You’re in! This Hub Page is your one-stop-shop for all program related information prior to your departure.

Everything you need to do before studying abroad will be addressed on this page – think of it as a living checklist. Be sure to check this page regularly, as many of the sections above contain action items with specific deadlines. We will also update this page with new information throughout the semester.

Phases 1, 2 and 3 contain time-sensitive action items, so be sure you’re staying on track! Each phase contains a self-check so you can double check to see if you’ve completed everything along the way.

The “In-Country Guide” contains a wealth of information about the place you’ll be calling home for the next semester. Be sure to read through that section to learn about everything from cultural customs, to academic differences, to daily life.

dNo[— Phase 1: First Things First (Admission – April 1) —]

  • Log in to your online application and confirm your participation in the program. Then complete the checklist of items on the “Pre-Departure Documents” tab.
  • Once you complete the pre-departure process, you'll be registered for this program as a placeholder block of credits.

Please take the time now to review our website for details about the cost of your program. You may find our budgeting worksheet to be an important planning tool. We also encourage you to consider applying for study abroad scholarships as early as possible.

We understand that preparing for your time away can seem overwhelming because of the abundance of information being shared with you. We have designed this online presentation to communicate general pre-departure information that applies to all BU Study Abroad programs, and help you navigate the pre-departure preparation process. 

Pre-departure Roadmap

As part of your acceptance to the London program, you will need to gain access to the London Personal Page – a secure database hosted by the BU London office. A unique username and “passphrase” will be generated for each student after the following steps are taken. Please note, you will receive an email from the London office when you can submit the information below and you will not be issued a passphrase if information submitted does not conform exactly to the specifications indicated:

Provide a passport-style photo as directed in the following instructions: BU LONDON – STUDY ABROAD PHOTO INSTRUCTIONS

Send your photo from an email account that you check regularly, and can access from any location. University email accounts are fine as long as they can accept .html and large, group emails. All pre-departure information from London will be sent to this account. Due to prior issues, we advise against AOL or Verizon. Make sure to keep track of your new login information, as you’ll need to use it frequently.

The Personal Page will be used for:

    • Housing Information
    • Course Information
    • Flight Arrival and Departure Information
    • Ordering Essential Items
    • Purchasing Events From The Social Programme
    • Optional Employment Applications (LPA, Program Rep.)*

*Please note that BU London is no longer hiring RA positions.

CAS IP101: The Global Learning Experience (1 credit)

All program participants are invited to enroll in an online course that is designed to both complement and enhance your semester abroad. The Global Learning Experience is a self-paced, one-credit, Pass/Fail course with brief readings and assignments designed to accompany students through the experience of living, studying and interning in a country and culture different from their own. Students will post their work, experiences and observations to an online platform which will trace a student’s individual path of activities and achievements abroad from an academic, personal and professional standpoint. Discussion boards will link students not only with the course instructors but with students studying on other BU Study Abroad programs around the world. We encourage you to learn more at the link above.

Have you completed everything in Phase 1? Here is a self-check to make sure you’re on the right track. Make sure you’re keeping track of any upcoming deadlines and budgeting enough time to complete them on-time. If you missed a deadline, be sure to check in with your Program Manager and complete that task right away.

You should have completed:

  • Confirmed your participation via your BU Study Abroad Application, paid your program deposit, and filled out the accompanying online forms.
  • Watched the Pre-Departure Roadmap Webinar
  • Submitted your photo to BU London and received access to your London Personal Page – MAY 1
  • Registered for the 1-credit Global Experience course (optional)

[— END Phase 1 —]

[— Phase 2: Core Preparations (April 1 – July 15) —]

A required pre-departure meeting will be held on the BU campus on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 from 2:00PM-3:00PM at the BU Study Abroad office (888 Commonwealth Avenue 2nd Floor). Students will be required to check in at the Front Desk and will then be brought to the meeting room.

All students are expected to attend. This meeting is intended to give you an overview of daily life, culture, health and safety, and academics in London. You will also have the opportunity to speak to program alumni (schedules permitting), meet other program participants, and ask questions.

For any non-Boston area students who may not be able to attend, please note that the slides from the pre-departure meeting are available here: Fall 2017 London Art History Pre-Departure

Please also note that this meeting is intended for participants of the program only. Due to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), parents/guardians are not permitted to attend this session.  In the event that any parents do come to the meeting, we will kindly ask them to exit the room regardless of how far they may have traveled to get to the meeting.  Therefore, please plan accordingly.  We do, however, encourage you to share relevant information about the program with your parents, as we understand that they may be curious about what to expect with your experience abroad.

Flight Information

Each term, we work with Advantage Travel to offer an optional group flight, round-trip from the East Coast to London. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee. Students are not required to take the group flight, however all students are required to submit a round-trip itinerary for our records. Keep in mind that late arrivals and early departures are not permitted.

The itinerary and booking directions for the group flight will be emailed as soon as they become available. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding flights:

Why should I book a spot on the group flight?
Once you confirm a reservation on the group flight, Boston University will be billed directly by the travel agency, since the cost of the flight is included in the program fee. Also, all travel booked through Advantage Travel will be monitored by the travel agency on the day of departure, and they will be able to assist with any schedule changes, delays, or missed connections. The flight also allows you to travel with other students from the program.

How do I reserve a seat on the group flight?
Specific booking instructions and detailed group flight itineraries will be emailed directly to students.

What if I need to book a connecting flight to the departure city?
If you will be traveling from elsewhere prior to the group flight, Advantage Travel can also assist you with reserving a flight to the departure city.

What if I want to arrange my own travel?
If you prefer to travel independently from the group, you are welcome to do so. Advantage Travel can assist you with reservations from a different airport or on different dates, or you can make a reservation completely on your own. You must arrive at your residence by Sunday, September 3, 2017 at 12 pm and depart on Thursday, December 14, 2017Housing will not be provided before or after these dates, and late arrivals/early departures are not permitted. Once you have confirmed your independent travel, make sure to report your flight information through the Boston University International Travel Registry.

Arrival Information

You must arrive to your housing in South Kensington by Sunday, September 3, 2017 at 12 PM and depart on Thursday, December 14, 2017. All students on our London programs are responsible for their own transportation between the airport and our South Kensington site. Details regarding ground transportation options will be provided by the BU London staff later in the semester via the London Personal Page. They will list estimated costs and travel options from Heathrow Airport. There will not be staff to meet students at the airport upon arrival.

If you will be traveling independently and will not be able to arrive in South Kensington by 12pm, you will need to make specific arrangements with the London staff prior to booking your flight to make sure you can check in upon arrival. You can email the London Student Life staff at to make any necessary arrangements.

*Please note Course Registration is currently not yet open. Students will receive an email notification when course selection becomes available.

Although you already submitted an Advisor Support of Participation form as part of your application, you may need to adjust your course enrollment plans as you learn more about your program. Be sure to do so in consultation with your academic advisor (or your home institution’s study abroad office, if you are a visiting student), especially if your courses were pre-approved. You should determine, preferably prior to the start of the program, the precise degree requirements these courses will fulfill. It is your responsibility to research how the courses taken abroad apply towards your overall academic requirements and progress toward your degree. Non-BU students should be certain you understand how courses you take with BU Study Abroad will transfer to your home institution


Students are required to enroll in either AH 388: British Painting from Holbein to the Twentieth Century or AH 320: Modern British Art & Design on a first-come-first-serve basis via the London Personal Page. Students will receive notification from BU London when course registration becomes available. Registration in BU London courses must be submitted by July 7, 2017.


In addition to the BU London course, students will be required to register for two additional modules at the Courtauld via their registration process. Registration instructions will come directly from the Courtauld, so please be sure to check your email for module registration dates and deadlines.

The first module, required of all students, is Frameworks for Interpretation: Historiography and Display.

The second module is an elective chosen by students. Courtauld module options vary year to year, but may include the following:

  • Greek & Roman Art
  • Seminar, Late Antique & Medieval Art
  • Seminar, Renaissance Art
  • Seminar, Seventeenth & Eighteenth Century Art
  • Seminar, Special Topics in the History of Art

No changes are permitted for these courses. Once enrolled, you will see these courses listed on your London Personal Page.Please note that your selected courses will not appear on your BU transcript until after the program has ended and grades are reported.

Entry Into The United Kingdom


If you do not have a current passport, please apply for one immediately using expedited service. Your passport must be valid until at least six months after the program ends. All students will need to upload a copy of their passport to their London Personal Page.

Short-Term Student Route – US Citizens

US citizens will NOT need to apply for a visa before departure. Later this semester, all students will be able to download a personalized immigration letter from their London Personal Page that must be presented to UK immigration officials upon arrival to request entry as a “Short-Term Student”.  They will grant you the Short-Term Student status with a stamp in your passport, which will allow you to study in the UK and leave and return as often as you’d like during the dates of the program.  There is no associated fee.

Citizens of the European Union member countries with a valid member country passport are NOT required to apply for a British visa.

Entry Into The United Kingdom

International Students (Non-EU)

If you hold a passport from a country other than the US or European Union then you may need to apply for a pre-entry UK Short Term Study Visa. You can check to see if you need a visa on the UK Visa and Immigration website (check the “study” option for reason for visit, and that you’ll be in the UK for 6 months or under).

If you DO require a Short Term Study Visa, please follow our application instructions, here.

The application process will take on average 1 month during which your passport will be held by the UK Consulate General in New York. Students may begin applications as early as 90 days prior to program start (June 5, 2017).

Due to increased visa processing during July and August, you MUST mail in your application no later than Friday, July 28, 2017. Please apply as early as possible to avoid complications.

Schengen Visa Information:

Some citizenships require a Schengen Visa for travel on the European continent. If you are unsure if you need one, reference this list, and check with the consulate of the country in which you plan on spending the majority of your time, or are entering first within the Schengen zone. You should only apply for a Schengen Visa after you receive your UK visa. Every country in the Schengen zone processes visas slightly differently, and processing times will vary. Please follow the instructions carefully when applying. You will likely be asked to provide a full travel itinerary for the application, so please plan your continental travels accordingly. You may not miss class or any other academic obligation for travel. Your Short Term Study visa will allow you unlimited travel within the UK during your stay.

International Health Insurance and Evacuation Coverage:

All students participating in our programs will be automatically enrolled in a plan which includes comprehensive health and evacuation insurance. This coverage is provided by GeoBlue, and policy information will be sent to you via email. In the meantime we encourage you to review the insurance information we provide on our website.

If you need assistance in planning for your medical needs abroad—such as determining coverage of a specific case, availability of prescription medication, or scheduling an appointment with a doctor or counselor—you can contact GeoBlue even before you are officially enrolled in the plan. Use the GeoBlue contact information at the link above and identify yourself as a Boston University program participant in need of assistance with “pre-trip planning.”

Preparing To Live in the UK:

Study abroad can be both mentally and physically challenging, so it is important for you to prepare as much as possible now for your health and safety during your time abroad. Although there are no required immunizations for your time in London, we recommend that you we recommend that you consider the following:

  • Take the time now to read the BU Study Abroad Health and Safety webpage.
  • If you have not been feeling well, make an appointment with your doctor for a checkup.
  • If you anticipate needing any dental, optical, or other procedures, plan to have them completed before departure.
  • If you are experiencing any emotional, eating, or substance abuse issues, seek professional counsel and consider deferring your participation in an overseas program, if necessary.
  • If you have had difficulties coping with change, stress or anxiety in the past (whether or not it was professionally diagnosed), or are hoping that time spent overseas will help you solve a problem facing you at home, or on campus, you should talk to a medical professional before studying abroad.

Medications and Prescriptions:

If you take regular medications, please consult with your local primary care physician prior to the program departure to obtain the necessary supply of your medications for the duration of the program as well as a written prescription. You may not have medications shipped to you overseas due to customs regulations. If found in transit, medications may be confiscated and you could be fined.

If for any reason you cannot be prescribed or transport the full supply of your medication, you will need to see a local doctor in London to get a new prescription. Please follow these steps to work with your normal doctor in the US, and GeoBlue to make a plan ahead of time. 

  1. Call GeoBlue insurance directly, identify yourself as a BU Student and ask to engage in “pre-trip planning”. GeoBlue can help you identify if your medication is available in the UK, and help set up an appointment with a doctor in London so that you can start the re-prescribing process straight away.
  2. Once you know if your medications are available, have your current doctor(s) write a letter indicating the conditions the medications are for, the dosages, the generic chemical names, etc. You can bring this with you to your doctor’s appointment in London, along with a paper version of your current prescription.

The on-site staff will discuss the healthcare system in the UK in detail, during your on-site orientation.

If you have a mental health, emotional, learning, or physical disability that would require reasonable accommodations in order to complete the requirements of the program, you must obtain approval from BU’s Office of Disability Services. To initiate the approval request process, complete this Request for Accomodations Form (RAF) and submit it to or 19 Deerfield St. second floor, Boston, MA  02215. Please note that certain accommodations that you receive on your home campus may not be available at your program site, so the earlier that you are in contact with their office for advising, the better. The process for arranging accommodations may take several weeks.

If you are currently consulting with a mental health professional, you must seek their counsel about the advisability of your participation in a study abroad program, especially as related to your adjustment to new cultural, academic, and housing environments and the availability of therapeutic or medical support while you are away from your home campus. If you have questions about the support available at your program destination, please contact

Have you completed everything in Phases 1 and 2? Here is a self-check to make sure you’re on the right track. Make sure you’re keeping track of any upcoming deadlines and budgeting enough time to complete them on-time. If you missed a deadline, be sure to check in with you Program Manager and complete that task right away.

You should have completed:

(From Phase 1)

  • Confirmed your participation via your BU Study Abroad Application, paid your program deposit, and filled out the accompanying online forms.
  • Watched the Pre-Departure Roadmap Webinar
  • Submitted your photo to BU London and received access to your London Personal Page – MAY 1
  • Registered for the 1-credit Global Experience course (optional)

(From Phase 2)

  • Attended your Pre-Departure Meeting – TBD
  • Booked a spot on the group flight (optional)
  • Completed course registration – JUL 7
  • Submitted and mailed your UK visa application (Non-US/EU students only) – JUL 28
  • Made any necessary doctors appointments and located your nearest travel clinic for immunizations.
  • Contacted GeoBlue for “Pre-Trip Planning” (if necessary)
  • Contacted BU Disability Services to plan for academic accommodations and other support services (if necessary)

[— END Phase 2—]

[— Phase 3: Final Considerations (July 15 – Departure)—]

*Please note that Housing Registration for Fall 2017 is not currently open. Housing registration will open on July 24, 2017.*

Students live in furnished apartments with other students in Boston University’s London programs. The apartments are within walking distance of the BU London Academic Center. They vary in size, configuration, and style of decoration, but most consist of shared bedrooms (two to four students per bedroom) with an attached bath/shower room as well as a communal living/dining room with cooking facilities. Telephone and Internet access are provided in each of the apartments. Bed linens are provided but towels are not.  The kitchen has essential cookware as well as dishes and cutlery.

Housing is selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students respond to an email survey issued by BU London, and will be allocated to a bed space in an open room in one of our three buildings. Most rooms are multiple occupancy – doubles, triples and quads. The deadline for housing selection will be July 31, 2017. After the deadline, housing will be assigned by the BU Student Life staff.

For more information on our housing buildings in London, you can look at all the BU London housing options, here.

Any housing questions should be directed to

A small number of single rooms are available throughout our buildings for an extra $1,435 (charged to your BU Student Account, fee subject to change).  All charges are made for single rooms after requests have been approved.

For students needing to request a single room for medical reasons: You must upload a physician’s letter that clearly describes the medical need to your Personal Page before the deadline. You’ll find this option under the “roommate preference” tab on the Personal Page housing section, and be sure to also check the button to indicate that you would like a single room. Your single room request will be reviewed by BU’s Office of Disability Services, and does not guarantee a single room. Please note that it is not likely for a medical single to be approved for insomnia, IBS, or ADD/ADHD. The deadline to request a medical single will be posted on the London Personal Page .

If you would like a single room out of personal preference, add your request to the “Add Confidential Information” section in the roommate preferences tab (within the Housing section) and check the button to indicate that you would like a single room. Your single application will be reviewed by request date and honored if possible.

International Travel Registry

All students are required to report their confirmed travel plans through the Boston University International Travel Registry, regardless of whether you have reserved a spot on the group flight or will be traveling independently. Registration allows BU to communicate with you when incidents affecting travel and operations occur overseas, including natural disasters, civil unrest, or outbreak of disease.

It’s essential that you call your bank and credit card companies to let them know you’ll be studying abroad. You’ll need to tell them what country (or countries) you’ll be visiting, and the dates you’ll be away. If you don’t let them know, they may freeze your accounts, assuming your card has been used fraudulently. When you call your bank, you should ask them about the fees you may incur when using your debit/credit cards internationally.

We do not recommend opening a UK bank account. The fees for transferring funds both to and from UK, and the time it takes to set up and close the account, outweigh the benefits. Plan to use your current bank and credit cards. Some students in the past have opened credit cards that have specific benefits for travel – like waiving international transaction fees – and have saved money that way. You’ll need to assess what is right for you.

Outside of the UK, there may be banks that partner with your US bank. One of these partnerships is the Global ATM Alliance – a joint venture of several major international banks that allows customers of their banks to use their ATM card or debit card at another bank within the Global ATM Alliance with no international ATM access fees. Other fees, such as an international transaction or foreign currency fee, may still apply.

All students need to have access to a local UK mobile phone number while on their program. A phone or sim card can be purchased on the London Personal Page. These phone numbers will also work while traveling around continental Europe.

All students should purchase pay-as-you-go phones or sim cards. We do not advise getting a monthly plan where you need to sign a contract, or cancel your subscription. All sim cards and phones available on the personal page are pay-as-you-go, even if you top them up monthly.

If you would like to continue using your current smartphone with a UK sim card, be sure to check that your phone is compatible with European band sim cards, and if it needs to be unlocked ahead of time by your US carrier. If you do not want to unlock your phone, then you can always purchase a basic UK phone, and use your current smartphone on airplane mode with WiFi, when it’s available. Public WiFi locations are plentiful around London.

We do not recommend using an international plan from your current US mobile provider. These plans are often much more expensive than what you’ll pay in London, and not nearly as reliable. You will also not have a local UK number, which is essential. These plans are appropriate for a vacation, not for an entire semester abroad.

Internet Access:

BU London is equipped with secure WiFi throughout the campus. Public WiFi is also plentiful around London. You may find that internet speeds differ from what you are used to in the US – try to be patient!

Most students communicate with their family and friends at home using internet calling apps, as opposed to using their UK mobile phones. Some popular, reliable, and free (!) apps include:

  • Skype (voice and video calling, messaging)
  • FaceTime/iMessage (Apple products only)
  • What’s App (mobile messaging)
  • Viber (voice and video calling, messaging)

You should consider downloading some of these apps prior to departure, and helping those who you’ll want to communicate with to download them as well.

