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This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Study Center Abroad
The UCEAP Study Center in the U.K., staffed with a UC faculty consultant and program officers, administers the UC London Bloomsbury fall semester program. Study Center staff advise on academic and other matters and help ensure that your academic program meets UC requirements.
The Study Center administers this program in close and continual collaboration with ACCENT, a provider of student services for a number of study abroad programs worldwide. ACCENT headquarters are located in San Francisco; ACCENT’s London office is located in Bedford Square, a few doors away fromt the UCEAP Study Center. The ACCENT building has classrooms, computer lab, and a library. The program housing is within a 10-minute walk.
ACCENT handles the logistical arrangements and day-to-day activities of the London fall semester program. ACCENT oversees student housing, coordinates on-site orientation, organizes field trips and cultural activities, handles class scheduling, and serves as a resource for nonacademic questions or problems you may encounter. The Academic Coordinator for ACCENT in London, Elizabeth Terry, is also available to discuss academic issues. ACCENT works with Acorn Property Management which provides housing for study abroad programs throughout London.
If you need to contact ACCENT prior to departure, call the San Francisco office.
UCEAP Study Center
3 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3RA, United Kingdom
Phone (calling from the U.S.): (011-44-207) 079-0562
Phone (calling from the U.K.): 0207-079-0562
ACCENT San Francisco
870 Market Street, Suite 1026
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (800) 869-9291
12 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3JA, United Kingdom
Phone: (011-44-207) 637-7518
UC Center London
UCEAP’s 16-week fall semester program in London is designed by UC and taught by faculty from universities in the London area. The program has a rigorous curriculum that draws on a variety of humanistic and social perspectives to examine major aspects of British history, society, politics, and culture. The curriculum pays particular attention to London as a crossroads of large social and cultural dynamics, and it draws on the special resources of greater London to examine these dynamics.
Past students have praised the thought-provoking qualities of classes offered in this program and value the opportunity to complement class time with field walks, museum visits, theater performances, and guest lectures.
The ACCENT office and classroom facilities are located in the heart of London’s Bloomsbury district near the British Museum and the University of London. The program is designed for UCEAP students; there are no British students in the program.
The overall academic culture in the United Kingdom is very different from that in the U.S.; it’s a rigid and highly structured university system. Many courses still last one year, have long suggested reading lists that students explore on their own, and assess student work through just one final exam after an intense period of revision.
The UC Center London program is different. Courses are designed along the American model, with continual assessment and multiple assignments. The focus of the program is careful analysis of London and British society. You’ll be expected to assimilate and then compare and critique what you read, see, and experience around you.
Instructors will welcome questions and lively discussion. However, most program faculty are themselves products of the U.K.’s traditional academic culture, and will generally admire independence, self-discipline in managing readings and assignments, very strong writing skills, and intellectual curiosity. UCEAP students who exhibit these qualities will especially shine in this program.
You are required to take four upper-division courses (designed for and taught to UC students) including the required core course and three of the seven electives offered. While there is no guarantee of placement in your top elective choices, the UC Center London staff will try to accommodate your requests. You earn 5 UC quarter units per course, for a total load of 20 UC quarter units. You may take one course P/NP.
Each course consists of weekly lecture meetings and discussion sections with about 30 students each. Lecture and discussions for each course will be led by the same faculty member.
Extracurricular cultural activities complement the academic program and establish the local London and British context in which the program is situated. Most courses include field trips.
Required Core Course
- London: Society and Space (ANTH 110, GEOG 110, and HIST 110): Explore a variety of interrelated themes (modernity, power and equality, culture and identity) while examining some of London’s characteristics as a global city.
Elective Courses (choose three from the following)
- London Museums (ANTH 111, ARTHS 111, and SOC 111): Examine the relationship between museum collections and key moments in the nation’s history through visits to both world-renowned and lesser-known London museums.
- Theater in London (DA 110 and ENGL 110): Take advantage of life in one of the world’s preeminent theater capitals by studying and then attending and analyzing a series of plays currently in production in London.
- Britain and the EU (POL S 110): Analyze the processes of European
integration and EU policies, in light of the peculiar and often problematic relationship between Great Britain and the EU.
- The London Music Scene (MUSIC 110, SOC 110): Study London’s role as
a vibrant world center of popular music innovation, the inter-cultural dialogue between Britain and America, and the impact of genres such as blues, jazz, and rock’n’roll.
- British Cinema (FILM 110): Get an insider’s view of British films through weekly viewings and discussions while examining cinematic representations of the individual “nations” within the U.K.
