London Study Abroad Program takes sail next fall

Applications are now being accepted.


Sarina Grossi

The promotional poster for the London Study Abroad Program outside Kenneth Alexander’s office.

Kai Arellano, Staff Writer

Los Medanos College will start taking applicants to join the London Study Abroad Program for the 2022 fall semester. The trip is run by the American Institute for Foreign Study, which has been working with students for over 50 years to make sure students get the maximum enjoyment out of their time abroad.

An informational meeting was held on Feb. 8 to bring people up to speed on what will be happening on the trip to London. The meeting was hosted by Kenneth Alexander, an LMC art professor and the Contra Costa Community College District representative for the study abroad program.

Through the partnership with AIFS, the program will be getting access to the top study abroad student service. They’ve worked with more than 50,000 students and over 98% of students recommend the AIFS program when studying abroad.

“They really manage the program in London extremely well,” said Alexander. He added that AIFS has programs going to Japan, South Africa, Spain and other places outside of London.

The program will offer two options for students living while in London. The first offer, Homestay, is where you’ll live with a British family and room with another student. You’ll be 45 minutes to one hour from the AIFS Center, have weekday continental breakfast, with access to laundry, bathroom, kitchen and grocery facilities. This will cost $8,595.

The second offer, Apartments, is where you’ll have your own apartment. This’ll be in central London. You’ll have your own bathroom, living space, kitchen and bedroom, costing $10,095. This excludes airfare and tuition. 

Students who are eligible for financial aid and demonstrate financial need still have the opportunity to join the trip. The deadline to pay any fees is Jun. 15.

Those who join will be given the Oyster Card, a travel pass with unlimited use for buses, night buses and the Underground subway system. These can take you to and from the AIF Center.

The AIF Center is where students will be taking their classes and will be able to get in touch with faculty who will be running this program. The center will also plan free-time travels, arrange medical appointments, obtain mail, help students adjust to living in London and navigate them around the city if need be.

One of the most stunning places, I can’t possibly imagine not telling you to go.

— Kenneth Alexander

The deadline to sign up for the trip is Friday, Apr. 15 for priority applications. Friday, May 13 will accept general applications and late applications will end Wednesday, Jun. 15.  If a person still hasn’t applied, they will have until Saturday, Aug. 20 to apply. They will only take students who apply after if they have enough space available.

The program has dates spanning from Sept. to Dec. They’ll meet first at Santa Rosa Junior College for pre-departure and leave the U.S. Sept. 8, making it to London Sept. 9. They will have an entire day to sightsee and orientate and then the classes will start Sept. 11. Everyone will have a break in the middle of the semester from Oct. 24 to Oct. 28 where you can go and do whatever you want throughout London. Then everyone will meet and leave London Dec. 9.

Students will be able to take classes from all four of the community college districts while in London. All of the courses taken are also transferable as well.

“You’ll be signed up for at least one class from your home campus,” said Alexander. He explained that all of the courses from the Los Rios, Santa Rosa, San Mateo and Contra Costa districts will be very valuable to students. 

Students will all be required to take British Life and Culture when in this program.The course will have weekly lectures and four field trips. Students will be exposed to London and it’s British life, visiting places like the House of Parliament and Shakespeare’s Glow, where Shakespeare would perform his plays at.

Class schedules will occur from 8:30 a.m. to about 5:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday. There are also breaks in between two hour long classes. 

Alexander will teach Medieval and Renaissance Art History, Early Modern Art History, Shakespeare’s English Kings and British Life and Culture. Professor Jacqueline McGhee from the Santa Rosa College District is teaching Literature and Composition, Beginning Creative Writing, Advanced Composition and Critical Thinking and also British Life and Culture. Professor Fran Keller from Los Rios College District is teaching Foundations of Biology, Evolution, Marine Ecology and British Life and Culture. And Professor Lale Yurtseven from San Mateo College District is teaching International Business, Business Law, Intercultural Relations in Global Business along with British Life and Culture.

London offers many sight seeing spots, including day trips to Stonehenge and Oxford. Students will be able to see West End shows and see sports games including soccer and rugby. In addition, students can get an optional trip to Scotland.bThis will be a round-trip train fare from London to Edinburgh with three nights’ accommodation including breakfast and dinner. The Scotland trip features Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye and the Highlands. This will cost $625 per student.

“One of the most stunning places, I can’t possibly imagine not telling you to go,” said Alexander.

London will have many things for people to enjoy and the program instructors will make sure that all the students in the program will have a great experience no matter what happens. For more information on the trip to London go to the Study Abroad page  and to get assistance on how the AIFS works go to AIFS webpage.You can contact Alexander at [email protected] and the program assistant Harue Takanashi at [email protected].