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When the Four Mamas founded API together more than 20 years ago, they dreamed of creating high-quality, safe, life-changing study abroad programs they would feel good sending their own kids on. With dedication, hard work, and a lot of love, their dream became reality. Thousands and thousands of students have chosen API to support them on their own life-changing study abroad experiences, with the Four Mamas cheering them on every step of the way. No matter who you are or where you come from, API will support you on your journey.
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Study Abroad + Options
London College of Fashion has an international reputation as one of the most creative and forward-thinking educational establishments in the world, as a result of their unique relationship with the fashion, lifestyle and beauty industries. They offer the chance to study a range of specifically tailored, professional, career-oriented courses in fashion and footwear design. The programs are carefully designed to ensure a balance of theory and skills-based learning, underpinned by valuable historical and cultural study. Students also benefit from experiencing the stimulating cultural resources of London and its fashion industry.
API students participate in several excursions per session designed to help familiarize them with areas of their host city, country, and surrounding region.
This API program includes an international excursion to Paris included within the program fee! In addition, students will participate in two of the three listed API London excursions. All excursions are subject to change.
Brighton is England’s most popular coastal resort on the English Channel. In the early 19th century, George IV made Brighton his personal “playground” when he built his summer home, the Royal Pavilion, with each room lavishly and sometimes outrageously decorated in the Oriental Style. Brighton’s most well-known attraction is Palace Pier, a collection of rides, arcade games, and other amusements. Known as a place where almost anything goes, Brighton attracts artists, musicians, jet-setters, organic farmers, hipsters, and hippies side by side.
Windsor Castle is a royal residence at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. The castle is notable for its long association with the British royal family and for its architecture. The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by succeeding monarchs and it is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. Currently, more than five hundred people live and work in Windsor Castle. The Queen has increasingly used the castle as a royal palace as well as her weekend home. It is now often used for state banquets and to entertain guests on official visits.
Escape the heat of London and join us for a day at the British Seaside! Depending on the weather, activities could include water sports like surfing or kayaking or a traditional lunch of fish and chips. Students will also have some free time to explore the coastline, sun themselves on the beach, play games on the pier, or go shopping in town.
TOTAL CREDITS - 12 credits per semester
PARIS FASHION & CULTURE TRIP
All summer programs at LCF include a trip to Paris! After starting with a boat trip, students explore this capital of culture, art, style, and inspiration through participation in a variety of carefully planned activities, walks, and visits. Students visit a selection of museums, galleries, food markets, flea markets, designer boutiques, department stores, typical shopping districts as well as major sights, including: le Tour Eiffel, L’Arc de Triomphe, Sainte Chapelle, Louvre, Montmartre, Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay, Le Marais, Champs Elysees and any major fashion/textiles exhibitions.TRANSCRIPTSStudents receive an official transcript from the University of the Arts London (in conjunction with the London College of Fashion) upon completion of the program. Students are assessed on the basis of assignment work.
Heather Lees will be your Resident Director in London and a resource for you on-site.
Anna McCole will be your Student Services Coordinator in England and a resource for you while you are abroad with us!
Carolyn Lutes will be your Program Manager and help prepare you to go abroad!
Email: [email protected]
Students who choose to study abroad in London will select a “course of study” from London College of Fashion, including Introduction to Fashion Business Summer School, Introduction to Fashion Design Summer School, and Footwear Design Summer School. The courses are open to students at all levels of experience and are designed to provide an intense, technical and creative approach to the subject matter and offer a curriculum of practical activity to enhance the learning process.
Each course of study has pre-set courses, listed below. All courses are mandatory within the chosen course of study.
Footwear Design Summer School (course descriptions in section below):
- Footwear Design (6 credits)
- Footwear Making (3 credits)
- Introduction to Rapid Prototyping and RHINO for Footwear (3 credits)
Introduction to Fashion Business Summer School (course descriptions in section below):
- Fashion Business and Product Development (3 credits- Contemporary Culture and Fashion Studies (2 credits)
- Fashion Entrepreneurship and Marketing (3 credits)
- Fashion Media (1 credit)
- Styling (2 credits)
- Visuals for Fashion (1 credit)
Introduction to Fashion Design Summer School (course descriptions in section below):
- Fashion Business and Product Development (2 credits)
- Contemporary Culture and Fashion Studies (2 credits)
- Collection and Portfolio (3 credits)
- 3D Design and Experimentation (2 credits)
Students can expect to earn 12 semester credits through participation in one of the summer schools. The Fashion Business and Fashion Design programs are comprised of 6 units (courses) + the Paris Field Trip; the Footwear Design program is comprised of 3 units + the Paris Field Trip. Each unit (course) is worth two, three or six study abroad credits. A 2 credit unit receives 20 hours of instruction (contact time) within a session, and 10 non-class hours (self-directed study/homework) are expected in addition to this. A six-credit unit will receive 60 hours of instruction (contact time) within a session, and 30 non-class hours (self-directed study/homework) are expected in addition to this.
