2-week, 2-centre or 3-week, 3-centre programmes.
Stay in Cambridge and either Durham or St. Andrews on 2-week programmes, or at all three centres on 3-week programmes.
Our season runs throughout July.
In Cambridge, stay at St. Catharine’s College, one of the University’s traditional colleges, and enjoy two full-day visits to London. Universities visited include a choice of two between UCL, King’s College, LSE and Imperial College. Alternatively, visit famous museums such as the British Museum and the Science Museum.
En route between centres, you may also visit the Universities of Sheffield, Nottingham or Glasgow, or explore the cultural heritage of these cities.
In Durham, stay at St. Chad’s College. Universities visited include Durham, Newcastle, York and Leeds. Alternatively, visit some fascinating sites presenting the culture of northern England.
From St. Andrews, visit Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands. Universities visited include St. Andrews, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Cultural visits reveal the distinctive nature of Scottish identity.
Our Cambridge centre – St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge
St. Catharine’s, founded in 1473, is one of the traditional colleges of the University of Cambridge. St. Catharine’s is also known affectionately as ‘Catz’.
The main part of the College is located in the very centre of Cambridge, with all the main places of interest within 10 minutes’ walk. It consists of elegant buildings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, with a large grass court in the middle. Our classrooms are in this part of the College. Nearby is the more modern dining room with a self-service arrangement.
The accommodation at the College is in a separate area known as St. Chad’s, which is a 15-minute walk from the main buildings, in a very green and peaceful part of the city. St. Chad’s was built in the 1970s to provide extra accommodation for students. The interiors of the buildings there have recently been refurbished to a high standard. All the rooms are singles, and based on apartment-style, shared facilities.
One very unusual feature of St. Chad’s is that all the buildings, and all the rooms, are octagonal (8-sided)! The octagon is a symbol of St. Catharine’s. St. Chad’s is now recognised as having architectural significance.
Also at St. Chad’s is a large meeting space known as ‘The Octagon’ – another octagon! – where we hold some of our evening events.
Cambridge – the city (population: 125,000; location: 80km north of London – central London can be reached by train in 50 minutes – the closest airports are Stansted and Luton; Heathrow Airport is about 1.5 hours away)
There has been a town in Cambridge since Roman times, but the modern city owes its fame to the great university which stands at its heart. The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209 by scholars from Oxford, who left after an argument there to set up their own rival institution. Today the two universities stand at the top of the British educational system, with Cambridge now often ahead of Oxford in its ranking among the world’s ten greatest universities. It currently has around 18,000 students.
The University of Cambridge is based on a college system. The 31 colleges all have their own history and traditions – many are ancient, but some are quite modern. Most colleges teach a full range of academic subjects, although students from across the University also come together for lectures according to the subjects they are studying. Most of the colleges are to be found within a small area in the city centre.
Cambridge owes its appeal in part to the River Cam, which flows through the university area. Many of the most famous colleges are built on the banks of this quiet little river. The buildings date from many different eras. The most famous building of all in Cambridge is King’s College Chapel, which is perhaps the finest example anywhere of the style of architecture known as ‘perpendicular’.
Although the University is very important in Cambridge, there is another city outside the University. Cambridge is one of the UK’s largest centres of high-tech companies, with particular emphasis on software and bioscience. The city has an unusually high proportion of people with university degrees, and the unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the UK. It’s also an artistic and cultural centre, with a number of theatres, art galleries and museums; the largest of these is the Fitzwilliam Museum, which has one of the most important collections outside London.
Our St. Andrews centre – The University of St. Andrews
Student accommodation in St. Andrews is based on a series of residences, each quite separate from the others. Our accommodation is a very striking building called Wardlaw. It looks like a small Scottish castle! The rooms are very different, but they have a great deal of character. There is a maximum of 3 students per room.
Wardlaw is part of University Hall, and you’ll have breakfast and dinner in the main dining room there. There is a really good selection! For lunch, you can walk into town. In the main shopping street, you’ll easily be able find a good choice.
