Thanks to the Oxford University's Department for Continuing Education, you don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to make your away across the Atlantic and wander the hallowed halls of the oldest university in the English-speaking world.
The Oxford Experience, a residential summer program, is designed for non-academics who want to spend a week learning about say the Bronte sisters or the Royal tombs of Egypt while hanging out in the city Oscar Wilde, one of the university's many famous students called, "the most beautiful thing in England."
Only an hour from London's Paddington Station, Oxford and its legendary skyline is a medieval dreamland, a time warp of sorts where everything from its winding cobblestone lanes to its impeccably manicured gardens is ancient and historical.
Most of the dozens of week-long classes offered during the Oxford Experience are staged at Christ Church, perhaps the most well-known of Oxford's 39 colleges. You'll get an insider's view of life inside Christopher Wren's Tom Tower, the cathedral with its famous choir, the Christ Church meadow and other famous locales.
For five weeks each summer, starting Sunday lunch through the following Saturday, Oxford offers morning classes with afternoons free to explore this magical, misty city. You'll study under Oxford academics, live around a quad, wander through the college's amazing gardens and take afternoon field trips with your fellow students.
In your free time, you can visit Blackwell's Bookshop, a world famous book store that made the Guinness Book of Record for having the most books in one room, the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology or take a punting excursion on the Cherwell or the River Thames, although in Oxford, they call the Thames the Isis.
Oxford also offers dozens of literary tours from Alice and Wonderland locales (Lewis Carroll, a shy mathematics don whose real name was Charles Dodgson came up with his stories for the daughter of the dean, Alice Lidell and her sisters while rowing them down the River Thames) to the haunts of C.S. Lewis and J.RR. Tolkien. Or if you prefer, you can tour scenes from the Harry Potter movies, most of which were shot here.
Oxford's Department for Continuing Education also offers day-long and weekend classes. The day-long classes, again open to anyone, cover everything from archaeology to Bach cantatas.
By studying at Oxford, even if only for a week, you'll join an elite delegation. Oxford has educated 12 kings, 47 Nobel-prize winners, 25 British prime minister, 28 foreign presidents, seven saints, 86 archbishops and at least one pope. You'll join the ranks of Sir Walter Raleigh, John Wesley, Margaret Thatcher, Lewis Carroll, Aldous Huxley, T.E. Lawrence, Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Percy Shelley, W.H. Auden, Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Hugh Grant and, yes, Dudley Moore.
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