Study Abroad in Oxford, England

IHON-Oxford is a hybrid study away program, blending place-based learning under the guidance of a PLU-IHON faculty member with a highly-individualized course of study made possible through our access to the world-renowned Oxford tutorial system. Program participants have ‘associated student’ privileges at either Regent’s Park College or St. Benet’s Hall, giving them access to daily dining hall as well as social events, and they are inducted into the great Bodleian research library. Program participants live together in houses in the stimulating, culturally diverse city of Oxford, England.

While it is not quite true that in Oxford, as the 19th century writer William Hazlitt once 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,” this very old city and university are nevertheless inspiring places for PLU students to live and study.

Fall or Spring Semester

Focus: The Oxford Tutorial

The program is focused on the Oxford tutorial, a system of education in which students are taught individually, or in groups of at most two or three. While the tutorial has existed in some form at Oxford for many centuries, it was reshaped in the 19th century 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. For the motivated student, the tutorial system provides the opportunity to pursue areas of intellectual interest more deeply, and more thoroughly, than is otherwise possible in larger, less individualized modes of instruction. IHON-Oxford students often say that they return to PLU as much stronger and more directed students.

At Oxford, PLU-IHON students take two different tutorials: one primary tutorial, on a subject of the student’s choosing (often relating to his/her/their major or minor), and a secondary tutorial, counting for IHON 200-level credit, chosen from a list of interdisciplinary topics.

For more information on the tutorial system, click here.

2019-2020 Coursework

Besides the two tutorials (4 credits each), students in the Fall and Spring programs also take an IHON 200-level intensive course from that term’s PLU faculty Site Director, and a 2 unit, discussion-based, “Living and Learning in Oxford” course, also led by the Site Director.

COOP 387: Living and Learning in Oxford (2 credits, led by the Program Director while at PLU and by the Site Director in Oxford)

In this conversation-based seminar, program participants are first introduced to Oxford University and the tutorial experience, and then discuss their experiences in Oxford and the U.K. with the Site Director while in Oxford. Program participants reflect on their Oxford experiences via a series of short, personal essays.

FALL 2019: Site Director, Dr. Arthur Strum

IHON 257: Race, Gender, City, Nation: British Identity in the Age of Brexit (4 credits)

In this course, we’re going to think about national identity, in particular the idea of ‘Britishness’, via a careful investigation of Zadie Smith’s profound and funny novel, “White Teeth,” (2000) which illuminates the lives of former British colonial subjects who come to London after World War II. To understand this novel, one needs to understand the history of British national identity, with its class-, gender-, and race-specific components, and one needs to think about an aesthetic question: what is a novel’s distinct form of ‘knowing’? (readings include Kwame Anthony Appiah, Jonathan Swift, Virginia Woolf, Rudyard Kipling, Winston Churchhill, Salman Rushdie, John Locke, and others)

SPRING 2020: Site Director, Dr. Michael Halvorson

IHON 258: Oxford and the Elizabethan World (4 credits)

The Elizabethan World will use the disciplines of History, Religion, and Theatre to study English history during the years of Queen Elizabeth I’s rule (1558-1603). Major themes will include England’s role in the world economy; the architecture and arts of Oxford; marginalized groups and their importance; religious tensions and reform; and the plays of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Students will tour Shakespeare’s residence, examine historic records up close, and visit fascinating sites in Stratford-upon-Avon and London.

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 leads students on a variety of study tours relating to the particular year’s program theme and seminars. These may include 2- to 3-day 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, among other excursions. Often, study tours include a visit to Stratford-on-Avon to a performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Student Houses

Program participants live together in two well-appointed houses in stimulating East Oxford. Each program participant has their own room. Participants are provided with a monthly meal and transportation stipend, giving them the freedom to grocery shop and eat locally. Lunches during the Oxford academic term are provided at either Regent’s Park College or St. Benet’s Hall.

Program Fee

The PLU comprehensive fee covers this academic experience (instruction and academic credit, housing and meal stipend, study tours, study abroad insurance, visa fees, and a $750 flight credit). 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. Arthur Strum

Resident Assistant Professor,  Multi-Disciplinary Programs
Director, IHON-Oxford Program
strumac@plu.edu
253-535-8774

Jessica Hanson

Study Away Advisor & Semester Program Liaison
hansonjk@plu.edu
253-535-8375

Prerequisites

Sophomore, junior, or senior standing in the IHON program. Students must have a minimum 3.0 or higher G.P.A. Must be a student in good standing.

Application Deadline

Both fall and spring applications are due March 1

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.

NOTE: Each academic year the current application is made available during International Education Week in November.

Application Components

  • Online application
  • Short essays
  • Writing sample from one of your PLU classes
  • Interview with admission committee
  • Faculty recommendation forms (2)
  • $50 application fee

Learn More

Check out what this semester’s IHON-Oxford students are up to on the IHON-Oxford Facebook page.

Program Highlights

  • Oxford primary tutorial: (4 credits) (major or minor credit can be arranged by the student)
  • Oxford secondary tutorial (4 credits — counts as IHON 200-level course)
  • 1 IHON 200-level site-related intensive course
  • A 2-unit, experiential, Living and Learning in Oxford course
  • Associated student status at an Oxford college (either St. Benet’s Hall or Regent’s Park College), where you will eat lunch during term time, and have access to the Junior Common Room, a student-led organization for social gatherings
  • Membership (access and borrowing privileges) in Oxford’s great Bodleian library
  • The opportunity to participate in Oxford college and city extra-curricular activities, including college choirs, symphonies, athletic teams, volunteer opportunities, etc.
  • Live with other IHON-Oxford students in one of two shared houses in vibrant East Oxford
  • Meal and transportation stipends