Oriental Institute trips are more than vacations. They’re journeys of a lifetime – adventurous, intellectually stimulating and richly memorable.  Oriental Institute Travel Programs provide exclusive visits and on-site learning privileges not enjoyed by other institutions and travel groups. Participants learn directly from some of the most eminent archaeologists and scholars in the world, at sites the OI has been excavating and researching for almost a century.

Upcoming Departures


Mesopotamia Speaks: Exploring the Yale Babylonian Collection

Two Travel Options: 
- July 24–26, 2019: $500 package includes a 2-night stay in New Haven, CT
- July 25, 2019: $160 package includes a full day of touring (not including hotel stay)
Join Susanne Paulus, assistant professor of Assyriology at the OI, as she explores the Yale Babylonian Collection and the special exhibit, Mesopotamia Speaks. This tour includes a private tour of the special exhibit at the Peabody Museum with Susanne Paulus and Yale University faculty, a private visit to the Yale Babylonian Collection at the Sterling Memorial Library, a visit to the Yale Art Gallery, and dinner in New Haven with Susanne Paulus. 

To register, email Matthew Welton: mwelton@uchicago.edu

Egypt: In the Footsteps of Breasted, 100 Years of OI Exploration

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Our Egypt 2019 tour is currently sold out... but spots may open up in the near future. To be included on a wait list, please email mwelton@uchicago.edu. Our Egypt tours traditionally fill up with members from our previous year’s waiting list.

For 100 years, the Oriental Institute has been a leading force in rediscovering the ancient landscape of Egypt. Join us as we drive, fly, and cruise through Middle Egypt and Lake Nasser, on a journey that puts you in the footsteps of OI founder James Henry Breasted. Personal site tours and briefings by archaeologists and experts in the field give you unprecedented access to a country steeped in mystery and filled with wonder. 

Main Tour: November 21-December 20, includes Thanksgiving Dinner at Chicago House
Pre-Tour Extension: Saqqara and Old Cairo, November 19-21
Post-Tour Extension: Alexandria, December 8-10

To register, email Matthew Welton: mwelton@uchicago.edu

Egypt 2019, Oriental Institute Tours.pdf (brochure)

Oriental Institute Centennial Tour of Turkey and Greece: From Hittite Fortresses to Minoan Palaces



Join us on an incredible journey through legendary landscapes and epic history as the OI combines two academic disciplines to navigate the intersections where East meets West. Experience the Iliad from the Hittite perspective as OI professor Theo van den Hout leads a march westward from Hattusa to Troy. In Turkey, we drive up the sky-blue coast of the Aegean to the scented bazaars of Istanbul. In Crete, we are met by art history professor Seth Estrin for an adventure through the stunning beauty of the Minoan world. As the sun sets on our travels, we head up the rugged mainland of Greece to Mycenae and raise a glass in the shadow of the Parthenon. 


Main Tour: June 12 – June 28, 2020 (17 days)
Cappadocia pre-tour: June 9 – 12, 2020

To register, email Matthew Welton: mwelton@uchicago.edu

Turkey and Greece, OI Tours.pdf (brochure)

Turkey and Greece, OI Tours.pdf (reservation form)

Previous Departures


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Celebrate 100 years of Oriental Institute exploration as we return to Sudan and sites visited by James Henry Breasted on his 1907 expedition.

December  10 – 18, 2018
Sudan and Ancient Nubia (2018 brochure and itinerary)
Led by Emily Teeter, Research Associate, Oriental Institute

To book this trip, or for more information about the tour, contact Matthew Welton at 773.834-9777 or email oi-membership@uchicago.edu

November 26 - December 10, 2018
The Wonders of Ancient Egypt (2018 brochure and itinerary)
Led by Emily Teeter, Research Associate, Oriental Institute

May 7 – 25, 2018
The Silk Road: A Journey through Time in Central Asia
Led by Gil Stein, Professor of Archaeology (Director of the Oriental Institute 2002-2017)

October 6 – 18, 2017
Journey to Jordan - Archaeological Heritage of an Ancient Land
Led by Yorke Rowan, Senior Research Associate, Oriental Institute

May 10 – 13, 2017
Dura Europos Discovery Tour
Led by Tasha Vorderstrasse, Research Associate, Oriental Institute, PhD'04

March 11 – 26, 2017
The Wonders of Ancient Egypt
Led by Lanny Bell, Associate Professor Emeritus of Egyptology, AB'63

October 13 – 28, 2016
The Ancient Land of Persia
Led by Gil Stein, Director of the Oriental Institute

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For detailed information about Oriental Institute tours, contact the Membership Office at 773.702.9513 or oi-membership@uchicago.edu. View past trip photos at our Oriental Institute Facebook page.

Oriental Institute Members are welcome on travel-study programs through Graham School of General Studies University of Chicago Alumni Association.