Ever since the Second World War, parts of Alnwick Castle have been used by a variety of schools and colleges. Newcastle Church High School for Girls was safely evacuated to the Castle during the war, to be replaced in 1945 by a teaching training college.
Since 1981, however, these sections of the Castle have been used as a branch campus for St. Cloud State University from Minnesota, USA, as an integral part of their International Study Programme.
This programme is designed to give American students the opportunity to study abroad and experience different cultures and customs whilst gaining credits towards their degrees.
Most of the courses taught at Alnwick Castle are part of the school of humanities and social sciences, with some of the courses, such as English History and Contemporary Britain, being taught by staff from Alnwick.
The programme usually includes a 'Field Trip Experience', allowing students to visit historical sites, areas of natural beauty and some great British cities.
The students live and study within the Castle, undertaking a certain amount of domestic work in exchange for the spectacular surroundings. Students also spend time with local families, who help them learn about life in Northumberland. Many develop unique links with the town and its residents, and often come back for visits.