Welcome to Oxford Academia, created in collaboration with Professor James Basker

We are excited to introduce this year’s offerings of Oxford Academia programs, created by Putney Student Travel, now in its 73rd year, in collaboration with Professor James Basker, a Barnard College/Columbia University professor and Rhodes Scholar. Professor Basker brings to Oxford Academia his 35 years of experience introducing high school students to the wonders of learning at Oxford. Collectively, Putney and Professor Basker have welcomed to Oxford thousands of bright, motivated students from all over the world. 

What makes Oxford Academia different and special is the truly outstanding faculty that Professor Basker and Putney have assembled. They are Rhodes, Marshall, Gates, and British Academy scholars, with teaching posts at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia, and other top institutions. They have earned awards for excellence in the arts and sciences, in scholarship and in teaching, and they bring unparalleled expertise and passion for their subjects to the classroom.

Ultimately, though, the magic of Oxford Academia stems from the students themselves, their interests, and the energy they contribute. Some students come to Oxford Academia to pursue a subject they love, others to explore new possibilities; some to build a background for college, others to escape the pressures of GPA and class rank; and still others to indulge their curiosity for different cultures, and experience living and breathing the traditions of these storied universities.

Whether in Oxford, Paris, or at Yale, students on our programs thrive in a community of academically ambitious and intellectually curious peers. We hope to see you at Oxford Academia this summer!


Professor James Basker

Jim has taught at Harvard, Cambridge, and for the past 30 years at Barnard College, Columbia University, where he is Richard Gilder Professor of Literary History. After his BA at Harvard and MA at Cambridge, Jim did his doctorate at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. He has directed and taught on summer programs and teacher seminars at Oxford for more than thirty years. He has published widely on English and American history and literature, and his most recent book is American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation. Jim is also President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute, which supports history and civics education in more than 28,000 schools across the US and abroad. In addition to directing the program, Jim will offer plenary talks and private tours of Oxford.


Putney Student Travel

Founded in 1951, Putney Student Travel is the leader in educational and experiential summer programs for high school and middle school students. Putney students have traveled to hundreds of destinations, immersed themselves in cultures and communities around the globe, and found their lives changed. These experiences, including several decades of Oxford programs, often serve as springboards for students to explore interests and chart their future course. Now in its third generation of family leadership, Putney continues to provide high quality programming for students seeking transformative summers beyond the classroom and beyond the traditional camp experience.