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Spring Break Program in London

Spring Break in London and English Course Credit!

Group shot of Iona students in front of a castle. Register for ENG 378 - Children’s Literature and spend Spring Break in the City of Sherlock and Harry Potter!
Student poses in a London telephone booth.

The Course

This course is a critical survey of children’s literature. Specific course interests include the history of the genre, the position of children’s literature within educational curricula and culture at large, and the cultural construction of children and childhood. The course focuses on children’s texts as literature and will examine the literary techniques and conventions employed in course material.

This section of the course, paired with a Spring Break trip to London, will examine British children’s literature’s capacity to explore the human experience of space and place. We will read the literature in the context of physical spaces in London (and Oxford). We will use our visit to Borough Market to think about how, in The Little Princess, Sarah’s class and gender shape her experience of the congested London marketplace; likewise, at Oxford, we will consider the power and perspective Lyra gains in The Golden Compass through her explorations of the university’s rooftops. We will discuss how children’s books teach young readers to navigate, interpret, and see themselves within spaces, and we’ll also think about how classic stories like Harry Potter and Peter Pan shape our understanding of Britain itself as a place. British fantasy texts provide important insights into the concepts of difference, empire, and power, while British realist fiction depicts life in modern London, especially for girls, the poor, and people of color. We’ll pair modern and classic texts to confront newer problems like urban pollution and the existential crisis of cultural identity in a nation torn between traditionalism and multiculturalism.

The Trip

Over nine days and nights, we will take in the history of the city from the banks of the Thames and beyond; visit key sites connected to our coursework (see below); take in shows in some of London’s legendary venues; sample the pub life for which the city is famous; take day trips outside the city, traveling by train (Oxford) and by boat (Hampton Court Palace); while leaving plenty of free time for folks to explore the city and its environs on their own.
Student poses in a London telephone booth.

The Cost

The program costs approximately $2,200-2,500 (depending upon exchange rates). This includes airfare; ground transportation between Iona and the airport, as well as in London; dorm-style lodging; several group meals; all shows, excursions, and museum admissions.

Important Dates

Dates: March 13-21, 2021

Application Deadline: October 30, 2020

A GPA minimum of 2.5 is required to participate in this program.

For More Information: Contact Dr. Dean DeFino (, Dr. Ivy Linton Stabell (, or