Teaching is not conducted in a traditional U.S. lecture-based setting; however, students receive guidance from faculty and help in identifying the resources needed to reach course goals. Courses are delivered in a variety of ways including individual and group tutorials, projects, seminars, lectures, and museum, gallery and studio visits. Some courses may require evening and/or Saturday work. This may cause students to miss certain API cultural events/excursions. Contact the API office for further information. All courses are taught in English. Course selection may vary, and no course is guaranteed. Note that there are prerequisites associated with certain courses. Some courses require additional fees for labs, equipment, etc. These fees are not included in the program cost.
Introduction to Fashion Design: 5 pieces of your best work. One of these needs to be a photograph of something you have made, the others needs to be drawings, sketches or illustrations. These images should be a selection of work which represents your skills and ability.
The colleges that make up the University of the Arts, London - or UAL - (including Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion, and Wimbledon College of Arts) has offered recommendations for converting its alpha grades to American grades. Students who have enrolled full-time receive 40 credits at UAL each term. API awards 3 U.S. semester credits for every 10 UAL credit hours (e.g., a course representing 20 UAL credits would be awarded 6 US credits on the API translation.)
If you are planning on entering the highly competitive fashion industry, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the ‘Business of Fashion’. In addition, it is vital to have a clear understanding of ALL the roles within a merchandise team and also, knowledge of the supporting roles within a fashion organization. Understanding all aspects will give you confidence and in turn, make you more attractive to future employers.
Increased business knowledge will result in students being able to explore more avenues within the industry and provide them with the ability to work with colleagues across all disciplines of a complex business.
On this multi-faceted unit, students will gain knowledge of all aspects in a clear, understandable format. It is excellent for students wishing to enter the fashion business as part of a product development team in the capacity of the buyer, merchandiser, garment technologist or designer. It is also ideal for those interested in brand management or retail operations.
Students will be introduced to the major roles and responsibilities within the Product Development Team (PDT) including – The Buyer, Merchandiser, Garment Technologist, and Designer. Students will learn about Merchandise Planning, Retail Strategy, Operational Marketing, Network Science, Costings, and Sourcing. Students will be taught about the different types of buying, the buying cycle and how to work with suppliers and manufacturers. Students will learn how to create a balanced collection using a professional Range plan, taking into consideration both historical evidence and trends. In addition, students will analyze Trend Forecasting and the techniques needed to guarantee successful product development and profitability. Students will be introduced to all the levels of retail: Mass-market, Ready-to-wear, Couture, and Bespoke. Students will also learn about the Luxury market, how avant-garde is relevant to the fashion industry and have an overview of fashion futures and retail innovation.
For the first assignment, students will have the opportunity to create their own trend boards as part of the buying and product development process. For the second assignment, students will plan a balanced product offer using a Range-plan, as if they were working as a professional buyer for a Retailer or Boutique. This will be a mix of visuals and text and include a buying cycle critical path, a timeline for phases, brand definition board, purchase-order, costings and specification sheets.
The 3-credit unit will provide students with knowledge of the business side: including finance, the business environment, business structure, the people in business and business organization. The student’s knowledge of fashion business will be tested in assignment 3, which will be a formal test.
This is a challenging unit, which will provide students with an immense amount of knowledge and will serve as an excellent grounding for a career in fashion. Students will acquire a level of expertise which will enable them to apply for professional roles or internships.
Language of Instruction: English
Recommended US semester credits: 3
This class is delivered out in the field combining tours, informal lectures, group discussions, and self-motivated discovery. Students will participate in a number of museum visits and guided walks through obscure parts of London (some related to fashion, all related to this city).
Students will be encouraged to search for inspiration and gather stimulating information whilst exploring and discovering an ‘alternative’ London. Part of this will be gaining knowledge of the layers of idiosyncratic behavior, cultural attitudes and curious customs that define the real essence of a place.
Students will have the opportunity to examine aspects of what makes ‘Britishness’ and more to the point gain an understanding of ‘Londoness’. Fashion is continually changing and London- with its multi-cultural mix, edgy, vibrant art scene, history, and traditions, is the catalyst that influences these changes. The class will examine the influence of various factors on fashion including social events, popular culture, architecture, the arts, mass media. Also, looking behind the scenes, students will gain an alternative perspective through observing the mechanics of a city steeped in a complex history. Where do people go? What do they say? How do they talk? What do they eat?
The aim is to ‘make a difference’ to the way you find, see, absorb, process, and communicate information – in your own individual and personal way.
Students will keep a journal to help them critically examine, reflect and express your opinions generated by these visits. This combination of sketches, diary, and scrapbook will become a valuable tool to underpin one’s studies.
