Spend a week living at the historic Oxford University and sample life as a student at Merton College. During your time at the University, delve into one of the following fascinating courses with an Oxford tutor.

Starting at: $5,250 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The beautiful Oxford skyline  Merton College, Oxford University  Welcome reception at Merton College. Credit: Wade Jennings  Oxford tutors (July 2018). Credit: Wade Jennings  Smithsonian Journeys travelers during lecture break. Credit: Wade Jennings  The dining experience at Merton College, with High Table. Credit: Wade Jennings  Conversation over dinner. Credit: Wade Jennings  The dining experience at Merton. Credit: Wade Jennings  Introduction to Merton College. Credit: Wade Jennings  Smithsonian Journeys travelers at a lecture. Credit: Wade Jennings  Merton College Library  Interior of the Merton College chapel. Credit: Wade Jennings  The chapel at Merton College. Credit: Wade Jennings  The quadrangle at Merton College. Credit: Wade Jennings  Smithsonian Journeys travelers at Oxford. Credit: Wade Jennings  Smithsonian Journeys travelers during a lecture break. Credit: Wade Jennings  Smithsonian Journeys traveler at Merton. Credit: Wade Jennings  Enjoying a few moments at a local pub. Credit: Wade Jennings  Lecture break at Merton. Credit: Wade Jennings  Housing at Merton College. Credit: Wade Jennings  Garden walkway at Merton College. Credit: Wade Jennings  The gardens at Merton College. Credit: Wade Jennings  An evening walk near Merton. Credit: Wade Jennings  Skyline of the medieval town of Oxford  The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford  Bridge of Sighs landmark, Oxford University  View near Oxford's Main Street  Loch along the Thames River, Oxford  Sculptural detail found in Oxford

Smithsonian at Oxford

8 days from $5,250

Spend a week living at the historic Oxford University and sample life as a student at Merton College. During your time at the University, delve into one of the following fascinating courses with an Oxford tutor.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure iconbrochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The Smithsonian at Oxford provides an accessible educational experience, nicely balanced with opportunities to visit nearby sites of interest. The Smithsonian at Oxford also provides an opportunity to experience true student life again.

- Christopher B.

Living and studying in a centuries old setting that famous people have lived is just...awesome!!

- Philip P.

The warm reception we received at Merton College made us feel that we really were Oxford students -- a very special sense of belonging.

- Lyn G.

I love Shakespeare; I love to study and to study Shakespeare at Oxford and to see the Royal Shakespeare Company perform is a dream come true!

- Blanche M.

The Oxford University tour was an extraordinary chance to delve into the history, architecture, and erudition of Oxford. The Merton College tutor was prepared and dedicated. Fellow travelers provided the extra inspirational touch! Amazing....

- Katherine M.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Overview

Spend your mornings learning from an expert from Oxford's Merton College. For September 2020, choose from two featured course subjects: The Vikings and The Fight for Liberty? Georgian England and the American Revolution. Please select your course at the time of booking to ensure your choice! Space is limited for each course. (Information on experts can be found on the Enrichment tab.)

Classes will be interspersed with excursions, including a visit to Pembroke College, which was attended by James Smithson—the founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution. Each course will also feature an additional special excursion tailored to its theme.

The Vikings

Ravagers, despoilers, pagans, heathens—the Vikings are usually regarded as bloodthirsty pirates, whose impact on Europe was one of fear and terror. As they plundered the British Isles and the North Atlantic, these pagan invaders were seen by their Christian victims as a visitation from God. Yet the Vikings were also traders, settlers, and farmers with a highly developed artistic culture and legal system. Their network of trade routes stretching from Greenland to Byzantium and their settlements resulted in the creation of the Duchy of Normandy in France, and the foundation of the new Kingdom of Russia in Kiev and Novgorod as well as the development of Irish towns including Cork, Dublin, and Limerick. This course will use recent findings from archaeology together with documentary records to examine the Viking world and to give a balanced view of this fascinating period.

Field Trip: Visit the earthwork defenses and street layout of an Anglo-Saxon town created as part of King Alfred’s defenses against the Vikings.

