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Programs : Brochure
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SAO Provider: Butler London, England - Birkbeck
London, United Kingdom
Program Terms: Fall Semester,
Spring Semester
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Restrictions: Illinois applicants only
Budget Sheets Fall Semester,
Spring Semester
Fact Sheet:
 Language of Instruction:
 Illinois Sponsor:
Study Abroad Office (campus-wide)
 Credit or Not for Credit:
For credit
Program Description:
IFSA Butler Logo 
IFSA BUTLER - University of London, Birkbeck


Program Overview
Located in the vibrant city of London, the IFSA Butler Birkbeck program allows students the opportunity to take courses at the University of London, while learning from the city itself. Students on this program will also have the opportunity to partake in internships, if they so choose.

This program is available for the Spring and Fall semester terms. 

Quick Links
Program Specific Information
General Study Abroad Information

Watch the Study Abroad First Steps Video Series or attend a First Steps Info Session
When you begin thinking about studying abroad, it’s important that you review all of your resources to help you make informed decisions. What kind of housing would you like? How long would you like to go for? What region of the world is tempting you? What kind of on-site support will you need? All this and more can be found by following steps 1-4 on the Getting Started Link to make sure IFSA Butler. Birkbeck College is the right program for you.
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What is a Provider?
Provider programs are outside organizations or institutions that the University of Illinois Study Abroad Office (SAO) has contracted with in order to supply a wide range of program options for students based on their needs. Due to the fact that Provider programs provide education abroad program services to a variety of institutions, the cohort of a Provider program usually consists of university students from other US Colleges/Universities. 
The long list of Providers is a part of a very large category of programs that range from group-oriented (low level of self-initiative) to fully integrated foreign university options (high level of self-initiative) where students take classes with local students. While typically more expensive, the additional cost is usually to cover service to the domestic and international offices of the institution/organization.
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The City of London
London and its extended suburbs have a population of 8.2 million people and it is one of Europe's most densely populated areas. There are a plethora of historical landmarks, world-class museums, beautiful parks and gardens, and cutting edge entertainment venues from a hopping and eclectic club scene to renowned theaters and concert halls. And of course, there are endless shopping opportunities to be found in colorful, neighborhood street markets or large, fashionable department stores such as Harrod's and Harvey Nichols. 

Ifsa Butler Birkbeck 1 Ifsa butler birkbeck 3
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Academic Environment
Where you will study
The Birkbeck, University of London is a world-class research and teaching institution with a vibrant centre of academic excellence. Its staff members have excellent research reputations in subjects such as English, History, History of Art, Philosophy, Psychology, Spanish, Science and Crystallography.
Student Life
London is truly an international city. You'll encounter people who represent many ethnic backgrounds and language groups. The contributions of this extraordinarily diverse population are reflected in the variety of ethnic restaurants, the range of musical styles to be heard, the vibrancy of the neighborhood street markets selling everything from didgeridoos to African drums to the more traditional British antiques. The ubiquitous international flavor that is now so much a part of cosmopolitan London is what makes London so appealing to students and tourists alike. 
Birkbeck lab Birkbeck Academic blding

When you study at Birkbeck, University of London, you'll have the chance to learn from the city of London itself. With an exciting curriculum developed especially for American students, Birkbeck makes the most of its home city by integrating London's sights and history into the courses. Classes at Birkbeck have a special emphasis on the role of London and England in the subject matter, and most take advantage of London as a living laboratory. Included in the program are field trips to historic homes, museums, galleries, and the other riches of London to help you better understand your coursework. All classes are taught by Birkbeck's excellent faculty. For a full listing of available courses, click here.
Although courses are not integrated into the regular Birkbeck curriculum, students have access to Birkbeck's computer labs, library, and other college facilities. In addition, because Birkbeck is part of the University of London, you can use the University of London Union's (ULU) excellent facilities and attend their events. 
For a listing of courses offered that already have Illinois equivalencies, please click here.
Note: As a study abroad participant through a University of Illinois approved program, once you are accepted to the program, you will be required to go through a Course Approval Process. During this process, the courses you plan on taking abroad will be evaluated by a 299 Advisor for Illinois credit (the credit can then be used to fulfill major, minor, general education, or elective credit, depending on the approval of the advisor). Details about this process will be provided once you are accepted to a program.
London is truly an international city. You'll encounter people who represent many ethnic backgrounds and language groups. The contributions of this extraordinarily diverse population are reflected in the variety of ethnic restaurants, the range of musical styles to be heard, the vibrancy of the neighborhood street markets selling everything from didgeridoos to African drums to the more traditional British antiques. The ubiquitous international flavor that is now so much a part of cosmopolitan London is what makes London so appealing to students and tourists alike. 
Birkbeck 4)Birkbeck London Fireworks

 Onsite Support
Resident Director Profile
Lynne Alvarez
Lynne Alvarez is the Resident Director of Student Services. You can find an introductory video from her here.

