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Lancaster University Exchange

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Location:

Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

Credit:

Transfer

Eligibility:

• Clear Interest and Commitment

• Demonstrated Preparedness/Maturity

• Minimum 3.0 GPA

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing at the time the program begins

• Approval by UI Study Abroad

• Acceptance by host institution

• Attendance at orientation sessions

Application Due:

• September 23 for Spring

• February 24 for Fall and Academic Year

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

The reciprocal exchange program between the University of Iowa and Lancaster University in Lancaster, England, allows undergraduate students to spend a semester or academic year fully integrated with their British peers in student housing and attending regular classes.

Before you get started, tour the Lancaster campus and take a look at Lancaster's study abroad brochure.

Academic Program

Lancaster offers a huge variety courses that can be applied to nearly any University of Iowa major, minor, certificate, general education, or general elective requirement. Popular areas of study include:

Courses

You can find a full list of Lancaster’s course options using the Study Abroad Course Handbook.

Students earn 12 semester hours for the fall semester and 16 semester hours for the spring semester.

Flexibility Regarding Course Offerings

Foreign universities are typically unable to provide a final course catalog for the upcoming semester until shortly before the semester begins. Students usually do not know which specific classes they can take before arriving abroad, and they usually do not register for classes until they arrive in their host country- this means that there is no way to guarantee that you will be able to enroll in your preferred courses. Your final course schedule may not be finalized until you are already abroad and attending classes.

Because of these differences, all students must meet with their academic advisor before going abroad to discuss how the differences in course availability will affect their degree progress and graduation plans. It is important to develop a back-up plan in case your preferred courses are not available when you arrive at their host university.

The British Grading System

As a study abroad student, you are required to undertake the same form of assessment as the local students do in order to earn transfer credit at the University of Iowa.

The grading system in the UK is significantly different from the US system. Grades are given as 'marks', and a score of 60% is typically considered a high mark. UI does not convert British marks into US letter grades. While you WILL receive academic credit for the courses you take in the UK, you will NOT receive a typical A-F grade.

This does not mean that you are taking courses on a Pass/Fail basis . In order to receive credit for the course, you must receive a passing grade in the British system and, in the future, when official transcripts of your college work are requested, you will need to provide both an Iowa transcript and the British academic record – your British grades will be clear and will influence future scholarship application and graduate school admissions decisions.

Transcripts

Lancaster typically sends Fall semester transcripts to the University of Iowa by the end of the following March, and Spring semester/Academic Year transcripts to the University of Iowa by the end of the following July.

Students can expect their grades to be applied to their UI grade reports within 2-3 months after they arrive to the University of Iowa.

Applying credit toward a UI degree

Unless UI Study Abroad has an approval on file for the courses you take abroad to be applied toward a specific major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, you will receive general elective credit for your course.

If you plan to apply the credit you receive for your program course to a major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, contact your UI study abroad advisor for details on the process. 

Cultural Activities

The Lancaster University Students Union organizes event and excursions throughout the academic year, and is home to many clubs and societies that makes meeting British students easy.

Program Dates

Program dates vary from year to year, but typically follow the University of Iowa’s academic calendar.

You can find detailed semester dates for the upcoming sessions on the Term Dates website.

Spring semester students will study at Lancaster during both their Lent (Spring) Term and Summer Term.

Students should consider these dates tentative until they receive final dates for their session abroad from the host university prior to the start of the program.

For More Information

Cory Petersen, Senior Advisor and Program Coordinator
Study Abroad | International Programs
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802

Phone: 319-335-0353
Fax: 319-335-0343
E-mail: cory-petersen@uiowa.edu

Lancaster University

Founded in 1961, Lancaster University’s academic focus areas include natural sciences, business, humanities, social sciences, and technology. It currently enrolls over 12,000 students, and is situated on a beautiful 360-acre parkland site just three miles from the city center. Lancaster is one of only a handful of UK universities to have a "collegiate" system for housing and social support... a bit like Hogwarts!

Lancaster University is located on the periphery of the city and is surrounded by farms and the countryside. It is a short 15-minute bus ride into the city center. There is also a biking path to the city that many students use.

Lancaster

Lancaster, a city of 140,000 people, is located in northwest England, three miles from the ocean and a short bus ride from the idyllic scenery and market towns of the Lake District. The annual Lancaster Jazz Festival, Lancaster Castle, Priory Church of St. Mary, along with dozens of theatres, music venues, museums, and the city’s unique architecture give Lancaster the feeling of a small but thriving modern city with plenty of living connections to England’s rich history. A quick train ride to Manchester, a city of over 500,000, offers even more things to do in the area.

