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Oxford, England, 7 nights, from $1,436

Immerse yourself in an authentic Oxford college experience — stay in historic campus housing and take a weeklong class on topics like Shakespeare and Henry VIII.
/ Source: ARTHUR FROMMER'S BUDGET TRAVEL

The Real Deal: Seven nights' accommodations in student housing at the historic Christ Church campus of Oxford University; a weeklong course; a full English breakfast, a buffet lunch, and a three-course dinner daily; and the opportunity for excursions — from $1,436 per person, including all taxes.

When: July 5–Aug. 8, 2009.

The fine print: Includes all taxes and fees. Based on single occupancy. Rooms have a single bed and a washbasin; bathrooms are shared. Note that rooms are not air-conditioned and are usually on the fourth or fifth floors of buildings without elevators. Class size maxes out at 12. Most classes offer a sightseeing excursion — depending on the class, it could be included, or it could cost between $72 and $86. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: May 15, 2009; note that courses sell out quickly.

Contact: University of Oxford, 011-44/01865-270-427, conted.ox.ac.uk.

Why it's a deal: This same package cost about $1,900 last summer because the exchange rate was higher (we calculated the $1,436 price with the exchange rate at press time, which was £1 to $1.44). Also consider that this is a unique experience that would be difficult to organize independently: a weeklong course instructed by a tutor who is typically a member of Oxford's Department for Continuing Education (a mix of faculty, authors, and other experts), with the opportunity for sightseeing in and around Oxford and dorm accommodations. The price breaks down to $205 per person per night, and that includes all your meals.

Lodging: You'll stay among Oxford students in Christ Church, a central part of the campus, and you'll have access to all campus buildings, including the cathedral and dining areas. Christ Church's dormitory buildings were completed anywhere from the 18th to the 20th century. One choice is the Meadow Building, which overlooks the Christ Church Meadow. It was built in 1863 in a Venetian style.

Highlights: There are 50 one-week classes to choose from over the five-week period during which this package is available. Topics include Shakespeare in Oxford and the Battle of Britain Revisited; there are no tests or papers, and the work is mostly class discussion and readings. Classes usually meet in the mornings, and most tutors will take students on an excursion outside of campus that relates to the class material. Another neat experience is dining at High Table, which each student gets to do once during his or her weeklong stay. High Table is at the front of the dining room and is often used by college administrators.

More: If you elect to stay for more than one week, the program will cover the cost of weekend bed-and-breakfast accommodations in Oxford — at no additional charge! During the weeklong class, you can apply (by mail only, not online) to stay in one of the few rooms with private baths for an additional $216 per person; applying for these early is essential, according to Oxford. Couples can get double rooms for $218 more per person.

Before you go: Transfers to Oxford are not included; we suggest flying into London and then using the Oxford Bus Company. A one-way Oxford Express coach ticket starts at about $20.