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international programs

Great Britain

office of international programs

Castle in the UK

Once the largest empire in the world, Great Britain remains one of the most influential nations in the world, with overseas territories and a truly global approach to economics, politics, innovation, and education. With a dozen universities to choose from, Great Britain offers students many study options, from the bustling metropolis of London to the English town of Durham. A multi-ethnic society with large numbers of international students every year, Great Britain welcomes BC students with open arms, and a nice cup of tea, too!

BC Programs- Semester & Academic Year
Map of the United Kingdom

Students wishing to study in the Great Britain have to opportunity to do so in one of twelve different programs listed below. Six of these programs are contained within BC in London. Students should pay attention to the specifics of each program, including term duration and required minimum GPA.

BC in London

*Please note: BC in London programs are competitive, places are limited, and there are no waiting lists. Due to the high volume of student applicants, selected applicants typically have a GPA higher than the minimum GPA listed on the program page. Students are encouraged to research a second, less competitive program. Students interested in applying for a competitive program are strongly recommended to meet with the Program Manager for Great Britain. 


BC in London: King's College
BC in London: London School of Economics (LSE)
BC in London: Queen Mary
BC in London: Royal Holloway
BC in London: SOAS
BC in London: University College London (UCL)
BC Programs - Summer

Please visit our Summer Programs Page to learn about current offerings.

Approved External Programs


Boston College has over 60 BC programs around the world. To accommodate those students who would like to study in a country or a city in which BC currently does not offer a program, the Office of International Programs has compiled the following list of approved external programs.

Please note that if Boston College has a contractual agreement with an institution abroad, BC students can attend that institution only through a BC program and not through direct enrollment or through another college, university or independent organization.

Students interested in an external program must still apply for approval through the OIP.

Larry's photo

Speak to an OIP Advisor

In preparing to study abroad in Great Britain, you will work with a Boston College OIP Advisor who specializes in this region. Your advisor will help guide you through the application and pre-departure process, as well as act as your main contact with BC while abroad. For students studying abroad in Great Britain, your advisor is Larry Pickener.

To find out more information about this program, or to schedule an appointment with Larry, please click here.


Photo of large builing in England

Currency in the Great Britain

The currency of England (and Britain) is the pound sterling. Paper money comes in £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations, although £50s can be difficult to change because fakes circulate.

It is important to remember that pounds and US dollars are not equal, however, and students should consult a currency conversion calculator.

Students are advised to speak to their current bank prior to studying abroad. Students should confirm that their debit and credit cards will work abroad. Some banks have partnerships with banks in Great Britain and Europe. These partnerships may result in lower transaction fees. Students should speak to their individual banks to learn more.

British Academics

The academic system and structure in Great Britain is very different than the United States. British university students specialize in an academic discipline once they begin their university studies. It is rare for British students to take courses outside of their primary academic department and if they do, it is often a course closely related to their primary academic department. Common examples would be Economics and Mathematics, Philosophy and Political Science, etc. One illustrative difference is in medicine. British university students do not enter university as pre-med. They begin their studies in medicine. Law is another example, as law is an undergraduate degree in Great Britain.

Boston College students are able to take courses in multiple departments at most universities, but there may be limitations due to the nature of the British academic system. Please carefully review each university when choosing a program.

British university degrees are generally completed in three years, though there are exceptions with some degree programs.

Students are expected to work much more independently in Great Britain. Students are not as continually assessed as at BC. Students will not receive as much instructor feedback as at BC. Often, students will only have one to two papers worth a small percentage of the grade and then one final exam or essay which may be worth 80% or more of the final grade. Students should expect to spend more time on essays and independent research. Students will be provided with a reading list at the start of the semester which will help guide their studies.

Current Events & News Resources

In preparation for your time in Great Britain, you should familiarize yourself with the current events and contemporary issues facing the British Kingdom. By knowing about your host country before you arrive, you are making yourself a more informed traveler, a more receptive student and a better prepared individual. It is also helpful to know about your host country so you can pack correctly. Following these and other news sources will be of great value in preparing you for your time abroad.


Photo of British church

Language & Customs

The de facto official language of Great Britain is English. All of your course instruction will be in English. However, students are encouraged to explore the recognized regional languages within Great Britain, including Scottish Gaelic and Welsh.

British customs may be very different than many in the United States. It is best to familiarize yourself with acceptable practices before you arrive in the country. Some tips for successful cultural integration may be found here.

Visa Information

A student visa can be obtained by reviewing the visa and immigration page set-up by the British government: Click on the link for “Student Visas”

Students are expected to review and follow the instructions found online as these are the official directions provided by the British government. Students will receive guidance from their host university and from their study abroad advisor.

It is the student’s responsibility to secure the proper visa for Great Britain.

There are no immunizations required for students studying in Great Britain.