Penn English Program in London at King’s College London
The Penn English Program in London is a fall semester program that offers a chance for English and Creative Writing majors (and English minors) to experience the language and literature of London. Students take a total of four courses – three courses offered by King’s College London and a unique Theater Arts course just for Penn students – during the semester. A Penn professor and graduate student accompanies students, arranges excursions, and develops independent study courses with participants.
London is one of the most exciting and dynamic places in the world to be a student - a city at the cutting-edge of developments in every field. With more than 8.5 million inhabitants and an incredible concentration of history and creativity throughout the city, you can find yourself among a sea of both British and worldwide cultures. All major media, entertainment, and business firms can be found in this unique world city.
Did you know…?
The Penn English Program in London has been running for more than two decades!
King’s College London counts John Keats, Florence Nightingale, Rosalind Franklin, and Desmond Tutu among its alumni.
With one of the oldest Students’ Unions in the UK, King’s College hosts many events for regular and exchange students.
The program at King’s College London is open for English and Creative Writing majors, as well as English minors.
Minimum GPA Requirement: A cumulative 3.3 GPA, with a 3.5 GPA in your major
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of at least three relevant English courses (not including Creative Writing) by the end of the academic semester prior to departure. Courses should be across a range of literary periods.
Language of Instruction
A full course load at King’s College London consists of 4 classes per semester. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.
The centerpiece of the program is the Penn theatre arts course (ENGL068). Participants study with a renowned theater critic and visit the theater weekly as part of this course. Students then take three additional courses at King's College London. Students have the option of taking a fifth course, an independent study (ENGL299) with the London Program Director or Graduate Assistant, which is arranged one-on-one with the Director.
The English department at King’s uses various teaching methods, but most courses follow the pattern of lectures followed by connected seminars. Lectures provide general or specific information and help guide you towards the relevant critical or scholarly materials. In seminars, groups of up to fifteen students discuss prepared topics. Each course will require two hours' class time per week, i.e. one lecture and one seminar or, for some courses, one two-hour seminar. Courses are generally selected prior to arrival at King’s and confirmed upon arrival in London.
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
American students are assessed in exactly the same way as home students. Generally, the final examination or essay counts for between 60% and 80% of the final mark, with the balance made up on one or more of the following: practical work, laboratory work, project work, course work, and other essays.
All final grades are determined in accordance with prevailing British standards and are then converted to their American letter grade equivalents as follows:
King’s College London Grade
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by King’s College London prior to the start of each semester. More information on KCL orientation activities can be found on its study abroad orientation webpage. Students also meet with the Penn English Program in London resident director prior to departure and upon arrival in London
The Penn English Program in London resident director and graduate assistant organize local and regional excursions. Through the King’s College London Students’ Union, excursions are offered. Other excursions and activities are organized by the Cornell Brown Penn UK Centre.
Penn students studying at King’s College London have access to a wide range of sports and activities as well as more than 150 student associations. More information can be found on the KCL Students’ Union page.
Theater Arts Course
The Penn English Program in London features a special theater arts course designed for Penn students. Participants study with a renowned theater critic and visit the theater weekly as part of this course, then discuss aspects of the production with the critic during seminars.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
In order to be allocated university-managed housing, study abroad students must apply by the accommodation deadline. King’s accommodation is all apartment style with private bedrooms with shared living and kitchen facilities. There is no special accommodation for study abroad or international students, as King’s believes students will benefit from integrating with degree-seeking students. All King’s residences are non-smoking and provide CCTV, security, swipe card access and laundry facilities. Most accommodation choices are within Zones 1 or 2 of central London. A few residences are located some distance away from the central London campus of King's and therefore may require commuting up to 45 minutes each way from the residence to your classes. More information about the accommodation options can be found on the King's College London study abroad website and the accommodation website.
Cost and Finance
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.
King's College London offers Excellence Awards each semester to study abroad students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Students will be selected on the basis of their overall academic performance to date and a personal statement explaining their case for receiving a scholarship. Each applicant must submit a personal statement, in which they reflect on how their study at King’s relates to their personal and academic development to date, and how they will be able to benefit from it in the future. Upon accepting the scholarships, students agree to submit four blogs to King's during their time abroad.
AASAP/UK Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship: Merit-based scholarship awarded to the applicant who demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of the value of an international educational experience and who agrees to share how the scholarship helped to fulfil their academic and personal ambitions. The award is £500 for a semester abroad or £1,000 for a full year.
BUTEX offers eight scholarships to North American students studying at a university in the United Kingdom. The value of each scholarship is £500 and will be paid to the winners once they have arrived and registered at their host university. Interested students should contact the appropriate Global Programs Manager in the Penn Abroad office.
For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.
To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.