Lancaster’s city center is small enough to explore on foot and there are regular bus services linking it with the campus. It is on a major north-south rail line making travel to other parts of England and Scotland convenient.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK) 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. Life and culture in the UK is different from that in the US. Experiencing this rich tradition is what studying in the UK is all about!

Some general facts about the UK:

  • The UK uses the British Pound as its currency.
  • Communication from the UK is easy. Cell phones are relatively inexpensive, the internet is easily accessible, and post offices are plentiful.
  • British food is unique! Try fish and chips, bangers and mash, steak pie, Indian curry, neeps and tatties, haggis, and more!
  • The UK is a relatively safe environment. Police are helpful and visible. Emergency services are reliable. Pharmacies, called 'chemists', are common and carry a wide variety of medicine and other essentials.
  • The UK has a temperate climate, influenced by the ocean that surrounds it. It is never too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. Rain is common most of the year. Make sure to take plenty of warm clothes and waterproof shoes.

Cultural Resources

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

Lancaster University offers accommodation in student housing. Housing at Lancaster is organized by "colleges," which are social units unrelated to academics (think Hogwarts). Each college is unique and there is healthy competition among them. Each college usually has its own dining hall and pub, and social events are frequent. This type of living arrangement helps a study abroad student integrate quickly and makes the transition to a new university easier.

You can find more information about the housing options at Lancaster on the university's Accomodation page.

Student housing in the UK tends to resemble the style of Mayflower Residence hall, with 4-6 students sharing a 'flat' with common kitchen and bathroom facilities and individual rooms. However, variations to this style do occur. Meals can be cooked in the flat or purchased at cafeterias.

Flights

Students will need to make their own travel arrangements to get to their program site- UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

Do not purchase plane tickets until:

  1. You have received an official offer of acceptance by your host university.
  2. You have finalized your housing arrangements abroad.
  3. You are aware of both the semester start date and the move-in date for your accommodations.
  4. You have received your visa (if required- contact your study abroad advisor for more information)

Students will receive contact information for any other program participants several weeks prior to the start of their program so that they can coordinate travel plans with other students.

If you need advice on making travel arrangements, contact your UI study abroad advisor.

Local Transportation

Lancaster features a good city bus system with frequent trips between the campus and the city center. There is also a bicycle path available.

In general, travel within the United Kingdom is very well organized. Busses and taxis (and subway systems in larger cities) make getting around town quick and easy. Trains and busses also interconnect every city in Britain, making inter-city travel easy, fairly cheap, and as quick as possible. You are never far from interesting places such as London or Ireland. Ferries and bargain airlines also allow you to reach many destinations in mainland Europe very inexpensively.

Eligibility

This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must 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.
  • Minimum 3.0 UI and Transfer GPA- Students must have a minimum 3.0 UI and Transfer GPA to participate in this program (transfer GPAs lower than 3.0 may be considered on a case-by-case basis).
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing required- Students must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the program begins. First year students cannot participate in this program.
  • Approval by UI study abroad advisor- A student’s application must be reviewed and approved by their University of Iowa study abroad advisor.
  • Acceptance by host institution- Students must be accepted by their host institution as a temporary visiting student. Acceptance by the host institution is typically automatic for students that have been nominated by their study abroad advisor, but the final acceptance decision is made by the international student office and the sponsoring departments at the host institution based on their own internal requirements.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming presented by UI Study Abroad.

Costs

Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.

The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.

Cost Sheets

The cost sheet below applies to the Spring 2018 session. Cost sheets for the Fall 2019 and Academic Year 2019 - 2020 will be available by late spring 2019.

PDFLancaster- Cost Sheet- Spring 2018 (Spring Session of Full Academic Year)

The cost sheet includes the following fees:

The cost sheet does not include personal travel expenses. Students should budget additional funds to cover the costs of personal travel.

Costs charged to the U-Bill

  • Application Fee- (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed.)
  • University of Iowa Tuition & Fees- (charged shortly before departure.)
  • Study Abroad Fees- (charged shortly before departure.)
  • CISI Health Insurance- (charged shortly before departure.)

