Study Abroad

Southwestern London Program

Southwestern University, in collaboration with IES, has created a program in London, England specifically designed for Southwestern students.  The SU London Program is a fifteen-week, sixteen-credit program for students who have attained at least sophomore status at the start of the program. 

Students apply to Southwestern, not to IES, directly.


Romi Burks

Professor of Biology



Romi Burks

Professor of Biology


Steve Alexander

Professor of Physics



Steve Alexander

Professor of Physics

SU London Program, Tower BridgeSU London Program, Tower Bridge

Southwestern London Program



Click here to check out what you can see on the program!

    • Application Deadline: March 1
    • Program Start Date: August 19, 2020 (tentative) 
    • Program End Date: December 6, 2020 (tentative) 
  • The tentative cost for this fifteen-week program is equal to Southwestern’s on-campus tuition, room, and board charges for the fall semester of the academic year during which the program is run.

    A $250 non-refundable application fee will be charged to the student’s SU account upon applying to the program.  

    The program cost includes:

    • Tuition for sixteen credits
    • Housing in a modern residence hall, Kings Cross Student Living
    • Food stipend in the amount of £250/month
    • IES on-site staff and access to the IES Center
    • Medical insurance
    • Comprehensive on-site orientation, including a welcome lunch and bus tour of London
    • £80/month for local transportation passes within London (Zones 1 & 2)
    • Ground, and air (when applicable) transportation on all IES organized cultural excursions, day trips, and field trip
    • Entrance fees during cultural excursions, day trips, and field trip
    • Hostel and breakfast costs during organized field trip
    • Tickets to nine theatre performances

    The program cost does not include:

    • International airfare to and from London: students are responsible for their own flight arrangements
    • Passport and visa expenses
    • Personal expenses: Internet café, toiletries, activities, snacks, personal travel, etc.
    • Additional fee for participation in the optional Academic Internship
    • Textbooks
    • License fee (to watch TV online) - approximately £10/month
  • The curricular focus of the SU London Program changes every fall.  The curriculum of the 2020 SU London Program will include courses in Biology and Physics.  Several courses are also cross-listed with other departments.  Students majoring in these fields will find the course offerings especially appropriate, though students in all majors can fulfill general education requirements, gain general elective credit, and benefit from the experience of living and studying abroad.  Credit transfer is not required as students enroll through Southwestern.  Courses taught by Southwestern faculty are developed to take advantage of on-site educational opportunities within London.  In addition to courses in the focus disciplines, the following basic courses are offered every year:

    British Life and Culture (UST 05-224)

    All students in the SU London Program enroll in this core course to ensure a common educational experience and to provide the background necessary for understanding British culture.  This core course examines the traditions and institutions that have shaped British life in the 21st Century.  Visiting lecturers from British academic, political, and social institutions as well as field trips to locations in London and throughout southern England are planned as part of the course.  The course is designed to help participants develop an appreciation and understanding of the British culture in which they now find themselves residing.  This course is taught by a British faculty member.

    Theatre Arts in London (THE 74-114)

    A theoretical and experiential survey of the theatre, its past and its present, with an emphasis on the role of theatre within society.  Emphasis will be on attending performances in London. This course is taught by a British faculty member.

    This course satisfies the Fine Arts (FA) general education requirement.

    Academic Internship

    Students are placed with organizations in London to gain practical experience in their field of study. Requires the permission of the SU Internship Coordinator in the Office of Career Services.  An additional fee applies.

    2020 Curricular Focus


    Darwin Then and Now: Religious, Historical and Scientific Exploration of an Evolutionary Thinker –

    Perhaps the most influential biologist ever, Charles Darwin based his theories on influences from many disciplines. The Origin of Species, changed scientific and public understanding of evolution, but only appeared after 20+ years of reflection. This course examines historical and literary contexts, religious influences and personal experiences that shaped Darwin’s scientific contributions. Field trips will include visits to primary and secondary materials at The British Museum, Down House (Darwin’s Home), Cambridge University and The British Museum of Natural History. The course welcomes students from all majors and may contribute specifically to Biology, Environmental Studies, History, Religion and English.