In addition to basic clothing and personal items, we recommend the following for packing:


-Use bags that are light and sturdy – one large, one carry on, one shoulder bag or backpack
-Pack only what you can carry easily yourself
-Check airline restrictions on weight and number of bags you can take aboard. Overage fees may apply
-Do not plan on shipping items abroad. Items may get tied up in customs and either arrive late, or, in some cases, not at all.

Pack in your carry on:

-UK immigration letter (found on London Personal Page)
-Directions to your flat (found on London Personal Page)
-Full roundtrip flight itinerary
-Prescription medications

Recommended Items:

-One bath towel to start (Bed linens and pillows, and all kitchen supplies are provided, but towels are not. You can purchase more after you arrive in London)
-Universal outlet converters
-Voltage converters are not necessary, as any electronics requiring voltage conversion should be left at home and purchased locally in London
-Rain and cold-weather clothing (Winter is fairly mild in the UK, however please be prepared for some cold and wet weather in November and December)
-External hard drive or USB drive for backing up academic work

What NOT to bring:

-US-based international cell phone plan (see mobile phones section above for more information)
-Sentimental items you can’t replace
-Personal appliances like hairdryers, straighteners, and shavers
-Inexpensive replacements can be purchased in London. US voltage and European voltages are different and often cause issues with small appliances. Electronics like laptops, battery chargers, etc. have built in voltage converters.

BU Students: 

The Fall 2017 payment deadline is August 3, 2017. You will use the StudentLink “Money Matters” tab to view and pay your bill, as usual.  Any questions regarding your bill or making payments should be directed to BU Student Accounting Services at

Non-BU Students:

The Fall 2017 payment deadline is September 18, 2017. Please contact your home institution to discuss your specific billing arrangement with Boston University.  Any additional questions regarding your bill or making payments should be directed to  Additional information can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Have You Changed Your Mind?

If you are considering withdrawing from your Study Abroad program, please thoroughly review the Boston University Study Abroad Policy on Refunds. Please keep in mind that at any time after your admission to the program there may be non-recoverable costs associated with withdrawing from the program. Examples of non-recoverable costs may include, but are not limited to, housing costs, excursions or academic costs.

It is important to note that the program starts on September 3, 2017 and is more than 12 weeks long. The last day to notify our office in writing of your withdrawal prior to being responsible for a portion of the program fee is August 25, 2017.

Have you completed everything in Phases 1, 2 and 3? Here is a self-check to make sure you’re on the right track. Make sure you’re keeping track of any upcoming deadlines and budgeting enough time to complete them on-time. If you missed a deadline, be sure to check in with you Program Manager and complete that task right away.

You should have completed:

(From Phase 1)

  • Confirmed your participation via your BU Study Abroad Application, paid your program deposit, and filled out the accompanying online forms.
  • Watched the Pre-Departure Roadmap Webinar
  • Submitted your photo to BU London and received access to your London Personal Page – MAY 1
  • Registered for the 1-credit Global Experience course (optional)

(From Phase 2)

  • Attended your Pre-Departure Meeting – TBD
  • Booked a spot on the group flight (optional)
  • Completed course registration – JUL 7
  • Submitted and mailed your UK visa application (Non-US/EU students only) – JUL 28
  • Made any necessary doctors appointments and located your nearest travel clinic for immunizations.
  • Contacted GeoBlue for “Pre-Trip Planning” (if necessary)
  • Contacted BU Disability Services to plan for academic accommodations and other support services (if necessary)

(From Phase 3)

  • Selected your housing – JUL 31
  • Reported your travel on the International Travel Registry
  • Called your bank and credit card companies to let them know you’ll be studying abroad. Asked about any banking reciprocity agreements they may have, as well as any fees you may incur.
  • Decided if you’re going to use your current mobile phone abroad, or get a new phone after you arrive. If you’re going to use your own phone, be sure to get it unlocked at least a week ahead of departure.
  • Made a reasonable communication plan with your family and friends
  • Reviewed your packing list and purchased any essentials
  • Read your “In-Country Guide”
  • Settled your Boston University Student Account

[— END Phase 3 —]

[— In-Country Guide —]

1.       Get To Know London

Welcome to London! You’ve chosen to study in a world-class city that’s stood the test of time, and has been a global epicenter for trade, politics, business, and culture for hundreds of years! To begin learning about the United Kingdom and London (a city colloquially known as “The Big Smoke”), check out some of the useful resources below:




Other Useful UK Resources

Getting to know local and international news from an UK perspective is a great way to prepare for the upcoming semester. Listed below are links to many different types of media:

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
The Telegraph
The Guardian
The Independent
Metro UK
LBC London News
TimeOut London
The London Magazine
Business London Magazine
Radio 1 – BBC

2.      Daily Life

Students will get a chance to hone their cooking skills in London with a shared kitchen in each flat.  Students have a designated cupboard to keep dry goods and share the refrigerators in the kitchen.  There are many grocery and specialty food stores within walking distance. On arrivals day students will have a walking tour of the area to get acclimated with the nearest shops and stores where they can stock up for the upcoming week. In addition, the area has plenty of restaurants nearby for all budgets, including cafes, international fare and traditional English pubs.

