AIFS Abroad

AIFS Study Abroad in London, England
Fall 2021 and Spring 2022
Course Descriptions

   

Traditional Academic Program

Individual faculty members determine the content of their own courses. However, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are usually offered (sometimes for a nominal additional fee) to complement students’ classroom experiences, enhance their academic understanding and increase their cultural awareness. Typical activities, designed to complement the AIFS courses may include:

  • Tour of Parliament and meeting with a Member of Parliament
  • Visits to local art galleries, including the Tate Modern and Tate Britain
  • Theater performances
  • Visits to London museums including the British Museum, Imperial War Museum,
  • National Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Visits to multinational companies

ART AND ANTHROPOLOGY

ANTH/ARTH 335 (3)
London’s Museums and Galleries

London is famous for the richness and diversity of its museums and galleries - there are over 250 registered art institutions in London. Through hands on experiential visits, this course will introduce students to the range and breadth of the museums and galleries in London. It will aim to build an appreciation of the variety of museums and galleries available, while offering firsthand visual experience of the different art forms including visual art and media. Students will be asked to explore concepts such as the role of philanthropy in establishing museum and galleries, debates around repatriation of objects; public funding for the arts; different curating styles and the marketing of the arts, including the role of social media and innovation in order to gain a better understanding of the development of the museum and galleries in London over time and the challenges they face today. The course will be heavily based on experiential learning with visits to world-famous museums and galleries such as the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate Modern, along with lesser-known examples such as Sir John Soane’s House, Leighton House Museum and Whitechapel Gallery.

ANTH/SOCI 345 (3)
Global Cuisine and Food Culture in Britain

This course will focus on the emerging global cuisine in London and examine it as a cultural phenomenon inextricably linked to immigration. Taking a historical perspective, the course will explore the role of culinary dishes adopted as “national dishes” in the UK, from fish and chips to chicken tikka masala, and analyze their origins and evolution into iconic British foods. The course will explore the role of the British Empire in assimilating and appropriating global cuisines and study the cultural impact this has had on the communities involved. The course will also introduce students to European legislation and how it created classifications to promote regionally important food products while analyzing recent challenges such as the debate between the EU and the UK over fisheries and how our the scope of our global cuisine may be impacted by the UK leaving the EU, and “Brexit.” Finally, the course will ask students to apply creative and original thinking by drawing lessons from global food cultures in how to address issues such as the rise in food banks, food waste, the rise of obesity and other health issues, the welfare of animals and global warming and review options for a sustainable future such as organic farming and “slow food.”

BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS

BUS/ECON 301 (3)
Europe and the Global Economy
The specific economic goals and achievements of the one-time Eastern bloc countries as they strive to establish functioning market economics are examined plus the effects of these developments on the economy of Europe and the world. Changed roles of international institutions, their consequences and multinational business opportunities, are also discussed.

BUS/ECON 313 (3)
International Management Strategies
This course focuses on features of strategic management and planning and their application in an international field as well as scenario technique and portfolio analysis. Students learn to create their own strategies. Prerequisite: One college level business or economics class.

BUS/MGMT 315 (3)
Communication Skills for Management

The course will focus on planning for effective communication and working visually using various media as well as how to make effective presentations. Students are expected to present ideas to the class and accept constructive criticism from the group.

MGMT 425 (3)
Luxury Brand Management

The module probes the essence of luxury brand management and explores the market responses towards the luxury brands within the various cultures. The issues covered by the module provide a strategic perspective on the dynamic characteristics and opportunities associated with luxury brand management in a global context and examine the main forms of management in relation to the luxury goods and luxury services industry. It introduces industry perspectives on luxury in relation to consumers’ psychology of luxury buying and product and market development. The module also discusses the new challenges and consideration around the luxury industry such as corporate social responsibility, sustainability movements and environmental issues. It covers the different approaches required in the management of branded luxury goods and the provision of luxury experiences and their underlying rationales.

