Learning Communities Summer Abroad Program

Madrid, Spain

Learning Communities are predicated on linking inside-the-classroom teaching with outside-the-classroom experience.  This idea of ‘learning-by-doing’ is not only important for higher education, but is especially relevant at Villanova University, inspired by St. Augustine’s hope that “I may do what I learn and not just learn what to do.”

The Learning Communities Abroad Program (LCA) builds on these ideas by providing select members of the learning communities the unique opportunity to complement their classroom learning through an 8-week, 6-credit summer program based in London, which includes a 4-week academic coures and a 4-week work placement. Work placements will be based on students’ academic and personal interests.


Students are required to take both courses for a total of six credits.

HUM 5950: The Making of Britain will be taught by Dr. Christopher Daly, of the Villanova Center for Liberal Education (VCLE). This course will examine the history of England and how it applies to modern day London. The aim of the course is to complement and to enrich the study-abroad experience, giving students the opportunity to prepare for, deal with, and reflect on the international experience. The course will be divided into three parts. First, the class will occasionally meet beginning after spring break until the end of the semester. Then, when students are overseas, the discussion shifts on-site where Dr. Daly will teach the course in London. Finally, an intensive workshop/retreat will be hosted upon return, with the goal of helping students connect their abroad experience with the themes of the course.This course-structure thus seeks (like the learning communities themselves) to link learning inside the classroom with learning outside it. Students will be graded for this course. 3 credits.

Madrid, Spain

HUM 5900: International Contexts
is the course which will 'house' the academic work placement (internship). This course links the practical experience of a work placement abroad, and the professional development skills therein, with a capacity to reflect on the experience in a rigorous academic manner. Its approach is to pose a series of prompts that students must adapt and apply as they see fit to their internship experience. The aim is for students to test their personal observations of the workplace and its place in the broader British, European and global contexts against a range of other sources, for example from think tanks, the media and governmental sources.

While students are strongly encouraged to take an intellectually independent view in their papers, they must also be aware of broader opinion on a given topic and be prepared to refer to other arguments and data in relation to their own thinking. The overall objective is to write a persuasive research paper (rather than an impressionistic journal) in which the work placement experience will count as an important ‘source’, albeit one amongst many. 3 credits.

  • Orientation and classroom activities, prior to departure, will allow students to better prepare for their time spent in London, while also helping create the community and personal relationships within which our students will be participating while in London;
  • Take a 3-credit Humanities course during your abroad experience so that you thoughtfully prepare and process your international experience. This course may fulfill a Humanities or free elective requirement;
  • Test career assumptions early in college through a 3-credit tailored international work placement:
  • Stimulate greater intellectual curiosity for study abroad earlier in your college career, and provide time and financial savings for an additional period of study abroad during your remaining years at Villanova;
  • Challenge pre-conceived notions of the world by being engaged in a foreign culture;
  • Start building a resume which makes students more competitive for future employment.
  • 3.0 Overall GPA Required
  • The program has a limit of 25 students. Applications will be accepted beginning Monday, September 23, 2013. Admission is rolling, and based on the strong level of interest, we expect the programs to fill quite quickly. The deadline for applications is January 24, 2014, though programs may be full prior to this date. Students must complete the LCA Application and have it submitted to Dr. Christopher Daly no later than Monday, January 24, 2013. Successful applicants will be notified within the following two weeks.
  • Once accepted, students will be required to submit a $850 non-refundable commitment fee. This commitment fee will be due within two weeks of receiving the acceptance letter. Final invoicing for the program will be assessed in early-April, with the program balance due no later than May 1, 2014.
  • Students interested in business work placements must have completed one business-related course, preferably in business. Placements within business include: HR, Financial Recruitment, Economics, Company Finance/Accounting, Corporate Finance, Venture Capital, Banking, Marketing, Operations (Logistics, Supply Chain Management)
  • Students interested in finance placements must have completed at least one University course in Finance.
  • Due to UK Tier IV Visa Requirements, students whose first language is not English must have a valid, recent (within two years) TESOL/TOEFL language exam. Please notify the OIS or Dr. Daly if this applies to you.

For Further Information, feel free to email: OIS@villanova.edu.

NOTICE: Villanova University reserves the right to modify or cancel the program if circumstances warrant.

In addition to the on-campus interviews, students will participate in both an on-campus and on-site group orientation. The on-site orientation will cover such topics as guidelines for the program, cultural adjustment, housing, emergency procedures, student life in Europe, travel, and required cultural visits and academic courses. This program orientation will also prepare students for their work placements by managing student expectations about their placements and advising students on their confirmation interviews. Students will also receive a handbook, which includes information on the city, economical options for dining, travel, and cultural activities.

An on-site confirmation interview takes place with the work placement supervisor, with EUSA staff coaching students in interview techniques and country-specific business etiquette. (In the unlikely event of an unsatisfactory interview, a new placement will be made available for the student). A mid-point program review will take place between each student and a EUSA staff member, and work placement supervisors will provide written assessment at the end of the program.

EUSA’s London office provides management and support to students for the duration of the program. A EUSA program director and the VU Faculty Program Coordinator will be the principal contacts for students on issues of housing, safety, culture, and social life in the city. In addition, the program will have a VU student Resident Assistant (RA) living with the students. The program director will be available via regular office hours, outside the students’ normal work schedules, to answer questions and resolve problems and will also be available to students 24 hours per day via cell phone for medical, legal, or other emergencies.

EUSA will arrange a group pick-up for students at the airport at the beginning of the program. A London travel card (Zones 1&2), pre-loaded with £30, will allow students to arrive in London ready to use the transit system.

Placements will be organized by long-time Villanova partner, EUSA – Academic Internship Programs. EUSA is the largest independent work placement provider in Europe, placing approximately 2,000 students each year in a wide-range of professional practice situations. Specifically, Villanova currently works with EUSA for two summer programs and two customized semester programs.

As with other work placement programs, Villanova University students will have access to professional practice work placement opportunities spanning a wide variety of industry sectors in Europe. EUSA secures appropriate work placements based on the skills, interests and professional goals of the student, as well as the project needs and work cycles of the work placement supervisors.

EUSA ensures that students are matched to work placements that directly reflect or relate to their courses of study to ensure quality and academic relevance of the placement. The companies and organizations that make up the list of approved work placements are carefully and regularly monitored by site visits and student assessment. In addition, EUSA staff members will come to Villanova’s campus in the spring to conduct individual interviews, and provide information beforehand on the preparation of a placement essay and a resume appropriate to the UK.

Faculty Program Coordinator

Dr. Christopher Daly
Villanova Center for Liberal Education
St. Augustine Center 84
(856) 979-2677

Apply Now!

The program application can be found on the forms website.


London Summer Program: 19 May to 12 July, 2014

19 May 2014: Arrival
*Departure from US on 18 May

19 May - 13 June: Orientation activities, on-site interviews, and 4-week VU course

16 June - 11 July: 4-week work placement (Monday - Friday)

Departure: 12 July 2014


London: Approximately $10,000 - to be finalized in late-September, 2013
Cost includes tuition, room, work placement, travel passes pre-loaded with £30, orientations, cultural exploration activities program, and airport pickup for students flying on group-designated flight.
Airfare and Tier IV UK visa expenses are not included in the program and are the responsibility of the student.


Students’ housing will be located in central London, in one of the city’s safest and most exclusive neighborhoods. All residences are fully furnished and specially designed for the student lifestyle. Students will have access to a kitchen with modern cooking facilities, common areas, and high speed Internet.