Students with any food allergies should contact the Student Life office well before the start of the semester, so that accommodations can be made, if possible. Due to the shared kitchens, some accommodations may not be possible.

Information on housing can be found in the following link: Housing Information

Dress is comparatively more formal in the UK than in the US, particularly for social outings such as going out to eat, to pubs and clubs, and for special occasions. UK sensibility does tend to lean more towards simpler patterns and colors along with heavier fabrics, particularly in the colder months. Simple, sturdy and neat-looking outfits will be best for everyday wear and especially for those on internship placements. However, in the posh streets of London you will find that many also dress for style as well. With a history of cutting-edge fashion, it is not uncommon to see a few flashy outfits about town. Clothes are typically worn with more of a tailored look in the UK. Students will find that most Londoners will compliment their outfits with sport coats, hats, and smart-looking bags or jewelry.

London does not experience some of the harsh weather of the US, and so bringing heavy raincoats and rain boots is not advised. Visitors are easily spotted for donning their rain gear out in public, so the best option is to have a sturdy umbrella and regular jacket or coat with closed shoes.

3.      Student Life

BU London classes take place at the Boston University buildings, either the academic center or in classrooms in the residence halls.  All of Boston University buildings are in South Kensington within a 10-20 minute walk from one another.

All Courtauld classes take place at the Courtauld campus in Somerset House. Students will be considered Courtauld Institute of Art students and will have full access to their facilities. To learn more about the facilities the Courtauld provides, please see the Courtauld website.

Library – The London programs have a library in the lower level of the academic center.  Students can borrow books, DVDs and other study materials.  In addition, there are a number of computers as well as a printer where students can print papers.  Here is a link to more information about printing and computers.

Gyms – Students can join a number of gyms in the area, including a gym at Imperial College.  More information can be found on the London Personal Page under the Messages and Orders tab.  Or once they arrive in London, students can inquire at the Student Life Office about other available gym options.

Students will be directed by their instructors at the Courtauld and BU London regarding the requirement of textbooks and the process for purchasing them.

While some classes include field trips, the London Student Life Office offers a large number of optional events and trips open to all students.

BU London Social Programme

There are a number of events and activities that you may like to attend while in London. BU London has a number of tickets for these events that you may purchase through your Personal Page. There are limited numbers of tickets for these events so be sure to book your place if you would like to attend. The ticket cost will be charged to your BU Boston account.

Refunds: All purchases are non-refundable. However, tickets may be exchanged between students. More information will be available during the London Orientation.

Below are examples of past and current Social Program activities.

London Eye                                                                Royal Court Theatre

Little Venice Boating Tour                                          Harry Potter: Studio Tour

Edinburgh                                                                  Wales Adventures

St. Paul’s and Tea at the Tate                                    Windsor Castle

Edinburgh                                                                  Polo

Tour of Chelsea FC                                                   Wembley: Portugal v. England Football

Tower of London Tour                                              London Bridge

Tour of Parliament                                                     Climb the O2

Cricket                                                                       Queen’s AEGEON Tennis Championship

Jack the Ripper Tour                                                 Kensington Palace

uk soccer  Harry Potter

BU/Courtauld program students receive two different forms of instruction. On BU London courses, students are taught by BU-hired faculty and lectures span 3-4 hours in length per session. In Courtauld courses, students are fully immersed in the UK-style curriculum. Courses will require students to attend lectures, critiques, and project-based requirements outside of classroom hours. Students must prepare themselves for this style of learning, as it involves both independent and group-style work much of the time and students will be spending many hours with each other as well as their fellow Courtauld students.

4.      Money Matters

It is incredibly difficult to open a bank account in London.  Most students just use their credit card to make purchases or their ATM card to withdraw British Pounds.  Before you leave you may want to check out which credit cards waive the transaction fees.  Previous students have said that credit cards associated with airlines sometimes waive the foreign transaction fees.

While there may be other websites on tipping in the UK, we found this website helpful: Tipping Guide

While London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, there are a number of free or inexpensive ways to enjoy the city.  The Student Life Office can offer many suggestions or resources in helping you keep on budget.

-Take the bus and see London – Get a sense of the city by traveling above ground, especially in the top of the double-decker buses.
-Museums are free and within walking distance of the BU buildings.
-Hyde Park is right nearby the Crofton – a great place to jog or walk.
-Take advantage of the discounted theater, day and weekend trips offered by the BU London Social Programme
-London Time Out Magazine has a of upcoming free or reduced cost events and activities
-Have potlucks with your flatmates – dining in is much less expensive than eating out

5.      Traveling

Nearly all local transport around London (buses, the Tube, etc.) are operated by Transport for London. You can learn more about all the local transportation options, explore maps, and plan trips at their website: Transport for London

One of the most exciting prospects of studying abroad is the ability to travel outside your city limits and explore other parts of the country or even other countries. Although the temptation to begin planning early is strong, BU London requests that all students not book any personal travels until after they arrive on-site in London.