MKTG 345 (3)
Fashion Marketing and Communication

This course introduces students to what marketing is and how it is defined in the fashion industry. Students learn about the role of marketing communication, its cross-functional importance and its contribution to fashion business success. Through the course, knowledge is developed about the marketing planning process, modern fashion communication, segmentation, the internal and external marketing environment, and the marketing mix in the world of fashion. Additionally, the course will examine the spectacular evolution of fashion from small dressmakers’ workshops serving the elite to an explosion into mainstream global consumption in which marketing and communication principles revolutionized the business of fashion forever.

MKTG 355 (3)
An Introduction to Consumer Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing is an emerging cross-disciplinary field that studies how consumers’ brains respond to marketing, brands, products, and shopping. Recent advances in brain science have been applied by neuromarketers to help marketers and market researchers find new answers to the age-old question: why do consumers buy? This module focuses on how neuromarketing can help businesses achieve a deeper understanding of their consumers – how they think, how they decide, and how they buy through understanding the fundamentals – how do consumers really think, feel and act? We highlight several crucial nonconscious processes that underlie consumer choice and behavior. Neuromarketing measures and metrics capture consumer responses in ways that differ fundamentally from traditional marketing methods, using real world examples from advertising, branding, product development, shopping and entertainment.

COMMUNICATION

COMM 305 (3)
British Media
This course will introduce students to key aspects of mass-media in Britain, how it has evolved over time and how it functions today. Students will examine the development and the content of British mass media and the machinations of the country’s powerful “fourth estate” over the last 75 years, critically analyzing the role of the media barons and the plurality of the media, the function of the broadcasting media and the unique and threatened role of the BBC, the British press (both tabloids and quality papers) in political and cultural terms and the role of social media in shaping and distributing news. The course will emphasize the British traditions and practices that have influenced the evolution of broadcasting (television and radio) and the press and provide a comparative approach between media in Britain and the US, as well as an informed overview of the relationship to our wider societies. Within this framework, the course will demonstrate how political, cultural, commercial, regulatory, and editorial issues shape the media we manufacture and consume.

COMM 455 (3)
Intercultural Communication

This course aims to fully engage with students’ experience of living in a different country by providing an introduction to communication between people from different cultures. Course content focuses on the application of theory and research to intercultural communication and is designed for application to everyday encounters with individuals from other cultures Students will be introduced to the potential effects of the cultural patterns (beliefs, values, norms) of their own culture on those cultural patterns of another culture in order to examine how their own social and cultural identities affect them and their communication behavior. The course will introduce students to theories and to a variety of research methods.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

CRM 333 (3)
Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice

This course will provide a global, comparative approach to the study of criminal behaviour and criminal justice systems. It will debate the causes of crime, with particular focus on the impact of ethnicity, gender, race and social class. Applying both a sociological and scientific approach, the course will analyse types of crime and its control, examining corrections, courts and policing around the world, with special focus upon the UK and US. Teaching methods will be by lecture, discussion and fieldtrips around the city of London to help students better understand the history of crime and its control in the UK.

EDUCATION

EDUC 325 (3)
Comparative Education Systems

This course will introduce students to comparative education systems of the UK, Europe and North America and the relationship that the education systems have with their respective societies. The course will draw on experiential site visits and emphasize the key components of the evolution of the English education system, from the setting up of “public schools” to the introduction of the 11+ test and the establishment of the Academies school system and explore the direct impact educational developments have had on the economy, skill formation, and social inclusion and mobility issues in England. Common controversies and contemporary debates such as the role of education in social mobility, social justice and issues of inclusion and exclusion will be explored and compared to those of other nations. The course will invite students to gain a comparative perspective on the aims of the British education system and how they might differ to other systems including their own so that students develop an understanding of socio-cultural issues within international education.

