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Program Information:

sociology italysociology italy
Location London, United Kingdom
Academic Term Early Fall 2018
August 5-September 2, 2018
Estimated Program Fee $2,990
Credits 5 UW credits
Prerequisites None
Program Directors Clarence Spigner; Alex Tu
Program Manager Katherine Kroeger |
Priority Application Deadline February 15, 2018
Information Sessions Contact Clarence Spigner, Professor, Health Sciences Building, Department of Health Services, H-wing, 6th floor, H-690d. 206-616-2948
General Faculty-led 4-week, 5-credit study abroad program based at the University of Greenwich in southeast London.

Program Description

Dark Empire is a 4-week 5-credit Exploration Seminar based at the University of Greenwich in Southeast London, England. Historical and contemporary factors responsible for the well-being (health) of Black and other racial and ethnic minorities in Britain are explored. England played a major role in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and was among the first nation to abolish slavery in 1806 and slave-trading in 1834. Non-whites now make-up about 10% of the UK’s 60.5 million residents but roughly one-third of London’s 32 boroughs. Led by an African American professor with expertise in health and race-relations, issues covered are: the National Health Service; Brexit, anti-immigration; urban riots; Islamophobia, assimilation, acculturation, gender dynamics. Events include interactive seminars, bus tour, field trips, guest lecturers, and ethnographic immersion to experience contemporary intersections of race, ethnic and gender on health. Required: a total reading of at least two of three prize-winning novels: (1) Brick Lane by Monica Ali; (2) Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; (3) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. A 5-7 page typewritten double-space report with references from a choice of 40 different health topics is due on the last day in September following our return to the states. London’s Notting Hill Carnival and South Asian Mela festival occur during our visit. Housing is at University of Greenwich’s Avery Hill Campus located adjacent to the 86-acre Avery Hill Park in the district of Eltham. Private room with weekly change of towels, linen, full kitchen access, free internet in each room and/or in the student dome. Classes taught Monday-Thursday from 10:00am-3:00pm at Greenwich Maritime campus, a 15-minute bus ride (free inter-campus shuttle-bus) from the Eltham-Avery Hill housing site. Each student is issued a Weekly Travel Pass.



London, United Kingdom


Combination bus and walking tour of inner London by qualified members of the Blue Badge Tour Guide with emphasis on the city’s history of multiculturalism featuring among the many sites, Brick Lane, White Chapel, Spitalfield Market, Westminster Abby, Buckingham Palace (and possibly the Changing of the Guards).


Dorms (or flats) at the Avery Hill campus selected because they are safe and fully equipped. Classes taught at the more picturesque Maritime campus about a 15-20-minute bus ride next to the River Thames. Each private room has a mini-refrigerator, free internet service, change of bed linen / towel once-a-week, full kitchen, 24/7 security guard services, student cafeteria, laundry, gym, ATM, and open access to computers, public telephone, and grocery stores across the street. University of Greenwich Enterprises Limited is the Housing Office. Other summer study abroad programs also on campus. We must commit to the reservation of flats (rooms) early as possible and in advance of other programs.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements



5 UW Credits


HSERV 488: Dark Empire- Race, Health & Society in Britain (5 Credits)

This study abroad seminar is four-week base at the University of Greenwich Avery Hill campus in Southeast London, England now in its 11th consecutive year. Classes taught at the Royal Naval College (15-minute bus ride via campus shuttle) from 10:00am-3:00pm four days a week, Mondays through Thursdays, with an hour out for lunch. Seminar content include world history, imperialism, Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, immigration, urban riots, resistance, Islamophobia, Brexit, acculturation, assimilation, imagery, and the intersection of gender. Required are in-depth discussion from two of three prize-winning novels: (1) Brick Lane by Monica Ali addresses immigration and arranged marriage. (2) Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on coming of age and racial identity in America and in England. (3) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a psychological thriller featuring aspects of women health as alcoholism, depression, alienation, transference, marriage, divorce, children, emotional and physical abuse. A 5-7 page double-spaced scholarly paper from a list of more than 40 health topics is due the last day in September following our return to the states.

Learning goals include:
Goal: To analyzed a different health system in an industrialize nation on whether it can deliver adequate health to diverse populations.
(1) Explore key factors that help explain modern-day inequalities in health.
(2) Explain race, ethnicity and gender stratification.
(3) Recognized paradigms of social determinants of health. Evaluation: The scholastic quality of student participation, verbal interaction and written responses.



Clarence Spigner, Department of Health Services, Program Director

Professor Spigner is the Director for the Masters in Public Health program. He was co-director of the Forgarty-funded Multicultural International Research and Training (MIRT) program in 1990s to early 2000, where he field-supervised students for 10-week (quarter-long) periods in Oaxaca, Mexico and in Quito, Ecuador. He was also the Director of the Peace Corps Master’s in Public Health for the Department of Global Health where he also has an adjunct appointment. In 2007, Spigner created the self-sustaining Dark Empire: Health, Race & Society in Britain. Which has seen since has taken more than 300 UW students to study health and multiculturalism in the United Kingdom.

Alex Tu, Department of Pharmacy, Program

As professional staff with administrative experience, Alex’s responsibilities in support of the program are straight-forward while also varied. In advance of the program, Alex assists with recruitment, interviewing and evaluating applicants. He is involved in the planning, content and logistics. During the program, Alex provides instructional support; student counseling; logistic support within the geographic of London; negotiate and purchasing Travel Passes; seek out relevant museum exhibitions; conduct Film Night with discussions; arranges West End show purchases; manages budget resources; organizes group meals with consideration for religious and dietary restrictions. Alex has extensive international experience in places such as Japan, Singapore, and Viet Nam, and he served program assistant for this London-based program for several previous years.



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $2,990

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1,600)
  • Food (about $16/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: October 13, 2018

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.