Skip to Main Content
Skidmore College
First-Year Experience in London

Frequently Asked Questions

Is London right for me?

According to past participants of the London program, independent, adaptable, open-minded, adventurous, mature, tolerant, and responsible students succeed in London. Students tell us that people who tend to be reluctant to engage in new experiences might find it more difficult to adjust.

Yes. Returning students from previous London programs have volunteered to e-mail or talk with prospective students to answer questions from the student perspective. Let us know, and we will provide contact information for a student that has already studied in London. 

Before committing to the London FYE program, students should consider what type of support they may need and if studying abroad first semester is a good fit. While there is a lot of student support built into the London FYE program, it is also a small program without the full resources of a residential campus. Consider some of the questions listed as part of OCSE's pathways to off-campus study.

With careful planning and close advisement, pre-med students and students planning to major in the sciences can study in London for their first semester at Skidmore. Some of Skidmore’s pre-med and science major course requirements are sequenced and the first course in the sequence may only be offered in the fall semester on the Saratoga Springs campus. This means you may have to wait until your sophomore fall to take the first course in the sequence of requirements for certain departments. Most of the courses available in London are based in the humanities and social sciences except for Calculus I, which may fulfill a mathematics requirement for some science majors.

In biology, both introductory biology courses for the first year of biology (BI107 and BI108) will be offered each semester and they can be taken in any sequence. This means that if you need to take the introductory biology sequence for your major you can take BI108 in the spring when you return from London and then BI107 in the fall of your sophomore year. 

You are strongly encouraged to contact the Chair of your intended major department or the Health Professions Advising Committee (HPAC) before you commit to London and discuss your options.

London FYE students will need to make their own arrangements (at their own expense) for housing and meals over winter break. Students must move out of the program housing in London on the last day of the  London FYE fall semester and are not permitted to arrive on campus until the start of the spring semester. The winter break between semesters is typically 6-7 weeks long. You can see the exact dates in the program calendar.

If you need assistance with houisng and meals over winter break, you should consider coming to campus for your first semester instead of London. On-campus students can submit a request housing over the breaks with Residential Life if they are living on campus for the full year. 

Accepting your offer to study in London

No. We depend on your commitment to the London program when we make our plans for the fall semester. You will need to choose whether to go to London OR commit to an on-campus spot in September.

Your initial deposits are non-refundable. You may be responsible to Skidmore for any monies already paid by Skidmore on your behalf, or in any respect committed on your behalf, that are not retrievable by Skidmore. Once you arrive in London, no fees are refundable.

If you decide you want to come to campus instead of going to London, please contact Kendra Nelson in Off-Campus Study & Exchanges to discuss your options. 

Before you go

Yes! Students will begin the semester by arriving on the Saratoga Springs, NY campus for a 3-day orientation. The students will then travel to a New York City airport and fly as a group to London. After arrival in London, orientation will continue in London with the Skidmore Faculty Coordinators, IES staff, and Skidmore Program Assistant. 

Skidmore will provide detailed arrival details and information about booking a flight in mid/late May. Skidmore typically makes arrangements for a group flight departing from a New York City airport. After the 3-day orientation on the Saratoga Springs, NY campus, students will travel to a New York City airport and fly as a group to London.

The cost of the flight is not included with what you pay to Skidmore, so students will book and pay for their flight directly with the Skidmore travel agent. 

Yes. If you do not have one, you should apply now at your local U.S. Post Office or the passport issuing agency in your country. 

The US Passport Processing Centers are experiencing significant processing delays. If you need to apply for or renew your passport, please do so as soon as possible to ensure you get your passport in time. 

If you are a US citizen, you will be able to enter the UK without a visa; however, you may be expected to show certain documentation at the border indicating that you have been accepted to a study abroad program and that you can support yourself financially for the length of the program.

If your citizenship is other than U.S., check to see if you need a UK visa or contact Off-Campus Study & Exchanges at Skidmore College for more information. Please note that visa requirements are subject to change.

If you are a citizen of the U.K., you do not need a visa.

In London

YES! Skidmore will plan a number of cultural and social activities in and around London during the semester. Students may also travel independently throughout the U.K. on the weekends or during the mid-semester break.
While it is not recommended for parents to visit while classes are in session, some families may wish to visit their students during the mid-semester break or at the end of the program. On the other hand, the break is, for many students, a great time to engage in their own independent travel. We do expect that students will meet their academic and programmatic responsibilities regardless of when family and friends visit. Visitors to London, including family, are not permitted to participate in field trips or activities related to the program. 
Goods and services cost about twice as much as those in larger U.S. cities. Returning students have told us that they were glad they had saved money from their summer jobs to take advantage of the wonderful cultural offerings in London. Don’t forget: tuition, room, most meals, local transportation, and many cultural experiences will be pre-paid. Students will receive a stipend of about £680 per month to be used toward food and local transportation. Also, students can apply their Skidmore financial aid package to the cost of the London FYE program.

Returning to campus

The best way to become a real part of your Skidmore class on your return is to introduce yourself to others, join student clubs, audition for plays, try out for sports teams, or apply for leadership positions. Previous participants tell us that being part of a returning group from London helped too, as they had many ‘ready-made’ friendships before reaching campus.
London FYE students will live on campus when they return to Skidmore for the spring semester. Students will be sent a housing questionnaire to complete in early November for spring semester housing on campus. The Office of Residential Life places students in on-campus housing where space is available, and upper class students have first choice in housing.
You will receive Skidmore credits and grades. Grades count towards your Skidmore GPA.
You will register for classes using the Skidmore online registration system in the same manner as the rest of the first-year class. Upper class students have first choice of courses. Thus, first-year students should plan for a flexible range of course choices. The Skidmore faculty directors in London serve as faculty advisors for the London FYE students and will advise the students about registering and course selection for the spring semester.