London, England
USAC
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Tours and Field Studies for London, England

Summer Optional Edinburgh Tour

Students may participate in an optional five-day tour of Edinburgh, Scotland before the start of the summer session. This tour is a wonderful way to experience Scotland’s capital city and meet other students before the program starts. USAC encourages every student to participate in this tour; however, it is optional and has an additional fee. You will sign up for the tour on your Course and Tour Registration Form.

Below is a sample itinerary of the tour, which is subject to change.

Day One
USAC students arriving in Edinburgh on the group flight will be met at the airport by the USAC England Resident Director. We will provide directions for all students arriving on other flights to meet up with the group. In the evening, we’ll uncover how Edinburgh inspired J. K. Rowling on a Harry Potter walking tour.

Day Two

In the morning, we’ll visit Edinburgh Castle, one of the oldest fortified palaces in Europe.  Following an afternoon on your own, we’ll tour Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh’s only preserved 17th century street hidden underneath the Royal Mile.  We’ll conclude our day with a welcome dinner.

Day Three

We’ll spend the full day exploring the Scottish Highlands.  After passing Stirling Castle and driving through the Trossachs National Park, we’ll cross the wilds of Rannoch Moor before stopping at dramatic Glencoe.  Our journey then takes us through Fort William passing Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, before entering the Great Glen.  Following a Loch Ness boat cruise (lunch included), we’ll see Loch Laggan before climbing over Drumochter Pass in the Cairngorms National Park.  We’ll continue south over the Firth of Forth where we view the Forth Bridges.

Day Four

You’ll have a free morning and afternoon to customize your visit to Edinburgh.  In the late afternoon, we’ll hike to the summit of Arthur’s Seat for breathtaking views of the city.  The hike from Holyrood Park to the summit takes roughly 45 minutes.  In the evening, we’ll share tales of our adventures over another group dinner.

Day Five
We will take our return train to London around midday and reach our program site accommodation by late afternoon. The USAC England Resident Director will escort you to your accommodations.

Summer Optional Belfast Field Study

Students also may participate in an optional three-day field study in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As part of this one-credit course, you will explore The Troubles, a conflict that included an explosion of violence between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the peace process of the 1990s. All students are eligible to participate, and students in the History of Identity and Conflict course are strongly encouraged to enroll.  The course is optional and carries additional fee. You will sign up for the course on your Course and Tour Registration Form.

Below is a sample itinerary of the tour, which is subject to change.

Day One
In the morning, we’ll fly from London to Belfast as a group. We’ll begin with a Belfast walking tour, including stops at the peace wall to observe its political murals, the Irish Republican History Museum, and the Ulster Museum. We’ll conclude our first day in Belfast with a group dinner.

Day Two
We’ll spend the full day in Derry/Londonderry, the second-largest city in Northern Ireland. We’ll examine the city’s naming dispute, the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and connections to The Troubles, including the Battle of the Bogside and Bloody Sunday.

Day Three
On your final day in Northern Ireland, you’ll have time to reflect on your experiences as you travel along the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stones that spill into the Atlantic Ocean date back to the volcanic age almost 60 million years ago. After our day-long tour, which includes reflective activities, we’ll fly back to London as a group.