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  • Locations: Edinburgh, United Kingdom; London, United Kingdom
  • Program Terms: Winter Break
  • Dates / Deadlines
Program Description:

Harry Potter to Brexit Banner


Join this course to  examine the connections among popular culture, politics, and youth activism in 20th and 21st century Britain. Popular culture directed toward youth—such as social media and the popular Harry Potter series of books and films—is often cast aside as trivial escapism. However, this course centrally claims that, rather than being an escape from “real life,” popular culture actually provides a mechanism for contemplating and deploying different approaches to politics—and that politics is itself deeply affected by popular culture.
The immersive nature of our course—which primarily takes place in London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland—will enable students to experience the connection between place and politics and to examine techniques of visual storytelling. While traveling through and between these two cities, you will learn about the ways that mediums like film, television, music, and cartooning have been utilized to craft progressive political messages. We will converse with academic experts and youth activists about the effect of gender, race, and nationality on 20th and 21st century British politics, with a particular focus on the contemporary crisis brought on by Brexit.
We will analyze the Harry Potter series of books and films as a specific case study that illustrates the possibilities of using pop culture toward progressive ends, examining the ways that it engages with contemporary and historical patterns in British history, such as nativist sentiment, sexist politics, and labor rights. Our visits to both real-world sites used in the film and to the Warner Brothers studio will demonstrate the ways that filmmakers use place to ground fantastical stories and to embed politicized messages. In addition to more traditional methods like taking field notes, we will also utilize social media throughout our trip in order to put into practice one of the central claims of this course—that social media can be an effective and essential mechanism of distributing peer-reviewed information in an accessible manner. 

Fast Facts

Program Dates:  December 28- January 7th
Credits: 4 Augsburg Credits 
Faculty and Staff:  Adriane Brown
Apply by: September 30, 2017

Academic Calendar: Winter Break 2018
Language of Instruction: English
Local Currency: The EURO
Population of London: 8.6 million



WST 220: Topics: From Harry Potter to #Brexit: Youth, Media, and Social Change in the UK:
  • Meets LAF-Humanities requirement
  • Elective for GSWS major and minor
  • Youth Studies minor
NOTE: This course will be part of the Spring 2018 term. The majority of the coursework will take place during the time abroad, though some final class meetings may occur during spring semester.  
This course can be taken as part of--or in addition to--your regular course load for spring semester.  If you choose to take this course in addition to your regular spring courses, and it puts you over the 19-credit limit, the overload fee will be refunded.

Program Activities

In London, we will:
  • Take the Warner Brothers Studio Tour of Harry Potter film sets
  • Visit the Cartoon Museum
  • Enjoy New Year’s Eve festivities
  • Meet with youth activists
  • See art at the Cartoon Museum and throughout the streets of London
 In Edinburgh, we will:
  • Take a walking tour to examine Edinburgh’s cultural connections to the Potterverse
  • Meet with members of the Youth Parliament
  • Explore the Royal Mile

Housing & Meals

We are staying in hotels in both cities. Rooms are dual-occupancy. Hotels are easy walking distance to transit stations.  Breakfast provided at hotel; lunch and dinner provided through cash stipend, which students can use how/where they wish for other meals.


This program is open to all majors. Students participating in this program must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed at least one year of college/university.

Program Cost--Augsburg Undergraduate Day Students:  Full-time Status

Program Fee*:  $4100
Total Cost:        $4100,  Charged to Augsburg Student Account in Spring Semester 2018

*The Program Fee includes international airfare, all meals (except during international transit), lodging, in-country travel and transportation, and entrance fees. 

NOTE: Tuition for this course is included in the Spring 2018 tuition fee for full-time undergraduate students. There is no additional tuition charge for full-time students.

Program Cost--Augsburg Undergraduate Day Students:  Part-time Status

Program Fee:              $4100
Tuition (4 credits):      $4620
Subtotal:                      $8720
Global Scholarship:   -$3234
Total Cost:                    $5486

The Program Fee includes all meals, except during international transit; lodging, in-country travel and transportation and entrance fees. The tuition has been reduced because of the Global Scholarship awarded to you by the Center for Global Education and Experience.

Program Cost--Augsburg Adult Undergraduate Students

Program Fee:              $4100
Tuition (4 credits):       $1680
Subtotal:                      $5780
Global Scholarship:   -$1176
Total Cost:                 $4604

The Program Fee includes all meals, except during international transit; lodging, in-country travel and transportation and entrance fees. The tuition has been reduced because of the Global Scholarship awarded to you by the Center for Global Education and Experience.

Additional Expenses 

Passport (new or renewal)                 $135 (new) or $110 (renewal)  Students should renew if their current passport expires before July 2018
Meals during international transit     $10-$30     meals are provided on international flights, but if you want a snack/meal in the airport, it is up to you
Personal spending money                 varies         consider your own want/need to buy snacks, souvenirs, etc.

Passport information available here:
For Information about meal, entertainment, and other costs abroad, check the following resources:

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter Break 2018 09/30/2017 ** Rolling Admission 12/28/2017 01/07/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.