One dozen to study in London this summer

by Heidi Moeller / Beacon Staff • February 9, 2011

Christina Carlson, a writing, literature, and publishing professor, has spent many summers studying theater in London, England.

Now, 12 Emerson students may share a similar experience.

The office of international study and external affairs is now accepting applications for students who hope to participate in a four-week study abroad program in London this summer, Carlson said. Students from all majors can apply for the course, which fulfills eight credits in writing, literature, and publishing. Carlson said applications are due Feb. 25, but depending on how many applications are sent in, the deadline may be cut to an earlier date.

“This is the first time we’re doing it,” Carlson said in an interview. “At this point we’re really seeing if it is going to work. Is there enough student interest? Do people want to go?”

The trip will cost $7,999. That fee covers tuition for the two courses students will be taking, housing in a residence hall provided by the International Education of Students, students’ insurance, and theater tickets. Students must pay their way for airfare, travel expenses around London, meals, passports, and books.

Carlson said her interest in modern British drama and early Shakespeare led her to create two classes blending these subjects.

In “Shakespeare and His Contemporaries,” students will read plays by Shakespeare and his dramatists and then attend those plays at theatres around London.

“There were a bunch of shows that I went to [in London], and I just thought it would be kind of cool to do this with a group of students,” Carlson said.

In the second course, “London Theatre in Performance,” students will read and reenact plays being shown around London, both in the literary context and through performance. The performance past is what interests junior Linsday Day.

“I’ve had two classes with Christina and she’s amazing. She inspired me to really get into Brit lit,” said the writing, literature, and publishing major. “When she started talking about this great program in London with her and a small group of people, I thought it would be amazing.”

Day is still deciding whether or not to apply to the program because she is currently looking into other study abroad opportunities for this summer as well. According to Carlson, applicants will be accepted based on their academic year, what classes they have taken, GPA, and, most importantly, their reason for wanting to participate in the program.

“I’m also going to conduct interviews. It’s about group dynamics and what their commitment to the program is,” she said.

David Griffin, director of international study and external programs, said they have received 22 applications so far. If the program is a success, he said, they might make this a regular study abroad option.

“I have no reason to see why we couldn’t continue to offer it. With the new president coming in, he is very interested in international education,” said Griffin. “So I don’t see why something like this wouldn’t continue.”

Carlson said from speaking to students in her classes, there seems to be a lot of interest in the program.

“I’m just really excited. As you can imagine, it’s a lot of effort to try and put it together,” she said. I think it’ll be interesting and I’m definitely looking forward to it.”