Recommended US semester credits: 2
What is clothing and why do we wear what we do? Is it a form of protection? A product of our self-expression? Wearable architecture at the scale of the body? A collage of shapes and forms used to enhance our natural anatomy? Why and how we wear clothes says a lot about who we are, what we believe and what we dream.
This unit involves learning and practicing the foundational principles of design and applying these to the creation of an individual, personal and innovative womenswear clothing collection.
Initially, students will be introduced to a Bauhausian approach to design ideas. These will be used to broaden their perception of design whilst highlighting essential universal creative precepts, referencing across the scale from architecture to that of the body. Students will use this as a means to articulate existing points of personal interest whilst accessing new inspiration across creative disciplines and bring these findings back into their own work.
Starting from this in-depth research students will explore design possibilities and present work at all stages of development to their peers throughout the course. Along with this, they will become comfortable with sketching and using their sketchbook as a visual diary to record ideas.
Students will utilize all of their creative potentials to design two haute couture garments. Using these more elaborate examples students will proceed in the generation of a small range of five wearable high-street pieces. Students will use market and consumer research methods to develop their fashion products, translating their garments from runway bespoke to mass market high-street. All work and research will be discussed on a one to one basis throughout the unit. The unit is suitable for beginners.
In this unit students will cover:
In addition to the study of style tribes, trends and current designer collections, students will gain an insight into the many different aspects of today’s stylist and the various opportunities on offer – fashion editorial, show/catwalk, commercial work, music industry, pop promo and celebrity styling.
Students will work towards the creation of a finished image, working in teams on an outdoor street style shoot, in an out of context environment (Southbank/Brixton/Shoreditch) to create your own editorial image.
Students will examine image creation, including physicality, psychology, individuality, taste, and style, therefore gain an understanding of the skills required to become a great stylist.
Have you ever wanted to write about fashion? Would you like to work for a fashion magazine or interview industry professionals? Are you interested in style and culture? Would you like to write about trends?
This unit aims to provide students with the techniques and skills required to operate successfully as a communicator within the exciting and ever-changing world of Fashion Media. Students will be taught how fashion mirrors culture, how to analyze the international catwalks. Students will also dissect the different roles within the fashion media – from journalist to style blogger. The expertise gained through this course will also provide transferable skills for industries that are influenced by current and future style and trend. Students will produce a catwalk report, fashion news story, and interview with an industry professional.
The unit will cover the following:
Recommended US semester credits: 1
This unit will address visual communication and help students to develop critical thinking in relation to fashion images and the importance of visual literacy.
It has been designed to help students to produce aesthetically pleasing work, to support the other units within the program. Mood boards, color boards, and final presentation sheets will benefit from an understanding of basic design elements and principles such as color and composition. Students will acquire building tools which they will be able to apply to successful nonverbal communication.
The unit will expand the student’s ability to create, communicate visually, interpret content and make meaning from information, learning to transform concepts and ideas into different types of imagery, through to final presentation.
Initially, students will be introduced to a Bauhausian approach to design ideas. These will be used to broaden students perceptions of design whilst highlighting essential universal creative precepts, referencing across the scale from architecture to that of the body. Students will use this as a means to articulate existing points of personal interest whilst accessing new inspiration across creative disciplines and bring these findings back into their own work.
Starting from this in-depth research students will explore design possibilities and present work at all stages of development to their peers throughout the course. Along with this students will become comfortable with sketching and using their sketchbook as a visual diary to record ideas.
Students will utilize all of their creative potentials to design two haute couture garments. Using these more elaborate examples they will proceed in the generation of a small range of five wearable high-street pieces. Students will use market and consumer research methods to develop their fashion products, translating their garments from runway bespoke to mass market high-street. All work and research will be discussed on a one to one basis throughout the unit.
This unit will cover:
Hats, headwear, headbands, chokers, bracelets, ruffs, gauntlets, armor – all pieces that mask, adorn, celebrate, enhance and maybe protect the body. Armor, for example, isn’t just an element of war, used as protection – it’s a statement. Clothing and adornment work as an extension of personality.
Objects take on another form – when made in leather, dipped in plaster, carved in wood, molded in plastic or rubber, burnished, cut, embellished, tattooed, punched, or tooled.
How do we create something original and new, when we live in a world where everything already exists?
With experimentation comes innovation. New materials create new opportunities. Fashion has a way of enhancing and embracing the past, to redefine the new. For inspiration, while the class is in Paris, students will follow in the footsteps of Yves St Laurent and examine tribal art at the Quai Branly museum: Masks, carnival costume, body markings, scarification…. rich ideas to inform their work. Think theatre and Venetian masks, the grotesque.
