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Highlights
  • Gain insight into the events of the First World War with renowned experts, authors, historians and broadcasters during a private conference in Oxford.
  • Enjoy the experience of studying at a major Oxford college.
  • Join speakers for discussions of the major events of 1917.

On July 28, 1914 in Serbia, the first shots of the Great War were fired. Four years later, more than 9 million soldiers had lost their lives, while another 21 million suffered injuries. We invite you to join distinguished scholars and historians in Oxford, England for a historic conference event. Delve into the battles, the strategy, the weapons, the politics and the lasting effects of the war with leading experts at the conference.

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30
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
87% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 2
Value
4.5 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.5 Lodging
4.3 Transportation
4.4 Meals
4.3
An Oxford WWI Conference: Remembering The Great War

TCtssvawmc

Recommends

Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar

M

Recommends

Road Scholar July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
What could be better -- lectures on a major world event by knowledgeable, articulate professors with a senses of humor in an Oxford college that provided gourmet meals, fine accommodations, and pleasant grounds and with interesting companions from all over the country.
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Operator Road Scholar

C

Recommends

Road Scholar tour July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The WWI Conference was informative, the speakers were engaging, the conference leads were well organized and kept everything in order. The setting, both St. Hugh's College and Oxford University, is are delightful. The participants come from a variety of backgrounds but have a common interest; it made for great interaction during the conference.
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Operator Road Scholar

RA

Recommends

Road Scholar July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I signed on to this adventure looking for "thoughtful content in a compelling setting." Exploring WW I, military intelligence, and British culture within the aura of Oxford University greatly exceeded this original intention.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

K

Does Not Recommend

Road Scholar Owes My Mom A Huge Apology and Refund. Highly advise AGAINST using them. May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
Let me preface this story with some background about myself: I backpacked through most of Europe by myself when I was studying abroad in Ireland. I suffered through horrendous bus rides, getting kicked out of seats on trains, sleeping in questionable hostels, and going weeks without being able to really do laundry. I know how crappy it can be to actually get from one place to another, and how worth it is to suffer through all of that just to lay eyes on something magnificent.

And yet, Road Scholar has, without a doubt, managed to give me the single worst travel experience I've ever had in my entire life, and we didn't even make it off the ground. I would never, ever, EVER recommend them to anyone looking to go anywhere, and as far as I'm concerned, Road Scholar needs to seriously reconsider their travel-making procedures and give my mother a huge apology and refund. (Also, I'm only in my twenties, so I have a lot of years ahead of me to make referrals.)

It all started with Road Scholar not getting us flights. We claimed our spot on a trip to the Lake region in Northern Italy, but no one ever called us back about any travel arrangements. It appeared we were on the trip IN Italy, but no one had bothered to make any arrangements to get us there. My mother called and left messages, emailed people, and the only response we got was that our flight should be booked at some point in early May (when our trip was set to start on May 22). Road Scholar urges people to book their flights through their preferred travel agency, which is who didn't call us back. Road Scholar, to market themselves as educational tourism rather than shallow "I just want to see things" tourism, partners up with different educational institutions, and ours was through Trinity College. The director of the Italian programs called us asking for our travel information, since she didn't have it yet. Interesting news to us. We were then told that we could make travel arrangements of our own (even though we were paying Road Scholar to do it for us) and then inform the program of our travel plans and how we were getting to our hotel. So we started to investigate making our own plans, when someone finally called us back saying that they were taking care of our travel arrangements, and they "didn't know why we hadn't had them made for us already." The director of the program was happy to hear this, because the Lake region of Italy is not as easily accessible as other areas.

We asked for upgraded seats because my mom has had both of her knees replaced, and while that doesn't inhibit her in the slightest from being active, it limits where she can sit on planes. In a cramped regular economy seat with no leg room on an international flight that was going to last 8-10 hours, she wouldn't have been able to walk off the plane because of how her knees would cramp up. But they said they could make the arrangements (which is also advertised on their website) so that was that. We got our itinerary, accommodations, and were all set. We were booked through United and Lufthansa (neither of which either of us will EVER book through again), so I downloaded the United app onto my iPhone so I could check us in and make sure we had mobile copies of our boarding passes in addition to the paper ones my mom printed out. We were all set to fly from Cincinnati to Washington D.C., from D.C. to Frankfurt, and from Frankfurt down to Verona where we would be meeting up with the group -- which, by the way, we never received any information regarding where the group was meeting, the transportation to the lake resort, etc. Nothing. Just "after you get there" stuff.

Then this morning, I woke up to a notification from United Airlines (and a text message alert that I had set up) saying that our flight to D.C. had been cancelled due to weather. Obviously I'm not blaming Road Scholar for that. What I am holding Road Scholar accountable for is what happened next: my mom called the Emergency Hotline (which is a recording -- and I HIGHLY recommend that they change this, because when I studied abroad, we had two emergency hotlines, both of which were always answered by real human beings, one for anything happening in the United States, and the other for the program, which was a different number for each location and a direct line to one of the program directors on the ground in the country you were actually in). We left a voicemail, someone named Mike called us back, and he was an absolute asshole. When you book your flight through a travel agency/group travel organization, if anything happens to your flight, it is the THEIR responsibility to take care of it. We were told by Road Scholar, and it's available on their website: "When you book your airfare through Road Scholar, we're there to help you in case of any emergencies." When Mike called us back and we told him that our flight to D.C. had been cancelled, he told us that he couldn't look up any other flights (on both United and any other airlines) for us to potentially get on to get to D.C for our transatlantic flight. Instead, he told us to call United ourselves and to go to the airport and talk to the desk agent. I then ended up on the phone (and on hold) the entire drive to the airport, which resulted in nothing because tons of flights had been cancelled due to airline politics and weather. We finally got to the desk agent at the airport, had a hell of a time getting rebooked on another flight, and weren't able to get the upgraded seats that we paid extra money for. When we called Road Scholar and Mike back to ask if during the course of our day when we would be traveling (and unable to make phone calls) he would call Lufthansa to at least make the airline aware of our need for better seating due to my mother's knee replacements, he was unhelpful and rude, at first attempting to refuse calling on our behalf and finally agreeing to, but only after repeatedly telling us "there's no guarantee of those seats" (something we definitely understood because we're not stupid).

Our rebooked flight wasn't set to leave until 7:45 PM tonight, putting us in Verona at 4:05 PM the next day (4 hours after the group transfer to the hotel), so we returned home instead of waiting around the airport for 12 hours. We got on both United and Lufthansa's websites and discovered that not only had our original itineraries not been removed, we had been double booked, one for a flight out of North Carolina to Munich through Delta, and another out of D.C. (the 7:45 PM flight) which had a 23 hour layover in Munich. A call to Road Scholar resulted in us being told that we had to contact the airlines. My mother was on the phone, talking to either United representatives or Lufthansa representatives, from about 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM. We were told we had reservations but no tickets, told we had tickets but couldn't see the numbers, told there were seats available for us to get upgraded to but we would have to try to get the desk agent in D.C. to arrange that for us, told that there was no guarantee we could get those seats, and more. It was incredible the amount of bureaucratic bullshit we had to put up with, especially since each airline wouldn't take any responsibility for us getting the seats we paid for and on a new flight, telling us "we'd have to talk to the other company about that." We finally called Road Scholar to see if there was anything more they could do, who encountered the same mess we already had, and all they did was eventually advise us to go back to the airport (a 45 minute drive) and talk to the desk agent to see IF they could put us in the upgraded seats -- ones we had already paid for and my mom couldn't make the trip without!

Then when asked how they would be getting us to our destination in the Lake region (which is not an easy place to get to, as I looked up the train and bus schedules myself, because - remember - I have tons of experience at this point traveling on the ground across Europe), they wouldn't outright say what our plans would be, which could've been anything from picking us up in the airport in a car, giving us a damn rental to drive ourselves, or simply paying for tickets and expecting us to haul all our luggage from the airport to the shuttle to the train station in Verona, take the 2+ hour train to a town an hour away from our destination, have to catch a bus to the actual town we were supposed to be in, and then walk the rest of the way there. Seeing what all happened, I would bet it would've been the latter, which isn't a problem for someone like me, but is an issue for someone like my mom.

