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Off-Campus Study

AIFS Abroad in London

Choose from a wide range of business and liberal arts courses or an internship when you spend a summer, semester or year studying and interning abroad with AIFS in London, England.  

Central London is just outside your door when you are living in AIFS residence halls in South Kensington, steps from Kensington Palace, the Royal Albert Hall, and Hyde Park. Courses in numerous disciplines make it easy to fulfill graduation requirements and since Richmond, the American International College in London is American accredited, credit transfer is easy. 

Samuel Johnson wrote, “When one is tired of London, one is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford.” Hop on the Tube and visit Covent Garden, Camden Market (where you can buy vintage clothes and jewelry at a bargain) or Piccadilly Circus. Stop at a pub for traditional fish and chips, then see a Shakespearean play at the Globe Theatre or peruse Harrods, one of London’s most famous department stores. See some of the world’s finest works of art at the National Gallery and then watch the sunset at Trafalgar Square while listening to street musicians.

Program Type

Approved Third Party Provider


London, England

Languages of Instruction


Program Dates

Fall 2018: Late August to mid-December 

Spring 2019: mid-January to Early May 

All dates are tentative and may change.  AIFS will alert all accepted students of final dates.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  Students wishing to complete an internship in finance or politics must have a 3.0, and psychology interns must have a 3.2. 
  • Lake Forest students must participate in the internship component.  Students on the internship program earn only 3 LFC credits.


The original Richmond College, founded in 1843, was a constituent institution of the University of London from 1870 until the founding of the present University in 1970, which bears its name and occupies its campus. A second campus was later opened in the Kensington area of central London. This is where all upper division courses are taught and where most study abroad students live and study.

Richmond’s faculty are leaders in their field, publishing and presenting research on a variety of different issues, including popular music, globalization, football (soccer), nationalism, politics, psychology, religion, science fiction, paganism, film, education, empire, propaganda, architecture, fundamentalism, management consulting, foreign trade, colonialism and U.S. foreign policy, all of which are fed back into the classroom to enrich discussion and study. Small classes and personal attention from the faculty and a wide range of courses make Richmond an ideal study abroad choice. You will find Richmond both academically challenging and culturally enriching, a familiar setting in one of the world’s great cities.

An international student body Richmond has students from over 100 nations, leading to lively discussions, new perspectives and amazing world views both inside the classroom and out. Your time at Richmond will leave you with friends/contacts from across the globe and ready for the world where the ability to communicate effectively across national and cultural boundaries is as valuable as the traditional academic achievement.

Though letter grades will appear on the Lake Forest transcript, they will not factor into a student’s GPA except in calculations of honors or the Dean’s List.  Students will only be able to take 12-semester credits, which is equivalent to 3 Lake Forest credits. Please ensure that you have a plan to stay on track to graduate and earn the additional credit before or after your program participation.

Students are strongly encouraged to take at least three courses from the London Core and may choose the others from Richmond’s regular offerings. More information on courses can be found on the AIFS website.  Juniors and seniors are strongly encouraged to take only upper-division courses.

Students partaking in the internship program may be able to only take 12 credit hours, or 3 LFC credits, due to the schedule.


Course Approvals

Check to see if your department has pre-approved courses here. If not, don’t worry. You can work with your advisor.

Experiential Opportunities

 Students intern in companies based in London. Students taking the internship are also required to attend specially designed evening seminars throughout the semester. The Internship Program combines workplace learning with classroom-based study and regular review sessions with workplace supervisors and Richmond faculty. Credit is awarded only after successful completion of all aspects of the program. Internships are unpaid and monitored by the workplace supervisor and a Richmond faculty member. In addition to working and attending the internship seminars, students are required to submit a weekly journal recording duties and learning, as well as an analysis of specified aspects of the work experience. They must also submit a final internship portfolio describing and analyzing the workplace, the industry, and goals achieved, including artifacts of work they have produced during the internship. Students give a presentation on their internship. 

Internships are offered in advertising, art and design, art history, computer science, communications, economics, finance, history, business, international relations, marketing, politics, psychology, and theater.  For more information, please see the AIFS site

Please note that a Tier 4 visa is required for any experiential learning opportunity, as opposed to the Student Visitor Visa that most students may obtain at the airport upon arrival for classes-only programs.

Student Life

Student organizations, clubs, and societies are also an integral part of the student activities program at Richmond and allow students to meet others with similar interests. Current active clubs include the International Film Society, Model United Nations, Economics Society, Finance Society, The Green Project, The Richmond Psychology Association, Richmond International Society, The Richmond Gazelle (newspaper), Richmond TV and Community Service Club. Study abroad students are welcome to join these clubs and societies and a place on the Student Government is also open to a study abroad student each semester.

For the duration of the semester, you will have the opportunity to become an associate member of the Imperial College Student Union, providing access to all the clubs and societies that the Union offers. This is a great way to meet British and other international students with similar interests. You will also be able to use the facilities in the Student Union building which is just a few minutes’ walk from the Kensington campus. See your AIFS Resident Director upon arrival in London to apply for this membership, which is free for all AIFS students.

Housing and Meals

During your time abroad, juniors and seniors will live in central London, close to campus and to the famous Kensington Gardens, Natural History Museum, and West End theater district. Accommodations are in double and triple rooms in University approved residence halls. Since housing is usually in traditional buildings not originally designed to be dormitories, rooms may be smaller than you are accustomed to in the U.S.

Ten meals a week (5 breakfasts and 5 dinners) Monday through Friday in the student cafeteria are included, credited on smart cards. Extra meals can be purchased in the University cafeteria and Kensington has many food establishments where you can purchase food or eat out.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for the AIFS London program includes orientation, on-site director, university fees, housing, several excursions, and insurance.  A stipend is provided to help cover the cost of some meals.

Here is an estimated budget for your Fall 2018/Spring 2019 program:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated)


Lake Forest College Deposit (credit)


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


Lake Forest College Deposit (non-refundable)


Additional Meals


Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, books, supplies, personal expenses, additional travel etc.)


Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2018. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change. 

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by you in advance, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate.

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Experiences of Former Students

Notes from Abroad: Katelyn in London:

Click here!


Notes from Abroad: Jesse in London:

Click here!