MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. Programs, Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

About IFSA-Butler's Engage London Program

  • Minimum GPA: 2.8 (4.0 scale)
  • Application deadlines: October 1 for spring semester (Jan-April)
    April 15 for fall semester (Sept-Dec)
  • Program advisor: Aimee Formo
Mac & PDF + Printing Tips

Program Snapshot


What Engage London has to offer

  • Live and study in the heart of London
  • Classes are small, interactive and academically
  • Round-the-clock support from resident staff
  • The Exploring England: Community and Culture core course examines the cultural values of England and includes dynamic lectures, visits to cultural sites and discussions of the differences between the U.S. and U.K.
  • An optional, hands-on internship caters to individual academic interests and is a great way to enhance your resume and professional skills
  • Participation in IFSA-Butler's Exploring Community & Culture model


  • Housing is in university residence halls, both on and off campus, or in IFSA-Butler housing in west central London
  • Students purchase or prepare their own meals


  • Students take an Exploring England: Community & Culture course plus three electives
  • An optional internship replaces one elective

We look forward to working with you!


Program Curriculum

What courses are required?
All Engage London students take the Exploring England: Community and Culture core course. See below for a description of this course.

What other classes will I take?
Students choose three electives from the University of Westminster online course catalog. Students who want to pursue an internship take two electives plus the internship.

What courses am I eligible to take?
As an IFSA-Butler student, you are entitled to enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and in which space is available. Course descriptions in the online course catalog (see above) include prerequisites for each course. When considering departments and courses, please note that you will not be allowed to take Media, Arts and Design courses ("MAD") unless you have a cumulative 3.0 GPA. There are no exceptions. You must take all courses for academic credit, and complete all coursework and exams in order to obtain credit on the Butler University transcript.

For each course that you list on your preference form, be sure to check the following:

  • When determining which courses to take, please bear in mind that the British academic system is an intensive, three-year program.
    • First-year (Level 4) courses are appropriate for departments in which you have little or no prior experience.
    • Second-year (Level 5) courses will be equivalent to advanced sophomore or junior-level U.S. courses.
    • Third-year (Level 6) courses will be equivalent to senior-level U.S. courses and require three to four courses completed in the subject area.
    • Fourth-year courses and higher are part of a postgraduate degree (Masters or Ph.D.). You are not eligible to take these courses as an undergraduate study abroad student.
  • The semester(s) in which the course is offered: Semester 1 = fall semester. Semester 2 = spring semester. Semester 1 and 2 = the course is available to full-year students only.

What courses are available at the Westminster campuses and where are they located?
You can take any combination of courses at any of the four Westminster campuses. You are not restricted to taking courses within one department or campus. Below is a description of what is taught at each campus:

  • Cavendish Campus (nearest Tube stop is Goodge Street, central London) - School of Biosciences, Cavendish School of Computer Science, School of Integrated Health
  • Harrow Campus (nearest Tube stop is Northwick Park, 12 miles northwest of central London) - The School of Media, Arts and Design, Harrow School of Computer Science, Harrow Business School
  • Marylebone Campus (nearest Tube stop is Baker Street, central London) - School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Westminster Business School
  • Regent Campus (nearest Tube stop is Oxford Circus, central London) - School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of Law

Do I need to submit a portfolio in order to take Media, Arts and Design courses?
It depends on what type of Media, Arts and Design course you are interested in taking. There are two kinds of courses: practical (studio-based) and theoretical.

Practical modules are structured differently from all others at Westminster. Students taking a media studies practical course meet twice weekly for eight-hour sessions. The course continues for seven weeks, which is half of the semester. Students interested in taking practical courses must submit a portfolio* of their work, usually slides or a CD with written descriptions. No original artwork will be accepted as part of a portfolio. The portfolio should be sent to IFSA-Butler. Please be aware that your portfolio may not be returned to you.

It is strongly suggested that students interested in media studies enroll for the entire academic year, but it is not an official requirement. Please note: The communication, design and media courses are extremely competitive and can close before the IFSA-Butler published deadline.

Theory modules meet for the entire semester. They are structured like other subjects and do not require the submission of a portfolio.

Students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA to enroll in both the practical and theoretical classes.

* The portfolio deadline is the same as the application deadline. Your portfolio must be received by the deadline in order to take any practical modules. No exceptions.

Exploring England: Community and Culture (required for all students)
This course focuses on helping you develop strong skill sets through direct, local engagement with the city of London, including team building, intercultural communication and critical analysis. Online, you'll get the resources to develop a personal digital archive of your study and internship experience and you'll be given a personal mentor to help you translate your experience into an account of how you have developed new competencies while living, studying and working in a different cultural context. Classes are held two hours a week for reading and discussion of cultural 'hot topics' (both at home and in London); and there will be weekly field trips, immersing you directly in London's rich and diverse cultural life, while giving you the opportunity to meet Londoners 'at home' in their community spaces to find out what really matters to them — and how it affects you.

