Study Abroad in Oxford, England

Fall or Spring Semester Program The PLU IHON-Oxford Program is located in the small, culturally diverse city ofOxford, England. Program participants — drawn from PLU’s IHON Program—pursue individualized courses of study in tutorials with Oxford scholars, while also exploring place-based learning with a PLU faculty member. While it is not quite true that in Oxford, as the writer 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,” this very old city anduniversity are nevertheless inspiring places for PLU students to live and study.

The 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. As ‘associated students’ at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, program participants are inducted into the great Bodleian research library, and have access to some of the rites and rituals of college life in
Oxford, such as Regent’s Park’s daily dining hall, as well as the Junior Common Room.


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 tutorial system, in which students are taught individually, or in groups of at most 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 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 they can in classes with a generic curriculum, grades, and regular examinations. IHON-Oxford students often say that they return as better students to PLU.

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 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.

2018-2019 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 350: Living and Learning in Oxford (2 credits)
In this seminar, led by the site director, students connect a series of historical and theoretical perspectives on Oxford and the U.K. with their own personal experiences in engaging with the surrounding community. (whether through volunteering, or participating in Oxford groups or teams) The course concludes with a short personal essay

FALL 2018: Site Director, Dr. Christian Gerzso
IHON 257: Culture Capitals: Ideas and Representations of the University and the Metropolis in 19th and 20th century Britain (4 credits)
This course asks students to consider the interconnections between two sites of cultural and economic capital in Britain throughout the 19th and 20th centuries: London and “Oxbridge.” As Virginia Woolf argued, the intellectual authority of Britain’s two elite universities (Oxford and Cambridge) has been inseparable from the economic and political power located in Britain’s capital city. In this course, we will explore these connections through literature, visual arts, poetry, criticism and philosophy, and through study tours in both the university and the metropolis.

SPRING 2019: Site Director, Dr. Solveig Robinson
IHON 257: Rationalism and Faith in Victorian England (4 credits)
In 19th-century Britain, the industrial revolution and biblical scholarship shook the established world order. The very meaning of life was up in the air. This course will illuminate the theme of rationalism and faith in Victorian England through fiction, poetry, and nonfiction prose. We will explore how the
Oxford Movement and dissenting (non-Anglican) denominations reshaped religious practice, and how scientific rationalism shifted attention from transcendent to material concerns. Along the way, we will come to appreciate the Victorian antecedents of many contemporary issues and movements, including social justice and environmental activism.

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, and other excursions. Each semester, the site director also takes students on an overnight visit to Stratford-on-Avon to a performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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 and transportation stipend, which gives you the freedom to grocery shop and eat locally. Lunches during the Oxford academic term are provided at Regent’s Park College.

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

Dr. Carmiña Palerm
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Director, IHON Program

Jessica Hanson
Study Away Advisor & Semester Program Liaison


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

Fall applications are due March 15

Spring applications are due May 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
  • 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

  • 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 Regent’s Park College, Oxford, including 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.
  • Housing in shared houses in vibrant East Oxford
  • Meal and transportation stipends
  • The opportunity to hear lectures by prominent 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 different countries)