Study Abroad in London, England

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Study Abroad in London: Academics

Richmond, The American International University in London

Like the city in which it is located, Richmond, The American International University in London, provides a diverse, multicultural environment. The university offers small classes in a wide variety of disciplines taught by faculty from leading British and American institutions in fully accredited BA, BS, MA and MBA programs. During the academic year, students come to Richmond from more than 60 different countries, although the summer school is predominantly American. Small classes and personal attention from the faculty, an extensive extracurricular program and a wide range of courses make Richmond an ideal summer study choice.

Richmond is an independent, co-educational, non-profit international liberal arts and professional studies university. The original Richmond College, founded in 1843, was a constituent institution of the University of London until the founding in 1970 of the present university which bears its name and occupies its site. The university is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. In addition to the U.S. degree granting authority, it has U.K. taught degree awarding powers granted by the U.K. Privy Council. It is the first university in the U.K. to have dual degree awarding powers.

Academic Overview and Policies

Choose between four programs: the Traditional Academic Program of one course per 3-week session, or 1 or 2 courses per 6-week session, the Black London Program, the Undergraduate Research Program or the Internship Program, consisting of classroom-based courses and a résumé-building internship.

Please note:

  • Students may enroll for any of the three, 3-week sessions, two consecutive sessions or all three
  • Students may continue in the fall semester or academic year. The summer session may also be added to the previous spring semester.
  • Students may combine Session A and/or C with the Black London Program or Shakespeare’s Globe Theater Education Program for a 6- or 9-week experience.

Academic administration is carried out by the Academic Deans under the supervision of the Richmond Provost. Instructors are drawn from Richmond, the colleges of the University of London, other London institutions of higher education and other professions.

Grades No AIFS student is permitted to take a course without receiving a grade. Pass/ Fail options are not available.

Attendance is required to receive full credit. Students exceeding the permitted number of absences may lose all or partial credit. Classes are normally scheduled Monday through Friday. Students are not permitted to take final exams early.

Registration Once courses are selected on the application, the earlier you apply, the better the chances of getting the courses you want. If your first choices are not available or already full, you are automatically registered for your second choices. A printout confirming courses is given at orientation.

Courses run providing there is sufficient enrollment (a minimum of 8 students is required). Provisional confirmation of courses to be taught can be obtained in April from the AIFS Stamford office. Limited changes may be necessary before a session starts.

Courses may be dropped or added during the first two days of each session.

Transcripts are issued by Richmond, the American International University in London. One official copy of the transcript will be mailed to the student’s home college or university.

Program Options

The summer school is divided into three sessions of three weeks each. Most courses are taught over 3 weeks. Students may enroll for any of the three, 3-week sessions (A, B or C), two consecutive sessions or all three for a total stay of 9 weeks. Students take one 3-credit, 3-week course per session for a maximum of 9 credits over 9 weeks.

Some courses are taught over 6 weeks instead of 3. Students can take a maximum of 9 credits over 9 weeks. For example, you can take two six-week classes simultaneously in sessions A and B plus one three-week class in session C. OR, you can take one six-week session class concurrently with one Session A class of three weeks followed by a three week session C class. It is not possible to take a six-week class alongside one from session A and one from session B.

Each semester hour of credit in a course requires 15 hours of class time plus daily assignments.

Courses are organized by Richmond academic divisions but are classified into broad subject areas. Course numbers indicate the level of work involved—3000 being freshman courses, through to 6000 which are senior level. The suffix A, B, AB or C indicates the 3 or 6-week session in which the course is offered.

Most courses utilize field trips and on-site teaching to support classroom lectures. You will need to budget for transportation and other incidental costs in connection with these field trips, even if the course description does not specify an amount for expenses. Similarly, additional costs for art materials, photographic supplies or theater tickets are not included in the program fee.

Normal load is 3 credits per 3-week session. Students taking the 6-week (AB) courses may take one or two 3-credit courses over the 6-week period. Courses taken for transfer credit should be approved by your advisor or appropriate person at your home school prior to registration.

Before securing approval of courses from your advisor, note prerequisites on the Richmond website and be sure to have completed them. Failure to do so may result in your registration being refused by the Academic Director.

Consult your advisor about suitable alternatives in case your first choices are not possible because of insufficient enrollment causing class cancellation or you not having the correct prerequisites.

This program explores the history of the African-Caribbean Diaspora in London over the past 300 years, focusing on the social relations at the heart of London’s black community and ideological movements such as anti-colonialism, Pan-Africanism and anti-racism. The theoretical basis of the course is Paul Gilroy’s concept of a Black Atlantic, a culture that is not specifically African, American, Caribbean or British, but all of these – a Black Atlantic culture whose themes transcend nationality. In addition to classroom based learning students will engage with black and minority ethnic community and campaigning groups in London, take walking tours such as a black history walk to learn about popular culture and activism (including American Stokely Carmichael’s visit to London in the 1960s where he inspired people to organize against prejudice, and the founding of the British Black Panthers in 1968 by Nigerian playwright Obi B Egbuna), a Westminster statues and monuments tour representing and celebrating black Londoners and will visit organizations such as the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust which have worked to expose and tackle institutionalized racism in modern day Britain. See Session B courses for course descriptions.

Taught during Session B. Choose a 3-week course in Session A and/or C of the Traditional Academic Program for a 6 or 9-week experience.

Students wishing to develop their critical research and writing skills can take the Undergraduate Research Program. During the 6-week course students will learn how to produce well-researched writing and work with the faculty member, and subject specialists as required, to produce a thorough Literature Review which lays the groundwork for a paper on a self-selected academic project.