Stimulate your mind in pursuit of knowledge as you immerse yourself in the lifestyle of Oxford University for a week. Choose a fascinating course of study, live at historic Merton College, sample life as a student again, and explore the charming town of Oxford.

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

Stimulate your mind in pursuit of knowledge as you immerse yourself in the lifestyle of Oxford University for a week. Choose a fascinating course of study, live at historic Merton College, sample life as a student again, and explore the charming town of Oxford.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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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

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Overview

Given the popularity of our Smithsonian at Oxford program and enthusiastic requests for new courses, we once again return to Merton College – a prestigious academic institution that has produced multiple Nobel laureates and cultural giants such as J.R.R. Tolkien and T.S. Eliot. Explore the libraries and grounds, dine in the college hall, and sample life as an Oxford student. You'll study with renowned Oxford tutors after choosing a course from five fascinating themes for the summer program or two themes for the autumn program. 

Highlights Include

  • Courses of Study: Stimulate your mind in pursuit of knowledge as you spend your morning learning from an Oxford tutor. Course selections in September 2020 are Vikings and The Fight for Liberty–Georgian England and The American Revolution. Course selections in July 2020 include The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, Myths and Legends of the British Isles, The Age of Winston Churchill, The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England, and The English Garden in History.
  • Excursions:  Excursions: Explore highlights of Oxford, including the connection between James Smithson (founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution) and the university, which he attended as a student. You will also have an opportunity to participate in a number of group outings, including visits to the Bodleian and Merton libraries and Blenheim Palace. Plus, each course features a specific excursion that provides enrolled students further insight into the course material. For example, The Age of Winston Churchill includes a visit to Chartwell, Churchill’s beloved home and gardens in Kent. Find more detailed information on excursions in the Itinerary section.
  • Lifestyle: Stay at historic Merton College, featuring the university's oldest quadrangle, and sample life as an Oxford student. Live in a dormitory room (with en-suite bathroom), dine in the college hall (including the High Table at opening or closing dinner, a privileged tradition), and use Merton's common rooms and gardens. Explore the charming town of Oxford, take tea at local eateries, and enjoy Evensong at Christ Church College.
  • Optional Activities in Oxford: For returning students (and for first-timers as well), tour staff will be happy to help arrange alternative afternoon outings (at an additional fee), including punting, a guided tour to the Ashmolean Art Museum, and a walking tour based on the popular British drama, Inspector Morse.
  • Optional London Extension: Add a four-day extension that includes guided excursions related to the Oxford courses, plus accommodations, meals, and transfers.

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)