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Creativity, Imagination and Play in London

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:



London, England


3 credit hours, resident credit


3.00 UI GPA, Good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

January 30, 2023

Academic Program

Brick Lane
Tate Britain art installation by Chila Kumari Singh Burman

Learn about art, culture, and human development through this 3-week exploration of London and nearby sites.

We will use the rich museums, galleries, architecture, food, and community organizations of London to investigate how art and culture are produced through tours, making, visual journaling, and site-specific play.

This course will be especially useful for preservice teachers, artists, and designers who want to incorporate global perspectives into their practices.

Course Objectives

  • How can the art and culture of London foster our creativity?
  • What is our personal relationship with the imagination and art making?
  • Why is it important for children and adults to study art?  
  • What do we know about human development and visual arts? 
  • How can imagination, play, and creativity be encouraged and developed? 
  • What environments promote or hinder creativity? 
  • What is visual culture? What nationalities, races, ethnicities, genders, and abilities are present in London’s visual culture? Which are absent and why? 
  • What can art and visual culture tell us about the history of the United Kingdom and the nation’s relationship to colonialism?
  • What are the similarities and difference in American and British art and visual culture?
  • What are cognitive art “tools” and how can they be traced through the science, mathematics, social studies, and language arts of a variety of global cultures?

Faculty Director

Dr. Allison Rowe, Clinical Assistant Professor of Art Education

Cultural Activities

Tate Modern
Brighton Beach

Students will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of cultural activities focused around course topics. These may include:

  • Guided tours of several galleries, museums, and sites across London: National Gallery, Tate Modern, British Museum, Foundling Museum, Japan House, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Maritime Museum, Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, and Autograph Gallery.

  • Studio sessions around London on sketching, watercolor, observational drawing, mixed media graphic novels, collaborative video performances, food as form, and more.

  • Daytrip to Brighton and Brighton Beach.

  • Free days for self-directed work and exploration.

Program Dates

May 14-31, 2023

For More Information

Information Session Recording

For more details about this programs please contact Faculty Director Allison Rowe or Program Coordinator Leslie McNeilus


Notting Hill
Flag of the United Kingdom ('Union Jack')

London is the capital of (and largest city in) the United Kingdom and a leading global city in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, research, tourism, and transportation.

It's a diverse city of 8.6 million people, representing dozens of cultures and hundreds of languages.

The United Kingdom refers to the four countries of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This is in contrast to another common name, Great Britain, which excludes Northern Ireland.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

Students stay in a hotel in London, sharing a double occupancy room with one other participant. Each hotel room has a private bathroom.


If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport.

Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-US Citizens

Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.

Travel Arrangements

Students will receive instructions for booking flights after the Confirmation Deadline (late February or early March). A suggested group flight will be shared with the group and students will make their own arrangements.

Those who do not have extensive travel experience are encouraged to book the suggested group flight.

Local Transportation

Transportation for all course activities is provided, including a group airport pickup and drop-off at the beginning and end of the course.

The London Underground (the 'Tube')


Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • UI GPA: 3.00

  • This course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Preference will be given to students from all Teacher Education Programs, Education Studies and Human Relations and Art/Design programs.

  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa

  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity: Students must meet entry requirements for the countries and venues visited by the program, including entry requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel and demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.


The total billed program cost for UI students is $5,489.

Included in the program cost:

  • Academic instruction and guided tours
  • 3 semester hours of UI credit
  • Accommodation
  • Ground transport from/to London Heathrow airport
  • Transportation for course activities
  • Welcome + Farewell dinners
  • Breakfasts at accommodation
  • 24/7 staff support
  • CISI International Travel insurance

Not included in the program cost (out of pocket expenses):

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Meals not included in the program fee
  • Personal expenses and personal travel
  • Any medical appointments needed prior to departure
  • Passport fees

Key points to note are:

  • Students are charged the $50 application fee after the application is submitted.
  • Course Fee, Study Abroad Fee, and CISI Insurance are billed to participating student’s U-bills after Summer Registration.  

The total estimated costs (both U-bill charges and out-of-pockets expenses) for the program are available on the Cost Sheet (coming soon). Financial Aid uses this document to determine participating students' funding awards for course.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply for Need-based, Merit, and Diversity Ambassador scholarships awarded by Study Abroad and can apply for these scholarships before being accepted to the course. More information is available on the Study Abroad website.

Students who receive a Federal Pell Grant are eligible to apply for the Gilman International Scholarship, an external scholarship awarded by the Department of State. Learn more here.

Financial aid received to attend the University of Iowa (scholarships, grants, and loans) may be applied toward the program cost. Students are encouraged to speak with someone in Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

How to Apply

*The application will open January 1, 2023.

Study Abroad Application

The application process requires:

  • A completed online application, including a statement of interest in this program
  • A copy of your completed grades from MyUI
  • A photo of the information page of your passport (or check the box indicating you are applying for or renewing your passport)
  • A $50 application fee

Application Deadline

January 30, 2023

Confirmation Materials

After receiving an Acceptance email for the course, students will have a window of time to review all details and costs before confirming their spot. This involves submitting a Confirmation of Participation Form to the Study Abroad Portal (provided at acceptance) and confirms both their spot on the course and their committment to the course costs.

Confirmation Deadline: February 9, 2023

Health & Safety Planning

All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and faculty leaders and will cover content specific to your program and host country. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory session.