London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times.


Take your pick of a more independent exchange-student experience in bucolic Reading University, or have a more traditional experience with Centre students and faculty in the bustling heart of London. Centre drama students also have the option of participating in a small exchange with The Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.


students sitting in the grass at the University of Reading in England

Reading University

Reading University sprawls 300 leafy acres and is a quick 25-minute train ride from London. Their main campus is set in 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, so you’ll find plenty of places to relax during the day. The site has received seven consecutive Green Flag awards, recognizing it as one of Britain’s top green spaces. The university is known for its academic excellence and the professionalism of its Visiting Student Office, which organizes inexpensive and frequent trips to Edinburgh, Stonehenge, and other area destinations.

female student watching a double decker bus in London, England


Students live and study in the Clerkenwell district, a 20-minute walk down Theobalds Road to the Centre classroom near the British Museum. The housing is an easy walk to the Chancery Lane tube station (Central line) as well as to the Farrington tube station (Circle, Metropolitan, and Hammersmith & City lines). Students can also easily walk to the West End theatre district, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Saint Bartholomew the Great 1123 priory church, the Museum of London, Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, and other famous London sites.

Centre students performing in a play

The Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance

The Rose Bruford College is one of London’s leading drama schools and is located in the leafy south London town of Sidcup. RBC has an international reputation for top level training in all aspects of the theatrical arts. Each year two or three of their students study at Centre in the fall, and two or three of our students study there in the winter and spring terms. This exchange is designed to give their students a taste of a liberal arts approach to education and our students a taste of the conservatory experience.

More Program Details

Reading University

The same as studying in Danville, plus a $375 non-refundable deposit/surcharge and airfare. This amount includes a $15 carbon mitigation fee, but does not include the $20 cost of the required travel medicine presentation that all Centre students going abroad must attend. If you have great financial need, you may qualify for additional help from the Davidson Fund.

You will live in single or double rooms, each with its own washbasin, telephone, and computer port.There is a small kitchen for every eight rooms, and students are not segregated by gender or year. You will take your meals, compete on intramural teams, and have social events with the 250-300 other students in your residence hall. So that visiting students make friends with British and other international students, Reading typically does not house all students from an American institution on the same hall but, rather, spreads them out.

Students select three or four courses totaling 25 ETCS hours (translating into either 12 or 13 Centre hours) from those available across many departments. Students should be flexible in selecting courses and should not assume that a particular class will be offered, or offered at a time that works with the student’s other selected courses, during the time they are in Reading. The Reading term is 11 weeks long; typically, a course may have two lectures a week, occasional individual meetings with the professor, two papers, and some kind of final examination—although this regime will vary widely depending on the course and department. Students may not use a Reading English course as their required English junior seminar. Official course registration takes place after students arrive in Reading.


The same as studying in Danville, plus a $375 non-refundable study abroad surcharge payment and airfare. This includes a $15 carbon mitigation fee, but does not include the $20 cost of the travel medicine presentation that all students studying abroad must attend. Centre pays for a few group meals and the required class excursions on some Wednesdays and weekends. On arrival, students will be given pounds Sterling to buy their initial groceries and to purchase an initial Oyster card for use on the bus/tube/light rail lines in zones 1 and 2.

Students will live in town houses for international students in a secure facility off Farringdon Road in Central London. The flats, which feature fully equipped kitchens and WiFi, are located in the Clerkenwell district, a 20-minute walk down Theobalds Road to the Centre classroom near the British Museum. They are within an easy walk of the major London sites in “The City,” the Chancery Lane tube station (Central line), and the Farringdon tube station (Circle, Metropolitan, and Hammersmith and City lines). At regular intervals, students are given food money sufficient for shopping for and preparing wholesome meals—though not sufficient for eating out in restaurants, or even fast-food places, in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

The spring 2019 London program will be co-directed by Professors Mark Rasmussen and Ellen Swanson. Dr. Rasmussen, Charles J. Luellen Professor of English, is a veteran study abroad director, having led the Strasbourg program in 2001-2002, 2005-2006, and 2014-2015 and having co-directed the London program in 2009. He will be accompanied by his wife, Helen Willis, a retired case manager with Comprehensive Care and an accomplished traveler, explorer, and maker of plans. Dr. Swanson, assistant professor of mathematics, will be accompanied by her husband, Jason, and their son, Peter. While this will be the first time Prof. Swanson will be leading a study abroad experience, she and her family are always up for an adventure and have traveled together to more than ten countries.