    Chocolate Covered London: Exploring the Dark Side of Chocolate Culture - 

    London is a great place for chocolate, including “Chocolate Week” which promotes fine flavor chocolate, the independent artisan chocolatiers and chocolate companies who work in direct partnership with cocoa farmers, encouraging consumers to pay better prices for chocolate. This course examines what “chocolate” means to different entities and compares the US and UK chocolate industries. We will include a critical examination of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and discuss how advancements in science, consumer marketing and social justice all factor into the contemporary chocolate world. Available for all majors. Social Justice Credit. Upper-level credit for Business and Economics.


    PHY53-054 Exploring the Universe OR PHY53-254 Observing the Universe:

    Students can choose to take Exploring the Universe or Overving the University.  Exploring the Universe is an introduction to the science of astronomy for non-science majors. It also examines our current understanding of the physical universe.

    Observing the University teaches basic observing techniques of the night sky. Students will learn how to use astronomy software to study the night time sky and to make astronomical measurements. Prerequisite are Mathematics 52-104 or a higher-level mathematics course. 

    Either course is a Natural Science (NS) credit. 

    PHY53-034 Introduction to Earth Science OR PHY53-354 Energy and the Environment:

    Students can choose to take Intro to Earth Science or Energy and the Environment.  Intro to Earth Science

    examines the complex physical relations between land, sea and atmosphere. It also explores how some actions of our modern civilization disrupt the environment. Topics include geologic hazards, land management, water resources, hazardous waste disposal, energy resources, mineral resources and conservation of resources. Contributes to Environmental Studies.

    Energy and the Environment is an examination of the different types of energy, the laws of thermodynamics that govern the conversion of energy from one form to another, the sources of energy and the usefulness of energy as a unifying concept for studying planetary processes. Prerequisite: Physics 53-034 or 53-044

    Either course is a Natural Science (NS) credit. 



  • Students are housed in double rooms for single occupancy with a private bathroom in a modern residence hall, Kings Cross Student Living.  Each room includes two beds, two writing desks, and two wardrobes.  Bedding is provided, but students are responsible for providing their own towels, which can be bought on-site or at the students’ convenience.  The private bathroom facility in each room contains a toilet, sink, and shower.  Additionally, each room has a live data port with free, 24-hour Internet access via an Ethernet port.  To utilize the data port, students need to bring their laptops that contain an Ethernet PC card, as this card acts as a modem for access to the Ethernet.  

    Approximately sixteen students share one kitchen, which is equipped with basic cooking equipment.  In addition to basic utensils and dishes, students share a lockable fridge, cabinet storage, dishwasher, two stove-tops, and two ovens.  The kitchen is also furnished with a dining area.  Additionally, there is a café on-site serving hot and cold meals.

    There are coin-operated laundry facilities in the basement of the residence hall, as well as in common rooms on various floors, which are furnished with comfortable seating and Wi-Fi.  Some floors contain a television in the common room, while others have been established specifically for reading and studying.  All residents have access to the fitness facility on-site for a required one-time induction fee of £10.

    Along with 24-7 security coverage, there is an electronic key-card entry system to the residence hall.  Each student will have one key that provides access to the front door, bedroom, and kitchen.  The front desk in the reception area of the residence hall is also staffed 24 hours a day.

    The student housing is within walking distance of stops for London buses and the Underground or “Tube”.

    Students are provided a monthly meal stipend of £250 for the purchase of food.

  • Students will participate in several local cultural excursions in London throughout the semester.  Previous activities and excursions have included: a backstage tour of the West End Theatre, a guided tour of the Globe Exhibition, cream tea, attendance at the Tower of London Key Ceremony, attendance at a professional soccer (football) game, and a tour of the British Museum.

    Day trips or overnight trips to the following locations are also cultural components of the program: Bath and Cambridge.  The day trip to Cambridge trip includes round-trip bus transportation and a guided tour of the city. The overnight trip to Bath includes round-trip bus transportation, a guided tour, and admission to Stonehenge.  

    Additionally, students participate in a two-night/three-day field trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.  This field trip includes transportation to and from Edinburgh.  Students share rooms in a hostel on this trip.  Breakfast is included each day.  A visit to the Highland Safari Deer Experience and to the Edinburgh Castle are components of this field trip.

  • Steve Alexander
    Professor of Physics
    • Office Phone: 512-863-1633
    • E:
    Dr. Romi L. Burks
    Professor of Biology and Department Chairperson
    Associated Environmental Studies Faculty
    • Office Phone: 512-863-1280
    • E: