London: From Shakespeare to Stand-up

Program Dates

July 16–August 16, 2020

*Students should arrange to depart the US on July 15 to arrive in London on the morning of July 16.

Program Overview

This intensive 4-week, 8 credit program offers students the opportunity to experience British comedy in its heartland: London, as well as in Edinburgh and Stratford-Upon-Avon. Students will explore the origins, evolution, and influence of British comedy and the laugh-scene of cutting edge theater, stand-up clubs, and improv venues. In addition to earning 8 VMA credits, students will have the opportunity to visit famous London museums, theatres and galleries and engage with local comedians.

Program Eligibility & Admission

  • Open to rising juniors and seniors.
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and have no social sanctions against them.
  • Recommended particularly for Comedic Arts students and Visual & Media Arts, but open to all students.
  • Limited to 16 students.
  • Application Period: November 1, 2019–February 1, 2020

Course Information

Total of 8 credits. Students will be required to be enrolled by Emerson College in the following two courses:

  • VM 385 - Writing for Late Night (4 credits)
  • VM 403 - Seminar in Comedic Studies: London Laugh Track (4 credits)

Academic Highlights

  • Examine the history and cultural influence of British comedy in theater, film, and television.
  • Expand your own cultural comedic perspectives through written and performance work, including a 5-minute stand-up performance in one of London’s comedy clubs.
  • Get to know London in the footsteps of famous comedic writers with guided commentary.

Cultural Highlights

  • Take an excursion to Edinburgh and immerse yourself in the esteemed Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in the world and the home of the Comedy Award.
  • Tour London’s major sites and attractions by bus and river.
  • Visit the famous Globe Theater and experience a West End show.
  • Perform (if you like) in a well-known London stand-up venue.
  • Visit Shakespeare’s birthplace and see a Royal Shakespeare Company production in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Cost & Inclusions

Program Fee: $10,995

Included in Program Fee

  • Tuition (8 credits @ $800/credit)
  • Registration Fee
  • Housing
  • Entrances to comedy shows and theatre
  • Welcome and farewell meals
  • Local transportation pass
  • Excursions to Edinburgh and Stratford-Upon-Avon

Not Included in Program Fee

  • Round-trip airfare to/from London (Est. $1,300)
  • Most meals and incidental or personal expenses
  • Passports (or visas, if required)
  • International Health Insurance*

*May be waived by those with alternate comparable insurance.

*Health Insurance Coverage: Participants must have an insurance plan that provides coverage while abroad. If you feel your current insurance is not adequate, please research a plan that is.

For information on Supplemental Health Plans, please visit our Health Insurance Requirements page.