The moral of the story here is that my mom and I shouldn't have had to be on the phone with anyone other than Road Scholar, PERIOD. Seeing as we paid well over $10,000 for this trip, the minute the flight was cancelled, Road Scholar should've called us to let us know that they would be making other arrangements for us to get to our trip in the Lake region of Italy. THEY should've been the ones on the phone, dealing with the airline bureaucrats, working their hardest to get us any combination of flights to get us to Italy in the seats that we paid for. Or, if it really came down to it, they should've made arrangements for us to be on this trip at another point in time, offered us another excursion in its place, or simply given us a refund. Instead, they didn't want to do the jobs that we paid them to do, and we were the ones that had to take time out of our day, which was already scheduled to be a hectic and stressful time because traveling is simply just that, to do Road Scholar's job. They didn't look out for us one single bit and completely and utterly RUINED what was supposed to have been a wonderful trip for me and my mom.

My mother has an adventurous and curious soul and hasn't gotten to go to Europe the way she always wanted to. Since I graduated college, my mother suggested taking a mother-daughter trip. This was supposed to be incredibly special for the both of us, getting to go somewhere new together (I hadn't explored Northern Italy much and that's where we decided to go), learning about the food and the culture, and bonding over all the amazing things we were going to be able to do. I think my mom was even more excited about this trip than I was, voraciously reading all the required/recommended reading, practicing Italian in her room so she could order correctly at restaurants, not giving up when we hit little bumps in the road along the way. Instead, we have been nothing but doubtful at best in the entire planning of this trip, and deeply disappointed and angered at worst. I will never again recommend Road Scholars to anyone looking to go on group trips. Instead, I will steer people away and recommend that they either find a better travel agency, book the trip themselves, or go through Rick Steve's program.

Road Scholar should issue my mother a refund and an apology or risk being sued.
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Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Arrival Day, Welcome reception, Oxford

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The college is within walking distance of central Oxford and Summertown, North Oxford with its cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Arrivals continue, with free time for those who have already arrived. At 5:30pm we will have an Orientation meeting. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. This program is staffed with both a Group Leader, who will accompany us throughout the program and deal primarily with logistics, and a Study Leader who will facilitate your educational content, conduct field trips and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. Due to the high profile nature of many of our speakers, most will be confirmed by the time of the first set of Preparatory Materials, however there may be changes due to reasons beyond our control. In the event of any changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Following the meeting we invite you to join us for a Welcome Reception with wine.

Dinner: Served dinner with wine, tea, coffee and water.

Evening: Free time.

Day 3: 1917: The Darkest Year, the AEF, American entry, Oxford

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Breakfast: In the dining room. A breakfast buffet with a range of hot and cold items, as well as coffee, tea, water and fruit juices.

Morning: This morning we begin our lecture series with Dr Spencer Jones, Senior Lecturer in Armed Forces and War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton on 1917 The Darkest Year. Refreshment break followed by Lt. Col. Andrew Duff on the American Expeditionary Force and Military Operations.

Lunch: Served in the dining room. A two course lunch with tea, coffee and tap water.

Afternoon: After lunch we join Professor Stephen Badsey on the US Entry to the War and British Propaganda before enjoying some free time. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions should you wish to further explore Oxford.

Dinner: Served in the dining room. A three course dinner with tea, coffee and tap water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Free time, or join Dr Spencer Jones on 'The Hell they called Passchendaele: The British Army and the Third Battle of Ypres, 1917'.

Day 4: U-Boats, Lessons of the Somme, Mapping, Oxford

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Breakfast: In the dining room.

Morning: Our first of two lectures this morning will see Professor Andrew Lambert discuss Grinding Attrition: the U-Boat Threat. Refreshment break. Professor Bill Philpott considers The Lessons of the Somme.

Lunch: In the dining room.

