Study Abroad celebrates 25 semesters in London

[Lynn Jamison] Big Ben, the famous clocktower, is one of the many sights Study Abroad students can see while attending classes in London.

[Lynn Jamison] Big Ben, the famous clocktower, is one of the many sights Study Abroad students can see while attending classes in London.

Before Citrus College had online registration, Blackboard and vending machines that accepted credit cards, it had the Study Abroad program in London. This year marks the 25th semester of the program broadening the horizons of Citrus students.

“We wanted to give the students the opportunity to enroll in Citrus College classes but be immersed in another culture,” said Lynn Jamison, Study Abroad specialist. “We felt that a global perspective would be an advantage to our students, not only if they graduate from Citrus College and pursue a career, but if they transfer to a university. [They] look very highly on students that study abroad.”

Citrus College became the lead college of the then-eight college Southern California Foothills Consortium for Study Abroad in 1989. Now, the SCFCSA has expanded to 13 schools, including Mount San Antonio, Rio Hondo and Barstow Community Colleges.

Students study at the University of London, where they are required to take 12 units of instruction Monday through Thursday. CSU and general ed-transferrable classes are taught by California professors, including a unique British Life and Culture class that students must attend.

However, Jamison emphasized that students are encouraged to learn as much as they can about English culture.

“We try to get the students out of the classroom as much as we can, to take advantage of museums, art galleries, and different archeological sites, and historical monuments,” she said.

The relatively small sizes of the European countries also allows for students to travel to France, Italy, Germany and other neighboring nations over the weekend, Jamison added.

“I’d say it’s one of the best programs on campus,” said psychology professor Kenneth Guttman, who has served as the lead faculty member both in London and in Salamanca, Spain. “Students benefit greatly.”

Philosophy professor Jack Call, who has also led the program, said “London is the financial capital, political capital, entertainment capital [of England]. It’s sort of like having New York City, Washington D.C., and Las Vegas all in one city.”

Jamison says that she often tries to use the “country’s content” to expand the Study Abroad student’s world views. Field trips to the Globe Theatre, Museum of London, National and Tate galleries and Houses of Parliament are offered free of charge, according to the Study Abroad website.

“Just being in London and traveling and really delving into the culture, you’ll learn a lot,” said 19-year-old Rocello Banaga, who traveled with the consortium in the fall 2012 semester. “Here in America, if you’re going to go out, our nights start around 10 p.m. But since the Tube [London’s subway system] closes at midnight . . . our parties started around 7 or 8 p.m.”

If you are interested in joining the study abroad program and want to go to London, call or email Citrus College Study Abroad for more information: (626) 914-8560 or

“It’s a great experience to have in life. Why not do it while you’re knocking off units for college?” Banaga said.“But the main thing that I got out of London is you learn there is more to the structured life that you’re living. It really opened my eyes.”