Overview - The City As Your Classroom
As a Grinnell-in-London student, you take a semester of rigorous, engaging courses in theatre, English, history, politics, and more, delving into Britain’s rich culture in one of the world’s great cities. Alongside class meetings with Grinnell faculty on Mondays and Wednesdays, on Tuesdays and Thursdays you’ll immerse yourself at a local university or in an internship, capping the week on Friday with a field trip.
Grinnell-in-London offers students and faculty who teach on the program the opportunity to learn as a community about this dynamic place, its history, and its people through a careful selection of courses, opportunities for cultural integration, and co-curricular activities. Program core courses are offered by a rotating pair of guest Grinnell faculty. These courses are tailored to utilize London as a site and appeal to a range of students across majors. Local staff offer a small set of other regular program courses that currently focus on history, literature, politics, and theatre. All students register for at least one core course, take another 4 to 8 credits of additional program courses, and choose one of two 4-credit program tracks intended to provide a closer experience of British culture.
The Fall 2019 guest Grinnell faculty is Ross Haenfler.
Courses are subject to enrollment and all students choose at least one.
SOC 295: UK Subcultures
This course explores a variety of youth-oriented subcultures, focusing especially on how such cultures developed in the United Kingdom from the post-WWII period to the present day. London has been home to some of the most recognized subcultures around the world, including the Teddy boys, mods, rockers, skinheads/ska kids, punks, goths, Riot Grrrls, ravers, and a myriad of other groups. Theories of moral panics and subcultural resistance pioneered by UK scholars will play a central role in the class, offering a broad understanding of power/authority, control, and resistance. Taking a “whole life” perspective, students will study how subcultural participation influences and is influenced by political engagement, work and career, ageing, and leisure. How do skinheads engage in politics, how does being punk influence one’s career, and how do goths reconcile subcultural participation as they age? How subcultures both resist and reinforce dominant meanings of gender, race, sexuality, and social class will run throughout the course. Each student will study a subculture of their choosing throughout the semester. Potential site visits include: Stonehenge to study pagan subcultures; a fieldtrip to Brighton; tattoo and record shops; various music venues; and the Queer Tour of London.
SOC 195/GLS 195 - Sport and Identity in Britain
This course combines sociologies of sport, culture, and politics to examine sporting cultures, with particular emphasis on popular sports in Britain. We will explore definitions of sport, the role of sports in British society, and how sports are gendered, raced, and classed. Sport will help us consider broader issues of multiculturalism, globalism, nationalism, and colonialism. Other topics will include athletes as celebrities, the Paralympics, and football hooliganism. Football/soccer, cricket, tennis, rugby, and other major sports will serve as case studies, though fox hunting, rowing, polo, and boxing will also provide examples. Students will develop projects connecting a sport of their choosing with theoretical concepts discussed in class, for example asking how the politicians and organizers use the Olympics to develop a certain brand of nationalism and identity. Potential site visits include the London (Olympic) Stadium, Wimbledon, National Football Museum in Manchester, and various sporting matches.
The program is located in the Bloomsbury neighborhood of London, on a street whose most famous and prestigious building is no less than the British Museum. Thus, we are just down the street from the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon marbles, the Benin bronzes, treasures of ancient Egypt and much more. Bloomsbury is also a central location for colleges belonging to the University of London, so the neighborhood is a comfortable one for students.
Grinnell-in-London offers a wide array of field trips - see course descriptions for specific destinations. While field trips do vary from year to year, past programs have traveled to:
Bruges & Ghent, Belgium
In addition, there are several in-London field trips, including visits to museums, galleries, and at least 6 theater performances.
Excited by all that London has to offer? To explore further, click on the links:
Time Out London
Victoria & Albert Museum
Grinnell-in-London currently offers up to fifteen slots for internships, up to three in the British parliament and up to twelve at-large. Because the number of students in our program who can serve as interns is regulated by the UK Border Agency, selection of students for internship slots is usually competitive. Selection is based on students' academic records, the viability of matching a student's interests with the kinds of internships available in London, and the suitability of a student's background for a proposed internship. An intern must have something to offer a prospective host.
Students articulate their interest in serving as interns as well as how internships suit their backgrounds and goals in their application to GIL. Upon being accepted into the program and awarded one of the internship slots, students work with our London internship coordinator to secure a position.
All internships are 4 credits, which includes a seminar that structures reflections and analysis on the experience and provides the basis for earning academic credit. Parliamentary interns register for the Internship seminar and are required to also register for the four-credit course, POL 295: Governing Britain and its Regions. They are also provided with access to the Senate House Library at University College London.
For a list of some past internships done in London by Grinnell students, please search the Pioneer Internship Database. Gain access by logging into PioneerWeb, clicking on the Community tab, and clicking on "Pioneer Internship Database" under Resources or going to GrinnellShare to the CLS Site.
By May students submit professional documents to our London-based internship coordinator, and begin the placement process. Placements may not happen until the summer or early fall, given the timelines in which many London organizations function.
Beginning in April, you can get help with preparing your resume and other professional documents through events sponsored by Grinnell's Center for Careers, Life and Service and the Writing Lab.
NOTE: Students with internships must apply for and obtain a Student Visa prior to departing for the UK. Please be aware of the following issues:
Internships are a very valuable experience, but they are also a lot of work. Students in internships will not have as much free time as students in the Queen Mary track.
The visa in 2014 was approximately $500, which must be paid by the student at the time of application in June.
Visa applications cannot be made earlier than 3 months prior to departure, and may take up to 6 weeks to process. This means that you may not have access to your passport for the summer. Students with US passports must submit proof of your application for the visa by July 1 or risk being dropped from the internship track.
International students may encounter additional criteria or documentation. UK Immigration may require you to take a language test in April prior to applying for the visa. We encourage you to begin researching the immigration procedure and timeline in March. You may also need to limit travel between the end of the academic year and the beginning of the GIL program in order to allow sufficient time to handle any unexpected details. Students with non-US passports must submit proof of a visa application by June 15 or risk being dropped from the internship track. For some initial information see the UK website for student visas.
Options for student housing include the possibility of sharing an apartment with other Grinnell students and of living in a dormitory with a mix of students from other institutions and countries. Details will be provided in late February, after a student has been accepted to the program.
APPLICATION DUE DATE: February 1, 2019.