Study Abroad in Oxford, England

Spring Semester Program The PLU IHON-Oxford Program is located in Oxford, a small, culturally diverse city situated in the beautiful countryside of Oxfordshire. While it is not quite true that in Oxford, as the essayist William Hazlitt sarcastically noted, one is made wiser just by being surrounded by its “streets paved with the names of learning,” and “green quadrangles breath[ing] silence of thought,” the atmosphere of the city and the university are nevertheless inspiring for any student. The medieval city of Oxford grew to prominence as a market town, while the University of Oxford, comprised of 39 different colleges, each with its own distinct history and character, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world (some colleges date to the 13th century). The IHON-Oxford program is associated with Regent’s Park College.


In the IHON-Oxford Program, the student has the opportunity to pursue a highly individualized course of study through the world-renowned Oxford tutorial system, while also exploring place-based learning with two PLU faculty members. While at Oxford, program participants enjoy associated student status at Regent’s Park College, Oxford. As associated students, program participants have access to the Regent’s Park facility, including junior common room and social events, as well as to the daily ‘Dining Hall,’ where they can meet local students.

Tutorial System

The centerpiece of the IHON-Oxford program are the two ‘tutorials,’ which students take during the Oxford “Trinity,” or Spring term. The tutorial system, in which students are taught individually, or in groups of two or three, is the primary mode of instruction for Oxford and Cambridge undergraduates, and has been described as the “jewel in the crown” of British education. While the tutorial has existed in some form at Oxford for many centuries, it was only in the 19th century that the classicist Benjamin Jowett transformed it into its present, discussion-based, ‘Socratic’ form, in which dialogue between professor and student is meant to call forth the independent powers of judgment, thought, and argumentation of the student herself. While the tutorial system has had both proponents and detractors over the years, many students agree that, for the motivated student, it also provides the opportunity to pursue areas of intellectual interest more deeply, and more thoroughly than they can in classes with a generic curriculum, grades, and regular examinations.

At Oxford, IHON-PLU students pursue one primary tutorial, on a subject of the student’s choosing (often relating to his/ her major or minor), and a secondary tutorial, on a topic related to that student’s previous IHON coursework.

Required Courses

16-20 credits

Oxford Primary Tutorial (4 credits, major credit may be arranged by the student)

Oxford Secondary Tutorial (4 credits)

2 IHON 200-level site-related courses

Course Descriptions:

Besides the two tutorials, students also take two IHON 200-level seminars from PLU faculty. Like regular 200-level IHON courses, these courses are theme-based, incorporate multiple academic disciplines, and are comparative, involving at least two countries and/or geographic regions with distinct historical and cultural norms. In the case of the IHON-Oxford 200-level courses, this comparative element is connected to the program’s location in Oxford, in England, or in the United Kingdom. Upon arrival, students begin a J-term course with a visiting faculty member from PLU. The second Oxford-IHON 200-level seminar is taught by the IHON-Oxford site director, commences at the start of PLU’s Spring Semester, and runs (approximately concurrent with Oxford’s ‘Hilary’ term) for 8 weeks. Following the conclusion of the second IHON-Oxford 200-level course, students begin their tutorials.

2017 IHON Courses:

IHON 257 – Social Justice in Modernity: Literary and Philosophical Explorations (4 credits). This course explores the development of notions of social justice since the French and Industrial Revolutions. Paying close attention to the role of economic inequalities and social class, it examines the ways in which philosophy and literature contribute to our understanding of social justice and a host of related terms: freedom, equality, and human rights.

IHON 257: Economic Liberty and Economic Justice (4 credits). This course explores the nature and implicit ethical principles of free markets, as well as some of the most significant sources of and possible ways of addressing the phenomenon of economic inequality.

Pacific Lutheran University awards all credits earned in this program. Semester-long study away programs fulfill PLU’s Cross Cultural Diversity requirement. Course and study tour offerings are subject to change.

Study Tours

The PLU Site Director and visiting PLU J-term professor lead students on a variety of study tours relating to the particular year’s program theme and seminars. These usually include study tours in London and other British cities and sites, guided visits to museums such as the British Museum in London, and the Ashmolean in Oxford, and excursions to castles (such as Blenheim Palace), historic areas (the Cotswalds), as well as footpaths in the surrounding Oxford countryside.

