Alumni College Abroad

London on Stage

Jan. 6-13, 2019

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Vibrantly alive, with a tradition steeped in the arts, London is rightly considered to be the theater capital of the world. From Shakespeare to Andrew Lloyd Weber, the tradition of the London stage is rich and varied, and we’ve included four theater performances on this tour, in London along with generous free time in the city. Our tour is designed to go beyond the proscenium arch, to take you behind the scenes for an intimate look at the city’s rich dramatic heritage.

In order to provide you with background and insight into modern London, we have included lectures by our Swarthmore faculty host, a private visit to Kenwood House with antiques and fine art expert David Fletcher, behind the stage tour at the National Theatre, a workshop at the Globe Theatre, discussions with Michael Billington, a theater critic from the Guardian newspaper, and Lord Lexden, a member of the House of Lords, a major government advisor and the official historian of the Conservative Party. We hope you will join us on this custom-designed itinerary created exclusively for our Swarthmore Alumni College Abroad program.

The Pride of Africa: Namibia, Bostwana, & Zimbabwe -- SOLD OUT!

March 7-21, 2019

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Hosted by Tim Burke, Professor and Chair of History

Take part in this incredible journey to experience the wonders of four nations in southern Africa, where nature’s spectacle is at its most dramatic, history is rich, culture is diverse and the “Big Five” game viewing in pristine natural habitats is extraordinary. Witness the remarkable achievements of the young nations of Namibia and Botswana, unique in their way of life and home to one of the densest game populations on the planet; walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela in South Africa; and behold the majestic natural beauty of Zimbabwe’s incomparable Victoria Falls—one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Few experiences can match this exclusive, in-depth itinerary and exciting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel the breadth of southern Africa. On Namibia’s legendary Chobe River, enjoy a three-night river safari featuring naturalist-guided excursions by small watercraft—a fantastic perspective from which to observe the magnificent wildlife gathering along the banks of the Chobe—with accommodations aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star ZAMBEZI QUEEN, featuring only 14 beautifully appointed Staterooms, each with a private balcony. During your classic land safari aboard four-wheel-drive vehicles, enjoy superb game viewing in seldom-visited Botswana, a sanctuary for nearly all of the southern African mammal species.

Space is extremely limited. You can reserve your space today by completing the early reservation form. Your deposit is fully refundable through April 2018.

Icelandic Interlude & the Northern Lights 

March 14-18, 2019

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Hosted by Donna Jo Napoli, Professor of Linguistics

Our 2018 trip to Iceland sold out in less than a month.  We are pleased to offer you the program again in 2019! Enjoy a long weekend escape to exotic Iceland. From steamy hot springs to top-notch spas, magnificent malls to art museums, this unique land is the perfect place to relax, recharge, explore and indulge in the wonders of this epic island. Perhaps the greatest draw is the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights. This is the best time of year to see them because it has to be totally dark to get the best effect – and this is a country where the sun never sets in the summer! On our arrival day, a local expert will give us a presentation on the aurora and then that evening we’ll head out to try and see the real thing (weather permitting). If we don’t succeed we’ll try again the next night … and the next…

Waterways of Holland and Belgium

April 25-May 3, 2019

Hosted by Esther Wieman, Associate Director of Alumni & Parent Engagement

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"God created the Heavens and the Earth, but the Dutch created Holland." Indeed, not only did they wrest a portion of their land from the sea, but they succeed in building upon it an enchanted realm carpeted by vibrantly hued flowers and traced with storied waterways unparalleled anywhere else in the world.

Discover the true essence of river life in the Low Countries with an included excursion in every port and see firsthand this sublime region's breathtaking tulip fields in full bloom. Our expert-guided tours explore two UNESCO World Heritage sites - distinctive 16th and 17th century house-lined canals of Amsterdam and the well-preserved, medieval Flemish jewel of Bruges-as well as the "Golden Age" trading town of Hoorn, the world famous Keukenhof Gardens, the mercantile town of Antwerp, the quaint village of Giethoorn, the captivating ancient city of Maastricht rarely visited by American travelers and unique to this itinerary-and the poignant World War II American Military Cemetery in nearby Margraten. Discover the artistic legacy of the world-class Kröller-Müller Museum and the rich history of the medieval Dutch-speaking county of Flanders.

Celtic Lands: D-Day 75th Anniversary Cruise (Portsmouth to Glasgow) -- SOLD OUT!