Out-of-pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

  • Round trip airfare from Cedar Rapids (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Food (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
  • Housing (charged upon arrival to the UK)
  • Housing deposit (paid by student shortly before departure to the UK, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Visa fees (paid by student on or shortly before arrival to the UK, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed. See the Immigration/Visa section under the Predeparture tab for more information.)
  • UK Police Registration fee (paid by student on arrival to the UK- only required for academic year students)
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (paid by student on arrival to the UK- only required for academic year students.)
  • Local transportation (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
  • Cell phone (paid as needed while abroad)
  • Passport (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Textbooks (paid as needed while abroad)
  • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
  • Personal expenses and personal travel (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)

How to Apply

  • Meet with the appropriate study abroad advisor to discuss your study abroad plans well ahead of the application deadline. Your application will not be approved until you've completed this step. You can set up an appointment by calling UI Study Abroad at 319-335-0353 or through the Advising Appointment section of your MyUI account.
  • Meet with your academic advisor(s) to discuss how this program might fit your graduation plans, and make a back-up plan in case your preferred courses are not available when you arrive on your host university’s campus (see the Flexibility Regarding Course Offerings section for more information.)
  • If you and your academic advisor agree that the program is a good match for you, request the online UI study abroad program application for your chosen program from your UI study abroad advisor. Note that a non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
  • Request nomination to your host university by submitting the online UI program application by the due date.
  • Your study abroad advisor will review your program application and, if you meet the requirements for the program, your advisor will nominate you to the host university.
  • Once nominated, you will complete a visiting student application for the host university abroad.
  • This application will be reviewed by the host university, and they will contact you with a final acceptance decision.
  • Academic Year and Fall semester students can expect to receive their final acceptance decision from the host university by mid-summer, and Spring semester students can expect to receive their final acceptance decision from the host university by late November.

Post-Acceptance

Confirmation

If you are accepted to your program, you will be asked to commit to participating in your program by submitting the University of Iowa Confirmation of Participation form, and by completing requirements for your host university.

After you have formally confirmed your plans to participate, you will work both with UI Study Abroad and your host university. Follow instructions from both. Later in the semester, your UI study abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.

Limited Admission

Admission to this program is limited to a small number of students each semester, based on the current exchange balance with the host university.

Complete applications from eligible students will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Interested students are encouraged to submit complete application materials as soon as possible to increase their chances of securing a place in the program during their chosen session.

Contact your study abroad advisor for updates on available spaces for the upcoming sessions.

Application Deadline

Applications for the Spring 2020 session are due on September 23, 2019.

Applications for the Fall 2020 and Academic Year 2020-2021 sessions are due on February 24, 2020.

Applications for Fall 2020 and Academic Year 2020-2021 will be available by early Spring 2020.

Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

After you have received an email from UI Study Abroad indicating that you have been formally accepted to the program, have reviewed the estimated costs, and you are ready to commit to participating in this program, you will need to complete the following steps:

All Students

Thoroughly review the following sections of text:

All Students

Thoroughly review the following sections of text:

  • Financial Aid & Scholarships
  • Immigration/Visa
  • Orientation
  • Passport
  • Predeparture Resources

Financial Aid & Scholarships

You can find information about options for funding your study abroad experience, including financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc, on UI Study Abroad’s Funding Website.

Immigration/Visa

All program participants are required to complete immigration requirements to enter and study in your host country. UI Study Abroad and your program provider/host institution abroad will provide you with immigration instructions prior to departure.

Note that permission to enter and study in your host country is provided exclusively by the host country’s government based on that country's immigration requirements. Your host country’s immigration requirements may include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to receive permission to enter the country in some cases. Contact your UI study abroad advisor for more information.

It is essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration materials before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are absolutely complete and accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration materials are in order and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration materials contain inaccurate information of any kind, contact your UI study abroad advisor immediately to discuss your options.

Do not take steps to complete your host country’s immigration requirements until you receive more information from UI Study Abroad.

Review the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website for further guidance on the immigration/visa process.

Orientation

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 safety-abroad@uiowa.edu.

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

Passport

All students need a valid passport to participate in this program. You can find details about applying for a passport on the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website.

Predeparture Resources

UI Study Abroad offers a variety of general predeparture resources. Review the following materials, and feel free to pass them along to your family or other loved ones to help them understand more about your upcoming program.

These materials may be periodically updated to reflect new program information prior to departure- contact your study abroad advisor for more information.

Please note that your program provider and host institution may provide you with additional predeparture materials specific to your study abroad program. Also review those materials, share them with your family, and refer back to them if you have any questions.