PLU Community House

You will live in shared apartments in the city of Oxford with other students in the program. You are provided with a monthly meal stipend, which gives you the freedom to grocery shop and eat locally.

Program Fee

The PLU comprehensive fee for Spring semester covers this academic experience (instruction and academic credit, housing and meal stipend, study tours, study abroad insurance, visa fees, and a $750 flight credit). To find the current comprehensive fee for one semester, divide the total full-year cost listed on the Admissions website by two. Please note that the comprehensive fee varies each year, and the cost of this program will be based on the year in which you study away. Financial aid applies.

Out-of-pocket Expenses

Some air travel, books, personal excursions, and other miscellaneous expenses are not included in program cost.

Global Scholar Award

All PLU Gateway & Featured Programs are Global Scholar Award eligible. This need-based award can cover out-of-pocket expenses up to $2,500 on PLU Gateway and Featured semester programs. For non-PLU students, please check with your home institution or sponsoring study abroad organization on program cost.

External Scholarships

For more outside scholarship opportunities, please visit our Funding webpage.

Contact Us

Dr. Art Strum

Resident Assistant Professor,  Multi-Disciplinary Programs
Director, Oxford-IHON Program
Arthur Strum is currently visiting assistant professor at PLU. He began his academic career in the field of German Studies (with concentrations on Kant, German classical philosophy, and German Enlightenment and Romantic Literature, as well as Critical Theory). Since then, his scholarly and pedagogical focus has broadened towards philosophy and literature — and their uses and abuses — in humanistic study and practice. Arthur previously taught for 10 years at Stanford University. Since coming to PLU in 2007, he has taught in German, Philosophy, English, and has taught in the IHON program since its inception in 2008. 

Dr. Carmiña Palerm
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Director, IHON Program
Carmiña Palerm is Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Director of the International Honors Program at PLU. She teaches courses on migration, memory, trauma, spaces and gender in the Hispanic Studies program and teaches courses on diversity, justice and sustainability in the International Honors Program. She researches the post-Franco novel and has published articles on the work of Julio Llamazares, Montserrat Roig, and Carmen Martín Gaite. Currently, she is working on a project titled “Aesthetic Transformations of the Immigrant Experience in Contemporary Spain.” Dr. Palerm has been the site director of the Oaxaca Gateway Program in 2008 and 2012.

Will Taylor
Study Away Advisor & Semester Program Liaison


Sophomore, junior, or senior standing in the IHON program. Students must have a minimum 3.6 or higher G.P.A. Must be a student in good standing.

Application Deadline

Spring 2018 applications are due May 1, 2017

A $50 non-refundable fee is due with the application. A $300 non-refundable program payment to confirm participation is required within 10 days of acceptance.

Application Components

  • Online application
  • Short essays
  • Faculty Recommendation Forms (2)
  • Application fee
  • Interview

Reflections on the Program

Learn about PLU student Jakob Maier’s experience studying in Oxford during Spring 2014 as a Philosophy and Creative Writing double major.

Photo Gallery Check out our Flickr Photo Gallery to see pictures from past participants in the Oxford program.

Student Experience Visit these blogs by PLU students Laura and Emily to learn about their experiences studying in Oxford during Spring 2015 and Spring 2014. Also, view Jenny Kimura’s photos and descriptions of Oxford from Spring 2015.

Program Highlights

  • Spring Semester Program with January start
  • 16-20 PLU credits (12 IHON 200-level)
  • Tutorials with Oxford faculty and graduate students
  • Associated student status at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, including access to the Junior Common Room, a student-led organization for social gatherings
  • Membership (access and borrowing privileges) to Oxford’s great Bodleian Library
  • The opportunity to participate in Oxford college extra-curricular activities, including college choirs, symphonies, athletic teams, volunteer opportunities, etc.
  • Lectures by writers, scholars, politicians, activists, and others at Oxford University
  • A stimulating, multicultural city and university environment (one third of Oxford’s students come from 139 difference countries)
  • Proximity to the Ashmolean Museum, Blenheim Palace, as well as filming locations for many films and television shows