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Alumni College Abroad

March 18, 2020: Alumni College Abroad Update Regarding COVID-19

On March 17, President Valerie Smith extended the period of modified College operations and remote learning through the end of the spring semester. Additional measures to promote social distancing, including the prohibition of College-sponsored international and domestic travel, have been extended through at least May 31.

Given these developments, the increasing unpredictability of travel bans and other restrictions on public gatherings imposed by governments, and our commitment to helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, the College has formally withdrawn its endorsement of both the Galápagos Islands and Scottish Highlands & Norwegian Fjords trips scheduled for this spring. If you are booked on either of these programs, Engaging Journeys, Inc., the travel company the College contracts with to plan and coordinate the Alumni College Abroad program, will be in touch soon with additional information about your particular trip, including updates regarding refunds and opportunities to reschedule. While it is ultimately your decision whether or not to participate, we encourage you to reschedule to a future date.

Thank you for your patience and understanding at this time. 

Be well,

Lisa Shafer
Senior Director, Alumni & Parent Engagement
Swarthmore College


Galápagos Islands – See note above regarding COVID-19.

May 14 - 20, 2020

The College has formally withdrawn its endorsement of this program. If you are booked on this trip, we encourage you to reschedule to a future date. Contact with questions.


Scottish Highlands & Norwegian Fjords — See note above regarding COVID-19.

The College has formally withdrawn its endorsement of the May 30 - June 7, 2020 program. If you are booked on this trip, we encourage you to reschedule to our future date, June 13-21, 2021, which will be led by Professor Dominic Tierney. Contact with questions.


Trans-Siberian Railway from Mongolia to Moscow

July 12-25, 2020

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Shared departure.

Join fellow Swarthmore alumni, family and friends for an unparalleled journey through history on the Trans-Siberian Railway—a legendary network of rails as you leisurely traverse two continents by private train during this epic adventure—through the Mongolian steppes, along the remote shores of Lake Baikal, and deep into Russia.


Summer Iceland Exploration

August 9-16, 2020

Hosted by Sibelan Forrester, Professor of Russian

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View early reservation form

This captivating geological wonderland called Iceland offers the opportunity to explore dramatic phenomena: colossal glaciers, active volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, glacial rivers, cascading waterfalls, moss-covered lava fields, and glacial lagoons as we enjoy the long evening twilight of the northern summer and visit a wondrous variety of small settlements and towns.


Six-Day Getaway to Budapest

September 19-25, 2020

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Straddling the Danube River, with the iconic Chain Bridge linking Buda on the west bank with Pest on the east, Budapest is one of Europe's most attractive cities. With round-trip international airfare included, a welcome reception and dinner, full breakfasts daily, two lunches, and a farewell dinner, this six-day getaway is an excellent travel bargain.


Southwest National Parks

September 23 - October 1, 2020

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Shared departure. Co-sponsored with Case Western University.

Immerse yourself in the majestic beauty of the American Southwest, discovering the geological wonders of our national parks including visits to Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon. Millions of years of uplift and erosion have left a spectacular, monumental imprint across America’s Southwest plateau.


Trade Routes of Coastal Iberia

October 3-11, 2020

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Hosted by Mark Wallace, Professor of Religion

Shared departure.

Cruise the ancient trade routes of Phoenician, Roman and Moorish mariners on this comprehensive itinerary to the coastal jewels of the Iberian Peninsula. En route from Barcelona to Lisbon, admire four UNESCO World Heritage sites and experience Portugal’s lesser-traveled Algarve region.


Greece: The Land of Gods and Heroes

October 10 - 19, 2020

Hosted by Patricia Reilly, Associate Professor of Art History

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We invite you to join us on this journey through classical Greece! Long ago, the ancient poets wrote the first epics of war and love, families and feuds, trickery and revenge, Gods and Heroes. Here, in glorious Greece, you’ll see where theater was born, consult the oracle at Delphi, stand where St. Paul preached to the Corinthians, and walk under the Lion Gate at Mycenae, just as the blind poet Homer recorded it nearly 3,000 years ago.


Discover Colombia: Coffee, Culture & Cuisine

October 24 -31, 2020

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Colombia, a country that boasts about its coffee, music and cuisine, and one of the fastest growing destinations for tourism in South America. Colombia has emerged as a nation over the past two decades and today stands as a model of how peace and transformation can lead to growth and prosperity.

solar eclipse

Southern Skies of Chile: Total Solar Eclipse

December 9–16, 2020

Hosted by Jesse Rivera, Visiting Assistant Professor of Astronomy

Co-sponsored with Tufts University

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On December 14, 2020, join Swarthmore as we witness a total solar eclipse in the south-central region of Chile. Chile is renowned for its astronomical observatories and this once-in-a-lifetime experience in a country of diverse people, topography, high deserts, salt lakes, a host of animal life and cosmopolitan cities will leave you wishing for more. LIMITED AVAILABILITY– ONLY 8 SPACES!


Exploring the Sea of Cortez: A Living Sea & Desert Isles

December 27, 2020 – January 3, 2021

Hosted by Scott Gilbert, Howard A. Schneiderman Professor of Biology, Emeritus

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Shared departure.

Explore the Sea of Cortez: one of the best places in the world to see a great variety of whales, plus dolphins in abundance. With a flexible itinerary, rely on our expert staff to follow the seasonal movements of migrating birds and feeding whales insuring excellent wildlife sightings. Hike forests of giant cacti, snorkel with sea lions, and discover rare wildlife among desert islands.


Château de Camon: Exploring the Languedoc Region of France

October 8-16, 2021

Hosted by Patricia Reilly, Associate Professor of Art History

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With the Château de Camon as our base for seven nights, each day we will set off to explore the antiquities of the Aude and Ariège regions. From the ruins of Cathar castles to the medieval grandeur of Carcassonne, it will be impossible to head home without feeling touched by the shadows of the past.


California Rail Discovery: August 11, 2021 -- more info coming soon!

Thailand Island Hopper West

Maiz, Mole and Mezcal: A Culinary Journey in Oaxaca

Discover Egypt and the Nile Valley by Dahabiya

Circumnavigation of the South Island of New Zealand

Southern Spain: Madrid & Andalucia

Springtime in Provence: Burgundy and Beaujolais

Inland Sea of Japan: Featuring Kyoto

Voyage to the Almafi Coast and Sicily: Rome to Malta

Under the Midnight Sun: Arctic Expedition

Alaska's Glacier and the Inside Passage

The Danube: Vienna to Bucharest

Antiquities of the Red Sea and the Aegean Sea

Ancient Civilizations: Adriatic and Aegean Odyssey

Icelandic Getaway: A Long Weekend in Reykjavik

Vietnam by Sea and Angkor Wat

Wild Belize Escape



Past trip photos:

Swarthmore alumni in Greece

Greece, October 2019

alumni on boat near Cuba
alumni together in Iceland
alumni together in Russia

Russia, August 2018

alumni together in Iceland

Iceland, March 2019

gorilla in Africa

South Africa – Namibia – Botswana – Zimbabwe, March 2019 with Professor of History Timothy Burke

group Antarctica photo

group Antarctica photo 2020

Greece, October 2019

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