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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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.
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.
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.)
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 four weekend day trips that are part of the mandatory BBST 465 “Spirituality in Britain: Early Times to Present” Bible integration seminar.
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.
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 Office of Study Abroad and Experiential Learning. 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).
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.
While there is no "quota" of students we target, we have tended to select between 25 and 35 applicants. We have received as many as 50 applications in one year, though this number also varies greatly.
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 cancelations and closures frequently require students to turn to alternative or backup courses.
We encourage students to take either general education courses in their major or courses that work for major electives, although students are free to select whatever courses work for their requirements. RU has programmes (departments) in nearly every discipline. British students themselves usually concentrate on one or two subjects for their entire time at university. Biola students will take a total of 3 Roehampton courses, which are equivalent to 9 Biola credits; (plus will choose the same amount of alternate courses in the event their original choices do not materialize) to which two BBST courses (465 and 450) will be added to make a total of 15 units. Each 10 or 20-unit Roehampton course will transfer back as 3 Biola credits. 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 state or federal accreditation, may find it hard to fulfill their academic requirements with British courses in these same disciplines.
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 credits of Bible coursework. Speak to the BLS Director for other possible ways of crediting the course, if you have already met that limit.
The grading system at RU can be rigorous. Students have sometimes been 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 two term papers or exams, students are often less aware 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 difficult to argue for a grade change.
Although Biola students generally do well in their Roehampton courses, students must be willing to receive lower grades than they are accustomed to, a risk especially for those students who must maintain a certain GPA for scholarship or graduate school 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.
No. The 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 The Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement office.
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.
Yes. Biola students attending RU will be expected to comply with Biola's behavioral standards, although many British and international students may have different lifestyles.
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.
Yes, there is no limit on the number of overseas programs one may apply for.