June 4-14, 2019

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Featuring Dwight David Eisenhower II and Allen Packwood, Curator of the Churchill Archives

Experience the rich traditions and astonishing beauty of the British Isles and Northern France’s storied coastline during this once-in-a-lifetime Celtic Lands voyage celebrating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. By exclusive arrangement, walk the hallowed D-Day beaches of Normandy 75 years to the day after the invasion with Dwight David Eisenhower II, grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower and meet Allen Packwood, an expert on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Director of the Churchill Archives Center and a fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, England. Professor Eisenhower and Mr. Packwood will join us for a portion of the cruise to lecture and share their insights regarding two of the most influential figures of the 20th century. We will have two full-day excursions to the historic beaches of Normandy with visits to Utah and Omaha Beaches, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first French village to be liberated by American forces; and the American Military Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer.

Cruise the waters of the Irish and Celtic Seas and sail across the English Channel aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star, small ship LE BORÉAL to explore cities, villages and islands that abound with Celtic heritage, calling at ports inaccessible to larger vessels.

Discover Scotland's misty, seldom-visited Inner Hebridean Islands; admire the austere beauty of the Scottish Highlands aboard The Jacobite steam train, better recognized as Harry Potter's Hogwarts Express and one of the great railway journeys of the world; and call on the majestic Isle of Skye, where the traditional Gaelic language is still spoken today. In North Wales, follow in the footsteps of medieval and modern princes and enjoy a private, specially arranged musical performance by the renowned Welsh Maelgwyn Choir. In Dublin, Ireland, view treasures of Celtic heritage and experience the lively delights of traditional Irish song and dance.

Total Solar Eclipse: Chile 2019

June 26-July 4, 2019 -- SOLD OUT!

An optional extension to the Atacama Desert

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Hosted by Eric Jensen, Professor of Astronomy

Join Swarthmore Alumni College Abroad for a truly unique and once in a lifetime experience – a total solar eclipse in the beauty of the mountains of Chile. The Coquimbo region in Chile will be along the main path of the Total Solar Eclipse on July 2nd, 2019.  The clear skies of northern Chile make this region an excellent location to view the total solar eclipse.  The location is known for its world-class telescopes and boutique observatories.  The 7-nights/ 8-day itinerary will start with a tour of Santiago, Chile’s culturally vibrant capital, the port city of Valparaiso declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO and the Colchagua Valley, known for its famous wine for wine tasting.  You will then drive north to Coquimbo and La Serena to get ready for the eclipse observation with some pre-and post eclipse excursions.  The optional extension to San Pedro de Atacama is available for those who want to continue exploring the beauty of the northern Chilean desert, known as the driest place on earth.

Changing Tides of History: Cruising the Baltic Sea

July 29-August 7, 2019

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Featuring Lech Walesa and Sergei Khrushechev

Hosted by David Harrison, Professor of Linguistics & Associate Provost

This unique Baltic Sea Voyage features six Baltic countries and seven UNESCO World Heritage sites and is planned during the best time of year when you can experience the luminous “White Nights” of the summer solstice.

As travelers, you will hear firsthand from historic world leader, Nobel Peace Prize Laurerate and former President of Poland, Lech Walesa, and noted author and award-winning scholar Sergei Khrushchev, son of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushechev.

This program will enable you to immerse yourself in the historic epic acclaimed State Hermitage Museum Center of the Solidarity Movement in Gdansk, Poland; enjoy the well-preserved medieval Old Town of Tallinn, Estonia; and spend two days docked in the heart of regal St. Petersburg, with an early opening tour of the world-acclaimed State Hermitage Museum and visits to the Peter and Paul Fortress and the spectacular czarist palaces of Petrodvorets and Pushkin.

Island Life in Ancient Greece: An Aegean Odyssey

September 12-20, 2019

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Hosted by Jennifer Marks-Gold, Director of International Student Services

Join us for this unparalleled and comprehensive nine-day Aegean odyssey to the very cradle of Western civilization and the classical world. Cruise round trip Athens, Greece, aboard the exclusively chartered, newest Five-Star small ship LE BOUGAINVILLE, launching in 2018. Call on Santorini, Delos, Mykonos, Patmos and medieval Rhodes--islands steeped in myth and history. Visit the extraordinary wonder of Meteora, where 14th- and 15th-century monasteries stand high atop soaring natural sandstone pinnacles and the beautiful seaside town of Nafplion where we will visit Mycenae, the legendary home of Agamemnon and the ancient site of Epidaurus, with is magnificent theatre.  Enjoy guided tours in these storied destinations, free time to encounter their mysteries and delights at your own pace during the best time of the year, and opportunities to visit seven magnificent UNESCO World Heritage sites. Meet local residents during the specially arranged ISLAND LIFE(r) FORUM for a personal perspective on the true character of the Aegean Sea's maritime culture.

