STEM in London

Language Requirement: N/A
Academic Standing by Program Start: Sophomore
Location: Europe, United Kingdom, England
GPA: 2.75
Program Overview

This unique, interdisciplinary study abroad program provides you an opportunity to study contemporary and historical issues such as climate change and public health from the perspective of the United Kingdom.  London will create the context for your learning with field trips, classroom discussions, role playing simulations, and reading, all designed to immerse you in the way scientific developments and controversies shaped -- and continue to shape -- modern London, the United Kingdom, and the broader global community. Classroom instruction will be supplemented with local science-based excursions and experiential learning exercises 

The program is designed for STEM students across all disciplines with ample opportunities to examine the interdisciplinary nature of scientific discoveries. Courses may be particularly relevant to students studying biology, chemistry, biochemistry, history, and global studies.  Students in non-STEM majors are welcome.

Students will also have the opportunity to engage directly with professionals and UO science alumni who live and work in London.

** GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel.  All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.

Academic Details

Students will take two four-credit courses: Contemporary Issues in Science:  and Reacting to the Past.  

Contemporary Issues in Science: Bread 101. Bread is a complex medium, looking nothing like the original seed of grain from which it originates.  Yet when we mix a few simple ingredients we are able to induce a transformation that results in an edible, highly nourishing, staple food product crucial for sustenance in many cultures.  In Bread 101, you will explore the energy requirements, biomedical and biochemical aspects, and local and sociopolitical context of bread production. You will read and discuss a variety of primary and secondary literature related to wheat production, the microbiological, chemical, and physical processes that transform wheat into bread, the energy cost of this transformation, and cultural implications of bread production in the United Kingdom.  There will be several field trips and guest speakers. Course work will include active discussions, short essays, problem sets, recipe analysis, and a presentation. (4 credits, BI 388 equivalent; pre-requisite one 200-level science course)

Reacting to the Past (London 1854: Cesspits, Cholera, and Conflict over the Broad Street Pump and Acid Rain in Europe 1979-1989) employs an exciting approach to learning with elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by historical texts, emerging scientific discoveries, and geographic location in London. Students construct arguments through reasoned, sometimes impassioned, writing and speeches. As students take control of an unfolding historical drama and struggle for their characters to prevail, they will become deeply engaged, both intellectually and emotionally, with the subject matter.  The Cholera game immerses students in the scientific debates and methodologies that led to the founding of the modern fields of microbiology and epidemiology in the mid-to-late 1800’s. The goal of Acid Rain is to introduce students to a complex issue of environmental science, specifically acid precipitation, in the context of the economic, political, social, and philosophical factors that come into play in the effort to protect the environment. (4 credits, HIST 211 Reacting to the Past Group 2 RTTP course)

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.

Faculty and Staff
Elly Vandegrift, is a Senior Instructor II in the Global Studies Institute and the Program Director for the University of Oregon's Global STEM Education Initiative. Elly has received four pedagogy awards selected by her peers: the inaugural 2019 UO Biology Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for outstanding contributions; the 2017 UO Thomas F. Herman Award for Specialized Pedagogy; the 2016 UO Williams Fellow for Teaching Excellence; and the 2015 Association for the Study of Food and Society Pedagogy Award (for Bread 101). 
Housing Description

Students will join a community of residents from many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, as part of life in one of the University of London residence halls. The hall is located in central London, close to the GEO Centre, the British Museum and the London Tube. Students will have their own single study bedroom and share bathrooms with other residents.

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Priority Deadline Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date







Travel Advisories

For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.