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Choosing to Study Abroad

Hannah talks about her choice to study abroad.

Hannah talks about her choice to study abroad.

While I am typically trying to decide between 16 different class options, this term, my classes have basically been chosen for me! All I have to do is select the three classes with the title “Living London OCS” before it, and I’m good to go. That’s right people, I’m studying abroad in London, and I could not be more excited!

Wanting to Study Off Campus

Before I came to Carleton, I knew that during college I would want to study abroad. Luckily, Carleton has a variety of off-campus study programs, and the trimester system makes it easy to go abroad and not feel like you’re missing out on the happenings of campus like a semester program would. Here you can choose to go on a Carleton-specific program (with only Carleton students) or you can go on an outside program with another university.

Choosing a Program

When I was applying to OCS programs I was fully convinced I was going to be a political science major (which could still happen). So, I wanted to be in a program that would help improve my writing skills but also involved a department I didn’t have a lot of experience in. This led me to the “Living London: City, Scene, Anthropocene” program with the English department.

I applied and was accepted during spring term of my freshman year, and had the whole summer to decide if I would go on the program this year. I didn’t end up committing to the program until this September because I was trying to decide if I should try and switch to the New Zealand OCS program following my sudden interest in Geology. I ended up sticking with the London program and I could not be more excited!

Canterbury Cathedral
Photo: Grace Fremont
02 February 2014 Living London


So what does Living London entail you might ask? The director of the program, English professor Peter Balaam, has created a curriculum of three diverse classes while we are abroad.

ENGL 281/381: London as City: Londinium to the Anthropocene

Readings in literature, urban studies, and the environmental humanities will ground practical exercises exploring cosmopolitan theories of walking, mapping, paying attention, and reading the city. Designated film screenings, lectures, exhibits, and the natural and built environment will help us to read London’s ever-changing human text. What human processes are at work on any street in London; and how might they include you?

students jumping in air
Photo: K Lazo
10 April 2010 Living London

ENGL 282: London Theater

This course offers a deep dive into the breadth and variety of productions that make London world-renowned for theater. We will see two to three productions per week, from classic to comic to avant-garde, across a wide array of venues, styles, and periods in London and in Stratford on an overnight excursion for the season’s Royal Shakespeare Company productions. Expert local instruction, light contextual readings, guest visits from actors and directors, in-class discussion, and debate will help students hone their skills for enjoying and interpreting this ancient and living art. Students keep a theater journal and write reviews of several plays.


 London's Royal Opera House
Photo: Maddy Crowel
05 February 2014 Living London

ENGL 279: Urban Field Studies

Weekly excursions led by local faculty and an observational drawing instructor will lead students to sites of urban interest across London. Light background and contextual readings, guided site-visits, introductory drawing instruction, group, and individual exploration make this something of a lab course, a practicum with the goal of training students in the necessary tools for registering the complex cultural narratives that have shaped and been shaped by this particular global metropolis.


oSolomon's Temple in Buxton
Photo: Rebecca Stimson
07 February 2014 Living London

What I’m Excited For

I am ecstatic about all three classes, and I can’t wait to experience them all. We have just recently received the list of shows will be seeing for our theatre class, and it is around 20 shows in 10 weeks! On top of that, I love history, and I am looking forward to exploring all of the museums around London. We also have the opportunity to explore on our own during weekends, and we even have an excursion to Paris around our midterm break! Overall I am so excited about what winter term has in store.



Hannah is a sophomore interested in Geology, Political Science and Classics. Still unsure what she will major in, she likes to spend her time learning as much as she can about whatever she can. Born and raised in Minnesota, she considers herself somewhat of an expert on MN winters. At Carleton, she fills her schedule with writing for the Admissions blog, working as a CCCE Communications Fellow, taking flute lessons, and increasing voter engagement on campus. When Hannah isn’t in class, she can be found tossing a frisbee, thrifting, running for fun, looking at rocks, reading, walking and skiing in the Arb, and hanging out with her besties. Meet the other bloggers!