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Two full days on the three-week course are spent on excursions to places of historical and architectural interest within easy driving distance of Oxford. London, Stratford, Blenheim Palace, Bath, Wells, Berkeley Castle, Cambridge, Winchester, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Warwick Castle: students choose where they want to go and divide into small groups each accompanied by a teacher.

OxfordOxford itself has excellent examples of every architectural style over the last millennium, and on two afternoons pupils are taken to visit the chapels, quadrangles and gardens of the university colleges. New College, where the Summer School normally takes place, illustrates better than any other Oxford college how architecture has developed since the Middle Ages: the thirteenth-century city wall, still with its battlements, enclosing one of the most attractive college gardens in Oxford; the fourteenth-century quadrangle, cloisters and magnificent chapel; the elegant, well-proportioned seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Garden Quadrangle; the Victorian Holywell Buildings and the modern Sacher Building.

New College was founded in 1379, and Winchester College in 1382, both by Bishop William of Wykeham, to provide educated men to serve Church and State at a time when the Black Death had severely depleted the population. Winchester College, set among streams and rivers, water-meadows, hills and centuries-old trees, is one of the treasures of England.

The medieval inhabitants of Oxford were not happy to have their town overrun by students, with all the privileges they had over the local people. The older colleges were built as strongholds against a hostile population, each with its own brewery, bakery, granary, laundry, slaughterhouse and stables. Students are no longer murdered in the streets but the walls continue to keep Town and Gown apart, and the colleges remain independent and self-sufficient.

Three days are not enough to discover all the riches of a country with several thousand years of history and pre-history but those three days have always made a vivid impression on our pupils and left them wanting to see more.

English and Arts Courses - The European Summer School of Arts and Languages at Oxford:

Oxford and Excursions

London - Houses of ParliamentStudents have spent hours studying the works of the great painters in London's Tate and National Galleries. They have admired the soaring Gothic pillars and fan-vaulting and seen the tombs of England's kings and queens, and of Geoffrey Chaucer, William Blake, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, and the composer Handel, in Westminster Abbey. They have caught the enthusiasm of the thousands of other young promenaders at the Royal Albert Hall. They have sat in the meadows where the painters Constable and Turner sat and painted, and admired the impressive spire of Salisbury Cathedral.

Salisbury CathedralThey have seen the cathedrals at Winchester and Wells, the Roman Baths and elegant eighteenth-century crescents of Bath. They have attended performances of Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth given by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford, where they have also visited Shakespeare's birthplace. They have stood where the Ancient Britons stood more than four thousand years ago and watched the sun set over Stonehenge. Pupils have sat in New College's fourteenth-century chapel and listened to one of England's finest choirs. They have been fascinated by the Ancient Egyptian exhibits at Oxford's Ashmolean Museum. They have taken a punt from Magdalen College and picnicked on the banks of the River Cherwell.

See Accommodation and meals.


English and Arts Courses

The European School of Arts and Languages at Oxford


English language and literature

Arts courses

Oxford and excursions

Accommodation and meals

The Summer School at Charlieu:

The ten-day course



Other activities


Enrolment form

The School on Tour