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From cultural attractions to historic sights and stunning architecture, Europe has an endless supply of once-in-a-lifetime attractions to explore. 

Global Summers Academy offers travel education programs that provide a safe and nurturing environment for students to thrive academically while also being exposed to culturally significant experiences. Travelling provides students with the opportunity to interact with new, historic surroundings, and grow outside of the classroom. 

The first step to expanding your education is deciding where you want to go. Before making any rash decisions, let’s learn about some of the most historic attractions that Europe has to offer.

The Eiffel Tower – France

The Eiffel Tower is every romantic’s dream, and one of France’s most iconic landmarks. Controversial for its construction when initially built, engineer Gustave Eiffel received significant criticism for his design due to the size and scope. At the time, the 324-meter-tall tower was considered the tallest structure in the world. 

Originally built to act as the entrance for the 1889 World’s Fair, travellers from around the world continue to visit this architectural wonder. Standing in the center of the Champ de Mars in Paris, the wrought-iron tower has three levels that contain restaurants and cafes, gift shops, exhibits about the history of the tower, the original restored office of Gustave Eiffel himself, and several observation desks.

Our France travel education program is the perfect study-abroad opportunity for students from Ontario or across Canada who want to enjoy the mixture of rich history, groundbreaking architecture, and ambience that the Eiffel Tower has to offer.

The Colosseum – Italy

Some people dream of becoming an influencer, while others wonder what it would be like to run their own empire. Recognized as one of Italy’s most admired attractions, the Flavian Amphitheater in Rome (better known as the Colosseum) continues to be one of the remaining and most iconic symbols of Imperial Rome. 

Built in A.D. 70-80 using travertine limestone and volcanic rock, the monument was considered the world’s largest amphitheater for a significant amount of time, holding up to 80,000 spectators. 

The true weight of history can be felt standing beside the 48-meter-high walls that surround an architectural footprint of 24,000 square meters. Originally fitted with a velarium (a retractable awning to protect spectators during bad weather) and a thick wooden floor covered by sand, the building was designed for peak entertainment. 

Most well known for gladiator fights, the Colosseum was also where many other shows and spectacles took place. These included everything from famous battles to executions, and even mock sea battles where the space would be filled with and drained of water to simulate waves. 

Step inside the stadium with our Italy travel education program and feel the weight of the world’s most historic empire up close.

The Acropolis of Athens – Greece

Nothing beats a great view, especially one that looks out over an historic city in Greece. Nestled atop a rocky outcrop above Athens, the Acropolis is a collection of buildings primarily constructed in the fifth century B.C. One of the most notable structures is the Parthenon, which was a temple built to thank the gods for the Greeks’ victory over Persian invaders.

Other prominent features include the gateway Propylaea, which acts as the entrance to the Acropolis, the Erechtheion (dedicated to Athena and Poseidon), and the small but beautiful Temple of Athena Nike.

While most of the ancient artifacts within the temples have been relocated to the Acropolis Museum nearby, the architecture that remains has the power to transport visitors back in time. 

Take a tour through history on our Greece travel education program and learn first-hand about the wonders of Ancient Greece. In addition, we offer an opportunity to visit both Rome and the Greek Islands, so you can explore twice the history while studying and travelling abroad.

The Alhambra and Generalife Gardens – Spain

If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing a lavish life of luxury, or wondered what it felt like to be royalty, the palace and fortress complex Alhambra should be your first stop. Alhambra—meaning “the red one”—was originally built in 889 C.E., and was later built upon in the mid-13th century, now embracing 142,000 square-meters of stunning red brick and architecture fit for a king or queen.

Although the fortress has experienced some neglect in the past, it has been partially restored as a means of preserving history. Today, it acts as a beautiful display of Muslim art and architecture in Spain. As though frozen in time, the mix of red clay, layered brick, and stone make the natural earth-red colour of the Alhambra an unforgettable sight. The interior is covered in striking stucco designs that breathe life back into the Moorish palaces, royal baths, and fortified towers. 

As far as summer views go, the adjoining Palacio de Generalife is a can’t-miss experience. The terraced Persian gardens provide a summer escape that is unmatched by any beach. The many colonnades and pavilions offer a beautiful view that you won’t soon forget.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos – Portugal

When thinking about architectural masterpieces, Portugal may not be the first place to come to mind. However, the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon should be placed at the top of every bucket list. The UNESCO World Heritage Site monastery is a stunning example of Manueline or Portuguese late Gothic style. 

Notable for its ornate details, Manueline architecture comes with larger-than-life semicircle arches in the doors and windows, incorporating maritime elements like shells and pearls. Beginning construction in 1501, the Monastery took over 100 years to complete, meaning it has history literally built into it. Originally, the structure was fitted with gold-coloured limestone. Over time, however, various kings and architects added their personal touches to the building.

Now opening up onto the Church of Santa Maria, visitors can stand beneath the 32-meter side entrance that leads to the main altar area. Outside the Church, the Monastery has large grounds and gardens with a wide display of fountains, 16th-century buildings, and pavilions that are free to explore.

Participating in a travel education program to Portugal and Spain allows students to study abroad while simultaneously experiencing a vast array of historic architecture, style, artwork, and scenery.

Where to next?

Now that you know the types of places a study-abroad trip can take you, the next step is deciding where to spend the summer learning.

To find out more about the travel education programs that we provide in Ontario, call Global Summers Academy at 1-416-357-2621 or 1-844-357-2621. You can also reach us by email at info@globalsummersacademy.com or contact us here.