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Humanities and Western Civilization in London, England

Humanities and Western Civilization in London, England
Enroll in a specially designed section on HWC 205, Western Civilization II, and spend spring break in London visiting museums, historic building and other course-related content.
London, England
Language of Instruction: 
Spring Break
Academic Disciplines: 
Program Type: 
  • Enroll in HWC 205 for the spring semester and travel as a class to London over spring break
  • Visit sites around London that relate to Humanities and Western Civilization II
  • A day trip to Oxford is included in the program
Program Summary: 

Enroll in a specially designated section of Spring 2014 HWC 205, Western Civilization II, and spend spring break in London visiting museums, historic buildings and other locations related to course content. Assignments, examinations, and discussion activities will integrate Western Civilization II readings with London venues such as the Freud House Museum, the Holocaust Exhibit at the Imperial War Museum, governmental London, and the British Museum. There is also a day trip to Oxford.

Each student will complete a portfolio project over the course of the semester. The portfolio includes responses to Western Civilization course readings and records hands-on experiences in London during Spring Break. Students will be expected to complete analytical writings, travel memoirs and creative essays as part of the project. An introductory essay will tie the portfolio writings together for final submission at the end of the semester.


Students will attend class on campus weekly throughout the semester, just as do other Western Civ II students. However, London spring break students will enroll in a specific section of Western Civ II and the course will be organized with the trip to London in mind.  We will leave for London on Friday, March 14 and return on Sunday, March 23.

Upon arrival in London on Saturday, March 15, the group will take an orientation double-decker bus tour to help us learn the city. Each weekday students will meet in the hotel's lobby. There, the group will prepare for the day's required events and discuss possibilities for free time.

Each weekday morning the entire class will visit a site relevant to Western Civ II studies.  Each afternoon students will disperse on their own to visit other sites in London relevant to their portfolio projects. They will take careful notes and make thoughtful observations that will help them prepare a record of their readings and experiences.

Morning site visits include:

  • A tour of the Holocaust Exhibit at the Imperial War Museum. The exhibit is widely considered the most comprehensive and authoritative presentation of internment during World War II.
  • An excursion to Oxford to tour Corpus Christi College, Oxford's smallest college, but one of it's best known.  Located just off of Oxford's central High Street, in between Christ Church College and Merton College, "Corpus" enjoys a view over Christ Church Meadow and out toward the River Thames.
  • A walking tour of London's government district. The tour is led by a guide from "London Walks" an organization dedicated to learning about London by walking through the city.  The tour focuses on the Stuart monarchy as John Locke's Second Treatise of Government addresses the Stuarts' perceived tyranny.
  • A visit to the Enlightenment Room at the British Museum.  Here students can learn how Britain viewed the world during the Enlightenment.  Thousands of objects are divided up into seven sections of the gallery to explore the seven new disciplines of the Enlightenment: Religion, Ethnography, Archaeology, Art History, Classification, Decipherment and Natural History.

Afternoon independent site visits may include, but are not limited to:

  • Keats House
  • The British Museum
  • Handel House Museum
  • Dr. Johnson's House
  • Jewish Museum
  • Karl Marx Memorial Library
  • Banqueting House
  • London Canal Museum
  • The National Gallery
  • The National Portrait Gallery
  • The Tate Art Museum
  • The Tate Modern
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Dickens House Museum
  • John Soane's Museum

Students are on their own during evening hours. Activities may include theater and musicals, concerts, art exhibits, jazz, nightclubbing, and more. Three group dinners are included in the program.

Academic Information: 

HWC 115/205 Western Civilization II (3 credits). All students enroll in this course for the spring semester. This course is open to all KU students who have successfully completed HWC 114 or 204, Western Civilization I.


Students and faculty will stay at the Royal National Hotel, a Bloomsbury neighborhood hotel. Accommodation is double and triple occupancy. A full English breakfast will be provided at the hotel each day.


Open to KU students who have completed HWC 114 or HWC 204 (Western Civilization I). Minimum 2.5 GPA.

Further Reading: 

Seaver Study Abroad Award

This scholarship provides program fees ($2,250) for a student enrolled in The Humanities and Western Civilization Spring-Break Program in London, England. All interested students in good standing at The University of Kansas are eligible to apply. Selection will be based on merit with need as a secondary consideration. Information can be found here:www.hwc.ku.edu. Please contact the program director Antha Cotten-Spreckelmeyer for details.

For more information contact:

Antha Cotten-Spreckelmeyer
Humanities and Western Civilization
303-H Bailey Hall
tel: 785-864-3012
e-mail: arcs@ku.edu


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