This four-and-a-half week, six credit program, based in the heart of London, will give you the opportunity to examine the differences in British and American Sign Languages as well as British and American Deaf Culture. Designed for students who have completed at least ASL 0002 (by the start of the program), you'll have the opportunity to practice your ASL skills both in and out of the classroom - the program is "voice off." Deb Hast will teach a course comparing the structures of of ASL and BSL, the literature of both languages, and the cultural similarities and differences within Deaf cultures on both sides of the ocean. The second course, taught by faculty at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre at University College London, will give you the opportunity to learn basic BSL and practice with members of the local Deaf community.
Outside of the classroom, you'll have the opportunity to experience London through a signed lens. Tours of various museums, the Tower of London, and more, will all be conducted or interpreted in both ASL and BSL.
As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity:
- to study differences in deaf culture in the United States and United Kingdom
- to experience London through through sign with common tours and events interpreted in ASL
- to build confidence in your signing abilities
Intercultural Learning Objectives:
- Develop cultural self-awareness and knowledge of cultural worldview frameworks (Knowledge);
- Develop an understanding of cultural differences in verbal and nonverbal communication styles and learn to successfully adapt in various presented cultural contexts (Skills);
- Develop the ability to engage and learn from perspectives and experiences different from one’s own (Skills);
- Learn to exercise curiosity and openness in interactions with other cultures (Attitudes);
- Develop transferrable and personal leadership skills (Skills, Attitudes).
Learning objectives are based on the AAC&U VALUE rubrics for Global Learning and Intercultural Knowledge and Competence
If your first thoughts of London are the Royal Family and Downton Abbey, prepare to be blown away. English history and culture are juxtaposed against streets filled with black cabs and lined with ethnic restaurants from Algerian to Indian to Vietnamese. The birthplace of the English language is now home to speakers of more than 30 other languages – including British Sign Language. Skyscrapers tower over 17th-century buildings while Big Ben overlooks the River Thames.
Study abroad with Comparative Sign Language in London and explore Deaf culture in one of the most diverse cities in the world.
Part of the experience is to live like a Londoner. The overwhelming majority of students choose to live in shared apartments – the English call them flats – spread across the city. While apartments are as varied as the city itself and no two flats are alike, all of them are located in safe neighborhoods and secure buildings. Regardless of where you live, you can expect a 45- to 60-minute commute to DCAL where your classes will take place. We’ve got your commute covered with an unlimited pass for Zones 1 and 2 on the London Underground.
You can expect the following:
- Shared bedrooms (2 or 3 students/bedroom, single bed or bunk bed)
- Bedding, but need to bring your own towels
- Shared bathroom
- Shared kitchen
- Internet access (for general browsing, but not meant for heavy downloading or streaming)
- Coin operated laundry
- It is not typical for UK residences to have air conditioning or dryers
Please note that meals are not included in the program fee.
You will receive your address, roommate information, and neighborhood description about 2 weeks before your departure for London.
We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change. Contact your program manager with any questions.
The courses on this program can be used to fulfill requirements for the American Sign Language certificate at the University of Pittsburgh.
ASL 1700 ASL-BSL Comparative Analysis course also fulfills Geographic Region General Education requirement.
This course examines American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL); and American Deaf culture and British Deaf Culture through first-hand experience. This course will encompass everything learned from ASL courses at University of Pittsburgh and apply it to real world experiences that will be available during the ASL International Field Project. This will be accomplished through signing skill assignments, Deaf interaction/participation, and observation.
You will work with professors from University College London's Deafness Cognition and Langauge Research Centre to learn basic British Sign Language skills!
Privet! I'm Oksana Stalczynski and I'm an Assistant Director of Study Abroad at the Global Experiences Office. I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, was an exchange student and Russian Language Scholar at Reed College in Portland, OR and did a summer language program in Dresden, Germany. Global experiences broaden your horizon, grow your circle of friends and improve your career opportunities. That’s why I think everyone should do one!
Feel free to contact me to find out more about global experiences programs at Pitt, and/or to learn/practice some Russian.
Schedule an appointment
- Click here to schedule an appointment with me through Pathways.
- Log into Pathways with your Pitt username and password.
- Select Find Available Time.
- Select the time that works for you.
- Click the schedule button
- You will see a confirms message on the screen. You will also receive a confirmation in your Pitt email.
Don't see a time that works for you? Just send me an email.
I’m Deb Hast and the coordinator and instructor for the American Sign Language (ASL) program. I have a Master’s in Deaf Education from University of Pittsburgh’s Deaf Education program. Unfortunately, the program closed a few years ago. I have taught at Pitt for close to 17 years and love it! I love when I see students’ light bulbs turned on in class and watching them learn how to tell stories in ASL. What do I do when I am not teaching? I love to walk and walk everywhere. I also like to go to flea markets looking for things to recycle into something useful in the house or make things into jewelry. I can be reached at email@example.com.
Items Billed by Pitt
|Study Abroad Fee||$300||$300|
|Total Billed by Pitt||$8,699||$8,899|
Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs
|Meals and Personal Expenses||~$1,000|
Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad. Visit our Budgeting page for more information.
As a part of your program fee, the following are included:
- Tuition for 6 University of Pittsburgh credits
- Shared accommodations in apartments around London
- International travel health insurance for the duration of the program
- Class related activities such as visits to local museums
- Opportunities to connect with members of the local Deaf community including professors specializing in BSL
- Interpreted theater performance
- Interpreted tours at local museums
- Additional class and cultural activities
- Zone 1-2 tube pass
All students participating on CAPA programs will be required to have been vaccinated for COVID-19.