Biola London Semester at Roehampton University (RU)

  1. Where is the Biola London program held?
  2. What are the dates of the program?
  3. What are the minimum requirements for applying to the program?
  4. What are the costs of the Biola London program?
  5. Must I pay for my airfare and other travel?
  6. If selected, do I need to book my own flights or do we travel as a group?
  7. Where can I get the application form and other materials?
  8. What are the application deadlines?
  9. How many students are selected? How many apply?
  10. How are students selected for the program?
  11. What courses can I take there? Can I check the Roehampton catalog on my own?
  12. I understand that I must take a BBST 465 Integration Seminar there. What if I've already fulfilled that?
  13. How will taking courses there affect my grades?
  14. Is this the same as Biola's Oxford program?
  15. Is Roehampton University a Christian school?
  16. Do Biola's behavioral standards apply to the study abroad students?
  17. What are accommodations like at Roehampton?
  18. Can I do more than one overseas program during years at Biola?

Where is the Biola London program held?

Students attend the Roehampton University (RU), located just across the river Thames from the city of London, in a suburb of London not too far from Wimbledon. Follow this link to the RU home page and maps.

Using the bus and underground ("The Tube") students can in about 30 minutes be in the heart of London (Buckingham Palace, Covent Garden, British Museum, West End theatres, etc., etc., etc.)

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What are the dates of the program?

This is a Fall semester program only. While the term's start date varies slightly, students must arrive in mid-September. Instruction for the term ends just a few days before Christmas.

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What are the minimum requirements for applying to the program?

You must be either a sophomore or junior to apply for the Biola London Semester (BLS) program, allowing you to attend in your junior or senior year. Your most recent, available transcript must show at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA. Seniors graduating at the end of their fall term cannot go to London in that term.

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What are the costs of the Biola London program?

If selected, students pay tuition and room fees to Biola on time as they normally would for the Fall term. The one difference here is that students do not pay to Biola the usual fees for a meal plan. Instead, our students at Roehampton will purchase their own food and prepare their own meals in a common kitchen on their dormitory floor, as other British and international students do at the university. (NOTE: Tuition waivers for students who are children of Biola faculty and staff do not apply to this program.)

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Must I pay for my airfare and other travel?

Yes. You must book and pay for your own flights to London, plus any travel you plan to do during, before, and after the semester. These costs will be significant.

In addition to that, students in the past have commonly spent between $1500-$3500 sometimes more on travel within Europe, depending on how ambitious their travel plans are. The only travel costs Biola pays for are the three-to-five weekend day-trips taken that are part of the mandatory BBST 465 “Spirituality in Britain:  Early Times to Present”  Bible integration seminar.

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If selected, do I need to book my own flights or do we travel as a group?

Students must individually book their flights. You are not required to travel to or return from London with other Biola students. Indeed, many students fly to Europe in August or early September to do some traveling in advance of the semester's start.

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Where can I get the application form and other materials ?

Informational meetings are held in October and November, with applications available at the November meeting. A student wishing to apply, but unable to attend the November meeting may visit the Biola London Office, Sutherland Hall 216. Applications are given out (to those unable to attend the November application meeting) between the November meeting and Christmas break (the end of the semester).

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What are the application deadlines?

While precise deadlines differ from year to year, applications for the program are usually due in early-mid February before the Fall term that you wish to spend in London. Introductory meetings for those planning to apply are held in October and November.

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How many students are selected? How many apply?

While there is no "quota" of students we target, we have tended to select between 15 and 20 applicants. We have received as many as 40 applications in one year, though this number also varies greatly.

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How are students selected for the program?

After students submit their applications in February, an initial selection will be made. These students will be called in for interviews in late February and early March in order to select those who will be the best fit for the program. Those students who can make a better case for the ways in which such a program will further their academic work and their personal growth have a higher probability of being selected. Students who have little flexibility in their selection of courses are discouraged from applying because course cancellations and closures frequently require students to turn to alternative or backup courses.

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What courses can I take there? Can I check the Roehampton catalog on my own?

We encourage students to take courses in their major, and RU has programmes (departments) in nearly every discipline. British students themselves usually concentrate on one or two subjects for their entire tenure at university. This means that you will be in class with students who have taken nothing but, say, business courses, if that is their major. There is no "general education" for British students. Therefore, it is not advisable for an English major to take a course in chemistry alongside future chemists. Having said that, Biola students can sometimes find introductory, first year courses outside their major that require less of a knowledge base (Biola students from all majors, for instance, have sometimes fulfilled their literature requirement with first year literature courses). Biola students will take a total of 3 Roehampton courses, which are equivalent to 9 Biola units; (plus will choose the same amount of alternate courses in the event their original choices do not materialize) to which the 3-unit Biola English History course (HIST 305) and 3-unit Biola BBST 465 course (both mandatory) are added, for a maximum of 15 Biola units. Each 10 or 20-unit Roehampton course will transfer as 3 Biola units. All final course selections on your application must be approved by your major advisor. Students whose disciplines (like Nursing or Education) are tied more closely to U.S. regulations, may find it hard to fulfill their academic requirements with British courses in these same disciplines.

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I understand that I must take a BBST 465 Integration Seminar there. What if I've already fulfilled that?

Indeed, all students attending the program are required to take their BBST 465 biblical integration requirement there at RU - a course called, “Spirituality in Britain: Early Times to Present”, designed just for Biola students. Although you may have already taken one BBST465 course, the Biola catalog allows you to take two of these, so long as you don't exceed 30 units of Bible coursework. Speak to the BLS Director for other possible ways of crediting the course, if you have already met that limit.

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How will taking courses there affect my grades?

The grading system at RU can be rigorous. Students have often been sometimes disappointed in their final grades, and it is not unusual for 'A' students here to receive Bs or even lower grades for their work at Roehampton. Also, because grades are often given on the basis of only one end of term paper or exam, students often have no idea of the instructor's expectations for student work. Finally, because British instructors do not hand end of term papers back or explain their grades, it is virtually impossible to argue for a grade change.

Students must be willing to accept lower grades than they are accustomed to receiving ……a risk especially for those students who must maintain a certain GPA for scholarship purposes.

Students relying upon grades to maintain scholarships should be aware that final Fall term RU grades are not received by Biola until the following February or March.

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Is this the same as Biola's Oxford program?

No. The Biola Oxford program is run by the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, based in Washington D.C, but facilitated by a Biola advisor. For information on the Oxford program, please see Biola’s undergrad off-campus study abroad coordinator in Biola’s registration office.

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Is Roehampton University a Christian school?

RU is made up of four colleges that have religious roots (Anglican, Methodist, Wesleyan, and Catholic). However, as is the case with most British (and many American) universities, RU no longer integrates its religious perspectives into the curriculum, nor does it require its students to be believers. It is, in effect, a secular institution, although chapels and chaplains still work on the campus, holding services, offering counseling, etc.

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Do Biola's behavioral standards apply to the study abroad students?

Yes. Biola students attending RU will be expected to comply with Biola's behavioral standards, although many around them will not be.

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What are accommodations like at Roehampton?

Students are housed on campus in single rooms (no roommates!) that are a short walk from their classes, the library, computer facilities, etc. Linens and cooking equipment are provided for our students.

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Can I do more than one overseas program during years at Biola?

Yes, there is no limit on the number of overseas programs one may apply for.

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