England: Humanities

Program Snapshot
Semester: Fall
Offered: Even years - Fall 2022, Fall 2024
Estimated Dates: Early September - Mid December
Program Focus: Regional Area Study with Humanities Emphasis
Prerequisites: Minimum of 3.0 GPA. Students must satisfy the Words and Numbers CORE requirement before participating in an overseas program.
Housing: Dormitories
Fall 2022 Program Leader: Jessica Starling, Associate Professor of Religious Studies
jstarling@lclark.edu, 503-768-7741

Program Design

In cooperation with Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), Lewis & Clark offers this humanities program based in London, England. The program begins with a 10-day excursion to the Scotland Highlands, giving students the chance to start the semester exploring some of the rich history and breathtaking natural landscapes that the UK has to offer. Once the group returns to London, there will be an orientation covering detailed information regarding academics, housing, public transportation, health & safety, and other important topics. Students will also have access to a full week of Welcome events, organized by the Queen Mary Student Union (QMUS). Following orientation, students take humanities courses at QMUL, where they study with local English students. The program also includes local outings associated with the Lewis & Clark course, as well as excursions to sites of interest around England. A contemporary global city, London is home to almost 9 million people from all over the world. The city holds many cultural treasures, including three UNESCO World Heritage sites, world-famous museums and galleries, such as the National Gallery, and iconic emblems of London, like Big Ben, Parliament, and Buckingham Palace. London is at the cutting edge of the arts scene and provides access to music, fashion, museums, comedy, and theater. With a large business and financial industry, and rapidly growing technology sector, some say London’s tech community is growing faster than Silicon Valley! Students on this program have no shortage of opportunities to explore this unique and historic city.

Onsite Staff:  The Director of Global Operations at QMUL is Ceri Bevan - “I’m Head of Global Opportunities, this is the team who manage programmes which allow QMUL students and staff to study, work and travel overseas. These programmes include Study Abroad, Exchange and Erasmus+. Our team also manage overseas associate students who come to study at QMUL as part of these programmes and our reciprocal arrangements with partners.” Learn more about Ceri here

The guide for the Highlands excursion is Eddie Stiven. Eddie is one of Scotland’s leading playwrights, writing in both Scots and English. His work has been commissioned and performed throughout Scotland and on BBC Radio. He also has served as Visiting Professor of Theatre Arts at Portland State University. Donna Stiven, his wife, is an artist, caterer, and promoter of arts and crafts in the West Highlands. Together, they have hosted Lewis & Clark students for more than 20 years. They are assisted by Glasgow-based performer and theatre producer Alex Fthnekais, who also has experience in study abroad programming in Scotland.

About the Program Leader: Jessie Starling joined the faculty of Lewis & Clark in 2013 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Japanese Buddhism at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to the Religious Studies department, she is also affiliated with the Asian Studies and Gender Studies programs at Lewis & Clark, and teaches classes on Asian religions, religion and gender, and ethnographic research methods.


Requirements Fulfilled:

GE prior to Fall 2020 - This program fulfills the 8-credit International Studies general education requirement for students who successfully complete 12 or more semester credits.

GE Fall 2020 and later - This program fulfills the Global Perspectives general education requirement for students who successfully complete 8 or more semester credits.

Credits: Credit earned varies based on courses completed. Students may earn up to 19 credits. Overloads are not permitted. 


IS 256: Enchanted England (4 Credits)

This course takes a critical-historical approach to the question of whether enchantment is still possible in what Charles Taylor calls “the modern age.” We will read and discuss theories of secularism and secularization – with their narratives of “disenchantment” and “rationalization” – from the fields of anthropology, sociology and religious studies. Our inquiry will include questions about the imperial and racial dimensions of claims about Britain’s superior rationality. We will learn about case studies from England, both past and present, in light of such theories. We will visit spots said to be endowed with ancient mystical powers, while debating the merits of claims that religion and magic are a thing of the past in 21st century England. Taught by Jessie Starling. 

Students will take the remainder of their courses (12 to 15 semester credits) at QMUL. Click here to browse QMUL course offerings. Students should be mindful of university prerequisites for the courses they want to take. Students must take at least 8 semester credits in the humanities. The remaining credits may be in whatever subject students wish, as long as the course has transfer approval from the Registrar’s office. Credits per course may vary – the program leader will assist with planning a full schedule.

Excursions: The academic program includes many excursions to supplement in-class learning. These excursions include visits to Glastonberry, Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford, Cambridge, the British Museum, and the Celtic festival of Samhain

The group begins their semester together in the UK with a 10-day excursion in the Scottish Highlands. During the Scotland portion of the program, the group is based in Glenelg, with unique trips each day to sites of interest, including the Isle of Skye, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, and Eilean Donan Castle, among others. Glenelg is a stunning and storied area of West Scotland, south of Loch Alsh and close to the Isle of Skye. It is rich in wildlife and vistas, as well as folklore; several authors and artists have found solace and inspiration here. Students should prepare for the Highlands excursion by packing their hiking boots, their rain jackets, and their cameras, to capture the stunning beauty of the Scottish Highlands. 

Student Life

Housing: While attending Queen Mary, students stay in the modern, award-winning Queen Mary Student Village. Each student shares a secure, self-contained coed flat with five other students (international and British students). Students have their own furnished single rooms and en-suite bathrooms. The kitchen and dining areas are shared among the six students. Students have the option to prepare their meals or dine out. Students are responsible for purchasing and preparing their own meals, but the Overseas Office will give them a stipend to cover the cost of their food.

Volunteering: Getting involved in the local community enriches students’ learning experiences and creates excellent opportunities for cultural integration, especially when volunteering with Provide, the volunteering community at QMUL. Students can give as much time as they like working with charities or volunteer groups all over London.

Student Union: The QMUL Student Union (QMSU) hosts more than 200 clubs and societies, ranging from the Harry Potter Appreciation Society to the Baking Society, and sponsors a wide range of social and sporting activities. The facilities include gathering spaces (eating areas, several pubs, and a nightclub), fitness resources (a gym, saunas, and squash courts), a convenience store, and computing, binding, and photocopying services. Click here to learn more.


2022-2023 Fee Breakdown*

Total Fee (includes Tuition, Program Fee, and Health & Wellness Fee): $37,679

Tuition: $29,625

Program Fee: $8,017

Health & Wellness Fee: $37**

Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, and administrative fees. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals. 

*Fees are updated every February for the following academic year.

**The Health & Wellness Fee supports the operations of Wellness Services staff in delivering pre-program orientation services, as well as in providing health-related consultation regarding participant health needs. All students in the College of Arts and Sciences pay a mandatory fee of $37 per semester.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.  

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to LHR): $800 - $1,500

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,860.50

All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.

Program Preparation

Application Process: This program has a dual application process. Students must first submit a Lewis & Clark Application one year before the start of the program. Once admitted by Lewis & Clark, the students will receive instructions for submitting their secondary application to Queen Mary College and will receive a separate notification letter of admission. Please keep a digital copy of your essays and other application materials as you will need to submit these similar materials to QMUL. Please note that this secondary application process can be as late as the semester preceding your scheduled participation.

The semester before the program, students who have been accepted will meet regularly for orientation. This orientation is meant to prepare the students for life in London by exploring literature and culture, and provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the logistical details of the program.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into the London Heathrow airport (LHR). From there, they will meet with the group and prepare for their 10-day excursion in Scotland. 

Visa: Students may be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. More information will be provided upon admission to the program. 

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to the United Kingdom. 

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s United Kingdom page.

Queen Mary College