The Fight for Liberty? Georgian England and the American Revolution

The American Revolution, undoubtedly one of the most significant events in modern history, is laden with epic symbolism, from the heroic efforts of the Founding Fathers to the repressive actions of a ‘mad’ King George III. At the heart of this narrative is the idea that this revolution was in essence a national fight for freedom, liberty-seeking Americans emerging triumphant against the forces of British tyranny. Yet for all the power of this image, the reality was more complex, and the divide less clear, as we shall discover in examining the revolt through the eyes of Georgian England.  The course will begin by setting the scene, with an exploration of the nature of society in the Hanoverian era, and how it had evolved, looking at what this meant for the political culture in both England and America. We will then proceed to examine a range of key defining themes, from the domestic particularities and peculiarities of the accession of George III to the colonial policies of his chief ministers, asking what they hoped to achieve, and why they persisted in their efforts, in the face of increasing American rebellion. In the process, the wider nature of popular protest will be explored, on both sides of the Atlantic divide, as we look at the influence key popular writers and reformers had on events from John Wilkes to Thomas Paine. Finally, the course will conclude with a discussion of just how ‘inevitable’ the American Revolution actually was - and what this might tell us about the very nature of American and British identity, both in the short and long term.

Field Trip: Visit Sulgrave Manor, a Tudor manor house, richly steeped in Anglo-American history.

The Smithsonian at Oxford provides an accessible educational experience, nicely balanced with opportunities to visit nearby sites of interest. The Smithsonian at Oxford also provides an opportunity to experience true student life again.

- Christopher B.

Living and studying in a centuries old setting that famous people have lived is just...awesome!!

- Philip P.

The warm reception we received at Merton College made us feel that we really were Oxford students -- a very special sense of belonging.

- Lyn G.

I love Shakespeare; I love to study and to study Shakespeare at Oxford and to see the Royal Shakespeare Company perform is a dream come true!

- Blanche M.

The Oxford University tour was an extraordinary chance to delve into the history, architecture, and erudition of Oxford. The Merton College tutor was prepared and dedicated. Fellow travelers provided the extra inspirational touch! Amazing....

- Katherine M.

2020 Itinerary – July

Our July 2020 course selections include The English Garden in History, The Age of Winston Churchill, The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England, The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, and Myths and Legends of the British Isles. Please enroll in your choice of course subject at the time of booking. Enrollment is limited. 

Day 1 — Depart the U.S for London

Depart the U.S. for London on individual flights.

Day 2 — London, Oxford

Arrive in London this morning and transfer to Oxford. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner and plenary talk. (D)

Days 3–7 — Oxford

Lectures take place at Merton College, Oxford University.

Course Subjects: The English Garden in History, The Age of Winston Churchill, The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England, The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, and Myths and Legends of the British Isles.

Excursions: Explore highlights of Oxford, including the connection between James Smithson (the founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution) and the university, which he attended as a student. 

Plus, take an additional special excursion tailored to your specific course. Those enrolled in The English Garden in History will visit Rousham Gardens, a country house with a walled garden and herbaceous borders first built in 1635 and remodeled in the 18th century in Oxfordshire, England. The Age of Winston Churchill features a field trip to Chartwell, Churchill’s country house and home for over four decades. Those in the Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England will travel to the reconstructed Anglo-Saxon Hall at Long Wittenham, South Oxfordshire, which was recently reconstructed using traditional materials, tools, and techniques. The excursion for The Rise and Fall of the British Empire will be a trip to Dashwood House in West Wycombe. Travelers in Myths and Legends of the British Isles will visit Binsey Church and the ruins of Godstow Abbey, where Rosamund Clifford—known in legend as the Fair Rosamund—was buried. (B,L,D) ​

Day 8 — Oxford

After breakfast transfer to Heathrow Airport for individual flights back to the U.S. or travel to London for the optional extension. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2020 Itinerary – September

The Vikings and The Fight for Liberty? Georgian England and the American Revolution.Please enroll in your choice of course subject at the time of booking. Enrollment is limited. 

Day 1 — Depart the U.S for London

Depart the U.S. for London on individual flights.

Day 2 — London, Oxford

Arrive in London this morning and transfer to Oxford. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner and plenary talk. (D)

Days 3–7 — Oxford

Lectures take place in Oxford.

Course Subjects: The Vikings or The Fight for Liberty? Georgian England and the American Revolution.

Excursions: Explore highlights of Oxford, including the connection between James Smithson (the founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution) and the university, which he attended as a student. 

Plus, take an additional special excursion tailored to your specific course. Those enrolled in The Vikings will visit the Burghal defenses at Wallingford—the earthwork defenses and street layout of an Anglo-Saxon town created as part of King Alfred’s defenses against the Vikings. Travelers in The Fight for Liberty? will visit Sulgrave Manor, a Tudor manor house, richly steeped in Anglo-American history. (B,L,D)​ 

Day 8 — Oxford

After breakfast transfer to Heathrow Airport for individual flights back to the U.S. or travel to London for the optional extension. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)