In this unit, students will play and invent extraordinary things. Students will create and construct a 3D form to encase the body, their body if they so wish.
This is a creative program, and students will be encouraged to be as experimental as possible, bearing in mind commercial restraints. The goal is to inspire students to challenge preconceived ideas and opinions – in order to look at alternative interpretations, conclusions, and design solutions.
Topics covered include:
Recommended US semester credits: 6
The shoemaking unit is taught in specialist workshops where students will learn through practical experimentation and the application of technical skills. The workshops are situated in the heart of London’s East End, an area historically rich in local crafts and skills, and still one of the city’s most buzzing creative hotspots.
During this unit students will:
Language of Instruction: English
LCF has more then 10 years’ experience working with three-dimensional body scanners and have conducted benchmark trials of new systems, evaluated measurement extraction software and supported the continuing development of shape analysis. LCF’s INFOOT digital foot scanner uses safe laser technology and moving scan heads to capture 3D data of an individual foot or last. The shape and measurements can then be used in 3D design processes. Rhino is a 3D product design application used in footwear design. 3D scans of a digitized last and sketch drawings are imported into Rhino to assist in the process of producing exact 3D models of shoe components. Following this, heel unit files designed in Rhino 3D are exported to 3D print a prototype model using a Z Corp additive 3D printer.
London is a large city, so all students can expect to use public transportation (i.e. tube or bus) to move around the city on a daily basis, both getting to school and for social/cultural activities. It is a part of life in London. Generally, it will take students 20-45 minutes to get to school from their housing. All housing will be located in Zones 1 and 2 on the tube map.
Students will be housed in privately owned student accommodations, that include quality furnishings and areas for socializing. The kitchens are equipped with ovens, stoves, microwaves, and refrigerators. Wireless Internet is provided in all flats. A weekly cleaning service is provided to the communal kitchen/living areas in all API London accommodations.
We are unable to take housing requests. Students will be placed in one of the following three options based on availability and their API program:
Lady Margaret – Kentish Town
The accommodation building is a 4-story, 8-bedroom period townhouse shared among 16 students in double rooms with two single beds in each room. All bedrooms have private bathrooms. The kitchen is a large, shared space with a seating area and TV. Cooking utensils and crockery are provided. Bed linens are also provided but towels are not. There is a free washer and dryer in the building. Students are responsible for cleaning their own bedrooms and bathrooms.
Lady Margaret is located on a quiet residential street within Kentish Town where there are numerous cafes, shops, restaurants, and pubs. All the benefits of the bustling, vibrant area of Camden Town are a short walk away, as are the delights of the large ancient park of Hampstead Heath. The accommodations are a 5-minute walk from the Kentish Town tube stop, where students are able to take the Northern Line into Central London. The travel time from Lady Margaret to the API office is 20-25 minutes, and the travel time to the Westminster Regent campus, Central Saint Martins, and London College of Fashion is 20-30 minutes. Past students have been pleased with this location, as it offers both a quiet neighborhood and easy access to Central London.
Acorn – Bloomsbury
The accommodation buildings are Georgian 18th-century townhouses and are laid out in flats, with 3-11 students within each flat. Standard rooms will be doubles or triples within a co-ed flat or on a co-ed floor. There are no single rooms available at this housing. Each flat will have a fully equipped kitchen, including crockery and utensils. Bed linens and towels are provided and there are free laundry facilities in all buildings.
These accommodations are situated on the Duke of Bedford’s Estate, between Russell Square and Bloomsbury Square and within walking distance of the many attractions of London’s West End including just a 3-minute walk to the British Museum and the API office. There are numerous shops, restaurants, bars and pubs within close proximity to the flats. The travel time from Acorn Bloomsbury to the API office, as well as FSU, is a 10-minute walk, and the travel time to the Westminster Harrow campus is a 45-50 minute tube ride. The travel time to most UAL campuses is 15-20 minutes.
Acorn - Clerkenwell
Acorn Clerkenwell accommodations are laid out in flats with 6 students per flat. Standard rooms will be doubles within a co-ed flat or on a co-ed floor. There are no single rooms available at this housing. Each flat will have a fully equipped kitchen, including crockery and utensils, and living room. Bed linens and towels are provided and there are free laundry facilities in all buildings.
These accommodations are situated in the arty and popular area of Clerkenwell in Central-East London. The Barbican Centre, Museum of London and Charles Dickens Museum are just some of the attractions naerby and you can see St Paul's Cathedral from your doorstep. There are numerous shops, restaurants, bars and pubs within close proximity to the flats. Farringdon underground station is located 0.3 miles away, which is served by the London underground and national rail services. Central London is only a 20 minute walk away and most Westminster, UCL and UAL campuses are a 30 minute walk or 15 minute tube or bus ride.
Note: Housing between the fall and spring semesters is not included. Meals are not included in these housing options.