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Fordham GSS in London: A Day in the Life with Mel Hills, GSS ‘24


The Fordham GSS London Summer Program is an opportunity for MSW students to gain international experience and perspectives to inform their education and future work while having some fun along the way. And while most days are spent in the classroom at Fordham’s London Centre, there is plenty of time once the final bell rings to explore this historic city. 

image of big ben with "day in the life in the London Summer Program" written over it

Superstar student Mel Hills, GSS ‘24, gave us some great insight into what a typical day looks like for a London summer student during the week. You can check out the #dayinthelife video she made on our Instagram account here. But we’ll give a quick rundown. 

Class at the London Centre

It can’t all be fun and games! After some breakfast, Mel’s day begins with a short walk from her dorm room to the Fordham London Centre, accompanied by classmate Sam Basilone. 

sign at the fordham london centre that says fordham university. there is text under that says "fordham london centre" with an image of england's flag

Courses offered this summer include:

  • SWGS 6702: Comparative Social Welfare Policy and Advocacy
  • SWGS 6429: Methods of Group Intervention

That’s six credits you can earn in just three weeks over the summer! Learn more about the courses themselves here.

Coin Street Community Builders

At Fordham GSS, we believe that hands-on experience is the perfect complement to in-class learning. That’s why field education is the signature pedagogy of the social work profession; you learn just as much out of the classroom and in the field as you do in the textbook. 

Therefore, we’ve designed the Summer London Program so that our students can discuss what they’re absorbing in the classroom with people who have been executing the mission for years. We follow Mel and her classmates to Coin Street Community Builders, a London-based organization that has offered services to London’s South Bank community since the mid-1980s. Natalie Bell, Coin Street’s Head of Youth and Community Programmes, gave students a tour of Coin Street’s grounds, including Gabriel’s Wharf and the OXO building, which it helps operate. 

Learn more about Coin Street and its work here.

Dinner and Drinks!

With a long day behind them, Mel and her classmates had the rest of the night to themselves. They treated themselves to some dinner and drinks to cap off the night. 

While what happens in the classroom is no doubt important, it’s these kinds of connections and friendships that will stay with Mel and her classmates forever. The opportunity to bond with fellow students in one of the greatest cities in the world, learn about a new culture and each other, and gain international experience to add to their resumes is something that is irreplaceable in a professional career. 

Thanks for showing us around, Mel!


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