now we can take a hundred students, we can get a whole residents’ rate that’s more manageable,” Brindley said. “You create all kinds of interweaving opportunities, students who could be with students from any number of different majors and getting to know new friends.”

Previously there have been numerous study broad trips in the UK — including a hybrid London/Paris program — but there have been no study abroad programs to the home of the Queen. 

“The common value is that by pooling our outputs … which makes it highly competitive with any other European program that we run,” Brindley said. “So we have taken a relatively expensive city and made it accessible.”

Most study abroad trips have 35 to 40 students, but sending over 200 students to study in Italy over the last few summers was noted by Brindley. The London program, he said, should live up to the Florence experience.  

While students who went to Florence often studied the great architects and painters of the city, students in London this July will explore the city that inspired both Shakespeare and Victorian literature, as well as learn from today’s prominent international advertising companies.

To help kick-start the program, Brindley said the Provost’s Office is offering 50 $1,000 scholarships this summer. Additionally, USF Honors College Dean Charles Adams said there will be 20 $1,500 scholarships available for students in his college.

“We hope as we go along to create stronger relationships with the colleges and universities of London that we’re working with,” Brindley said. “Any time you start up a big program, you need to invest in it, and you need to run it, learn from the experience, and over time, you build a tradition.” 

As an added incentive for students, Brindley said the pound is weakening and the U.S. dollar will therefore go farther than in recent years.

Interested students can find out more information at today’s Education Abroad Fair in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. or Wednesday’s USF London information session at 4 p.m. in MSC 3301.