ENGLISH AND THEATER

ENGL/THR 310 (3)
British Drama – from Shakespeare to Modern Day

This course introduces students to one of the richest components of London life – its theater and drama scene. Students will learn about the specific national flavor of British theater – from fringe to subsidized to West End - focusing on an array of wide-ranging works, including adaptations and new writing. There will be a focus on exciting and contemporary plays, ranging from enchanting to hilarious to shocking, reflecting some of the more provocative staged works. The course will look at the role of the Artistic Director in the UK, at the variety of different drama available, at the imagination behind adaptations of renowned works such as Shakespeare’s plays and their impact, and at new writing and the way in which it might challenge preconceptions of theatre as a “high culture” form of art. In addition to discussing the relationship between form and content, the course will place a number of the plays in their cultural, historical and critical context and assess the role of contemporary drama in challenging the status quo. As an integral part of the course, students will see several London theater productions.

ENGL 320 (3)
Creative Writing

This course will provide students with the opportunity to develop their creative writing within the context of contemporary British fiction. Students will be introduced to the approaches taken by various British novelists and short story writers along with exploring those very areas that have inspired a variety of British writing. The course will employ London as a resource and inspiration for creative writing. London’s own literary scene will be explored to offer the perfect context for students to explore their own creative powers. A key part of the course will involve students sharing new and revised writing with one another and exploring strategies to deal with potential problems. Textual analysis will be used to help students to better understand and manipulate different forms and techniques adopted by a variety of diverse British writers and improve their own writing.

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

ENVS 345 (3)
London – Sustainable City?
On both sides of the Atlantic, the idea of a Green New Deal has become a much-discussed policy area. This course will focus on the importance of sustainability for Britain, an island nation, and explore how the nation is responding to the global challenge. Students will be asked to apply a critical approach to issues including creating a green economy, investing in sustainable transportation systems, renewable power sources, flood defences and dealing with waste. By focusing closely on urban regeneration projects in London, one of the world’s global cities, students will be required to critically analyze the legacy of urban initiatives such as the 2012 London Olympics, and housing projects such as Beddington Zero Emissions Developments (BedZED), Hackbridge. The course will explore sustainability in Britain as a phenomenon beyond global green politics and ask students to apply a holistic approach towards a sustainable model which encompasses social, economic and cultural factors and in which we can all play an individual role.

HISTORY, POLITICS AND SOCIOLOGY

HIST 325 (3)
London: 2000 Years of History

Study London’s history through the ages. Journey through its Bronze Age beginnings and the city’s foundation by the Romans, onto the Plague, the Great Fire of London, Henry VIII and his many wives, the Blitz, all the way to modern day London. Understand what has made London the cosmopolitan, financial and cultural center that it is today. The course will focus upon the economic, political and social history of the city and students will learn about London’s history through fieldtrips to important sites in London and via class lectures and discussions.

HIST 330 (3)
The British Monarchy Throughout the Ages

This course will introduce students to the oldest of British institutions, the Monarchy. It will provide an overview of how the British Monarchy has evolved, often through very tumultuous times, outlining the changing role and function of the monarchy within our society over time. Using London as a resource, the life of the Royals from 1066 to the present day will be examined through field trips to renowned locations such as the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Buckingham Palace. The course will introduce students to concepts such constitutional monarchy, the privy council, Royal prerogative and Royal Assent and explore ways in which these have historically shaped – and continue to shape – our current society. We will explore depictions of various monarchs in British society, the role of ceremony and tradition, and ideas such as the “Royal brand” and the relationship between tourism, media, film and TV and the Monarchy. Students will be expected to engage and critically analyze debates in contemporary British society, such as constitutional reform, “Megxit” and ideas behind adapting or even the abolishing of the British monarchy, in order to fully evaluate the role of the institution.

HIST/POLI 355 (3)
Europe and Britain

The European Union (EU) stands out as a fascinatingly unique political organization. A key institution of the post-war era, it has shown the potential for developing deep and wide-ranging cooperation between member states, going far beyond that found anywhere else in the world. This course will seek to assess the successes and failures of the EU and evaluate its viability and future, in particular against the backdrop of “Brexit” or Britain’s exit from the EU. It will look at the founding principles of the EU, its treaties, the decision surrounding the introduction of a central currency, its relationship with other nations such as the USA and ask students to examine its strengths and weaknesses in political, social and economic terms. In particular, the course will focus on the historic relationship between Britain, often regarded in simplistic terms as “the reluctant European” and the EU, challenging some of the preconceived notions about this relationship and questioning the perceived inevitability of the rupture and where it will lead.

