• New Zealand
J-Term, Maymester
Sliding scale fees, LGBTQIA+ funding, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Direct Enrollment
Degree Level
Bachelors Masters PhD.
Host Family


Price Details
It is recommended, although not a requirement, to purchase life insurance prior to arrival. One does not just walk into Mordor. Although life in Middle-earth is more peaceful now, there are still many dangers that lurk within its bounds, and travel remains difficult.
Jan 15, 2019
Aug 21, 2013
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About Program

Spend a year in Middle-Earth and experience the unique culture and alternative learning systems of this diverse and engaging region. Although recently a place of turmoil and chaos, the Fourth Age of Middle-earth is shaping up to be a time of peace and prosperity. Since Middle-earth is currently undergoing a transition between Third Age elvish magic and the Fourth Age's man-made advancements, this is the perfect time to study abroad in Middle-earth. Our placements include:

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Fantasy Programs Abroad.

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Diversity & Inclusion


  • Rivendell: Peruse Elrond's library, the largest collection of scrolls in Middle-earth, made public upon its owner's departure from Middle-earth, as you embark on an independent research project in the Last Homely House East of the Sea. In the beautiful city of Rivendell, in addition to improving your fluency in Sindarin, you'll brush up on your Quenya under the tutelage of the few remaining experts in the realm. You can also take advantage of the Moon Rune reading room, one of the few remaining in the world as you decode ancient texts and hidden messages from generations ago.
  • Caras Galadhon: The political and cultural center of Lorien, Caras Galadhon has lost much of its former glory since the end of the Third Age. Nevertheless the city, under the rule of Celeborn, remains a popular destination for those interested in elvish studies. In Caras Galadhon live the last memories of the Elder Days of Middle-earth. Students who are specializing in disenchantment studies will also find Caras Galadhon particularly fascinating, as the power of the ring Nenya which sustained the city slowly fades from the earth. As you live in the Mellyrn of the elves of Lorien, you'll not only improve your Sindarin and Quenya, you'll have the chance to experience the last twilight rays of this beautiful and ancient city.
  • Edoras: The capital of the kingdom of Rohan, Edoras is the perfect location for those who are interested in veterinary medicine. Known as the horse lords, the people of Rohan care deeply about their steeds and have some of the most advanced veterinary practices in all of Middle-earth. There is also an option for a particularly talented student interested in linguistics to work with scholar Meriadoc Brandybuck on a comparative study of Rohirric and old Hobbitish. Edoras is also a great location for women looking to study abroad in Middle-earth. Since the heroic actions of Eowyn during the War of the Ring, Rohan has been enacting sweeping reforms and mentorship programs to raise the status of women within the kingdom.
  • Minas Tirith: The White City of Gondor is entering a new age of prosperity with its new king and Minas Tirith is on its way to becoming the preeminent city of Middle-earth. King Elessar has used this time of peace to reinvest in education in Gondor's capital. This includes the introduction of the cutting-edge medicinal knowledge he gained during his time as a ranger to the city's medicinal training programs. There is also the chance to study as a pupil of the same wizard who taught the city's former steward, Faramir. Under the wizard's tutelage, you'll learn about the history of Gondor and Middle-earth as a whole, and take your study of ancient languages and lore to the next level.
  • Aglarond: Attend a special geological study in the Glittering Caves of Helm's Deep, one of the most beautiful locales in Middle-earth. The caves, as described by Gimli Elf-friend and current Lord of the Glittering Caves, are sure to enthrall anyone with a passion for the Stone: “when the torches are kindled and men walk on the sandy floors under the echoing domes, ah! then, gems and crystals and veins of precious ore glint in the polished walls; and the light glows through folded marbles, shell-like... There are columns of white and saffron and dawn-rose, fluted and twisted into dreamlike forms; they spring up from many-coloured floors to meet the glistening pendants of the roof: wings, ropes, curtains fine as frozen clouds; spears, banners, pinnacles of suspended palaces!”

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Program Reviews

4.25 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 5 rating 50%
  • 4 rating 25%
  • 3 rating 25%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 3.75
  • Support 3.5
  • Fun 4.25
  • Housing 4
  • Safety 4.25
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Cecilia Haynes
Yes, I recommend this program

Rivendell: the Good, the Bad, and the Vegetarian

Rivendell was my number one choice for my fantasy study abroad year. Who in their right mind would not want to be surrounded by gorgeous beings who are not ageist? Plus, Rivendell is by turns a delightful forest and a tropical paradise filled with waterfalls. I got the best of both worlds and I was able to expand my horticulturalist knowledge.

