The English Department strongly encourages well-prepared students to apply to study abroad at one of our four affiliate programs in England or one affiliated program in Ireland. The affiliated programs are at University College, London; The University of Sussex; the Oxford Program for Undergraduate Studies (OPUS); Keble College, Oxford; or Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Students can enroll at UCL, Sussex, or OPUS for either a year (three terms) or for the spring semester (two terms); the Keble College program is for the full year only. Trinity College students may choose the academic year or one semester. Students who enroll in other programs will not be granted credit towards the major.
The non-academic attractions of each setting vary considerably, and not all the study abroad programs are equally suited to all students, so it’s best to seek advice from the Study Abroad Coordinator about both what each program does and what it doesn't do, as well as each program’s strengths and limitations.
The assignment of credit and the determination of equivalent courses will be worked out finally when students return from their time abroad, but anticipatory planning needs to begin well before a student departs. Students should retain copies of all papers they have written abroad as well as all syllabi, and they should make every effort to persuade their instructors to return marked copies of their final exams so that work done abroad can receive supplementary evaluation here at home.
Preparation Required for Study Abroad
It is very important that students hoping to study abroad begin their planning early. Students seeking credit towards the major for course work done abroad must have declared their major before they leave. They must also complete their prerequisite courses for the major at the 200-level and have taken at least one and preferably two 300-level courses before their departure. Students going abroad in the second semester of their junior year should have no difficulty in completing these requirements. Students pursuing a full year abroad will have to plan carefully to do so, in order to prepare themselves for a system of university education that is more committed to early specialization than ours. (The particular challenges of the Oxford Scholars program at Keble will demand especially serious preparation.) Students should discuss their program with the Study Abroad advisor to get a sense of how the specific course work anticipated in Britain or Ireland will fit into their English major. For example, what courses will fit best into their major and how equivalent course credit and course levels will be determined.
This consultation is especially important for students who plan to apply to the honors program. Since study abroad will often absent students in the spring, when applications for the honors program are due, students should identify the topic of their honors thesis and their honors adviser before they leave. Students who are abroad during spring of their junior year must hold to the same timetable for application to the program as other students. Applications initiated at the beginning of senior year cannot be considered. In general, students who wish to study in England or Ireland and to pursue an honors program should expect to satisfy at least half of their requirements for 400-level course work here at Washington University.
At least four of the upper-division courses required for the major, including at least one 400-level course, must be completed here at Washington University. Exceptions may be permitted to this rule, but only in rare instances, as when students enroll in a full year of study abroad in English literature.
Award of Credit
If you are going to study English in the UK or Ireland, you should keep all syllabi and all written work for their courses abroad. This material will make up the bulk of the portfolio that they must submit, upon return, before course equivalents and course credit can be assigned. The portfolio should include an essay, four to six pages long, describing your intellectual growth - and specifically your growth as a literary scholar - during the time abroad. In order to get credit, the portfolio should be submitted to the Study Abroad Coordinator, Professor David Lawton. We would like reflections on how the approaches taken in your courses abroad affected your development and how the educational structure of the host university influenced the way you learned. Most courses taken at our approved programs will transfer here as 300-level courses. If you did extremely well in particular courses, and if the level at which the courses were pitched warrants it, you will be assigned 400-level course equivalents. The assessment will be based on an examination of the written work you did abroad, as well as on your grades and on any written reports we receive from the host faculty.
If you have further questions, please contact our Study Abroad Coordinator, Professor David Lawton (email@example.com).