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  • Locations: Edinburgh, United Kingdom; London, United Kingdom
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Click for Tuition + Program Fee: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Short-term Academic Level: Graduate, Undergraduate
Recommended GPA: 2.5 Living Arrangements: Dormitories, Hotel
Language of Instruction: English Liberal Studies Domain: A+L, EL
Study Abroad Contact: Elizabeth Hall How COVID-19 could impact this program or your study abroad plans: Please see the Study Abroad COVID-19 page for more information.
Program Description:

In the press: Rebecca Johns-Trissler and Paul Booth interviewed on WBEZ's "Morning Shift," and Rebecca Johns-Trissler interviewed in the Chicago Review of Books!

The Harry Potter story is more than just a wildly popular children’s book series, it is an international phenomenon encompassing literature, film, drama, multimedia experiences, and fan culture. Taking unique advantage of two 4-credit DePaul courses—ENG 286 (Topics in Popular Literature) and MCS 363 (Topics in Fan Studies)—students in this short-term study abroad program will have the opportunity to delve deeply into the Harry Potter experience through readings, screenings, discussions, and in-person visits to sites of literary and cultural significance related to the Harry Potter series, and to review the impact the Harry Potter series has had on audiences, fans, and popular culture over the past twenty years.

The purpose of this program is to enhance students’ understanding of the ways in which the unique cultural and literary history of the United Kingdom has impacted the Harry Potter series, beginning with the writing of the novels, and to apply that understanding to contemporary audiences. Heavily influenced by the Arthurian legends and British school novels such as Tom Brown’s Schooldays, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels reinvented the genre for a late-20th Century audience with a fabulist twist. Written when Rowling was herself experiencing divorce, single motherhood, and profound poverty, the books also explore what it means to be an outsider in contemporary 1990s Britain, a theme we intend to tackle in discussions, recorded interviews with the author, and contemporary scholarship. The films take the story to an even wider audience, creating a worldwide fan experience that encompasses the books and films as well as the multimedia Pottermore web site, the Harry Potter Experience at Universal Studios, worldwide Quidditch tournaments, role-playing games, fan fiction and fan art, among others.

This short-term study abroad program will focus on sites that influenced the writing of the Harry Potter novels and the filming of the series—including visits to sites in London and Edinburgh—to enhance students’ understanding of the themes and issues of the story as well as the experience of Harry Potter fandom in general.


Rebecca Johns Trissler is the author of two novels. Her first, Icebergs, was a finalist for the 2007 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for first fiction and a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Award. Her second, The Countess—a fictionalization of the life of Elizabeth Bathory, the "Blood Countess”—was published in October 2010 from Crown Books. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, StoryQuarterly, the Mississippi Review, Printer's Row Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Ladies' Home Journal, Self, and Seventeen, among others. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Missouri School of Journalism, she is the director of the Master's of Writing and Publishing program at DePaul and a member of the creative writing faculty in the English Department.
Paul Booth received his PhD in Communication and Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is the author of Digital Fandom: New Media Studies, which examines fans of cult television programs, and of Time On TV: Temporal Displacement and Mashup Television, which compares time travel on television with social media. He is the editor of Fan Phenomena: Dr. Who, a study of fans of the popular British television show, and has also published over 20 articles in journals such as Communication Studies, Transformative Works and Culture, Television and New Media, Critical Studies in Media Communication, New Media and Culture, Science Fiction Film and Television, and Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. His latest book, Crossing Fandoms: Superwholock And The Contemporary Fan Audience, was published earlier this year by Palgrave.

