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Welcome to the London Summer Scholars Program

Immersive learning through travel: A summer program for high school students

London Calling!

Amazing Educators and Innovative Programming


This faculty-led, one-week immersive experience allows high school students to engage their interests and expand their understanding in a fun and creative way.  Enrollment is open to high school students from current freshmen to current seniors.

England - 25 June to 2 July 2019


This is the third annual Summer Scholars Program to London!  Using London as our base and laboratory for learning, we will explore the grandeur, sophistication and complexity of this beautiful world class city.

A Summer Experience in London for High School Students

Open Enrollment

hThe program is open to any student from any school.  To date, students from nine different high schools have participated.  This is a rare opportunity for friends from different schools to experience student travel together.

Dynamic Faculty Leadership

Our faculty team members hail from different schools, have specific expertise in their curricular fields, years of classroom and real world experience, and a true love of learning.

Session Based

Each participant will have the opportunity to select from a variety of sessions each day, making the experience entirely customizable.

Session Information

Drama and Language Arts


From behind the scenes at a West End theatre, to exploring themes and places in literature, the language-based sessions offer students unique opportunities to understand theme and place through our shared written and spoken language.

Fine Art and Humanities


Sessions ranging from art history to art making, including photo/video-themed sessions, provide students with opportunities to explore this rich city.  Sessions include trips to world-class museums, as well as exploration of public art, both mainstream and underground.

History and Social Studies


In these sessions, we will explore themes ranging from the Roman origins of London, Medieval England, the banking system and finance, parliamentary government, the monarchy and Britain during the World Wars.  

Science and Engineering


Science themes include sessions based on both basic sciences (physics, chemistry, biology and earth sciences) and applied sciences and engineering.  Field trips to major London museums and off the beaten path science locales will be explored.

London Cultural Core Sessions


The afternoon field sessions combine all students and faculty in visits to major cultural institutions as well as less traveled London sites which define the character of the city.

London Evening Enrichment


Evening enrichment events each night  include frequent West End theatre excursions, cultural walks, and exploration of diverse cuisine and neighborhoods.

Applications now accepted for Summer 2019. Download the program description and application below!


2019 Faculty Team

Faculty Profiles

Colleen Aufderheide is a studio artist and art educator with over 25 years of teaching experience.  As a working artist, Colleen most enjoys nurturing creative thinking and a love of the artistic process with students through art making and art history. Currently, she is the Interim Visual Arts Chair at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois where she has taught introductory through advanced classes including Advanced Placement Studio Art and Advanced Placement Art History. This year she is leading and instructing a new service learning art course in which students examine and respond to social justice issues through contemporary art and art making. Colleen earned a BFA from Miami University, Ohio and a MA in Education from North Park University in Chicago. Colleen exhibits her own artwork in the Chicago area and volunteers with the Illinois High School Art Exhibition (IHSAE) to provide exhibition opportunities for the state’s youth.  Ms. Aufderheide  is a veteran of the 2018 Scholars UK program.

Mary Kettering teaches Humanities at the Chicago Academy for the Arts.  She attended the University of Montana, in Missoula majoring in political science and history, while earning her secondary teaching certificate. Ms. Kettering ran track for the Grizzlies. In 2011, she had her first teaching experience abroad, teaching for the summer, through Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree she moved to teach in Tbilisi, the capitol city of the Republic of Georgia. Ms. Kettering then moved to England to teach Humanities, so she is very excited for the London experience! While in England she took students on several trips to the continent to study the battlefields of The Great War and World War II. After completing her time in England she moved home to Chicago teaching at Taft High School. In 2016,  she moved to Dublin to attend Trinity College, where she earned her masters in women and gender studies. While in Dublin she lived and worked at Rathdown Junior School for Girls, a private boarding school, taking the girls on various trips throughout Ireland. In addition to teaching Ms. Kettering is the adviser for the Youth and Government program at the Chicago Academy for the Arts, and has coached six season of track. She accompanied Mr. Pipal to the Czech Republic and Germany in the summer of 2018 with Saint Ignatius College Prep High School.  