HIST/SOCI 335 (3)
British Life and Culture

The British Life & Culture course seeks to develop students’ understanding and appreciation of key aspects of contemporary British cultures and society within a social, cultural and historical context. The course will be heavily focused on experiential learning and draw on student experiences as they familiarize themselves with their host nation. It will explore how we contextualize culture, history and language in order to frame a cultural group. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students will be expected to engage and critically analyze debates in contemporary British society, such as Britain’s departure from the European Union (Brexit), theater and the arts in the UK and attitudes to nationalism and patriotism. Students will be required to apply a comparative approach between British and American identities and value systems with the overarching aim of helping to develop a broad understanding of their host country, with all its idiosyncrasies, and be able to evaluate and respond to their experiential context.

HIST/SOCI 365 (3)
London – Global City

This course will provide an introduction to London as one of the world’s most global cities, exploring the factors that contribute to its global status and the strengths and weaknesses of this urban model. It will introduce students to how urban areas within London have emerged, changed, and grown, and explore how transportation, environmental pressures and water both constrain and facilitate growth. The course will introduce students to London life and issues such as gentrification, housing, local government, and inequality in the context of London’s diverse neighborhoods, and draw on census and spatial data on populations and communities in order to fully understand its complexities. Students will explore the role of different types of public spaces and architecture and analyze how these are experienced by different communities within London.

HLST 335 (3)
Comparative Health Care Systems

This course will introduce students to the comparative health care systems of the UK, Europe and North America and the relationship that the health care systems have within their respective societies. The course will draw on experiential site visits and emphasize the key components of the evolution of the national health care system in the UK, (the NHS), its origins and intentions, and its strengths and weaknesses as a single payer universal health care system that is free at the point of delivery. Common controversies and contemporary debates such as the sustainability of the NHS, funding issues and the role of social care and mental health wellbeing will also be explored. The course will invite students to gain a comparative perspective on the NHS in comparison to other health care systems including their own in order to gain a create understanding of the different models, their value systems and the effectiveness of each.

POLI 307 (3)
Protection of Human Rights

This course examines the legal aspects and achievements regarding human rights and the role of international organizations such as the United Nations and Amnesty International. Current examples of human rights violations are addressed through oral presentations, group projects and discussion.

POLI 310 (3)
World Politics

This applied course explains the nature of contemporary world politics and explores current processes and developments in global politics. The course examines the role and power of a variety of political and economic factors, such as governments, international organizations, and multinational corporations. Students will examine the workings of organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund, and become familiar with policy debates surrounding these key institutions of political and economic governance. Students will also be introduced to some of the key issues and developments in world politics. The course will also examine the different economic, political and philosophical influences on world politics and the contribution of Keynes, Hayek and Marx to this area of study. The view that is taken is that world politics and the global economic system are closely related, and that one cannot understand one without knowledge of the other. Given current events and geographical location, the course emphasizes developments in contemporary Europe.

POLI 332 (3)
British Politics

This course will introduce students to key institutions, parliamentary norms and practices within British politics and examine their relationship to one another. It will provide an overview of how British Parliamentary democracy has evolved and outline the key functions of the monarchy, the executive, Parliament and its two Chambers and the judiciary. It will introduce students to our electoral and legal system, and to the political parties and how they are represented. Students will be expected to engage and critically analyze debates in contemporary British society, such as constitutional reform, Britain’s departure from the European Union (Brexit), gender debates and attitudes to immigration. The course will require students to apply a comparative approach between the British and American political systems.

SOCI 338 (3)
Diversity in London: Minority Ethnicities, Immigration and Integration

London, home to nearly 9 million people, is arguably one of the most diverse cities in the world, with 40% of its population born abroad and 300 different languages spoken in the capital. Through reading, discussion and fieldwork, this course will focus on the character of ethnic, national and religious diversity in London and how different transnational communities have dealt with arriving, settling and living life as an immigrant in London. Starting with the post-war period and the 1948 British Nationality Act, the course will explore the experiences of minority ethnicities living in London and cover the period right up to the present day, exploring political and cultural responses within London to different groups (the South Asian community, Windrush generation, EU community etc.) and exploring how these have changed over time. The course will introduce students to the distinctive form and nature of Britain’s multiculturalism and critically analyze the legacy of the British Empire. Through classroom teaching and fieldtrip-based research, students will assess the way in which London has experienced the process of immigration and integration and explore the creation of complex communities whose cultures shape the modern city today.

SOCI/GEST 355 (3)
LGBTQI+ in Britain

From identity politics and gender roles to issues of privilege and social exclusion, this course explores how Western culture came to view sex, gender and sexuality in the ways that we do, and how culture can shift our perspective of what’s “normal.” The course will aim to introduce students beyond binary definitions and question popular and problematic assumptions about sex, gender and identity in the UK today. It will introduce some of the key theories and thinkers and address the way in which these activists have helped shape UK law from the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1967 under the Sexual Offences Act in 1967 to present day legislation. The course will address contemporary movements and debates including tensions between women’s rights and rights of transgender people and the legal status of non-binary people. It will explore the progress made in human rights in the different parts of the UK and the issues that remain.

SOCI 375 (3)
Sport in Britain

Ever since the creation of the “week-end” in Victorian times, sport has been a key ingredient in British life, and has been fundamental to the creation of communities and their alliances, forming an important cultural expression of allegiance and identity and even tribalism. This course will examine the historic role of sport in the construction of local, national and international identities. The course will explore how sport has evolved in the UK, beginning with the British role in codifying many of the major global sports (football, rugby, rowing, tennis etc.) and spreading them within the British Empire, as well as looking at how sport is used to assert national pride by the English, Scots, Northern Irish and Welsh. The course will examine historic social structures and trends in the participation and consumption of sport, through the perspective of class, race and gender. It will also address contemporary debates, analyzing the role of money, power, the media and TV coverage and how they increasingly shape sport’s cultural context. Making use of London as a resource, students will be asked to explore the politics of inclusion and exclusion within sports in Britain, for example by exploring the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and the role of football Academies for young people.

PSYCHOLOGY

PSYC 310 (3)
The Science of Wellbeing
This course will provide an interdisciplinary overview of wellbeing as a scientific construct, with its underpinning biological, psychological, cultural and social determinants, exploring the factors that contribute to the wellbeing of individuals and populations. It will support students develop an understanding of wellbeing as relatively new concept (WHO, 1948) and its main current and emerging perspectives, rooted in psychology, neuropsychology and social behavior theories. The course will also focus on some specific topics that are central to wellbeing, such as quality of life, happiness, resilience and what factors promote them; creativity and the arts and how these are being used in evidence-based ways to improve health and wellbeing, both in everyday life, but also within healthcare systems (i.e. art therapy and music therapy to improve physical and mental health conditions). The course will also introduce students to some of main wellbeing measures currently utilized in science. Students will be encouraged to use a range of tools proposed during the course and apply them to understand health and wellbeing and their meaning in different individual, group and organizational contexts. Students will also be encouraged to reflect on their own value systems around wellbeing, in order to appreciate the diversity associated with the individual’s lived experience of health and wellbeing. Current UK government policies on wellbeing will also be examined and discussed, in comparison with US similar policies and students will be expected to take active part in discussions, debates, analyses and individual and small group work as required.

PSYC 320 (3)
Theories of Personality

The purpose of this course is to increase students’ awareness of the variety of theoretical viewpoints that exist regarding the nature of human personality and the factors that influence human behavior. The course will examine different theoretical viewpoints in terms of what they may have to say about personality structure and its development, emotion, motivation, cognition, the development of psychopathology, and clinical applications for personality change. Students will also be asked to evaluate the prominent theoretical perspectives critically and to consider cultural variations in personality constructs. It is hoped that students will be able to incorporate the most useful aspects of each approach and synthesize them to develop their own perspective regarding the nature of human personality development and functioning.