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  • Locations: London, United Kingdom; Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Program Description:



  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application review
  • Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 

Program Description 

During this five-week program, Penn State students live in shared apartments in the Whitechapel neighborhood in London's East End, location of the famous Jack the Ripper murders. The two courses combine classroom study with walking tours as well as visits to museums, the theatre, and historical sites in and outside of London. Students will be issued an Oyster pass for transportation within London on the city’s storied Underground and double-decker buses during the duration of the program.  


Summer: June 3 - July 2, 2024

Program Note

This program may have limited space, so we recommend that you identify an appropriate backup program and complete the Education Abroad Backup Questionnaire in your Penn State Application when applying to this program.  Should you not be accepted for your first-choice program, you will automatically be reviewed for your backup choice. For help on choosing an appropriate backup, please contact your education abroad adviser.

Program Leaders

Program Leader Information

  • Phillip Zapkin, Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of English 
  • Katy Boyer, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of English


Course Descriptions

Literary London

All students will take two 3 credit courses for a total of 6 credits.

ENGL 499A: Crime and Justice in the City of London (3 credits) 
ENGL 499B: Writing the Power of Enchantment (3 credits)

ENGL 499 A: Crime and Justice in the City of London (3 credits), Instructor Phillip Zapkin

In an effort to deter crime, London is one of the most surveilled cities in the world, with estimates as high as 1 CCTV camera for every 10 people. In the context of the current popularity of true crime and crime dramas, this course will examine a range of literature related to London’s criminal history and its detectives—both real and fictional.

Beginning with William Shakespeare’s villainous Richard III, then moving to the Victorian slums of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, we will then move toward twentieth and twenty-first century works like Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap and Cathi Unsworth’s Bad Penny Blues. Our reading will be supplemented with films, true crime videos, and theatre performances to give us a more complex, multi-genre engagement with crime and justice in Britain’s capital.

The study of these literary works and our direct explorations of London will help us investigate several key questions. What is it about crime and detective stories that so many of us find fascinating? What are the social and cultural consequences of our fascination with crime? How have high profile true crimes—like the Jack the Ripper killings—impacted the city’s culture? What makes the urban environment of London such a fitting setting for crime fiction?

Our readings will be sited in London’s actual geography and history as we visit locations from the books and films we will analyze, like the Tower of London or Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker St. We will also take a Jack the Ripper tour and visit places like the London Bridge Experience and the Bow Street Police Museum, dealing with London’s history of violence and criminal justice.

ENGL 499 B: Writing the Power of Enchantment  (3 credits), Instructor Katy Boyer

This year’s graduate student-led course is a blended literature and creative writing class that will put students in conversation with a multitude of London authors. We will read both the prose and poetical works of various London natives, transplants, and momentary fugitives, including

Ann Radcliffe, Horace Walpole, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Christina Rossetti, Dorothy Sayers, Leonora Carrington, and Angela Carter. In an effort to envision ourselves not just as readers but also as interlocutors with these authors, students will produce a portfolio of works (poems, short stories, creative nonfiction essays, and/or novellas) that respond to the works we read as a class. Sites of our literary excavation include the gothic novel, Romantic and Victorian poetry, surrealism, detective stories, and magical realism.

Together, we will sharpen both our writerly and readerly senses, devoting particular attention to our London authors’ sense of World (setting, atmosphere, and sensory detail) and Voice (character, diction, rhythm, and thematics), toward the end of observing language’s scintillating and rapturous thrall over the senses–or, put another way, language’s power of enchantment.

Our classes will be spent reading and analyzing published works, undertaking various creative and critical writing exercises, composing long-form writing assignments, and holding periodic workshop sessions, where you and your peers will give and receive compassionate, generous, actionable feedback. Additionally, we will explore sites of literary significance and produce writings on-site whenever possible.

Course Selection

Students are required to take the prescribed courses listed above as participants on the program. The Education Abroad Office will register you for these courses To determine how these courses will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses offered on your program
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements.
  • Complete your Course Selection Questionnaire in the ‘Post-Decision’ section of your application to choose the courses you want from the cross-listed program options
  • Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options

Academic Policies

  • You must enroll in a minimum number of 6 credits.
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation

Housing and Meals


Students will live in shared apartments in Whitechapel.


Students will be responsible for providing their own meals.

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Summer Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.


The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Penn State Global. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.

Withdrawal & Refund Policy

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. For faculty-led freestanding programs, there is a specific withdrawal penalty schedule. 

Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account

  • Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 30 - 89 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee

Following the start of the summer semester, any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. More information can be found on the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

After the Start of the Program

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

Life Abroad

General Information

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.

Accessibility Considerations

Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Penn State Global Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Gender and LGBTQA Considerations 

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith Considerations 

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Penn State Global website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Penn State Global website for more details.

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Penn State Global website.


You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Penn State Global website.

Contact Education Abroad

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website.

Education Abroad Advisers

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Penn State Global website.

Social Media

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For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2024 01/24/2024
02/07/2024 06/03/2024 07/02/2024
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing

Indicates that deadline has passed