Andrew Williams
Andrew Williams is the Resident Director in charge of Academic Affairs. He was born and brought up in South Wales, and enjoys exploring different parts of London in his free time, as well as other parts of the world. 
You can find more details about the Resident Directors’ backgrounds here!
Provider International Office
To find the contact information for the IFSA Butler London programme office located in London, click here.
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As a Birkbeck student, you will live at 21 Pembridge Gardens in Notting Hill. This flat is also the same location as our IFSA-Butler London office. You will live in double or triple rooms. You will also have access to a kitchen, dining area, refrigerator and ample cupboard space to allow you to cook your own meals. Bath and shower facilities are found on each floor, and there is also a television lounge. All beds are twin, and blankets (duvets) and pillows are provided. You must bring your own sheets and towels, or purchase them in London upon arrival. There are several shops and a huge mall nearby. There are no laundry facilities in the residences, but launderettes are located within walking distance. Because you will be sharing a bathroom, you may wish to bring a robe. Phones in the residences are for outgoing calls only. In cases of emergency, you can always be contacted via the U.K office phone or staff pagers. There will also be graduate residents (GR's) living in the building to take care of questions or problems you may encounter
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Returned Study Abroad Student Reflections
Scanned PA Sheets
Video of returnee on experience
Contact former Study Abroad students
Having trouble deciding on a location? Unsure about what to pack, or which classes to take? Send an email to someone who has been there! Our returnees love talking about their time abroad, so send them an email!
Birbeck academic building Birkbeck Academeic 2
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Additional Program Resources
Before You Leave
The Before You Leave section on our website provides you with information on what to pack, money abroad, transportation, communicating with family members while abroad, and even what to do the day of your departure.
City videos  
Check out our Flickr album of photos taken by students while abroad in United Kingdom
Country links
Country CultureGram
CultureGrams are concise, reliable, and up-to-date information on more than 200 countries. They go beyond mere facts and figures and try to deliver an insider’s perspective on daily life and culture, including history, customs, and lifestyles of the country in mind. Visit the United Kingdom’s CultureGram here!
Login to access:
Username: World
Password: Verona
  • Minimum cumulative GPA: 2.8 on a 4.0 scale
  • Completed two university semesters at the time of application
Dates and Deadlines
All requirements must be completed by the Study Abroad Office deadlines: online materials are due by 11:59 PM on the deadline date; paper materials are due by 4:45 PM the following business day. Preference will be given to students applying by the priority deadlines.
Spring Semester Programs
Priority Deadline: June 15
Final Deadline: September 15
Summer/Fall/Academic Year Programs
Priority Deadline: January 15
Final Deadline: February 15 
How to Apply
Please click the Create App button (found at the top-right of this page) to apply. Note that you will be charged a non-refundable $25 application fee by clicking Create App and logging in.
This program has a two-step application process:
Step 1.) The Study Abroad Office Application, which includes:
  • Letter of Recommendation - done electronically (must be an academic advisor, TA or professor)
  • Personal essay questions
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Signature verification form
  • Official Transcript (prefer a hard copy transcript)
  • Online questionnaires
Only application materials for Step 1 must be turned in by the corresponding term’s deadlines as listed above.
If you are nominated by the Study Abroad Office based on your application in Step 1, you will then submit an application to the provider running your program. Your study abroad advisor will provide you with additional information, and supplemental application instructions will follow.

Birkbeck students birbeck sunset 2
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Contact Information
Kara Porter
Advisor for UK/Ireland

london tower bridge night
Study Abroad Office (SAO)
910 South Fifth Street
112 International Studies Building
Champaign, IL 61820
Hours of operation: Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:45pm.  

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Program Cost and Advance Fees
For an Unofficial Budget of this program, please scroll to the top of this page and find the box labeled “Budget Sheets,” and click on the semester during which you want to participate. Please read through the Unofficial Budget information, which also includes information on Financial Aid and Scholarships.
All students should be aware that once they are accepted to a program, they will be charged a non-refundable $305 fee to reserve their place on the program.
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Financial Aid and Scholarships
Because this program is sponsored by the University of Illinois, financial aid can be applied to the cost of the program. The amount of financial aid that is applicable to study abroad will depend on your financial aid package. Since there are many variables that determine how your financial aid package applies to study abroad, it is best that you consult with a financial aid advisor in the Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss your individual financial aid package. 
In addition to financial aid, there are alternatives to funding your time abroad. Click here to learn more about our over $850,000 in scholarship opportunities. One scholarship that everyone is eligible for is the Illinois for Illinois (I4I) Scholarship. For more information, click here.
For more information about general costs, tips, and advice, please watch the First Steps Cost, Financial Aid, and Scholarship videos found here for tips and advice.
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Health, Safety, Pre-Departure
The health and safety of students abroad is something that the University of Illinois takes very seriously, which is why the Study Abroad Office provides services that range from international insurance coverage to a 24-hour phone line to speak to an Advisor on Duty. These services can be found on our website!
Pre-Departure Orientation
All students are required to attend an all-day Pre-Departure Orientation the semester before their term abroad. The exact date, time, and location will be given to students post-acceptance so that they can arrange for their attendance at this orientation. During this orientation, topics such as Culture Shock, health and safety scenarios, and other helpful pre-departure information will be presented. This is also a really great opportunity to talk about packing, meet other classmates on a program, and talk to returnees who have already been to the host country.
Additionally, students are required to sign off on a Health and Safety Orientation and are encouraged to read through the Safety and Security section of our website which includes topics from road safety and keeping your valuables and money safe, to nontraditional student identities while abroad.
This link includes information on our 24-hour emergency service, health matters, insurance, and safety and security
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Passport/Visa Information
You must have a valid passport to participate on this program. If you do not already have a passport, or if it needs to be renewed, you must begin that process now, even before program acceptance. 
You may also be required to get a visa for your program.  Please consult the host country’s consulate website or a visa agency to determine whether or not a visa is required to travel to your destination country or countries.
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Withdrawal, Change, and Cancellation Policy
To withdraw, change, or cancel your participation in a study abroad program, please visit this link to view the Withdrawal and Refund Policy
london trafalgar london bridge

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Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2015 09/15/2014 
Rolling Admission 01/01/2015 04/18/2015
Fall Semester 2015 02/15/2015 
02/15/2015 TBA TBA
Spring Semester 2016 09/15/2015 09/15/2015 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed