Study Abroad

We encourage you to study abroad.  With some advance planning, you'll be able to complete your English major and have the experience of living and studying in a foreign culture.

Michael Levenson

Program Director, Professor

Professor Levenson has frequently lived, taught and conducted research in London. Deeply committed to the value of international study, Professor Levenson will be satisfied with nothing less than a student whose exhilaration can match his own.

All transfer credit for the English major, domestic and foreign, must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. It's a two-step process. 

  1. For pre-approval, bring the appropriate International Study Office "green" form and as much information about the courses as you have to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (at a minimum, you will need a detailed course description).
  2. For final approval (after you have taken the courses), you need to bring course syllabi and any written work you have done for the courses. A minimum of 15 pages of formal literary criticism (response papers, journals, reviews, essays on exams, etc. do not count) is required for each course.  In considering whether to grant credit toward the English major for courses taken elsewhere, the Director of Undergraduate Studies will take into account both the content of the course (how closely it corresponds to an equivalent course given at UVa.), and the level of difficulty -- whether the course is taught at the major level. 

We do not award major credit for summer-only study abroad programs. The Department does not accept courses taken elsewhere in place of ENGL 3810 or 3820. No more than 6 hours of transfer credit may count toward the English major. "Transfer credit" includes courses taken at any other University (before or after coming to UVa), and it includes the literature course taken from a foreign language department which you are permitted to apply to your major. In other words, 8 of the 10 required courses for the major MUST be taken in the English department here at UVa.

Applications for transfer credit in any form will be processed only during the fall or spring semesters. 

J-term:  For J-term courses, credit toward the major will be awarded on the following basis:

Clare Kinney 


Professor Kinney is a scholar of the English Renaissance with strong interests in Shakespeare and Shakespearean London and also in modern British drama. She has lectured on the Globe Theatre and in 2006 she recorded a series of lectures on Shakespearean Tragedy that is available for use throughout the world.

  1. These courses must be numbered 3000 or 5000;
  2. They must be taught by English department faculty

When studying abroad, students should use common sense in planning their programs and try to make the best use of their opportunities. There is a certain logic, when studying at an Australian university, for example, to taking a course on Australian literature, and the Department will, when appropriate, grant major credit for such work. By the same token, it is usually not a good idea to study English literature in a country where English is not the native language; in such countries you will probably get more out of taking a course in the native literature and using it for your "3 hours in a foreign literature" option. The Department runs its own Culture of London program; for information on this, contact the directors, Professors Michael Levenson and Clare Kinney.

Applications for transfer credit in any form will not be processed during the summer session.

Summer Program in English

The Department offers a variety of summer school courses, but students should be forewarned that summer offerings are limited, and they should not expect to be able to fulfill specific major requirements during the summer session. In particular, ENGL 3810 and 3820 are never offered during the summer session. The Department has generally been able to offer one Shakespeare course and one ENLT course during the summer, but this varies with the availability of appropriate professors.

Culture of London Program

About the Program

In the words of Virginia Woolf, "London is enchanting. I step out upon a tawny coloured magic carpet, it seems, and get into beauty without lifting a finger."

A magical academic adventure indeed, the Culture of London Program is an intensive summer program designed for students in the humanities and social sciences interested in encountering the rich culture of one of the world's great cities. Alongside a course of reading the literature, history and urban experience of London, the program will take full advantage of the extraordinary resources of the city. Through regular visits to theaters and galleries, museums and monuments, and streets and squares, students will have the opportunity to acquire not only an academic understanding of a complex culture, but also the powerfully immediate experience of personal discovery that is at the heart of international study. From the fiction of Dickens and Woolf to the paintings of the city's most contemporary artists, from the architecture of Christopher Wren to concerts in St. Martin's in the Fields, from the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum to the intense life of contemporary British drama--the power of such texts, events and episodes can only be felt within the immediate physical context of a city that has been fairly called a "work of art." (Newsweek preferred the phrase "the world's coolest city.")

The last few years have seen a spectacular change in the face of London. The Tate Gallery opened a new gallery of modern art next to the recently reconstructed Globe Theatre; the world's largest ferris wheel stands on the banks of the Thames, giving views of the entire metropolis; a new pedestrian bridge links the cultural centers of the South Bank to St. Paul's across the river.

English and American instructors jointly lead the month-long course of study that continually moves from the classroom into the rich urban surroundings. Students will study London's architecture by standing within such glorious buildings as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Abbey. They will study paintings by sitting before them in the Tate or National Galleries. They will study literature while following the paths walked by fictional characters and history while occupying the spot where history was made.

While London is the focus of our interdisciplinary work, the program is also interested in the methods and goals of international study. How does the experience of life abroad affect our academic aims? What does it mean to participate in a global community? What role does our own national identity play within the context of international study? Questions such as these form an essential part of our course.


The class will meet approximately four hours a day, Monday through Thursday mornings, for four weeks. Afternoons during those days will frequently be used for excursions through London. During this four-week period of intensive cultural exploration in England, students will attend the theater regularly; visit museums and monuments; hear lectures from distinguished British and American scholars; read in the literature of London and its social history; study the urban environment; and engage in group discussions at Regent's College. The boundaries between classroom and the surrounding world will weaken visibly. To move throughout this remarkable city will become an activity linking academic and non-academic pursuits, thought and feeling, nationality and internationalism.

The period Friday through Sunday will be kept open for travel. In the past, students have frequently (and inexpensively) traveled to such cities as Dublin, Edinburgh, Bath, Paris, Rome and Prague.

In addition to earning one (1) hour of credit for academic work during the summer weeks, UVA students can earn three to six (3-6) hours of major-level credit by enrolling in one or two independent studies (ENSP 5820 The Culture of London Past and Present) in the following fall and spring semesters.

Full information on how to apply to this program may be found at the Education Abroad site.


Housed in Regent's College Reid Hall in the heart of London's most beautiful park, the participants will have full use of the college's well-appointed facilities: tennis courts, exercise room, basketball court, soccer pitch, library, art gallery, computer services, and dining hall. In addition to the excursions that are part of the formal program, students can rely on the Regent's College staff to arrange weekend visits to such sites as Bath, Oxford, Edinburgh and Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as Prague, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin and Rome. Regent's College is located near the Baker Street station of the London underground (Map of London Underground), which rapidly brings passengers to anywhere in the city.