Your classrooms are in a modern building belonging to the University, and the facilities there are excellent.
St. Andrews – the city (population: 17,000; location: on the east coast of Scotland, about 80km north of Edinburgh)
St. Andrew is the patron saint (national saint) of Scotland, so this is his town! It’s quite small, but it’s an ancient town, built on cliffs above the sea. It has a historic castle and cathedral, both of them very atmospheric. The town is largely built of stone, and the large stone buildings everywhere give it a rather grand feel. But St. Andrews certainly doesn’t feel like a museum – it’s a very lively place, and there is always a lot happening. It also has a great beach (though you may often prefer to wear a jumper in preference to swimming clothes!).
St. Andrews is famous for two reasons. Firstly, it’s the home of the oldest university in Scotland. The University of St. Andrews was founded in 1413, and it’s housed in colleges and halls which are found in different parts of the town. Its most famous students in recent times have been Prince William and Catherine Middleton, who was later to become his wife. St. Andrews is one of the highest ranking universities in the UK – according to both the Guardian (2013) and the Times (2014), it’s in fourth place. Particularly impressive are its records in physics and astronomy, also in international relations. It has an unusually high proportion of students coming from countries outside the UK – around 30% of the total. Most degrees at St. Andrews run for 4 years, and the first two years offer a much broader curriculum than you will find at most British universities; specialisation takes place in the second half of the programme. St. Andrews is not a very large university: it has around 8,000 students (though that is a lot for such a small town!).
St. Andrews is also famous as the ‘home of golf’. It has seven golf courses in total, and one of these, the Old Course, is probably the most famous in the world. Golf has been played in St. Andrews for about 500 years, and we encourage all our students to try it as well!
Our Durham centre – St. Chad’s College, University of Durham
Our centre in Durham is one of the University’s colleges – St. Chad’s College. Founded in 1904, St. Chad’s is an independent College within the University and located directly opposite the magnificent Durham Cathedral in the city centre. St Chad’s is actually situated in a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Durham Cathedral and Castle. The whole area around the Cathedral forms part of this site, and it’s known as ‘the bailey’. The bailey is a hill above the beautiful valley of the River Wear. It really is a perfect location!
St. Chad’s consists of several grand old houses which have been joined together to create the College. At the back is an attractive garden. The accommodation is in single or twin-share rooms, but most rooms have an en suite bathroom.
Because the accommodation is older-style, all the rooms are a little different from one another.
The teaching takes place in St. Chad’s. As classrooms, we use mainly the very attractive small libraries which are a well-known feature of the College. Breakfast and dinner are taken in the College’s traditional dining hall. For lunch, you will have the opportunity to walk into the city centre, where there is plenty of choice.
Durham – the city (population: 45,000; location: in North-East England, about 400km north of London)
Durham is home to one of the most spectacular sights in the UK: the great Cathedral standing on a hill above the green valley of the River Wear. Durham Cathedral is a largely Norman (Romanesque) building dating mainly from the 11th and 12th centuries (it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Entry is free, and the enormous interior is impressive even to those who don’t normally like cathedrals! Next to the Cathedral is Durham Castle, and in the surrounding streets you’ll find some of the buildings which form part of the University – including our centre, St. Chad’s College.
Durham is also famous as a university city. Durham University was the first university to be founded in England after Oxford and Cambridge. Traditionally, it’s been seen ever since as the third most prestigious university in England. Like Oxford and Cambridge, it’s a collegiate university, divided into 16 colleges, each with its own character and traditions. The colleges – some traditional, others more modern – are to be found in many places around the city. In total, Durham has around 16,000 students. Durham has a strong reputation across most subject areas, but is particularly well-known for natural sciences.
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We organise accommodation, meals and classrooms with various universities in the UK, the USA and Canada. But we arrange our own programmes, and these are completely independent of the host universities.