- Comparative Healthcare: UK and US (HLTHS 107): Compare the UK's National Health Service and the American health system. Explore differences in the way health systems are funded and delivered, and differences in health outcomes of the patients they serve. Examine recent health policy developments in the UK relevant to the American health system.
- Internship plus Workforce Course: Work around six hours per week plus participate in the Workforce course - the schedule will not conflict with other courses and the internship work hours. The Workforce course may need to be scheduled on Friday mornings.
- For the Internship plus Workforce Course, students can indicate on their application an area of work in which they are interested and the program provider will look for an opening in that area. Due to the limited number of potential internships, students who choose the internship elective will also need to select an alternative course in case they are not placed in an internship. Students will be informed of their internship placement around the end of May; there may be a Skype interview prior to placement, as well.
Attendance is monitored closely by U.K. immigration authorities due to recent changes in immigration policies. Consistently missing class can have a bearing on your right to stay in the U.K. for the duration of the program. A maximum of two absences per class, for any reason, is permissible but discouraged. Normally, absences are not permitted except for health and unforeseen emergencies. In both cases, if possible, discuss your absence with the ACCENT London Director prior to taking it.
Instructors maintain attendance records and may treat arrival more than ten minutes after the class begins, or leaving early, as an absence. Attendance at all components of a class (lecture, seminar, field visits, etc.) each week is expected and absence from any component will be counted as an absence for that week. Violation of the attendance policy may result in sanctions including a lower grade, loss of course credit, or dismissal from the program.
You will have access to the ACCENT office library that has a selection of materials relevant to your courses reserved just for UCEAP students.
You can also access the California Digital Library (CDL) while abroad. This library includes online academic journals and other resources. In order to access the CDL from a computer that is not part of the UC network (including those you may use abroad), follow the instructions from your UC campus on the CDL website
. ACCENT will provide you with a list of libraries in central London that you will be able to use for research and study during the semester.
For some courses, you will need to purchase textbooks or course reader packs as required or recommended by faculty after arrival in London. ACCENT will provide a list of books for the course which you may wish to purchase in advance.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Extension is not possible on this program. However, you can participate in back-to-back programs by applying to both and following all predeparture processes for both. Be sure to check the progam calendars first. Also check the visa processes for both, to find out if you can obtain the second visa in the correct timeframe and from the location where you will be at that time.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
You will have an on-site orientation organized by ACCENT in consultation with the UCEAP Study Center.
The London fall semester orientation has two sessions. The “practical” session led by the ACCENT team will include information on getting around London, understanding how the city works, health issues, personal safety, financial topics such as how to make your money go further, emergency preparedness, and other information. The “academic” orientation session, led by ACCENT’s Academic Coordinator, will cover the academic culture, academic program, important University of California administrative information, and other topics. Participation at both sessions is mandatory for all students. Other orientation events may include a welcome reception, a walking tour of central London, and a guided bus tour.
You will have the opportunity to participate in neighborhood walks that allow you to explore London in a relaxed but informative setting. Details about the walks will be distributed during the orientation in London.
Travel to Your Host Country
Participating in Back-to-Back Programs
It is occasionally possible to participate in two different UCEAP programs consecutively. Following are current entry clearance processes for such options (subject to change):
Summer plus London Fall:
- Obtain a Student Visitor Visa upon arrival in the U.K. (if both programs added together total six months or less) by presenting admission letters from both host universities plus financial proof to cover both programs.
London Fall plus Spring Immersion:
- Obtain a Student Visitor Visa upon arrival (for London Fall), then return to the U.S. during winter break to apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa (for Spring Immersion). The British Home Office has stated that students with a Student Visitor Visa cannot receive a second Student Visitor Visa upon or after arrival.
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Be cautious about carrying and displaying money.
You will need a minimum of $160 initially for textbooks and basic supplies. Budget additional funds for clothing and travel. The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for the purchase of clothing or recreational travel abroad.
Take funds in an easily negotiable form, such as travelers checks issued in British pounds, for immediate use after arrival. Keep in mind that travelers checks are not as widely accepted abroad at retail venues as they are in the U.S. You will first need to cash your travelers checks at a bank. Not all banks provide this service, not all banks will cash American Express travelers checks, and some banks will charge a commission. You will need to show your passport as ID to cash travelers checks.
Do not expect to open a bank account due to time constraints.
Program Cancellation Fees:
- Students who withdraw from the program for any reason from June 6, 2013 through July 31, 2013 will be charged: £100 cancellation fee (non-recoverable orientation/cultural activities/ excursions costs)
- Cancellation from August 1, 2013 onwards: No refund except any recoverable costs.
