University of Oregon

Documenting Life Abroad in London

Program Overview

In this semester program you will  study and practice photojournalism and documentary filmmaking/storytelling using the diverse people and places of London as your subjects. You will learn photography and filmmaking technique, aesthetics principles and applications, and visual storytelling from an award winning master professor, photographer and filmmaker in the field.  The stories you create will focus on experiences during your  time in London, those of distinguished US expats living in London, and those of guest presenters including distinguished British photographers and filmmakers.

You will learn about British film history and attend the prestigious BFI (British Film Institute) London Film Festival, where more than 300 films, documentaries, and shorts are screened from around the world. You do not need to be an expert in filming or in a film-centered disciplines. Instead you should want to learn more about documentaries and documentary “literacy” that you encounter in daily life.

Academic Details

You will take two courses focused on film and film production. In "Documenting London" you will learn the craft of documentary production and produce photo, video, and sound exercises and creative documentary projects throughout the semester. You will gain knowledge of and learn basic and intermediate visual, sound, editing technique, aesthetics, reporting, and storytelling skills with a focus on the stories, the people, the places, and the rich and diverse cultures of London.

In "London Calling"—you  will trace British film history of the 20th and 21st centuries. The course will introduce students to the British history of realism in cinema, including both documentary and fiction, one of the most profound artistic and intellectual contributions to media.  The class will view, discuss, critique, and honor paradigm-changing films.  You will often travel to British Film Institute on the South Bank for their screenings of notable films with those who directed or starred in them coming for question and answers after the screening.

In addition to two required film courses, you will have the opportunity to take additional courses in the Liberal Arts taught by local British faculty at the GEO in London Centre. More information about the Liberal Arts courses can be found here.

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Faculty and Staff

Daniel Miller greatly enjoys teaching students about the history of documentary films and how to make award-winning documentaries of their own. In addition to being a teacher, he is a musician, photographer, and documentary filmmaker. At the University of Oregon he teaches classes on documentary film history and theory as well as documentary production. He is offering a special topics documentary history class that is about the relationship of documentary films to war and conflict.

Dr. Miller founded and currently directs the Oregon Documentary Project, which has supported the production of over 60 award-winning student documentary films for public and commercial broadcast. These include the Emmy-winning The Heppner Flood in 1996, the National College Television Awards selection, Behind these Walls in 2007, the Cannes Film Festival Selection, Art in a Time of War in 2008, and the Emmy and National Society of Professional Journalists Award-winning Inside Looking Out in 2010.

Housing Description

Homestay families are carefully screened and provide good, affordable accommodation, offering you the opportunity to develop your independence and social skills by participating in family, community, cultural and recreational activities. Many cherish the homestay experience as one of the most rewarding aspects of the London program experience and remain lifelong friends with their homestay family. Your homestay family will provide furnished accommodation with linens plus seven breakfasts (self help) and four dinners per week in addition to two weekly washloads of laundry. Normally, two students are housed together in single or double bedrooms. You can choose to be housed alone. All requests (i.e., dietary, allergies, medical, preferences) are taken into consideration. You will live in the London suburbs experiencing the typical London commute of between 45-75 minutes each way. Accommodation ranges from a bedroom in an apartment to terraced, semi-detached, or detached houses with easy access to shopping centers, libraries, parks and leisure and sports facilities.

Additional Requirements

Students must have a DLSR camera that is capable of recording video/audio. Please contact the program advisor for affordable camera suggestions.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearPriority DeadlineDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.