Approaching Oxford

ARRIVAL

  • All program participants must arrive in Oxford on the dates indicated on the Key Dates page.
  • An onsite orientation meeting and the first few days of academic instruction will be held at the Oxford Program Center.
  • During orientation, you will meet local faculty and staff and get a thorough introduction to the program.

NOTE: If you choose to arrive early or stay on after the end of the program, you are responsible for arranging your own temporary housing. You will be provided with suggestions for affordable temporary accommodations during orientation on the Stanford campus.

ACCOMODATIONS & MEALS

  • Students are housed in double rooms at the Stanford House, a collection of older buildings with rooms and facilities connected by more than fifty staircases.
  • You will receive the equivalent of 19-meals-per-week.
  • In Oxford, Stanford students are affiliated with one of three colleges of the university, thus creating the opportunity to take lunches, snacks, and dinners alongside Oxford students.
  • In addition to the college dining arrangements, students receive a meal allowance to cover the purchase of groceries to cook for themselves at the center or to buy meals in local pubs or restaurants.
  • The center accommodates 45 students and a junior dean, and includes a seminar room, a library, a study area, a computer cluster, a lounge, a music room, six kitchenettes, and the staff offices.

COLLEGE ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP

The Oxford Program enhances the academic experience by exposing Stanford students to the daily life of Oxford University. All Oxford students and faculty are members of a college, and associate membership of a college is arranged for all participants in the Stanford-in-Oxford program. Colleges are more than simply dormitories; most of them are long-established institutions with a strong sense of their own culture and identity, and most Oxford students see their college (and not the University) as the main focus of loyalty. As a temporary member of one of the three colleges -- Brasenose, Corpus Christi, or Magdalen -- you will be expected to participate in the life of the college, not only through having meals there but also by using the college library and by getting involved in sports, music, theater and the many other extracurricular activities that are offered.

Most Stanford students have found that involvement in extracurricular activities is by far the best way to meet Oxford students. The colleges' sports teams and societies often recruit students from outside their own college, so your extracurricular activities need not be limited only to your affiliate college. In addition to the college clubs and societies there are countless Oxford University clubs and societies that offer access to a highly eclectic range of leisure pursuits. Most of these activities will be within walking distance of the Stanford House.

CITY LIFE

You will be affiliated with one of the three Oxford colleges — Brasenose, Corpus Christi, or Magdalen — which will give you access to sports and most other college facilities that your Oxford peers enjoy.

The colleges' sports teams and societies often recruit students from outside their own college and associate members, which means that your extracurricular activities might not be limited only to your affiliate college. In addition to the college clubs and societies, Oxford University’s Student Union offers the opportunity to join in an even wider range of leisure pursuits. Most activities in Oxford will be within walking distance of the Stanford House.

Convenient public transport is available around Oxford and from oxford to London and elsewhere in Britain.

While it is tempting to combine your stay in Oxford with frequent excursions to other parts of the United Kingdom and Europe, the center encourages all students to schedule their travels outside the regular program quarter, so that they can make the most of their contact with Oxford students and get to know the city well.

TRAVEL AND LENGTH OF STAY

While it is tempting to combine your stay in Oxford with frequent excursions to other parts of Europe, you are strongly advised to schedule your more extensive travels outside the regular program quarter. This will enable you to get to know the city well, to have some time for relaxation, and experience Oxford as an insider and not a stereotypical tourist. You should also try to make the most of the opportunity to explore other parts of Britain; there are frequent buses from Oxford to London, and you can reach most other parts of the country conveniently by bus or train from Oxford.

Though it is possible to have a very rewarding and stimulating stay in Oxford of only one quarter, it takes time to make the most of its intellectual opportunities and to become fully immersed in its rich and idiosyncratic culture. If your academic plans permit, therefore, you should think very seriously of staying for two quarters. Very few students who have done this in the past have regretted their decision, and many who have stayed for only one quarter have regretted that they did not stay for longer!