Lori Rogalski is an award winning educator with more than 20 years of teaching experience.  In addition to her passion for English Literature, Mrs. Rogalski is the English Department Chair at Benet Academy and a recipient of the “Outstanding Educator Award” from the University of Chicago. Prior to Benet, Mrs. Rogalski taught at Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, Ohio, where she was selected as the “Outstanding Female Teacher” two consecutive years. In 2017, Mrs. Rogalski attended the AP Oxford Academy in England, after being selected as the recipient of Benet’s Career Teacher Grant. At Benet, Mrs. Rogalski teaches Advanced Placement English, College Preparatory Literature, junior English (“Brit Lit”), and Advanced Composition. Moderating Benet’s literary/creative writing club and producing the school’s literary magazine, “The Muse,” is also Mrs. Rogalski’s specialty. An enthusiastic teacher and scholar, Lori is eager to share her passion and knowledge of the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare, the memorable Canterbury pilgrims of Geoffrey Chaucer, the powerful reflections of John Milton, the stories of James Joyce, the contemporary poetry of Seamus Heaney, and the beautiful works of the British Romantics Byron, Shelley, Keats and Wordsworth. Making connections between the modern lives of teens and the timeless, universal themes of classic works of literature is her goal. Mrs. Rogalski holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Indiana University and an M.A.T. from Kent State University.  Ms. Rogalski is a veteran of the 2017 Scholars UK program.

Matt Wash is a physics teacher at Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois.  A Benet graduate, he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in Engineering Physics along with a minor in German language. As a part of his minor, he spent five weeks in the summer of 2009 in a study-abroad program in Darmstadt, Germany. He graduated from Illinois in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and received his educator's credentials concurrently with a Masters degree in Secondary Science Education in 2012. After teaching for one year at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago, he made the move to his alma mater, where he coaches the school's Science Olympiad team, and has chaperoned multiple student service trips to southwestern Virginia. He is fascinated by the role science has played throughout history, which he finds extremely important to incorporate into his teaching of science. His favorite scientists are Sir Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla, and Albert Einstein. In his free time, he enjoys (very) amateur astronomy, recreational math (yes, that's a real thing!), playing guitar, watching the White Sox, doing crossword puzzles, and is an avid reader of both fiction and nonfiction. He is well-versed in both the metric and Imperial systems of measure. Mr. Wash is a veteran of the 2018 Scholars UK program.

Charles Pipal is a practicing architect, architectural historian and award winning professor in the Historic Preservation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he has taught drawing since 1999. He holds a Bachelors degree in Landscape Architecture and a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a concentration in historic preservation. He is a past board member of Landmarks Illinois, the state’s premier preservation advocacy group, and currently serves as the Chair of the Riverside Preservation Commission. Prof. Pipal’s particular professional and academic focus has been on the documentation and rehabilitation of historic buildings and the interpretation of historic sites. In additional to his teaching and architectural practice, he is also co-owner of Blueprint Tours, a destination management company specifically focused on academic and curricular-based learning through travel.   Mr. Pipal serves as Program Director of the Summer Scholars UK program and has participated since its inception.


Have a look at this great video project done by Mason, a 2018 participant!


Application Deadline


The application deadline is

February 1, 2019.  Act now to reserve a space, as places are filled in order of date of receipt. 

England Session 2019


The program dates are 

June 25 - July 2, 2019.



1.  Who is eligible to participate?

  • Any high school student, from current freshman to graduated senior, is eligible. The program fee is calculated from Chicago, but other places of departure are possible and have been accommodated in the past.

2.  Why is the program so unique?

  • Unlike other travel programs, students have the ability to select from a wide variety of sessions, making the experience entirely customizable.  Students can essentially design their own week based on their interests. 

3.  What if I am the only person from my high school?

  • No problem!  Frequently, we have had students who knew no one before  the trip and made life long friends.

4.  I've participated before.  Can I go again?

  • Yes!  Students have participated  more than once!  Since the week is entirely custom to your selections, you have the ability to make a unique experience each time you participate.  The faculty team also go to great lengths to include new  sessions each year.

5.  Is there homework, testing or assignments?

  •  No, the program is immersive in nature and students learn by experiencing and participating.

6.  What is the cost of the program and what is included?

  •  The cost for the one week program is $3199.  This includes round trip air transportation from Chicago to London, all taxes, all gratuities, four star hotel accommodations based on twin occupancy, all ground transportation, all breakfasts, tickets to three theater performances, all program fees  and admissions, and farewell group dinner.  Students who wish to participate from a departure city other than Chicago are most welcome. A custom price will be calculated from your departure city. Students who wish to utilize air miles for the flight portion are also welcome.  The "land-only" price for the weeklong program is $2319.

7. What if my family would like to come over and meet me at the end of the session.  Is this possible?

  • Yes, this is common.  There are several options available to discuss if you want to extend your stay.  Please contact us for further information.

Program Description and Application

Applications are now due!  Kindly email an image of the completed application by US mail or by email to

London Application 2019 (pdf)


London Program 2019 (pdf)


Contact Us

For more information, please fill out this contact form:

Blueprint Tours, Inc.

39 East Quincy St., Unit 2A, Riverside, Illinois 60546

(708) 442-9914


Monday - Friday: 9am - 4 pm

Saturday and Sunday: Closed