London | Pre-College

Join us in London for an insider’s experience of England on this Pre-College summer program for high school students. Broaden your horizons with in-depth, field-based seminars as you become part of an inspiring and supportive community of instructors and students from around the world. Choose two seminars and dive into your subject matter through engaging discussions, site visits, and hands-on projects that immerse you in British life.

July 1, 2018  –  July 21, 2018
Completing grades 9 – 12
US Gateway City:
New York
21 days
Typical Group:
30 – 40 students, 5 – 8 staff
$ 7,290 + airfare


  • Visit 10 Downing Street with your International Relations seminar
  • Attend a Royal Shakespeare Company show at the iconic Globe Theatre
  • Hone your photography skills amid the vibrant stalls at Camden Market
  • Check out performance artists at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park
  • Picnic amongst the fountains, monuments, and other visitors in Trafalgar Square before exploring nearby museums of art, architecture, and archaeology.

Leader Profile: SASHA MILONOVA

Education: London School of Economics, M.S., Political Economy of Late Development, Chapman University, B.A., Economics and Peace Studies, minor in Spanish

Sasha recently earned her master’s in political economy of late development from the London School of Economics, focusing on transitional economies and global inequality. Prior… read more

Sasha recently earned her master’s in political economy of late development from the London School of Economics, focusing on transitional economies and global inequality. Prior to coming to the LSE, Sasha spent several years working in Southeast Asia, first as a documentary filmmaker and later as an English teacher and business consultant for small, women-led social enterprises. Upon returning to the U.S., she served as the chief of staff to a Colorado state senator and then as a regional affiliate director for an international education organization called the PeaceJam Foundation, which connects youth to Nobel Peace Laureates and service learning opportunities. Sasha holds a joint bachelor’s degree in economics and peace studies (cum laude) from Chapman University, which awarded her the highest departmental honor in peace studies for academic excellence, as well as the Paul Delp Award for outstanding service to Orange County. Sasha is fluent in both Russian and Spanish, and has led Putney’s community service programs in Vietnam and Costa Rica.


Departure • Travel Day • Meet your fellow high school student travelers and a Pre-College representative at JFK Airport in New York, and fly together to London.  To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Our London Campus Reside on the campus of The London School of Economics and Political Science, one of the leading social science universities in the world. Our centrally located campus in the historic borough of Southwark on the River Thames is a short walk from the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tate Modern, and the South Bank Arts Centre. This ideal location provides easy access to many of London’s most famous landmarks, and is well-situated for day trips to the surrounding countryside. Students reside in an LSE dormitory in doubles, triples, or quads, all with private bathrooms, and have access to common meeting rooms.

London is your campus on this pre-college program

Seminars Choose two seminars — a major and a minor —  and explore London and the surrounding English countryside through the lens of your chosen seminars. Begin with classroom discussions that frame your seminar concepts and identify key issues. Take the learning beyond the classroom with site visits, meetings with local experts, and field trips. Visit 10 Downing Street, headquarters of the U.K. government, and the London Stock Exchange, and discuss the ramifications of Brexit with demonstrators in Parliament Square. Cruise the Thames by river boat and photograph the Tower Bridge at sunset. Contemplate treasures in the British Museum, or head underground to explore Churchill’s War Rooms with your British History seminar. Discover the Roman ruins of Londinium, and explore the mysterious 5,000-year-old pillars of Stonehenge with your Archaeology & Anthropology seminar. London’s rich historical, architectural, and cultural background makes it the perfect setting for our field-based seminars. Capped at ten students, our dynamic seminars are designed to encourage hands-on, place-based, collaborative learning.  At the end of your program, showcase your work in a final project, installation, gallery, or performance. Display your photography or paintings in a pop-up gallery, present your findings from your International Law seminar, or share a piece of writing with your group.

Afternoon and Evening Activities Explore subjects outside of your seminars, relax, and have fun participating in enriching, afternoon activities. Wander through flea markets, attend a theater performance, or catch a football match. Enjoy fish and chips in Hyde Park, catch a performance at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, or explore the eclectic stalls of Camden Market. Discuss current events in bustling Trafalgar Square, then join a game of cricket or frisbee. Rent city bikes together and explore London on two wheels. The entire group gathers for a community meeting before dinner. After dinner, venture out in the company of your instructors to see a dance or musical performance, take in a comedy show, or hone your photography skills during a night shoot.

Weekend Excursions • On weekend excursions, travel to the surrounding countryside to visit Oxford, Stonehenge, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Cotswolds, or the Aquae Sulis of Bath. Follow the footsteps of Lewis Carroll or J.R.R. Tolkien among the magical gardens of Oxford’s venerable colleges, and visit the the Christ Church Cathedral.  Then travel on to Stratford-Upon-Avon to take in a performance by the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company. Weekend excursions offer the opportunity to see a different region of England with your peers and instructors.

Return • Travel Day • Fly from London to New York with your group and a Pre-College representative, then continue on to your final destination.  To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.


Due to the dynamic nature of this summer program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in London.

8 AM Breakfast on campus
10 AM Meet with your Major Seminar and visit government buildings and cafes
1 PM Lunch out with friends
2 PM Meet with your Minor Seminar
4 PM  Play a pick-up game of soccer or take advantage of events going on in London
5 PM  Explore the area around campus — Rest, relax, and regroup at your residence
6:30 PM Community meeting to discuss the day and upcoming schedule
7:30 PM  Enjoy dinner out with a small group and see live music in the city

Students spend time on campus in London


Choose a major and a minor seminar. Majors meet most days and minors meet twice a week. Begin in the classroom, then take the learning beyond with site visits to contextualize your course material. Visit 10 Downing Street, headquarters of the U.K. government, and discuss the ramifications of Brexit with your seminar instructor and peers. Photograph the Tower Bridge at sunset, contemplate treasures in the British Museum, or head underground to explore Churchill’s War Rooms. Cap off your studies with a final project or installation to share your work.

Major Seminars (click on seminar to read the full description)

Archaeology & Anthropology

The field of anthropology spans the disciplines of history, science, and the humanities and seeks to illuminate the many possible answers to the question “what is human culture?” Archaeology explores ancient societies through their physical remains, opening a fascinating door into the distant past. Through this discussion-based workshop using firsthand experience, interviews, and case studies, develop an understanding of the diversity of cultures in our world as you investigate the historic city of London from an archaeological and anthropological perspective. Discover the Roman ruins of Londinium and visit the British Museum to see relics dating to Byzantium. Wander amid the mysterious 5,000-year-old pillars of neolithic Stonehenge built by Celtic tribesmen. Witness the blending of Celtic and Roman culture and religion at the ancient Roman baths of Aquae Sulis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To cap off the program, create a walking timeline map of secret ruins hidden throughout London, interview an archaeologist, or develop your own hypothesis as to the significance of stone circles found throughout England.

Art History: Art Through the Ages

This interactive course in art history uses the bountiful artistic treasures of Europe as a starting point. Study world-renowned painting and sculpture in some of the world’s oldest and greatest museums, including the National Gallery and Tate Modern in London, and Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Using slides to begin discussing classic works before visiting them, first consider these works from an art historical perspective: For whom were they painted or sculpted? What was their historical and cultural milieu? How did artistic styles evolve through the ages in England, France, and Italy? What lessons can art teach us about the world we live in today? This seminar is enriched by a closer look at the contemporary art scene, with visits to local galleries and meetings with London artists in their studios.

British History: Roman Origins to Churchill

Experience London’s history firsthand as you travel back in time in this interactive seminar. Each day offers a unique glimpse into the past that shaped the city we see today. From Stonehenge to the Roman ruins of Londinium and Churchill’s underground War Rooms, London is a living museum with countless opportunities to experience Britain’s rich historical past. Interpret the Gothic architecture of Westminster Abbey as you walk among the tombs and effigies of Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, and Queen Elizabeth I, and catch a performance at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Wander the eerie halls of the Tower of London and observe the Changing of the Guard at the royal residence of Buckingham Palace. To cap your experience, sketch a timeline map of this now familiar city, create a historical narrative of your favorite site, or interview a local historian on the time period of your choice.

Business & Economics

What makes a business succeed in today’s market and what are the steps taken between identifying a need and opening your (real or virtual) doors? This hands-on course begins by explaining the economic playing field where firms operate, with discussions of supply and demand, regulations and free trade, international trade, and currency flows. Examine Europe’s role and the implications on business practices of Britain’s impending exit from the European Union. Through role-playing, discussions, field trips, and lectures, consider the practical aspects of business, including management, finance, marketing, advertising, public relations, organizational psychology, corporate leadership and culture, and business ethics. Working together as a team, put what you have learned into practice as you research, develop, and pitch your own small business.

Creative Writing

Whether you want to write your first novel or create a poem that captures a specific emotion or experience, this dynamic workshop-style course is a step toward finding your voice and pushing your boundaries as a creative writer. Through personalized, field-based exercises led by published authors, develop skills in the genre of your choosing while exploring important craft challenges such as dialogue, imagery, narrative structure, word choice, theme, and storytelling technique. Draw inspiration from your surroundings, the places you go, and the people you meet. Share your work and receive valuable feedback from your peers and instructor. Host a celebratory final reading and present your best pieces to the Pre-College community.