This trip was extremely popular in 2018, selling out completely in two weeks. You can reserve your space today by completing the early reservation form. Your deposit is fully refundable through December 2018.

Flavors of Catalonia

September 28 - October 6, 2019

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Hosted by Maria-Luisa Guardiola, Professor of Modern Languages & Literatures

Join Swarthmore Alumni College Abroad on an intimate journey to Catalonia—on Spain’s colorful coast—where natural beauty and distinctive art and architecture abound, historical ruins dot the countryside, and gracious Catalans employ traditional ingredients fresh from farm and sea to create exceptional cuisine. Each day is highlighted by exclusive and authentic experiences with chefs, winemakers, artisan producers, and extraordinary historic sights. Learn about and savor the great food and wine for which Spain is famous—in cooking classes, tastings, and guided tours. Revel in Spain’s celebrated art, architecture, and history with visits to world-famous sites and cultural monuments. Join us as we dive deep into the diverse flavors of this unique region as you learn about the history and culture that shaped these Mediterranean seaside villages and their friendly people.

Classic India

November 1-12, 2019

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Join fellow Swarthmore alumni as we travel the Classic Golden Triangle of Northern India: bustling Delhi; Agra, home of the impressive Taj Mahal; and Jaipur, great city of the Rajput.  In addition, admire Khajuroho’s ancient temples, absorb the holiness of Varanasi and experience the moving Arti ceremony at the Ghats of the Ganges in Varanasi. Our program offers a unique experience by merging the academic and the aesthetic, by exploring the ancient history of the region and the modern society of today.

Expedition to Antarctica

January 28 - February 10, 2020

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Hosted by Betsy Bolton, Professor & Chair of English Literature

Everything wears an aspect of unreality,” Ernest Shackleton wrote. “Icebergs hang upside down in the sky; the land appears as layers of silvery or golden cloud. Cloud-banks look like land, icebergs masquerade as islands...” Watch as normal human scales and reference points disappear amidst the grandeur of nature in its most pristine form, from extended sunrises that paint the icescape in soft shades of pink to the lingering golden light of the austral summer, where humpback whales, leopard seals and Adélie penguins mingle among sparkling turquoise glaciers and glimmering icebergs. Discover Antarctica, and see how its spectacular illuminations reveal the mystique and contrasts of the most unique place on Earth to those fortunate enough to visit on this extraordinary 14-day program.  Retrace the sea-lanes traveled by storied explorers Ernest Shackleton, Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott as they sought out the final frontier of “The White Continent” during a nine-night cruise aboard the exclusively chartered, state-of-the-art, Five-Star, ice-class vessel.

Your Antarctic experience will be enhanced by a comprehensive schedule of exclusive and specially arranged lectures. The onboard expedition team of  expert naturalists will guide you on excursions aboard sturdy Zodiac craft to explore the intricate ecosystems and marvelous nuances of  the abundant wildlife found ashore, especially penguins and seals who have no fear of humans.

This program has consistently been over-subscribed the last three years.  We have been able to arrange early reservations forms for this program that will enable you to reserve you space today with a fully refundable deposit through April 2019. To reserve your place, simply complete the early reservation form and return to the tour operator.

Scottish Highlands & Norwegian Fjords

May 30 - June 7, 2020

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Hosted by Dominic Tierney, Associate Professor of Political Science

Across the length and breadth of Scotland and Norway lies an unsurpassed richness of archeological heritage left from the age of the Vikings and before, where ancient, enigmatic stone monuments and settlements present an imposing face to the world. Explore this fascinating land of ruins and old-world villages, Viking and Celtic clans and the spectacular natural beauty of misty isles, wild glens, lochs, moors and Norway’s stunning fjords. Hear the Gaelic language, still spoken in the Scottish Highlands, where the history of those who lived here for centuries emanates from the heather‑covered hillsides. Experience these remote gems of the North Atlantic on a journey to distant and mysterious islands along idyllic seascapes and splendid coastlines.

Our rare and specially designed itinerary follows along the stepping stones of Nordic and Scottish civilizations during the best time of year, when the weather is mild and the days are long—a unique voyage accomplished only aboard a small ship cruising into smaller ports where larger vessels cannot venture.

Recent past trips & photos:

China, Dec. 2017
Cuba, Jan. 2018
Iceland, Mar. 2018
Great Journey through Europe, June 2018
Alaska, July 2018
Russia, August 2018

Peru, October 2018