Fall, Spring, Academic Year
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Junior or senior standing, 3.0 GPA
3/20 for fall/academic year
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Reciprocal exchange programs between the University of Iowa and University of Lancaster in Lancaster, England, allows undergraduate students to spend a semester or academic fully integrated with their British peers in student housing and attending regular classes.
Under the reciprocal exchange agreement, University of Iowa students pay their regular UI tuition and fees to participate in this program. Room and board is comparable to Iowa costs in the Mayflower residence hall. Added expenses include airfare, a UI administrative fee, and similar costs as described in the 'Costs' section of our website.
I have joined six societies; the hiking club, the choral society, the film society, the radio drama society, Green Action, and the arts society. They have all been a lot of fun and add a bit of cheer to the week of studying.
-- A former UI student on exchange at Lancaster
Lancaster offers a wide variety of courses for exchange students. Depending on their level of experience, and length of time they plan to study abroad, students can choose from a huge variety of courses. Popular areas of study include (among many other things!) Chemistry, Creative Writing, Education, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering, Historical Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, Law, Business and Marketing, Linguistics, Physics, and Theatre Studies.
University of Iowa students enroll in classes that are part of the regular curriculum at Lancaster University. This means participating in a system that is significantly different from the U.S. broad-based, liberal arts education, both in terms of calendar and specialization of studies. Students usually take between three and five courses each semester, earning between 14 and 19 semester hours of transfer credit for each semester.
University of Iowa students enroll in classes that are part of the regular curriculum at Lancaster University. This means participating in a system that is significantly different from the U.S. broad-based, liberal arts education, both in terms of calendar and specialization of studies. Students usually take between three and five courses each semester, earning between 12 and 16 semester hours of transfer credit for each semester.Take a look at the course options open to study abroad students by exploring the Lancaster University's online 'Study Abroad Course Handbook'.
Despite the fact that you are on exchange, you are required to undertake the same form of assessment as the local British students do in order to earn transfer credit at Iowa. This means that if you do not take the exam or turn in a required final paper, your British academic record will report a grade of 0.
The British grading system 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 U.S. A-F grades. While you WILL receive credit for the courses you take in the UK, you will NOT receive a typical A-F grade. However, this does not mean that you are taking courses on a Pass/Fail basis. You will earn a final mark in terms of their system, and your British academic record will always report these. 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 results will be highly visible.
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.
The academic year closely follows the U.S. academic year. Specific dates for the Fall 2014 session are below (dates for the Spring 2015 session will be available in early Fall 2014).
Arrival/Program Begins - September 27, 2014
September 29 - October 3- Orientation/Course Registration week
October 6 - December 12 - Fall Semester classes in session
December 13, 2014- Fall session ends
Cory Petersen, Advisor and Program Coordinator
Study Abroad | International Programs
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802
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 is located in northwest England, three miles from the ocean and short bus ride from the idyllic scenery and market towns of the Lake District. Manchester is the closest large city. 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 English and Scotland convenient. Between 1455 and 1485, the House of Lancaster and the House of York engaged in sporadic civil war to determine the succession to the throne. These became known as the “Wars of the Roses,” since the heraldry for both houses featured roses.
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. The UK Exchange program offers exchange with universities in England and Scotland. Life and culture in the UK is different from that in the US. Experiencing this rich tradition is what the UK Exchanges are all about!
• 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 'n 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.
Lancaster University offers accommodation in student housing. Housing at Lancaster is organized by "colleges," which are social units, not related 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.
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.
Students will make their own travel arrangement with support from the Study Abroad office and the International Student office at
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.
UI students should be in junior or senior standing and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 scale). Students should have a declared major and have a good understanding of requirements in their major.
The principle of reciprocal exchange is simple: students pay regular tuition and fees to their home university, and then trade places with a student overseas. All reciprocal exchanges in the UK operate on this principle. University of Iowa students pay their regular UI tuition and mandatory student fees, plus a $400 study abroad administrative fee, and then study at our partner university without further tuition payment.
Additional costs include round trip airfare (approximately $1500 from Cedar Rapids), passport (approx. $135), housing (approx. $3500), food (approx. $1800), textbooks (approx. $300), local transportation ($400+), immunizations (variable), CISI health insurance (approx. $120) or any personal expenses ($2500+). Students staying for longer than 6 months will also be responsible for visa fees totaling around $400.
A cost sheet for the Lancaster Exchange program can be found below.
The cost sheet captures the best possible estimate for all costs a participant on this program will be responsible for, including fees paid to UI as well as out-of-pocket costs and personal expenses, although actual spending amounts may vary. This information will be provided to the Office of Student Financial Aid to help determine your eligibility for aid for this program.
Preliminary application forms are due early in the semester prior to studying abroad. Applications are then sent to the host university for review, where final acceptance decisions are made. Applicants are notified of their acceptance status by the host university by November for the spring session, and by late March or early April for the following fall/academic year.
Students should make an appointment with Cory Petersen, the program coordinator for the Lancaster University Exchange, to obtain application materials.
Please call the Study Abroad office (1111 University Capitol Centre) at 319-335-0353 to set up an appointment, or email Cory with any questions at email@example.com.