Afternoon: The lectures continue with Dr Peter Chasseaud on Gunners on the Grid: Maps, surveys and the creation of an integrated system on the Western Front, 1914-18. Free time.

Dinner: Served in the dining room.

Evening: Join Dr Spencer Jones as he discusses Cambrai: The First Great Tank Battle.

Day 5: Palestine, the War in East Africa, Oxford

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Breakfast: In the dining room.

Morning: Dr James Kitchen discusses The Palestine Campaign 1917 Following our now traditional break for coffee and some fresh air we’ll gather with Dr Stuart Mitchell on The War in East Africa.

Lunch: In the dining room.

Afternoon: This afternoon we join TBC

Dinner: Served in the dining room.

Evening: Free time.

Day 6: British Generalship, Germans at Ypres, Oxford

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Breakfast: In the dining room.

Morning: Professor Gary Sheffield begins the day with a consideration of British Generalship on the Western Front 1917. After a refreshment break Dr Matthias Strohn lectures on the German Army at Ypres 1917.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free afternoon for you to explore the city of dreaming spires.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Free time.

Day 7: Middle East, the French Army, Oxford

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Breakfast: In the dining room.

Morning: We join Dr Rob Johnson in an examination of the Middle East in 1917. Refreshment break followed by Dr Jonathan Boff on Mutiny and the French Army 1917.

Lunch: In the dining room.

Afternoon: Lecture: Dr Jonathan Krause on the German Army in 1917. Free time.

Dinner: Served in the dining room.

Evening: Relax and enjoy a guided whiskey tasting with your Study Leader, John Harris.

Day 8: Exploring Oxford

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Activity note: Walking up to two miles on city streets.

Breakfast: In the dining room.

Morning: We stretch our legs in the city of dreaming spires as our Study Leader, John Harris, takes us on an expert-led walk of Oxford. We’ll walk along St. Giles past the famous Eagle & Child pub – home to meetings of the Inklings, a group of Oxford authors including CS Lewis and Tolkein – before making our way past St. John’s College and Balliol to the Martyr’s Memorial. As we push further into the city centre we’ll see some renowned colleges and remarkable buildings, including the Sheldonian Theatre, the Divinity School, the Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Camera.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free time to explore the city of Oxford at your leisure. Your Group Leader will be happy to help with recommendations and directions. For those continuing on to the extension meet for an informal welcome with the Group Leader at 4:30pm.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Free time.

Day 9: Espionage Act , Russia. Gala Dinner, Oxford

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Breakfast: In the dining room.

Morning: This morning join intelligence expert Nigel West as he discusses “The Espionage Act of 1917". Coffee break. TBC War and the Russia Revolution.

Lunch: In the dining room.

Afternoon: Dr Spencer Jones joins us one final time for a round-up of everything you’ve learned over the course of the programme. We’ll discuss the themes and major events of 1917, and there will be time for any burning questions you still might have. Following the round up you are invited to join us for a reception with wine before our gala dinner.

Dinner: A gala dinner with wine served in the dining room.

Evening: Free time.

Day 10: Program Concludes, Oxford

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast: In the dining room. Some participants may depart prior to breakfast.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 2,985

Price Per Day:

$ 299 per person
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • 8 nights of accommodations
  • 19 expert-led lectures
  • 1 expert-led field trip
  • 1 hands-on experience
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches and 6 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Accomodations

St Hugh's College: 8 nights  Oxford

Set within fourteen acres of quiet, leafy North Oxford, St Hugh’s College, part of the University of Oxford is one of the loveliest hidden delights of Oxford.

Start City
Oxford
End City
Oxford
Guides

Andrew Duff

Lt. Col. Andrew Duff attended prestigious Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Royal Anglian Regiment where he commanded operational tours in Cyprus, N. Ireland and Belize. He has military operations, intelligence, security, exercise planning, training major, training officer and head officer of Arctic warfare training under his belt. With his love of military history and his experience, Lt. Col. Duff makes a battlefield come alive as he exposes the story of war from all angles.

Trip ID#: OxfConRoa

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