Experiential Approaches to the Global City: London as Social Laboratory


  • Anthony Gristwood
  • Michael Woolf




London, Inquiry-based learning, Study abroad, Education abroad, Critical engagment, Diversity


London is a global city which constitutes a major hub of the world economy and is characterised by the socioeconomic contradictions of its success.  It provides significant opportunities for active experiential and inquiry-based learning which transcend the conventional study abroad agenda.  As a centre for exploration and discovery, participation and observation, global London offers a rich field of academic potential precisely because it is (by its nature) multi-dimensional, complex and challenging.  This paper outlines how urban field studies, internships and service-learning may be used to analyse the city’s contested terrain and facilitate critical engagement with the global city in all of its diversity. 


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Author Biographies

Anthony Gristwood

Anthony Gristwood is the Principal Lecturer in Experiential Learning at CAPA International Education, London. His current research and teaching interests include contemporary urban studies, global cities and modern London; politics, identity and culture in modern Europe, particularly Spain; British cultural studies; public geographies and participatory approaches to teaching and learning, including Web 2.0 technologies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) and Book Review Editor of the journal National Identities. 

Michael Woolf

Michael Woolf is Deputy President for Strategic Development at CAPA International Education. A recognized leader in innovative program development and curriculum, he has held leadership roles in many international education organizations, among them FIE, CIEE and Syracuse University. He has written widely on international education and cultural studies. Mike serves on a number of advisory boards and is a member of the Board of Directors of The Forum on Education Abroad. 


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How to Cite

Gristwood , A. ., & Woolf, M. (2011). Experiential Approaches to the Global City: London as Social Laboratory. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 20(1), 17–36. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v20i1.288

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