Semester in Britain
- Location: York, England | Map
- Dates: Spring, 2018
- Class requirement: Sophomore
- GPA requirement: 2.50+
- Cost: To be announced
No matter what major you're pursuing—business, communications, education, English, film, history, information technology, sport and exercise or religion—you'll find classes to take at York St. John University.
Narrow, winding streets, ancient timbered houses so old they're protected by a conservation order and no cars: this is the center of York, the host city for Calvin's semester in Britain. The city's layers of history—almost 2000 years worth—will be a constant source of intrigue as you study at York St. John University, located right in the heart of it all.
The city of York is located in the middle of a larger region called Yorkshire, an area of picturesque moorlands and valleys, with dramatic limestone scenes to the north, lush, sprawling meadows to the south and coastline landscapes to the east.
- Things to do
York is home to many picturesque historical sites such as Jorvik Viking Centre, Clifford's Tower and York Minster, one of the largest gothic cathedrals in northern Europe.
You may also wish to take advantage of your 3-week-long spring break by venturing outside the city's famous walls. York is in the middle of England, halfway between London and Scotland. A two-hour train ride will take you to either place. Students traveling on a budget may also enjoy the convenience and affordability of England's Megabus system.
The program itself includes excursions to historical and cultural sites in cities like London, Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh and Manchester.
- Founded by the Romans as Eboracum in AD 71, the area was ruled by the Angles and conquered by Vikings before becoming a prosperous city of trade in the early middle ages.
- Approx. 191,800
- York has warm summers with temperatures reaching up to 86 °F (30 °C). Winter is cold and wet, with temperature lows of around 36 °F (2 °C) and plenty of rain. In summer the sun rises and sets in about 17 hours, but winter days only experience about seven or eight hours of daylight.
You will study at York St. John University, a school of about 6,400 students which offers programs in the arts, business and communications, education and theology and health and life sciences.
Each student will take four courses while in York:
Two courses taught by the Calvin program director (Dr. Chad Engbers during the Spring 2018 semester):
- STBR 212
Early British Literature: Revival and Reformation. This course primarily uses the earliest British literature, from the Medieval and Renaissance periods, to explore the ways in which English culture was shaped by changes such as the conversion to Christianity and the Protestant Reformation. Attention is also paid to the ways in which this old literature has found ongoing renewal through phenomena such as the Gothic revival, the staging of Shakespeare plays, and Harry Potter.
- STBR 312
Life and Culture in Great Britain. This course has two objects of inquiry: first, British culture in the twenty-first century; and second, the problems and promises that confront us when we inquire into British culture as outsiders. What new things can we learn? What biases do we bring? In other words, our job is to ask good questions, and then also to ask questions about the questions we have asked.
Students may then choose two more courses from York St. John University's course (or "module") list. Choose modules available during "SEM2". Learn more about direct-enroll transfer credits in academic services.
You may also want to consider taking HIST 225: The History of England, which is offered every fall semester, in order to prepare for the semester in York, and/or the Interim IDIS W24 Preparing for the Semester in Britain which is designed exclusively for students who will enroll in the 2017 Semester in Britain Program.
The grades from the two courses taught by the Calvin instructor will factor into your GPA. The grades for the two courses taken at YSJ will be listed on your transcript, but will not be calculated into your GPA. One credit will be awarded for every five credits earned in a York St. John module (e.g. a 20 credit course will earn you 4 Calvin credits).
STBR 212: The Literature of Great Britain
- Literature core credit
- Literature credit for English major
- Literature credit for English minor
STBR 312: Life and Culture in Great Britain
- Global and Historical Studies core course
- Cross-Cultural Engagement (CCE)
AccommodationsYou will stay in your own dorm room on the campus of York St. John University for the semester.
EligibilityYou must be of sophomore status and have 2.5 GPA or higher to study in York.
The final program cost is based on many factors and is not known exactly until the number of students in the group has been identified. The financial information page covers the details that go into the cost of the program and rough estimates for each. The price for the Britain semester will include:
- Tuition, room and board; students will receive a weekly stipend to cover all meals while in the program
- Round-trip airfare from Grand Rapids to the program site
- Administrative fee
- Program excursions
Additional expenses not included in the program fee: books, insurance (required), passport, personal spending money and personal travel.
This price may change due to fluctuations in the rate of the dollar against the British pound.
This year's application deadline has passed. Check back next year to apply.
Questions / contact
- Course code: