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Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Program

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Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Program

    Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Program

    Handbook for Students

    2009-10

    Donna Vinter

    Nicholas Jones

    Ellen Sayles

    Revised April 2009

    The information in this Handbook is current at the time of writing and is provided in good faith. However, Oberlin College takes no legal responsibility for any omissions or errors. This is a living document; please send comments or corrections to london@oberlin.edu.

    Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Student Handbook 2009-10 Page 2 Table of Contents

    Introduction............................................................................................................................................................ 3 Contact Information ............................................................................................................................................... 6 Oberlin-in-London Program Site ............................................................................................................................. 7 Student Regulations ................................................................................................................................................ 8 Program Schedule for 2009-10 ............................................................................................................................... 9 Obtaining a UK Visa ............................................................................................................................................ 11 Financial Information ........................................................................................................................................... 12 Housing ............................................................................................................................................................... 16 Preparing for London: a Checklist......................................................................................................................... 24 Packing for London: what to bring and not to bring ............................................................................................... 29 Arrival in London ................................................................................................................................................. 31 Medical and Emergency Help in London .............................................................................................................. 34 Safety and Security in London .............................................................................................................................. 40 London Information ............................................................................................................................................. 46 Travel Outside London and Returning Home ........................................................................................................ 57 Suggested Reading Before You Go ....................................................................................................................... 60 Appendix A: What the semester may cost ............................................................................................................. 61 Appendix B: Guide to Flat Hunting and Flat Renting in London ............................................................................ 63 Appendix C: Hostels in London ............................................................................................................................ 73 Appendix D: Hotels in London ............................................................................................................................. 75 Appendix E: Places of worship in London............................................................................................................. 77 Appendix F: Health Care & Advice, Support Groups, Info Lines ........................................................................... 79

Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Student Handbook 2009-10 Page 3

    Introduction

    Greetings from the Resident Director in London

    Dear Oberlin Students,

    Let me extend a warm hello to anyone reading this Handbook who has been accepted to study in London on the Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Program. And let me offer an equally warm hello to anyone reading this Handbook because you are considering applying to study on the London program.

    I write to you as the London Director of the program to introduce myself, the program and this Handbook. The handbook will spell out in some detail how the program works and what you should be thinking about as you contemplate your participation in it. But here is the big picture:

    The Danenberg Oberlin-in-London program aims to fulfil the promise contained in its very name. That is, it strives to combine the best features of a small liberal arts college accessible faculty dedicated to scholarship and to

    teaching, working closely with students eager for an education that privileges critical thinking, open-minded inquiry and high academic standards with the resources of one of the most culturally rich and humanly diverse cities on the planet.

    Students can thus expect an academic program tailored to combine classroom-based study with experiential learning. How this happens will vary with the design of each course. But what courses should have in common is a commitment to use London, and sometimes also the wider UK, as a classroom. This means that such things as field trips, visits, theatre performances, concerts, walks, speakers, and independent projects that make use of London‘s myriad opportunities, will be planned to complement lectures, discussions and readings.

    The Oberlin-in-London program is set up on two different models. In the Fall term, it cooperates with the Grinnell-in-London program and students from both institutions will share classes. The semester is divided into a Phase I (9 weeks) and a Phase II (6 weeks). In Phase I students choose several courses from a menu of courses taught by two professors from Grinnell College, one professor from Oberlin College, and a number of London-based adjunct professors. Note: Oberlin students are required to take the History of London course offered in Phase I. In Phase II students may choose either one course from three that are offered or they may choose to do a four-day per week internship for academic credit.

    In the Spring term, two professors from Oberlin College each teach a course in their individual fields (students choose one of these); they also come together to team-teach a course that poses questions fruitfully addressed in an interdisciplinary framework (required of all participants). In addition, courses on the History of London and the London Stage are offered, and students are required to take one.

    Beyond the structured opportunities for learning presented by the Oberlin-in-London program there lie the wider possibilities of life in London. This is a chance to put down roots in a major world city and to start to make it your own. Whatever your enthusiasms may be, London will offer you opportunities to pursue them. Even better, you may discover new enthusiasms. What is certain is that London is an inexhaustible treasure-house, a wide-open, three-dimensional encyclopedia of human life, history and culture. If you don‘t believe me, get busy now on the internet: use your research skills to discover the sorts of venues, groups, activities and events mainstream and specialist

    that London has to offer.

    The program is seeking students who are committed to becoming citizens of the world. If you have read this far, you are probably one such student. I greatly look forward to meeting you in London one day soon and to sharing my love of this astonishing city. Please feel free to be in touch with me before then if, having read this Handbook, you have more questions.

    Note also that, while every effort has been made to check the accuracy of the information provided below, things in London change all the time. Phone numbers may be out of date, organisations may have folded, etc. If you spot inaccuracies in this handbook, please let me know!

Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Student Handbook 2009-10 Page 4

    With very best wishes,

    Dr. Donna Vinter, Resident Director

    Greetings from the chair of the Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Committee Dear prospective Obies-in-London,

    Oberlin‘s London Program has profoundly changed many students‘ and faculty members‘ lives forever — my own

    included. Those of you who come along are in for a once-in-a lifetime treat.

    Unlike many other study-abroad programs, the Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Program offers students the opportunity to study in one of the world‘s most exciting, diverse locations with faculty from our own campus. It thus combines the thrill of living in a thrilling international metropolis with the rigors of first-rate education. Curriculum

    makes intensive use of all that London has to offer. Classes are built to plunge into the city much learning takes

    place outside the classroom. Courses are both disciplinary and interdisciplinary.

    Moreover, the program offers an intimate intellectual environment. Each fall, one Oberlin professor works with a

    select group of Oberlin and Grinnell students, with two faculty from Grinnell‘s home campus, and with several more London-based faculty. In the spring, two Oberlin faculty members work with Oberlin students, while Grinnell stays home.

    Oberlin-in-London is a London campus of Oberlin College. Students on the program are registered at Oberlin College, and their courses are Oberlin College courses. So there is no need to transfer credits or financial aid. Moreover, the Financial Aid Office adjusts aid packages to take account of those living costs mainly housing

    which are higher in London.

    The Danenberg Oberlin-in-London program was instituted as a memorial to the late Emil Danenberg, eleventh president of Oberlin and a great friend to international education.

    While I will be on leave for the academic year 2009-10, Associate Dean Joyce Babyak in my office will be assuming my duties, including involvement with the London program.

    I wish you the best in your London semester.

Nicholas Jones

    Professor of English, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Chair, Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Committee