London FYP

Spend your first semester of college in London, one the world's most dynamic global cities. Join a select group of St. Lawrence first-year students for a semester-long liberal arts program at the site of the University's long-standing London Semester Program. Participants will complete their London First-Year Program (FYP) and three additional courses in one of the world's most diverse and exciting locations.

  • Based in London
  • Fall semester
  • Take courses with other SLU students in London
  • Live in student housing

Location     Academics     Co-curricular     Housing     

Calendar     Orientation      Program Contacts     Application   


London is a city rich in culture. From the Roman wall which forms part of the contemporary Barbican Center to the National Theaters on the South Bank to the architectural dominance of St. Paul's seen from the Thames, London is a city with a long and fascinating history. It is the banking and trading center for all the world, even as it wrestles with contemporary urban problems. Housed in the center of London, the St. Lawrence Program allows students to explore the intellectual, cultural, and social life of this large, cosmopolitan center.

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The courses on the FYP London College program are taught by the accompanying St. Lawrence University faculty member, Dr. Karen Dillon O'Neill, and faculty from British universities.  The courses are designed and offered exclusively for St. Lawrence University Program participants.

Required Courses:

FRPG1001:  The Neighbourhoods of London

London began as a Roman city in 43 AD and until the 17th century occupied a single square mile of space, located within the Roman walls and in the area now occupied by the skyscrapers of the financial district known as “the City”.  Today, London is one of the world’s global city-states with a diverse population of nearly 9 million and occupying 607 square miles.  It is an architectural and spatial patchwork that represents the diversity and the history of its human populations over the centuries.  Many areas now part by Greater London, such as Chelsea, were once small, rural villages.  Its populations have both shaped the city and been shaped by it.  It is a vibrant and constantly changing environment.

This course allows students to engage closely with communities and neighbourhoods in the megacity that is London.  This will allow students to come away from their semester with a more intimate acquaintance of London, its people, diversity, and history as they explore the lived space created by their populations making a place and developing a collective identity for themselves amid the hugeness and hustle and bustle.  Several communities will be selected and explore their physical environments, amenities, housing, schools, shops, food, health and nutrition, and talk with residents about their neighbourhoods.  We will explore definitions of community to better understand neighbourhood dynamics.

We will do this within a historical context, using “industrial archeology” to examine the lived spaces, spatial arrangements, and cultural artifacts of these neighbourhoods and examine how they have been shaped over time by their diverse populations and how their residents have, in turn, been shaped by their place.  In the course of our investigations, we will develop collaborative research and analytic skills as well as visual, written, and oral presentation skills as we share our findings.  Our investigations with be aided by GPS and other mapping applications.  The very city itself will be the “stuff” of our course.

London's Urban Geographies (GS/SOC 205)

This course provides an introduction to the disciplines of urban studies and urban geography. It outlines how cities can be interpreted as economic, social, cultural and political entities. Using London as both an example and a laboratory, it interrogates a range of continuities and changes, problems and potentials across the urban fabric. It also explores a variety of theories and concepts for making sense o these realities. Foremost, it invites students spending a semester abroad to think about and through their temporary home. Following Henry James (1881) the course is based on the premise: ‘If you get to know your London you learn a great many things’.

Electives (select 2):

Art & Architecture in London (FA 261)

Britain in the 20th Century: 1906-1990 (HIST 245)

Issues in British Government & Politics

Dynamics of Social Inequality in Contemporary Britain (SOC 3086)

Economic Integration of the European Union (ECON 262)

Theater in London: Introduction (ENG 212/PCA 237


The Program includes field trips to places in London and opportunities to travel elsewhere in the UK. 

The art courses feature weekly gallery visits to such places as the National Gallery, the Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Banqueting House, the Soane Museum and the Royal Academy.

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Students are housed in residential facilities in central London within commuting distance of the program office and classrooms and within easy walking distance of a bus or tube stop. Most students will live in shared rooms. A Community Assistant will reside in the residence where students are housed to help foster a living-learning community.

Supplies for breakfast are provided in the common area of the residence facility.  Students will receive a stipend to cover the costs of lunches and dinners.  Information about inexpensive eateries will be discussed during orientation.

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Pre-departure: Students selected to participate in the FYP London Program will begin their journey by attending orientation on the St. Lawrence campus in late August. During this time London FYP students will also have specific orientation sessions coordinated by the CIIS Office about living abroad. This includes a program specific session in which the students will learn more about the program, academic expectations, and cultural adaptation, as well as safety and security while abroad. Participants will then travel together on a group flight to London.* 

On-site: Upon arrival in London, students will participate in an on-site orientation to the program and the city, featuring lectures, tours, introductions to the course offerings, and a theater performance. Students are required to attend all orientation meetings and activities.

(*Please Note: The program ends in London to permit students the flexibility to travel in Europe or to the destination of their choice.  Students will not return to the St. Lawrence campus.)

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Program Contacts

If you are interested in learning more about the London FYP please contact one of the following people.

CIIS Office: Karen Smith, Associate Director of Off-Campus Programs- Questions about eligibility, program logistics, and other off-campus opportunities.

Faculty Director: Dr. Karen Dillon O'Neill,- Questions about program academics.

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Students admitted to St. Lawrence are able to apply to the London FYP on-line. Applications are due by April 25, 2018 and students will be notified of acceptance by April 27, 2018. A link to the application can be found here

Due to visa restrictions and program requirements international students and HEOP students must spend their first semester on campus in Canton. 

To be eligible to enter the UK as a student visitor, all program participants must be 18 years old by the program start date.  Admission to the program is based on the quality of the application and the applicant’s previous academic record. Candidates for the FYP London College must also present evidence of maturity, responsibility and cultural sensitivity. If you have questions about the application process or about the program, please contact the Center for International and Intercultural Studies at St. Lawrence University at 315-229-5991 or