English as a Second Language

This course is open to foreign students wishing to acquire English fluency by living and learning in an English-speaking environment. Gain confidence and increase your comprehension through a specially designed series of engaging and active written and conversational exercises and games. Students also learn formal skills of reading, writing, and grammar while increasing vocabulary. Learn to communicate effectively with your international, Pre-College community and participate fully in the life of the program. Immerse yourself in British culture as you explore London and nearby points of interest.

International Law

In this course, explore international law principles to better understand why laws exist, their place in our social world, and the state’s role in defining what may be ambiguous or evolving doctrine. Learn about the various multinational institutions — including the UN, the WTO, and the International Court of Justice — that work independently and together to establish order throughout Europe and beyond. Examine the scope of their regulatory and enforcement power and discuss controversial cases and legal doctrine. Compare and contrast the British and American legal systems, meet with international law professionals, and visit courtrooms on field trips around London. During the final days of the course, prepare and defend a controversial ruling for presentation to a mock court.

International Relations

As European nations progress from monetary to political unification, they become an undeniable powerhouse on the international scene. England, however, finds itself both intimately tied to the ever-evolving European experiment, and also set apart as it retains an independent currency and navigates its exit from the European Union. Examine the larger issues of European integration or disunion, and its influence on the rest of the world, while exploring the economic challenges these options pose for British commerce. Guest lecturers and field visits lend insight into the major political and economic institutions of England, such as 10 Downing Street, Parliament, the House of Windsor, the Bank of England, the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, and the London Stock Exchange.

Journalism & Media Studies

The rise of the Information Age, plummeting newspaper circulations, the proliferation of the soundbite, and the immediacy of social media, blogs, and digital video mean that being well informed is a more complex proposition than ever before. In this timely seminar, read and analyze contemporary media as well as traditional print media, such as The Guardian, The Times of London, and The New York Times International Edition, then hit the streets to research and prepare your own stories. Use interviews, observation, and opinion to explore issues of contemporary life, culture, science, and politics. Emphasis is placed on basic news writing, as well as features, opinion pieces, and sports writing. Led by a published writer/journalist, this workshop-style writing course allows everyone in your impromptu “newsroom” to learn from each other, as you refine your reporting and storytelling techniques. At the end of the course, create a blog, newspaper, or news magazine for your Pre-College community.


Designed for photographers of all skill levels, this course teaches the basics of photography and composition before diving into more advanced shooting techniques and editing instruction. Whether your passion is portrait, landscape, adventure, or abstract photography, build your confidence and nurture your creativity through one-on-one workshops with your instructor and group critiques. Review other photographers’ work, and develop the visual and technical skills to capture the essence of London and the people and places you encounter. Discuss and explore the implications of digital manipulation in an age dominated by the power of the image, collaborate on projects with other seminars, and curate a gallery showing of your newly created portfolio. Students are responsible for bringing their own digital camera, which should have the option of being operated in manual mode. There is a supplemental fee of $125 for this course.

Minor Seminars (click on seminar to read the full description)

Architecture & Urban Design

Architectural design expresses ideas in spatial, material, and cultural terms. It draws inspiration from sources as diverse as a functional need, the structure of a leaf, or a philosophical text. Examine how we interact with space through engaging field trips around London, exploring historical landmarks such as Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tower Bridge, alongside modern structures such as the Lloyd’s of London building, Renzo Piano’s Shard, and the innovative “Gherkin” skyscraper. Dive into topics like manual and digital drafting, plan reading, artistic analysis, historic styles, and sustainable design. Engage in design exercises paired with critique sessions, small-scale construction projects, and discussions with visiting architects.Throughout the session, develop a small portfolio of your work, including a final design project in plan, model, or digital form. There is a supplemental fee of $100 for this course.

Drawing & Painting

Develop and refine your artistic vision as you explore a variety of materials and media. Working with acrylics, watercolor, or charcoal, create pieces based on subjects ranging from the human figure to still life, from landscape to portraiture. Field trips around London for sketching practice complement instruction in drawing techniques. Through regular critiques, constructively evaluate your own and your classmates’ work. Visit area museums, including the Tate and National Galleries, and consult with accomplished artists. Prepare a personal portfolio and present your work at a program-wide gallery opening at the end of the session. All art supplies for this course are provided for a mandatory fee of $100.

Globalization & Human Rights

As the economies, political philosophies, and cultures of sovereign nations integrate into a single, interdependent system, globalization continues to take root. This course examines how the globalization process creates an international human rights culture, and how the ideas of democratization, inclusion, and equality are informing an emerging understanding of universal human rights. Through engaging readings and discussions, explore the key issues that inform contemporary discourse about human rights. What constitutes human rights, and how do we value them? How do cultural norms and history influence our views about human rights, and what role should international law play in the process? How does today’s social justice movement play a part in the debate? Through site visits, meet with individuals and NGOs such as the London headquarters of Human Rights Watch, and learn how organizations are approaching these complex issues.

