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: $5,450 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Welcome reception at Merton College. Credit: Wade Jennings  Merton College, Oxford University  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  The quadrangle at Merton College. Credit: Wade Jennings  Interior of the Merton College chapel. Credit: Wade Jennings  The chapel 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  The beautiful Oxford skyline  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 $5,450

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 enthusiastic interest in our Smithsonian at Oxford program, Smithsonian Journeys travelers can look forward to a sojourn in Oxford in 2021. Once again we 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 Oxford tutors after choosing a course from five fascinating themes.

Highlights Include

  • Courses of Study: Stimulate your mind in pursuit of knowledge as you spend your mornings learning from an Oxford tutor. 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. Full course descriptions on the Tour Details tab.*
  • Excursions:  Explore highlights of Oxford, including an exploration of the British educational system and the connection between James Smithson (founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution) and the university, which he attended as a student. Plus, take an excursion tailored to your specific course. For example, The Age of Winston Churchill course includes a visit to Chartwell, Churchill’s beloved home and gardens in Kent. Return travelers can select among a variety of alternative activities to enhance their visit.
  • Optional Activities: For returning students (and firsttimers as well), tour staff will be happy to help arrange alternative afternoon outings (at an additional fee), including punting, a guided tour of the Ashmolean Art Museum, and a walking tour based on the popular British drama, Inspector Morse.
  • 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 High Table, 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.

*Each course averages 12-14 participants. Book early to ensure your preferred choice. Total program is limited to 55 Smithsonian Journeys guests. 

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.

2021 Itinerary – July

Our July 2021 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 indicate your top three choices of course subject at the time of booking, with final assignments to be determined based on traveler interest. 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 an exploration of the British educational system and the connection between James Smithson (the founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution) and the university, which he attended as a student. Alternative afternoon excursions are available for return travelers.

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)