Frankly, I'm shocked it took this long, but finally someone is offering a study abroad course in Potterology. That someone is California State - San Marcos, who's offering a three-credit course in England for those with a penchant for learning and an affinity for magic (and $5,000).
Here's the official description of the "British Culture & Harry Potter Program," courtesy of CSSM:
If you grew up fascinated by the magical world of Harry Potter, this program is for you! Through a combination of travel, experiential learning and academic investigation, this course will explore the locations that inspired the Harry Potter novels and films.
During your time abroad you will:
- Explore and experience through travel the cultural and historical locations in England and Scotland that inspired the Harry Potter series
- Identify and assess the similarities and differences between the novels and films and the ways in which each drew inspiration from cultural sites in Great Britain
- Develop critical thinking skills about complex social issues relating to inequality, race, and gender within the context of contemporary Great Britain.
And here's where you get to go:
- Tour of London, including Harry Potter sites such as Westminster Underground, Houses of Parliament, Scotland Yard, King's Cross Station and many more!
- Tour Warner Brothers Studios, where the films were made
- Historic Lacock Village, still paved with cobblestones, where filmmakers shot scenes of Lily and James Potter's home, Professor Slughorn's house, and Professor Snape's classroom
- Beautiful Gloucester Cathedral, film location for Hogwarts School
- Suburban street entitled Picket Post Close, film location for the Dursleys' home
- Oxford University tour, film location for key scenes of Hogwarts School
- Historic Goathland Train Station, film location for Hogsmeade Station
- Spectacular Durham Cathedral, film location for Professor McGonagall's classroom
- The imposing Alnwick Castle and grounds, including a real broomstick flying lesson!
- Tour of beautiful and historic Edinburgh, Scotland, J.K. Rowling's home town, including Harry Potter sites on the Royal Mile, at the Elephant Café (where Rowling wrote the first book), Balmoral Hotel (where she finished the final novel), Edinburgh Castle, the Museum of Scotland, and much more!
- Tour of the West Coast of Scotland and Scottish Highlands, including film locations for Hagrid's hut, outdoor scenes of Hogwarts School, and the lake where Harry saw his stag Patronus
- Ride the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mailaig, the scenic trip on the Hogwarts Express, crossing over the beautiful Glenfinnan stone bridge in the film
I might think it might be more cost effective to spend your $5k on a regular trip to London, take the official tour, and not have to worry about doing any homework while I'm there, but maybe there's more here I'm missing. Maybe they actually teach you magic. Maybe you get to take a Defense Against the Dark Arts class. Maybe you learn how to fight trolls and basilisk and noseless magicians! Maybe they even teach you how to make sure you marry someone you met back in middle school!