History of WWII

Before the 20th century was even half over, World War II shook Europe to its foundations. England was a major battleground, and the memory of the war lives on in the minds of the older generations and in the historical landscape. In this course, consider the legacy of WWII in England, Europe, and beyond through guided readings, engaging discussions, and field visits. Examine the political landscape that created the conditions leading to WWII, and explore the relics of a critical period in British history. Visit the Imperial War Museum, Churchill’s underground War Rooms, and his country palace at Blenheim. Experience “Britain at War,” an interactive re-creation of the London Blitz, to learn what life was like during the war. Complement your studies with news films and radio broadcasts from the era.

Marketing & Advertising

What makes a targeted ad on Facebook successful? Why are buyers loyal to a particular brand of shampoo or jeans? In this dynamic, hands-on course, begin by learning about “The Five P’s” — the principles and strategies behind marketing and advertising, which have now expanded to include platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and blogs. Investigate the rapidly changing methods of marketing and how we, as consumers and global citizens, respond to and digest this information. Delve into the psychology behind the decisions businesses make to successfully market their products. Examine trends and brainstorm innovative and creative ideas for the future of the field. Working in teams, research a local company’s approach to marketing and come up with a new plan to improve their business strategy. Collaborate with other seminars and pitch your ideas in the “board room” at the end of the program.

Sports Business & Management

The ever-growing sports industry provides opportunities in a number of fields, including team and athlete management, sports marketing and sponsorship, journalism, and media. In this course, examine different cultural models and successful management strategies for sports organizations, with particular emphasis on the British sporting scene. Step onto the pitch at iconic Wembley Stadium. Meet with coaches and managers to learn what goes into making a successful team, and examine the psychological effects of fandom. Take what you’ve learned and visit a much smaller club in the English Football League. Interview fans to gain insight into what draws people to attend matches, buy concessions, and support local teams. Visit 2012 Olympic sites throughout the city and investigate the promises of London’s initial bid for the Games against their real effects six years later. Explore effective marketing and communication methods, including the role of social media. Learn how effective sports managers solve business problems, and gain the skill set to understand future career options in this exciting field.

Writing & Composition for College

Whether composing lab reports, business presentations, literary analyses, or e-mails to professors, writing will play an important role in your college education. Even those who write successfully at the high school level may be surprised by the varied, rigorous literacy demands of the college or university they attend. This course is designed to help prepare you for these challenges. Become acquainted with writing and reading in a variety of contexts, developing into a better reader and editor of your work as you gain the critical communication skills necessary for college work. Examine many of the genres required for higher education, including rhetorical and critical analysis, research, and reflective writing. Receive personalized feedback on your work and leave better prepared for success in a wide range of writing situations at the university level.

What to Expect

Seminars • Seminars are interactive and collaborative, taking advantage of the vast cultural and historical richness of London to enhance your experience. You can expect to meet with local and regional experts, artists, entrepreneurs, and guest speakers during the program. Each seminar works toward a final project — a short film, a business proposal, a performance piece, a gallery opening, or a dramatic reading, to give a few examples — which you present to fellow participants on the final night of the program. Parents and families are welcome to attend this final presentation!

Physical Activity • This is a physically active summer program. You can expect to spend most of each day outside and on the move with your seminar group, and to walk the streets of London or Oxford, or explore by foot at destinations beyond. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities.

Accommodations • In London, we stay in a dormitory at the London School of Economics in private doubles, triples, or quads, each with bathrooms en suite. Students have access to common space for class and community meetings, pick-up games of Frisbee, and socializing. Leaders reside in the same residence as students throughout the program.

Meals • We begin each day with a hearty English breakfast at our residence. For lunches, seminars or small groups may eat together either at restaurants or head to a local market to shop for a picnic.  Dinners are eaten in restaurants or at our residence.

Ask Us

Call Alex at 802.387.5000 or email

The Pre-College London program is directed by Alex Bodel. If you have questions, are interested in receiving more detailed information, or would like to talk further about the program or any of our summer student travel programs, please get in touch!

Alexandra Bodel

Dartmouth College, B.A., Romance Languages, B.A., Environmental Biology; University of Miami School of Law, J.D.

Originally from Miami, Alex spent childhood summers in Argentina and Uruguay, her parents’ home countries. During college, she studied abroad in Toulouse, France, and Baja, Mexico. After completing her law degree, Alex clerked for a federal judge and worked as a litigator in New York City. She has led or coordinated programs in Spain, Costa Rica, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the Indian Himalaya, Nepal, and Pre-College at Amherst College. Alex directs our Pre-College programs. During her free time, Alex enjoys yoga, running, and relaxing with her family. Alex is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French.