London College Tour, Part Two by Lessa Scherrer

In case you missed it: London College Tour, Part One

Continuing on on London College Tour

London skyline from Goldsmith’s

The third university we visited on our England tour was Goldsmith’s, which focuses on social sciences and fine and performing arts. Goldsmith’s is a small university of 2421 undergraduates, of which about 16% are American. We were able to really dive deeply into their fine arts programs, including tours of their video labs, including an 80-student virtual reality/motion capture lab, and a 40-student volumetric capture lab. Goldsmith’s fine arts students are required to learn techniques from all the various art media available. We toured labs in ceramics, fabric manipulation, woodworking, 3D printing (including 3D printing ceramics), sculpture, etc. Professors are determined to push students to their limits and create designers who can use whatever techniques they need to creatively solve a problem, rather than limiting themselves to just ceramics or just jewelry, etc.

Goldsmith’s Centre for Creative Arts

Goldsmith’s is less than 15 minutes by rail from central London and offers a fantastic view of the skyline and London Eye from campus. Like Middlesex, Goldsmiths is test optional for students with a 3.3 GPA or above, with A’s and B’s in honors, AP, or IB classes. Students with a 3.0-3.2 GPA are required to submit an ACT of 26 or two APs of 3+ or an SAT of 1240 (with at least a 580 in math and 620 in reading). Some programs do require portfolios, auditions, or subject-specific grades. Housing is available in student accommodations and their virtual tour site provides multiple “Day in the Life” scenarios so you can try on many different majors.

Royal Holloway Founder’s Building with statute of Queen Victoria

Our final tour was Royal Holloway University of London. Located just 19 miles from Central London, this campus’s gorgeous Victorian castle called the Founder’s Building–purpose-built for the university–has been featured in many movies and tv shows including Avengers: Age of Ultron and Downton Abbey. But don’t let the gorgeous green quads at Founder’s fool you; Royal Holloway has many up-to-date technical and departmental buildings. We were treated to a tour of the film department, where they have a dozen editing bays as well as an extensive prop and costume library for student films. They also have a film studio where student projects are filmed against a huge projection screen (called The Volume) instead of painted or green screen backdrops. This is a technology that many film companies do not have yet, but it is available to Royal Holloway students. Royal Holloway is also known for its creative writing, communications, performing arts, music, and business programs, among others. Think of it as similar to a medium-sized liberal arts college in the US.

Royal Holloway quad

Royal Holloway has approximately 10,000 undergraduates, of whom 20% are international students. International students are guaranteed housing for their first year and can apply for housing their second year, or live off campus in student housing, which is cheaper. Interestingly, Royal Holloway offers both catered (with a meal plan) and self-catered (no meal plan but shared kitchen) accommodations. We toured one of the residence halls and were blown away by the size of the single bedroom (big enough for a double bed, plus built-in furniture and en suite bathroom) and the kitchen/dining room/lounge shared among six to eight “floormates.” The total cost of attendance including housing is between US$35,000-$40,000 for each of the three years required to earn a degree. You can learn more about fees and entry requirements on their website

On my tour, I learned there are many good reasons for a resilient, resourceful American student to attend a UK university. With many different types of universities inside and outside of London, it can be easy to find a good academic, social, and financial fit for you! Talk to your consultant if you would like to explore the idea of attending universities outside the US.

Exam room at Royal Holloway

Goldsmith’s textile fabrication lab

Goldsmith’s sculpture lab with a clay pot being printed in 3D

Typical street on Goldsmith’s campus

Royal Holloway film studio