An internship may be taken in lieu of one elective. The internship includes guidance and discussion designed to facilitate learning through the field assignment and to establish parameters for the related academic research project. Internships require 14 hours per week of on-site employment as well as an academic project. The internship is usually incorporated into your weekly timetable of Monday-Thursday and must be taken for academic credit.

Students applying for an internship are expected to sign up for at least three courses (and should list at least six courses on the course preference form). Because an internship is not guaranteed, you must sign up for a regular course load in case you do not get an internship.

If you receive an internship, you will enroll in two courses plus the internship module as a part of the 3-Module Programme. During your internship, you will be required to work 14 hours per week, earning 4 U.S. semester credit hours.

See the Internships tab for additional details on potential employers and areas of placement.

Course Restrictions

You cannot take Media, Arts and Design courses ("MAD") unless you have a cumulative 3.0 GPA. There are no exceptions. It is strongly suggested that students interested in media studies enroll for the entire academic year, but it is not an official requirement. Please note: The communication, design and media courses are extremely competitive and can close before the IFSA-Butler published deadline.

Fourth-year courses and higher in all departments are part of a postgraduate degree (Masters or Ph.D.). You are not eligible to take these courses as an undergraduate study abroad student.


How do I determine U.S. semester credit hours?
You must enroll in a full course load as defined by IFSA-Butler. A full course load for the Engage London program is 15 U.S. semester credit hours. The Exploring London core course is worth 3 U.S. semester credit hours, and each elective course is worth 4 U.S. semester credit hours.

How do I request the courses that I want?
Rank your top four elective choices, along with two alternate course choices, on the course preference form. If you plan to do an internship, this will replace one of your electives. You must take all courses for academic credit and complete all coursework and exams in order to obtain credit on the Butler University transcript.


What are the registration conditions?
You must take a full course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses unless pass/fail is the only method of assessment for the course. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.


What do I need to know about exams?
Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive in London. Please refer to your program calendar to review the exam period. IFSA-Butler does not permit students to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting an academic record appeal for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.


How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned in London. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.

Exploring Community & Culture

 Student praise for C&C:

"We were able to discuss current issues while bringing information from our classes to the table. My friend from college was in another study abroad program and she was jealous because they didn't have a C&C."

"At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it, but it really helped me to see things from a different perspective. I am pretty sure I would not have gotten the same out of my time in London without doing the C&C."

IFSA-Butler's Exploring Community & Culture program (C&C) in London is designed to take students' study abroad experiences to another level. It encourages them to get the most out of their time abroad by blending intercultural learning with an exploration of the local community and local community groups. Selected activities will foster your intercultural learning through a series of on-site discussions and self-reflection. Through this program you will be encouraged to engage with the community in which you are living and question your own perspective of the world, while learning to appreciate similarities and differences between cultures and communities.

Exploring England: Community and Culture meets two hours per week and includes classroom discussion combined with field excursions designed to assist you in exploring the complexities and curiosities of London’s varied neighborhoods.

Students who have participated in the C&C in past semesters have found it a great way to explore and get to know London and, with their fellow students, to learn interculturally from their everyday experiences there.

The C&C course will be taught on Friday mornings from 10 a.m. -12 p.m. so as not to conflict with any Birkbeck courses.

Click here to view the C&C syllabus.


Housing Options

What are my housing options?
The following housing options are available during your semester or year abroad:

  • Alexander Fleming House is a hall of residence comprised of three separate buildings. Each building is separated into dorm-style "flats" where four to eight students in single bedrooms share a kitchen and several bathrooms. This hall of residence is located near the Old Street Tube stop in northeast London. It is close to the vibrant markets and shops of the East End. Many tourist locations, including St. Paul's Cathedral, the financial district and the Law Courts, are a short walk away.
  • Harrow There are several halls of residence built on the Harrow campus. Students placed here will have two-minute walk to their courses at the Harrow Campus and a one-minute walk to the Northwick Park Tube stop where they can catch the Tube into central London. All rooms at Harrow are en-suite (have a private bathroom/shower) and are wired for the Internet. The halls of residence are surrounded by green sports fields. There is a nearby gym and a campus restaurant. Retail shops, cinema and restaurants in Harrow on the Hill are easily accessible. It will take around 30 minutes to commute via Tube into central London from the Harrow Campus.
  • Marylebone Hall is located on the Marylebone campus at the University of Westminster. This purpose-built, high-rise building has just been fully renovated. It houses 236 students and is located right in the heart of London, across the street from Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum and the Baker Street Tube Stop. This area of the city is the celebrated historical neighborhood of Sherlock Holmes!