Students are not provided their program schedule until the program orientation. Therefore, course timetables and commitments will not be known beforehand, and you must not miss course or internship hours due to personal travel. Hours missed for personal travel will ultimately disrupt the requirements of your Tier-4 UK visa and could lead to termination of your immigration status.

There are some advantages to waiting until arrival to book personal travel. First, BU London operates its own set of events and activities called the Social Programme. Students can sign up for Social Programme tickets and receive discounted access to many local happenings such as sporting events, theater performances, and socials. Waiting to book travel will ensure that you are not missing any Social Programme events you wished to participate in, and can plan your travel weekends around them. Second, BU London will host a small fair during orientation where local student travel companies will be present to promote their own trips, many of them regional and international. Some of these student-focused trips are at a discounted or inclusive cost to students, which can ultimately be less expensive than planning trips on your own beforehand. Also, this will enable you to hopefully book trips with your fellow program participants.

The BU Academic Center has a small library of travel guides for students to review. The staff are also a great resource on regional travel and can assist you if you are looking to plan any trips.

6.      Staying Healthy

The UK healthcare system bears much resemblance to the US system, and so students do not experience a great disconnect when seeking medical treatment. When in London, students will have access to Doctors, Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Specialist care. Students will not have to pay upfront for these services if the correct procedures are followed, that is, student will have to phone GeoBlue, give their certificate/policy number and GeoBlue will authorize the visit. A list of local clinicians will be provided in London.

In cases of emergencies students should seek help immediately at the local hospital:

Chelsea & Westminster (Accident & Emergency 24 hours)
369 Fulham Road
SW10 9NH
0208 764 8000

If you need an ambulance you (or a friend or RA) should ring 999.

It is essential that you take care of yourself by eating well and getting sufficient sleep. Study abroad can be exciting and sometimes overwhelming. Keeping healthy is a key part of making your semester a success.

If you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling or any ongoing health issues our staff are ready to listen. Advice in a strictly medical situation should be obtained from a local doctor. Our staff can help point you to the appropriate people.

In the event that you need to see a specialist while in the UK as part of on-going support or treatment program, please do your best to organize it in advance from the US. Otherwise, we can refer you to our local doctor for further direction.

7.      Staying Safe

Embassy of the United States in London
24 Grosvenor Square
+44 20 7499 9000

The London office will have extensive information on safety in London.  In addition they have listed safety information on the BU London website.  We have also gathered safety information from other resources for you to review:

“Staying Safe in London” – VisitLondon
“London Health & Safety” – TripAdvisor
“Staying Safe” – Transport for London
“Visitor Information” – Metropolitan Police London

8.      “Being You” Abroad

Identities Abroad

Identities Abroad

As you prepare for your study abroad experience, you’ll want to consider aspects of your identity and how these may be perceived and treated in the culture you’ll be spending time in. You may encounter varying and even opposing perceptions of your identity, which could include your gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, ethnicity, and possibly several others. Although some of this will be covered in your on-site orientation, we encourage you to do some research into social norms, cultural mores, and local practices before your program begins. We want you to participate as much as possible in the host culture and should be prepared for the experience, which can be both personally challenging and rewarding.

LGBTQ Resources

Disability resources

Women’s and Gender Resources

Racial and Ethnic Students from the Global Majority

Resources for Religious and Spiritual Groups Abroad







Resources for all Students

[— END In-Country Guide —]

[— The Fine Print —]

As a student who will be directly enrolled in one or more courses at a foreign university, you are subject to a set of specific policies that apply to your classes, credits, and grades on this program. You are expected to be familiar with these policies before going abroad. Please read the academic policies below and make sure you understand them fully. You may download a copy of these policies here. Contact your Program Manager if you have any questions.


You will be enrolled in a course or courses at a university whose policies, teaching methods, and grading systems will differ from Boston University’s. Please read the policies outlined below very carefully and refer to your program-specific informational materials, which may include additional policies that modify or supplement the below.

