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London, Oxford, Edinburgh, England, Scotland

Program Description

Have you ever noticed the way an organization communicates its values? Have you ever interacted in an organization as a customer or employee and thought, “Do they beat people here? They all seem to hate their jobs.” On the other hand, experiencing an organization that exudes happiness, care, and concern for all the stakeholders is a breath of fresh air. This 3-week course will examine the fascinating world of organizational culture in the United Kingdom as well as provide you with tools for better assessing and understanding workplace culture back at home in the US.

Organizational Communication Culture in the UK is a 3-week study abroad program that offers you an opportunity to observe and learn about organizational theory and culture in the context of the most populous city in the UK. Coursework will include a collection of readings focusing on workplace culture, on-site lectures by the program director as well as lectures and workshops organized by communication professionals and leaders in the amazing city that is London. Topics under consideration include types of organizational culture, levels of organizational culture that include artifacts, espoused values including goals, strategies and mission statements of organizations as we compare UK organizations to the United States.

Selected from The Times/The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies, we will visit organizations in London and the surrounding area. You will get to visit amazing workplaces that you may have never considered as well as regular places you have visited in the US. We will then compare those organizations in a classroom-free experience. We will explore different models of categorizing cultures, examine the implications of and consider the usefulness of a variety of tools for diagnosing culture. We will examine, observe, and experience organizations that range from education, sports, recruitment, marketing and healthcare to entertainment, religious organizations both private and not for profit.During the 3 weeks in the UK, this experience will immerse you into the British world of work, play and entertainment. You will walk cobblestone streets of ancient London as well as and enter department stores for the very rich. We will study what makes up organizational culture by observing similar types of industry you are familiar with in the US but compare them to the way things are done in the United Kingdom. Although the natives speak English, many of the ways things are done are unique and different from our American experience. We will visit many organizations that have been listed in the Top 10 Places to Work in the UK and will get to see the range of difference and similarity all while living in central London. As part of this course we will also visit museums, see shows, and visit sports venues. There are no lectures on this program, but our classroom-free curriculum will allow you to enjoy the experience of daily life in the UK.

Location Description

We will spend most of our time in Central London with out trips to Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh, Scotland. Living in flats in London will give you a real taste of the UK life as you learn the area and begin to feel comfortable living in a new world of experience.


Toni S. Whitfield | | SCOM


Accommodations will be provided for students through furnished apartments with internet access and full kitchen and laundry facilities. Students will be in shared double or triple rooms. Housing accommodations are centrally located and public transportation is easily accessible.

The trip to Scotland will provide housing in a Bed and Breakfast. There is a chance you will stay in a dormitory for an evening in Oxford.

Group meals will be held throughout the trip. A stipend will cover the remainder of meals.

Additional Items to Consider

A current US passport is all that is required to enter the UK. Accommodations will be provided for students through furnished flats. Students will be housed in centrally located housing close to the underground transportation stops (the Tube). Mobile phones will need a SIM card. No special visas or requirements.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Prerequisite: SCOM 121, 122 or 123

Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome

Open to all majors

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short essay 
  • Academic references
  • Attend Program Info Session
  • Interview with Program Director is required
  • Not open to non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


SCOM 313L: Organizational Culture in the UK (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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