UMD: A Globally Connected University

Freshmen Abroad: Terrapin Take Off: United Kingdom: The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (HIST)

London, United Kingdom
Terms offered: 
Program Type: 
Freshmen Abroad
Credit Type: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
EA Advisor: 
Language of Instruction: 

This program is not running for the summer 2021 term.

Group of students in the UK

"Rule Britannia! Britannia rules the waves! Britons never, never, never shall be slaves!" wrote James Thomson in 1740 as that little island nation entered the imperial age. Thomson's famous song idealizes Britain's global ambitions, but what did the rise of the British Empire mean for the sailors, soldiers and, yes, slaves whose labors brought it into being? How did Londoners on the lower rungs of society experience that city's amazing transformation from provincial backwater to imperial capital?

This 3 credit study-abroad course will focus on the people, places, and policies that shaped the development of the British Empire, the single largest trans-cultural phenomenon in the world since 1500. During visits to political and cultural sites in London, you will examine how ideology, migration, technology and resistance shaped the expansion and eventual retrenchment of British imperial power in the Atlantic world and the Indian sub-continent. With the nation’s capital as our classroom, you will explore the complex workings and legacies of the British Empire from the perspective of its nerve center.

From the curry houses of East London, to the city's surviving docklands, to the National Portrait Gallery and the Samuel Johnson House, we'll be out and about each and every day. Following a 24hr orientation on campus, we'll travel to London as a group and then spend 10 nights in student accommodation in a vibrant location near the heart of this great port city.

Highlights include:
Unlimited travel on London's amazing take-you-anywhere metro system, the Tube (Mind the Gap!)
Guest lectures from museum curators, professors and expert guides
Optional trips to the theatre, ballet, opera, soccer, etc.

Tea with photos


You must be in good academic standing. This program is sponsored by the Department of History in the College of Arts and Humanities and is open to all incoming freshmen, regardless of intended major.

Students who are not yet 18 by the program start date must travel with a copy of their birth certificate and a notarized letter from their parents/guardians. More details will be given if applicable.

This program is open to students who have been admitted to the University of Maryland as freshmen for the 2020-2021 academic year.

  1. Students do not have to commit to UMD to apply.
  2. Students must create their Directory ID and password to apply.
  3. Once you have created your UID, come back to this brochure and click “Apply Now.”
  4. This will bring you to your MyEA portal page. All of the requirements for your application are listed here. Please note, some requirements can be completed electronically, and some need to be sent to us.
  5. The deadline for applications is April 24th.

Students can also apply for an Education Abroad Scholarship, as part of their application, to help fund their experience. The scholarship application is due April 24th.

After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in one of the following three (3) credit UMD courses:

  • HIST219K Special Topics in History: London and the British Empire, 1500-1850
  • HONR249B Honors Seminar: London and the British Empire, 1500-1850

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit.

Prior to departure, students are required to attend an orientation on UMD's College Park campus. Students are expected to participate in all daily activities including reading and other preparation before arriving on-site.

You will stay in apartment accommodations (wifi and laundry included) in the heart of London.

The Sea is History

Costs are current for summer 2020.

Application Fee $50
Billable Costs
Billable costs are charged to your student account. They are due based on the Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering's payment schedule. Be sure to check your statements when they are available.
Education Abroad Fee $500
This fee is charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted" to "Committed." This fee includes Education Abroad services including registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance $45
Tuition $1,920
This fee is charged to your UMD account upon course registration. This fee includes: Tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Housing Fee $390
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
Out-of-pocket Costs
Meals (estimate) $175
Visa $0
Passport $145
Roundtrip Airfare (estimate) $900
Course Materials $0
Optional Activities/incidental expenses $50
Optional trip cancelation/interruption Insurance (estimate) $180


Please refer to the following resources for more information on funding study abroad

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancellation due to low enrollment.

Prof. Richard Bell is a veteran Education Abroad Faculty Director. He teaches early American and Atlantic world history at the University of Maryland. British by birth, accent, and sense of humor, he loves working with Maryland students in London, the most exciting city in the world.

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Director. For general questions or assistance with applying, contact Malik Blue.

Come attend one of our information sessions during admitted students open house!

Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Summerterm 2020 04/24/2020 04/29/2020 08/03/2020 08/14/2020