All students will take London Museums (HUM 197). Designed specifically to be taught in London, this course draws on the unparalleled resources of that city to examine museum-going as a cultural practice from the Renaissance to the present. Weekly field trips will take students to London museums, from the encyclopedic (the British Museum, the National Gallery) to the more narrowly specialized (the Handel and Hendrix House). Not only will students become familiar with some of the world’s great museums, but by studying the history and theory of museums and museum-going they will also acquire a critical understanding of how museums have shaped (and been shaped by) European, American, and global intellectual life over the past four hundred years. Taught by Prof. Rasmussen.

In addition, students select three of the following five courses:

  • Mazes, Castles, and Codes (MAT 111/411)
    Mathematics is engrained in the world around us, including in the landscape, architecture, and history. England is known for its beautiful landscape and historic castles, often surrounded by intricate mazes. Students will explore these mazes and develop techniques for most efficiently moving through a maze. Students will also connect these concepts to networks and bridges. Castles were designed in order to promote safety; students will examine the mathematics that explains those structural decisions. A more recent defense strategy is in the use of codes in keeping messages from the enemy. Students will study the techniques of creating codes and the historical implication that occurred in England during World War II. Prerequisite for MAT 111: Basic Skills in Mathematics. Prerequisite for MAT 411: MAT 200, 240, or 300. Taught by Prof. Swanson.
  • The Romance of Arthur (ENG 315)
    A study of the literature surrounding the figure of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, from its origins in the early Middle Ages to the present. The course will include an optional overnight trip to such locations in Britain as Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, the purported birthplace of King Arthur, and Glastonbury in Somerset, considered by many to be the original Isle of Avalon. The cost of this trip will be partially subsidized by Centre, and all students in the program, not just those enrolled in this course, will be invited to participate in it. No prerequisites. Taught by Prof. Rasmussen.
  • Contemporary London Theatre (DRA 341)
    Students will study the range of contemporary London Theatre, from fringe to the major subsidized repertory companies, through a series of visits to performances and theatre sites and through lectures, readings, and discussion. Emphasis is on both texts and their performances. Students who sign up for this course will be charged $195 on their spring bills to cover part of the cost of the play tickets; Centre subsidizes the other part. Taught by Prof. Steven Dykes.
  • British Politics (POL 431)
    An introduction to the structures, processes, and issues of the modern British political system using London as a primary resource. The class will discuss current British political issues such as political parties, electoral reform, the European Union and Brexit, devolution, and civil rights. No prerequisites. Taught by Adjunct Prof. Julianna Fuzesi.
  • Introduction to Statistics (MAT 130)
    An investigation into the mathematical techniques for analyzing and interpreting data with the goal of understanding our world and facilitating informed decision-making processes. In this London-based version of a popular course regularly offered on campus, students will apply statistical techniques to better understand British culture. The course includes the study of random variables, descriptive statistics, basic probability theory, and inferential statistics. Specific topics include confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, regression, analysis of categorical data, and analysis of variance. Prerequisite: Basic Skills in Mathematics. Taught by Ellen Swanson.

Rose Bruford College

Centre students will continue to pay their Centre tuition for their term abroad but will not be charged for room-and-board for that term; they will use their room-and-board money to help cover the cost of their airfare and the rental of an apartment. Students also pay the standard $375 non-refunable study abroad surcharge that all Centre students studying abroad pay, and there is an additional cost of about $250 to cover the cost of theatre visits. The surcharge and theatre ticket fee are due at the Cashier’s Office of Horky House by Dec 1.

The Rose Bruford College will assist in finding appropriate accommodation for our students, although the college does not, at the moment, have any residential facilities of its own. Past experience has shown that our students have been housed in apartments within easy walking distance of the college.

The English education system is structured quite differently from the American one. In England our students will take a series of overlapping modules that will add up to the equivalent of 15 credits at Centre. These modules will change from year to year, but one of them will be based on seeing plays currently playing in London. Our students will mostly join the American Theatre Arts course at Brufords, but there is the possibility of our students joining one of the other programs at Brufords. See their website for more information on the possibilities: www.bruford.as.uk.