All students will be enrolled in the following 2 courses:
Course ENG 286/475: Topics in Popular Literature
Credits 4 credit hours
Term registered Spring 2021
Liberal Studies domain Arts & Literature (A&L)
Taught by Rebecca Johns Trissler
Course description This course will consider Harry’s literary precursors, including the Arthurian legends and the British school story, in addition to discussing the historical context of Great Britain in the late 20th Century. In addition, we will consider how J.K. Rowling’s continuing social activism influences our understanding of the wizarding world.
Course MCS 363/520: Topics in Fan Studies
Credits 4 credit hours
Term registered Spring 2021
Liberal Studies domain Experiential Learning (EL)
Taught by Paul Booth
Course description This course explores different facets of the fan experience in detail. Studies of selected topics include specific media fandoms (Trekkers, Potterheads, Gleeks, etc.), sports fandom, celebrity culture, fans in social media, specific fan practices (social activism, material work, fan vidding), or the influence of fandom in the contemporary media environment.
  ***Graduate students must take one of the two 4-credit courses, but may elect to take both, resulting in 8 credits. Students must attend all class meetings.*** Please note that although some courses are registered in a particular term, some coursework or final assignments may be due in a different term. E.g. Course registered in winter quarter, but coursework is due in spring quarter once the travel component of the program is complete.

Single ensuite rooms in Edinburgh, twin or triple dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms in London.

Site visits will include a Muggle walking tour of London, the British Museum, Parliament, the Harry Potter Experience at Warner Bros. Studio in Leavesden, a day trip to film sites in Oxford and Lacock Abbey; Platform 9 3/4 in King's Cross Station, a Harry Potter walking tour of Edinburgh, Greyfriar's Cemetery, Edinburgh Castle, and The Elephant Cafe.


All students participating in study abroad will be charged both tuition (billed at the regular DePaul tuition rate, based on the number of credits enrolled) and a program fee. Please read the program fee details carefully to understand exactly what is included, as this can vary from program to program. If the program fee is posted, be sure to note whether the fee is current or from a previous year (past program fees may serve as a guide until the current program fee is available). If the current program fee has not yet been posted, please check back closer to the application deadline. Please also note the withdrawal policy.

DePaul offers several types of scholarships for students studying abroad, and students should visit the scholarship page early in the application process for information on eligibility and deadlines.


DePaul Study Abroad is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and this program is currently moving forward in the Summer 2021 term. If the program is canceled prior to departure, students will be refunded 100% of the program fee and withdrawn from any associated classes with no penalty or tuition charges. Study Abroad has also modified the standard Withdrawal Policy, and any students who commit to this program and decide to withdraw 90+ days prior to the program start date will not be charged any withdrawal fees. For more information, go to the DePaul Study Abroad COVID-19 Updates page.

If you are planning to study abroad and do not have a passport, apply for one immediately. Some programs require students to obtain student visas. In that case, contact the country's local consulate or embassy for up-to-date instructions. As of this publication, students traveling with US passports on the United Kingdom: Harry Potter & the Fan Experience program DO NOT need a visa. Please note that visa requirements can change quickly. Study Abroad will update this website to reflect changes as they become available.

Here are some helpful tips from former students who have participated in this program:
  • Always stick with someone while abroad, its very easy to get lost in a large city that you've never been to.
  • Be prepared to spend money. It's possible to get by without spending much, however it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Be smart about drinking water and staying hydrated- not all indoor places have air conditioning and it can get very hot.
  • Just go with the flow. Stuff is going to go wrong almost always. You're there to experience the rich culture you're staying in. It's possibly a once in a lifetime experience-enjoy it!
  • Bring a camera, it will ease the stress about relying on your cell phone while abroad.
  • Make sure to bring a credit card that does not have conversion fees, as they can add up really quickly.
  • Utilize the public transportation system, it is very user-friendly.
  • To make sure you are getting the most out of your free days, plan what you want to do ahead of time.

DePaul University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or handicap in admissions, employment, or the provision of services. Inquiries regarding this policy should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources, 1 East Jackson Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

Circumstances, such as an unexpected event abroad or a curriculum change, may require DePaul University to make changes to the program. DePaul University reserves the right to cancel or alter programs and courses without notice.

Dates / Deadlines:

Thank you for your interest in this program! We are not currently accepting applications. In general, applications open about 6 months before program application deadlines.

This program is currently not accepting applications.