The highlights were language immersion, lessons in Elvish architecture, and nightly poetry recitations featuring the estimable Bilbo Baggins. Their library was beyond compare and I cannot even begin to convey how mind-blowing it was to take equestrian lessons with Glorfindel. Plus, watching Elrond flood the River Bruinen was pretty spectacular.

The main drawback of the program was frankly how aloof the Rivendell elves could be. I understand that they are beings of immense age, knowledge, and beauty, but there was no call for them to be so formal all the time. It made it a little hard to cut loose and enjoy myself, as I heard others did during their time at the Hobbiton site.

They also had a disconcerting habit of falling silent and staring intently at each other. I presume their were communicating telepathically but, honestly, it just looked like an impromptu staring contest.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the elves and you cannot beat the price of the program. All they needed was for my life to be in mortal danger so that they could rescue me and give me succor. I just had to put myself in the way of some ringwraiths near Rivendell et voila!

What would you improve about this program?
Mortal danger aside, Rivendell elves need to incorporate some meat into their menu. This is a paradise for vegans but I daresay even some vegetarians would have trouble with the elves' repetitive fare. Even if meat is not an option, at the very least they need to beef up on their tofurkey and other tofu-meats.
50 people found this review helpful.
Go Overseas logo
Yes, I recommend this program

Mixed feelings about Hobbiton

Written by Mitch

When I submitted my location preferences, I asked for: 1) Minas Tirith 2) Lorien 3) Hobbiton. They gave me Hobbitton. My 3rd choice! I was forced to eat two breakfasts, two lunches and a 2nd dinner for the entire year. I was the tallest person there all year, which is annoying. Helping someone get the jar down from the top shelf is only fun the first 53 times. Gets old fast.

When I complained to the program staff, they weren't very understanding at all. They wouldn't even CONSIDER moving me.

Other than the above, the program was great. I learned all about Hobbit culture, their farm life, singing and customs. They are wonderful, welcoming people. Even though I probably had 100+ concussions from banging my head on door posts, it was well worth it. In sum, I'd go back to Middle Earth, but would likely insist on a placement more to the east. Even Rohan would have been better in comparison. I know some people complain about all the horses, but I think that would be fun (if a little smelly).

What would you improve about this program?
It's important to be more transparent to people that they may get their 3rd choice. I probably wouldn't have gone on the program if I knew I would be in Hobbiton.
45 people found this review helpful.
Go Overseas logo
No, I don't recommend this program

No Mordor Option!?

Written by Mitch

My main issue with this program was the lack of a Mordor homestay option. I'm OK with outing myself: I love the dark arts. If someone handed me The One True Ring, I'd put it on and rule the world forever. I'd find them... and in the darkness bind them. I'd be nice to some people.... some people. Sauron isn't even there anymore, so it's NOT that dangerous. I want to see what it's like there! I want to climb to the top of Mount Doom, run across the planes of Gorgoroth and sleep in the palace of Barad-dur. I want to fly on the top of a Nazgul and feel their shrieks coursing through my body. I want to train with an army of Orcs and feel what it's like to be one of them!

I don't make moral and ethical judgments of YOU. I don't know why this program makes those judgments of ME and of MORDOR. Let me find my own path. And if that path takes me through the mines of Moria and to the tower of Cirith Ungol.... that is MY CHOICE.

I called the Program Office to ask about a Mordor homestay option and the Elven customer service rep was extremely rude to me. I told her I love orcs and I'm proud of it. She wanted to know everything about my background, who my parents are, etc. She sounded very suspicious. When she told me they were going to send a few Elves to interview me in person... I gave them the wrong address. I don't need them looking down on me.

Gandalf and the rest of those Elvish aristocratic, high society, tea drinking, pinky in the air snobs can take their Study Abroad programs and stuff it. I'll find my own way to Mordor. Oh, and I'll be back someday....

51 people found this review helpful.
Robin Goralka Headshot
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time in Rivendell!

Well, first of all, Rivendell is absolutely gorgeous! I can't imagine a more beautiful place to study. Although I was left to work pretty much on my own, the immense library resources more than made up for the lack of academic support. Also, the elves I met there were some of the most hospitable people I've ever met. I'll always remember the nights we spent singing and telling stories.

What would you improve about this program?
Getting to Rivendell itself was quite dangerous! My ranger guide was competent, but I still didn't feel completely safe! Also, if you do any of the Middle-earth programs, be prepared for /lots/ of walking!
65 people found this review helpful.

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