Program Overview

In this semester program you will study how humans use both animals and fashion as representations both historically and contemporarily. London will come to life in your classes as you discover the animals (real and fictional) that call it home as well as the fashionistas who have launched trends around the world. You’ll research how industries and artists have used animals and clothes as symbols through excursions and meetings with leading experts.

Academic Details

You will take two required courses: “Beasts of London” and “Fashioning London” both taught by your University of Oregon faculty leader, Debra Merskin. 

In “Beasts of London” you will study and explore London as a text on to which animals other than humans are written.  Through readings and experiences, you will learn about how animals are used in reality and in re-presentations and how knowing about animals only symbolically might impact their real life treatment.

“Fashioning London” will explore the history of London as the hub of global fashion movements. You’ll trace how fashion trends begin and learn about how clothing intersects with issues of gender, race, and class within the United Kingdom.

In addition to the two required 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

Debra Merskin’s is a Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. Debra's professional experience in advertising includes work for Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt, and at W.B. Doner & Co., where she was a media buyer and media director. She earned her first PhD in public communication from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, and she recently completed coursework toward a second PhD in depth psychology with an emphasis on ecological psychology.

Merskin’s first book, Media, Minorities, and Meaning: A Critical Introduction (Peter Lang, 2010), is an examination of how American mass media, including advertising, presents Otherness—anyone or anything constructed as different from an established norm—in terms of gender, race, sex, disabilities, and other markers of difference. Her second book, Sexing the Media: How and Why We Do It, explores how and why media and other social institutions use sex and sexuality to advance economic and ideological interests. Her third book will explore the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, and species through an examination of the representations of animals in media.

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.

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.