Halls not listed here are unavailable to undergraduate students.

For more information about the Westminster halls of residence, visit the University of Westminster accommodation website.

Will I live in Westminster halls of residence or IFSA-Butler housing?
The majority of students will be placed in Westminster halls of residence. However, if there is a shortage of Westminster housing, you may be placed in housing that IFSA-Butler arranges for you (usually basic student flats around London). There is an extra fee associated with being placed in IFSA-Butler housing. Please call 800-858-0229 for more information about this additional cost.

Where will I live if I sign up for courses at the Harrow campus?
Communications, journalism, fashion, design and broadcast courses are offered at the Harrow campus, which is 12 miles from central London and a 30-minute Tube ride. Students who plan on taking any courses at the Harrow campus should be prepared to accept a housing placement there. If the majority of your courses are at Harrow, you will automatically be placed in a Harrow hall of residence. If you sign up for courses at Harrow but do not end up taking any courses there, you may still be housed in a Harrow hall of residence. If you are unwilling to live at the Harrow campus, you should not request to take any courses offered there.

What amenities are available in the university halls of residence?

  • Rooms: All students placed in university housing are assigned single rooms. Students placed in IFSA-Butler housing will likely share a twin room with another IFSA-Butler student.
  • Bathroom/showers: All rooms in Marylebone and some rooms in Harrow are en-suite (have private bathrooms). In rooms without private bathrooms, six to eight students will share two separate bathrooms and showers.
  • Bedroom furniture: Some bedrooms have washbasins (sinks). All bedrooms have a single bed, wardrobe, desk, chair, desk lamp and bedside cabinet.
  • Bed linens: Students provide their own bed linens.
  • Laundry: There are coin-operated washers and dryers in each residence hall.
  • Internet access: All halls of residence offer a wireless Internet connection to students. You will be able to access this Internet connection only if you have a laptop with a wireless card installed.
  • Phones: You will not have a phone in your room.
  • Overnight guests: Occasional overnight guests are permitted provided that prior authorization has been given by the hall manager. There are guest rooms in some halls that can be booked for overnight guests.


Students purchase or prepare their own meals.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of your meals and any commuting costs you may incur. Your housing fee includes the cost of accommodation during university breaks.

Can I request a single room?
Single rooms are available only for students with special needs. If you have a special need that requires a single room, please let Aimee Formo know immediately.

Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.

Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.

Location Info

Living and Studying in London, England

About London
Population: 9 million
Location: Southeast England

City features

  • One of the most cosmopolitan, hip cities in the world, with an atmosphere of excitement and sophistication
  • A major global city with remarkable cultural, historic, artistic, political and intellectual offerings
  • Home to many universities scattered throughout different neighborhoods, each with its own atmosphere and attractions
  • A diverse population with more than 300 languages spoken within the city
  • One of the world's leading business and financial centers

Do more!

  • Use London's excellent transportation links to explore continental Europe
  • Take advantage of Britain's extensive rail system to visit other areas of the U.K.
  • Take a break from the constant bustle of London and experience the beautiful and historic regions of England

Visit London 
London On Line
London Net
Time Out: London
London Town
London Transport

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

Please wait... Please wait - Loading Dates...

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

In the United Kingdom, exams are taken under formal conditions and changes cannot be made for individuals. Exams must be taken where and when scheduled.

Program Fees

Please wait... Please wait - Loading Fees...

What's included in our England program fees
Expense calculator

Fall Payment Due: July 1
Spring Payment Due:
November 15

Personal Cost Estimates

Please wait... Please wait - Loading Personal Costs...

Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs. Meals are estimated based on the cost of a weekly standard grocery shop with one or two meals out.  If you plan to eat out once a day or more, we recommend using a higher estimate.  If you have dietary restrictions or follow a specific diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic, etc), you may also wish to budget more due to the higher cost of specialty food items.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

*Student Visa: Students who wish to pursue the optional internship for this program will need to obtain a PBS Tier IV visa. Detailed instructions regarding U.K. visas will be sent to all students upon acceptance.

U.S. citizens studying in the U.K. for less than six months (180 days) and who are not planning to do an internship do not need to apply for a visa, but can instead enter the country as a student visitor at no cost. Student visitors are allowed to remain in the U.K. for up to six months but are not allowed to undertake any internship, paid work or unpaid volunteer activities.

Citizens of some countries may be required to obtain a student visa. If this applies to you, your IFSA-Butler program advisor will notify you.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

Commuting: Estimates are for transportation between housing and university. Transportation for personal or recreational purposes is not included in the above estimates.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.

Financial Aid

IFSA-Butler’s general scholarship funds are available for Engage programs, and we offer several other innovative opportunities to help fund your Engage London experience. Our Up Front program allows you to bill immediate expenses such as airfare and the program deposit to your IFSA-Butler account and then use financial aid or our monthly payment option to pay for these expenses. In addition, our Work to Study grants pay IFSA-Butler students for various projects completed before or during their time abroad.

Don’t forget that federal financial aid such as Guaranteed Student Loans, Pell Grants and Parent/PLUS loans can usually apply toward study abroad. Ask your home campus financial aid office for details on transferring these funds to IFSA-Butler for your semester abroad, and don’t forget to also ask whether your state scholarships, 529 plan or home campus scholarships can be used to help pay for study abroad.

Meet Your Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in London:

aimeeProgram Advisor Aimee Formo is here to assist with the application process and to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. Aimee completed her graduate degrees in history and library science at Indiana University, and her undergraduate degree in history at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. She studied abroad with R-MWC’s program at the University of Reading, where she focused on 19th century social reform movements. Aimee joined the IFSA-Butler team to aid students who want to study abroad and experience all that England has to offer. Aimee can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4253.

altStudent Accounts Coordinator Angelita Shaffer assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Angelita can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4221.




altStudent & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.

Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office, including our resident directors. Click here to read more about Resident Director Lynne Alvarez.

abbyAcademic Records Coordinator Abby Miller graduated from Butler University where she worked as a guide for international students from all over the world. From that experience and combined with her own world travels, she knows the amazing experiences that studying abroad can provide. Abby is excited to work with IFSA-Butler students and to help answer any questions about their academic records. Abby can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4217.

Program Excursions

England Programs

Arrival and orientation

  • Airport pick-up for group flight travelers
  • 2- to 4-day orientation in London: Includes transportation, accommodation, activities such as historic walking tours of London and most meals
  • Introduction to British culture
  • Discussion of academic differences and expectations
  • IFSA-Butler staff walk students through everything from how to succeed academically to integrating socially in the host university
  • Welcome meal
  • Transportation to host university accommodation at conclusion of orientation


  • Lake District (northwest England) weekend for London students: Includes activities to engage the mind and body such as a hill walking tour that provides an overview of the history and geography of the region; mountain biking; gorge scrambling; canoeing; a night walk; and a Viking boat sailing trip that combines adventure with the history of Viking conquest of the British isles.
  • Optional weekend homestay with a British family

Academic workshops
IFSA-Butler organizes a number of in-person and online workshops designed to help students adjust to the U.K. university system. Topics include:

  • Essay Writing
  • Active Reading
  • Humanities for Science Majors
  • Exam Preparation
  • Resume Building

Co-curricular activities
IFSA-Butler offers a number of excursions that are designed to expose students to various aspects of British culture:

  • Mudlarking in London
  • Thames path walk
  • Visit to Olympic Park
  • Visit to Wembley Stadium
  • Visits to local museums and art galleries
  • Tech City tour
  • Vauxhall City Farm
  • States of Mind, a one-day event focusing on various aspects of the brain/personality
  • STEM careers workshop
  • Symphony Evening
  • Museum of Brands
  • Calisthenics
  • Q&A session at a London mosque

Other activities

  • Free hooded sweatshirt for each student
  • Farewell tea with a trip to Parliament

Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:

Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students


offers a wide array of internship opportunities in the bustling city of London. Each internship involves a work assignment of 14 hours, two to three days per week. Your placement is subject to a successful interview after you arrive in London. The duration of the internship is one semester and it is worth 4 U.S. semester credit hours. 

As part of the internship, you will take a tutorial course and prepare a related academic project. An academic supervisor will monitor your progress in your field assignment, act as a placement liaison and assess your project. Assessment of your success in the placement is based on one meeting with your internship supervisor, a daily work log and a 3,000 word essay detailing your role in the organization, what you learned and your internship goals. Internships are available in:

  • Art and design
  • Arts administration
  • Biological sciences
  • Built environment
  • Business studies
  • Communication
  • Computer science
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Environmental science
  • Finance
  • Information technology
  • Journalism
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Media arts
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Social action
  • Social service

Please note that Engage London has a very strict withdraw policy for the internship program. 

  • If you apply for and are accepted into the internship program and later decide to drop that element of your program, you must do so by June 10 (fall semester/academic year students) or October 25 (spring semester students). If you elect to withdraw from the internship after the deadline mentioned above, a fee of £500 will be charged to you.
  • You cannot withdraw from the internship program once you have arrived at the University of Westminster and have commenced the study abroad program.

Although IFSA-Butler students pay their fees to us instead of the University of Westminster, we are responsible for any fees incurred on behalf of our students. Therefore, we are obligated to follow Westminster's withdraw policy for the internship program. Please contact our office with any questions about this situation.

Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.