  1. Full-time status. You are required to maintain full-time student status, equivalent to 12 or more BU credits per semester, while abroad. You may need to take more than 12 credits at your host university in order to earn the equivalent of 12 BU credits. Some foreign universities require that you take more than 12 BU credits in order to meet their requirements for full-time status.
  2. BU degree progress. You are responsible for verifying with your department in advance how the classes you take abroad will apply towards your major or minor degree requirements. An Academic Worksheet is available to you for this purpose.
  3. Auditing classes. You are not permitted to audit classes while studying abroad.
  4. Registering for final exams. Some universities abroad require students to register in advance for their final exams. It is your responsibility to know whether you need to register for your final exam, and to do so by the deadline.  At some universities abroad, failure to register for or take a final exam results in a failing grade for that course. Although some universities abroad allow their matriculated students more than one opportunity to sit for final exams, BU Study Abroad program participants will sit the final exam only once.
  5. Grading Conversion and Credit Transfer. It is a student’s responsibility to understand the grading system and grade conversion scale for their host university courses. Some courses offered abroad may carry fewer than four credits.
  6. Grades and transcripts. Boston University cannot edit, modify or changein any way the final grades that are issued by your host institution and indicated on your host university transcript. Any questions regarding your grades should be directed to your host university faculty. All grades assigned to you by the host institution will be recorded on your BU transcript and all grades earned abroad will be factored into your GPA. You cannot opt to omit courses taken abroad and/or grades earned abroad from your BU transcript.
  7. Pass/Fail. No credit will be given to courses taken Pass/Fail.
  8. Withdrawals. If you withdraw from one of your classes abroad and a ‘W’ appears on your host university transcript, that ‘W’ will also appear on your BU transcript. However, a grade of ‘W’ will not be recorded on your transcript retroactively and post-program.
  9. Incompletes and Failing Grades. No grades of ‘Incomplete’ will be given; all coursework must be completed with your host institution, including the completion of all final exams before the end date of your program. You will also receive an ‘F’ on your BU transcript for any class that is ‘Incomplete’ on your host institution transcript. A failing grade earned in a class taken abroad will appear on your transcript as an ‘F’ and will count towards your GPA.  In keeping with BU academic policy, you will not earn academic credit for incomplete or failed courses even though the grades appear on your transcript and impact your GPA.

Academic, Disciplinary and Financial Standing

Boston University Study Abroad reserves the right to rescind admission to or continuation in any program if an applicant’s academic or disciplinary record is not satisfactory. Boston University students placed on expulsion, academic suspension, or residence separation are not eligible to participate for the duration of the sanction. Deferred separation status will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Non-Boston University students are expected to verify their eligibility to study abroad with their home institution.

In addition, your Boston University student account must be in good standing. University policy requires the withholding of educational services, including participation in a BU Study Abroad program from any student whose financial obligations to the university are due and/or unpaid.

Students’ Responsibilities While Abroad

In completing your online pre-departure forms, there are a number of terms and conditions that you have agreed to by your electronic signature. We suggest that you review the following with your family, parent/guardian or other interested party:

  • Student Declaration (includes a link to the Boston University Policy on Refunds—also below)
  • Participation Confirmation
  • Housing Agreement
  • Assumption of Risk, Waiver of Claims and Release of Liability Form

Policy on Refunds

All students should thoroughly review the Boston University Study Abroad Policy on Refunds.  This policy applies to all students and should be thoughtfully read when considering a withdrawal from a program. If you have questions, please contact our office.

[— END The Fine Print —]

[— Calendar —]

Program Dates

The Fall 2017 London Art History Program with the Courtauld Institute of Art runs from Sunday, September 3, 2017 (depart U.S. on September 2) to Thursday, December 14, 2017.

Tentative Academic Calendar

  • Sunday, September 3 – Arrivals Day
  • Monday, September 4 – Tuesday, September 5 – Orientation
  • Wednesday, September 6 – BU London Courses Begin
  • Monday, October 2 – Courtauld Classes Begin
  • Wednesday, December 13 – Courtauld Classes End
  • Thursday, December 14 – Departure Day

Neither late arrivals nor early departures are permitted.
We urge students to not make any weekend or mid-semester break travel plans until they arrive on site and receive the finalized course and program schedule. During the semester, students must fulfill strict attendance requirements and will be very busy with classes, program activities, and assignments. If family and friends plan to visit, please schedule trips to take place before the start of on-site orientation, during a scheduled program break, or after the semester ends. The first and last weeks of the program are critical to students’ success and require your full attention. By timing visits to coincide with scheduled program breaks, you can meet attendance requirements and take full advantage of your study abroad experience.

[— END Calendar —]

[— Contacts —]

Program Contacts

As you prepare for and embark on your study abroad experience, you will be in contact with various staff members from BU Study Abroad, both in Boston and abroad. To avoid missing important information, please add “” to your address book. Please keep all emails in a folder for your reference as you prepare for your semester abroad. Here are the names and email addresses of some people who will be in touch with you this semester, and/or whom you may want to contact with questions.

Boston-Based Staff

Corey Blackmar, Program Manager
Corey will be your primary contact for the following tracks during the pre-departure process. All questions and concerns you may have should be directed to him.

London-based Staff:

All the staff members below may be in touch with you at various points regarding pre-departure preparations.

Various staff from the Student Life Office will be in contact with you regarding the London Personal Page, housing, cell phones and the BU London Social Programme.  You will hear from the Student Life team throughout the semester.

If you have any academic questions, the Academic Affairs Office is the one to contact.  They can help you out with course enrollment, syllabi, and any concerns. In addition, the Academic Affairs team will contact you throughout the semester regarding any academic updates.

[— END Contacts —]