Accommodations Cancellation Fees:
(ACCENT 3-business day notification grace period does not apply):
- Students who withdraw from the program for any reason from May 21, 2013 through June 5, 2013 will be charged: 10% of the housing fee
- Students who withdraw from the program for any reason from June 6, 2013 through July 1, 2013 will be charged: 25% of the housing fee
- Students who withdraw from the program for any reason from July 2, 2013 through July 31, 2013 will be charged: 50% of the housing fee
- Students who withdraw from the program for any reason from August 1, 2013 onwards will be charged the full amount of the housing fee except any recoverable costs.
Internship Cancellation Fees:
Cancellation date from July 2, 2013 through August 21, 2013:
- £500 cancellation fee for internship organization in addition to any other cancellation fees, unless student cannot be placed into an internship by ACCENT
Most students purchase cell phones in the U.K. after arrival. Some students bring “unlocked” cell phones with them.
Have your mail sent to the ACCENT Office:
c/o ACCENT Student Mail
12 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3JA
The UC London Fall program requires you to live in a shared apartment prearranged by ACCENT. You will be housed in Bedford Place (approximately 10 minutes from the ACCENT office).
Q: What kind of housing is available?
A: You will live with other U.S. students only. No British students live in the apartments. Each bedroom in the apartments will be double- or triple-occupancy; each apartment has one to three bedrooms. The cost of double and triple rooms is different and you will be able to state your preference when you apply. As there is a limited number of each type of room, you may not get your first choice. All apartments are non-smoking. When completing the ACCENT Housing Form, you must indicate whether or not you are a smoker, even though all apartments are non-smoking, so ACCENT can make appropriate housing assignments.
Apartments are fully furnished, including televisions and telephones (for incoming calls; all outgoing calls can be made only by using a calling card); bedding (linens, pillows, blankets), towels, dishes, and cooking utensils are provided. A basic weekly cleaning is also provided. All flats are self-catered. Laundry facilities are available, at no cost, either in the apartment or in a separate laundry room. All utilities except outgoing telephone calls are included in the UCEAP housing fees.
ACCENT handles any housing questions or problems that you may have during the semester in London. You may make housing maintenance requests to ACCENT, which will work with Acorn Property Management as needed (see Your UCEAP Network in this guide for information on ACCENT and Acorn Property Management).
As is the case with most aging institutional buildings in an urban setting (such as youth hostels or student dorms), the London fall housing has experienced occasional pest infestations in the past. Should any such problems arise while you are occupying these rooms, be sure to bring the issue to the immediate attention of the ACCENT staff and Acorn Property Management for resolution.
Q: Do the housing fees include a security deposit?
A: Housing fees for this program do not include a security or damage deposit. You will be billed by UCEAP for the cost of any housing damage repair or cleaning and for any lost key charges, invoiced to UCEAP by ACCENT at the end of the semester. The cost of housing damage repair or cleaning will be divided among the occupants of a flat, so roommates should agree among themselves to treat each other and their surroundings with respect.
Q: Will I receive a roommate preference form?
A: You will receive the URL for ACCENT forms in the Predeparture Checklist, including a housing contract and housing/roommate preference form. You will need to print and complete these forms and return them directly to the San Francisco office of ACCENT by the deadline stated on the forms. Detailed instructions will be included with the forms. Students will be assigned as roommates only if both students request to room together.
Q: Can I have mail sent to my apartment in the student housing?
A: No. The London post office will not deliver mail to short-term student housing due to the constant turnover of recipients. In addition, ACCENT cannot give you your exact housing assignment (room number, roommates, etc.) prior to arrival in London. Give the ACCENT office address in London (provided in the Communication section in this guide) to family and friends prior to departure to use as a mailing address during the semester. The ACCENT office is located in the same building where participants attend classes, so mail pickup is convenient.
Q: Can I stay in my apartment after the program ends?
A: No. You must move out of the housing no later than 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2012. No exceptions will be made.
Q: Is the housing accessible to students with disabilities?
A: Yes, there are a few accessible rooms—students should make requests for accessible housing as soon as possible. In general, the housing provided by Acorn Property Management is in older buildings, which have been refurbished well. However, most buildings have at least one step up to the main door and showers have a small step into them. Bathrooms do not have grab bars. Some apartment doors have two locks, with one fairly high, and require two hands to open them. Some buildings have laundry facilities in the basement, but no elevator. Depending upon the disability, most rooms are not very accessible. If accessible housing is needed that cannot be provided at either Bedford Place or Great Russell Street, then most likely there will be a significant supplemental housing cost and the alternative housing would probably be a studio about 25 minutes away from the classrooms. Buses and taxis in London are generally accessible, but the underground system is not, so daily transportation is as important to consider as housing. Also, if needed, personal assistants can be hired through private organizations; however, students need to make their own arrangements and pay directly for any assistance.
Housing Cancellation Fees
Students who withdraw from the program for any reason from:
- Withdrawal May 21 - June 5, 2013 will be charged 10% of housing fee.
- Withdrawal June 6 - July 1, 2013 will be charged 25% of housing fee.
- Withdrawal July 2 - July 31, 2013 will be charged 50% of housing fee.
- Withdrawal August 1, 2013 onwards will be charged 100% of housing fees except any recoverable costs.
Program Cancellation Fees
Students who withdraw from the program for any reason from:
- June 6 – July 31, 2013 will be charged a £100 cancellation fee (non-recoverable orientation, cultural activities, and excursions cost).
- August 1, 2013 onwards will be charged 100 percent of the program fee except any recoverable costs.
(Program cancellation fees are in addition to the housing cancellation fees.)
Students participating in the ACCENT Internship option have the following additional cancellation fees:
- May 21, 2013 and onwards will be charged £500.00 fee for internship organization in addition to any other cancellation fees (housing and/or program cancellation fees), unless student cannot be placed into an internship by ACCENT.
Read The Knowhere Guide
for inside information and tips that only locals know. Popular attractions including local music scenes, shopping, cafés, art galleries, cinemas, festivals, and much more can be found at this website.
Be prepared to walk or take local transportation to some sites in London that are an integral component of your courses (i.e., museums, galleries, theaters). ACCENT will provide an Oystercard to each student during orientation. The card should be used towards local transportation costs to sites required by the academic courses. If you use it for other purposes, you are still responsible for paying for local transportation costs to mandatory sites.
See “Estimated Personal Expenses” in the UCEAP Student Budget, where the “Incidentals/Books/Transportation” line factors reasonable, average local transportation costs into the budget.
Rugby in London
A former UCEAP London Fall female participant wrote:
I have been playing rugby for four years at UC and it has been the most definitive experience of my college years. I knew I wanted to go abroad somewhere I could play rugby, even if only for a few months. So when I chose to go to London through UCEAP, I knew I had to find a team. I got the names of a few clubs through a coach in the States and e-mailed them when I got to the U.K. and decided to play for the London Wasps. Their men’s team is world renowned and their women’s program is one of the best in the U.K. They recently had six women playing for the England team in the Rugby World Cup.
I practiced twice a week in the evenings in Ealing Common (it’s an hour commute each way on the Tube, but well worth the trek and cost) and had games on Sundays. It was an amazing experience. I learned a new style of play and new skills. I was able to stay in shape and see different parts of London, since we traveled for games. But the best part was meeting locals and even a few internationals. There were about 30 girls on the team and although the majority were English, there were also Welsh, Australian, Canadian, Fijian, and even other Americans. I left London knowing that I will have more to bring back than the things I learned in class or the pictures I took of fabulous European cities. I will have experiences and friendships that I will remember for a lifetime.
Students with Disabilities
The UCEAP student budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
You cannot work, or do volunteer work, in the U.K. regardless of the type of visa you have. The UC London Fall program provides fewer classroom contact hours than the minimum allowed for students to work or do volunteer work during their program in the U.K.
National Health Service (NHS)
You will receive health care information during the on-site orientation.
You can be referred to the consultant psychiatrists at Priory Hospital North London for individual or group consultation sessions with psychiatrists specializing in various areas of mental health. The Priory Hospital is part of the Priory Group, the leading provider of private psychiatric care in Europe.
U.K. Health Care Glossary
While London is generally safe and the program’s student housing is located in a desirable neighborhood, the area is urban and you must use common sense and take precautions. Burglary is on the increase in student residences. Never leave doors propped open. Keep your room door locked and store valuable items in locked drawers or closets, if available.
It is your responsibility to follow basic personal protective measures to maximize your safety and that of your roommates.
For example, if a building has a door facing an open area and another door in an alley, common sense will show which door is better to use, even though the other may be reached by a shortcut. Be aware that people can reach through bars across an open ground-level window—do not place valuable items on a table under the window. If a ground-level window does not have bars, do not open the window wide enough for a person to enter and never leave the window open.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Emergency Services Response
UCEAP Contingency Planning
The University of California, in accordance with applicable
Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.