Similarities and Differences between Cambridge and Oxford

Cambridge University and Oxford University are two of the most prestigious universities in the world.  The two schools are regularly referred to as “super brands” in higher education, being easily recognised internationally. Some outside of the United Kingdom may not realise that these two giants have had a rivalry since Cambridge was founded, and that it goes far beyond the annual boat race. There are many similarities and differences between Cambridge and Oxford, resulting from a shared past.  Cambridge College and Oxford Radcliffe Camera The rivalry between Cambridge and Oxford began with the founding of Cambridge University by a group of Oxford University students. Following a conflict between the townspeople and Oxford students, a group of scholars left Oxford to found a university in Cambridge in 1209. As a result, the two universities have many academic similarities. The similarities and differences between Cambridge and Oxford can


Both universities use the collegiate system, where the larger universities consist of individual colleges and different subject departments. While students belong to the wider university, they also belong to the smaller academic colleges. The student benefits from this system, as they are eligible to use resources from both their academic colleges and the larger university as a whole. An undergraduate applicant applies to the college rather than the university. The scholar is accepted by the college before being eligible to enrol at the larger university. The pastimes between Cambridge and Oxford are typically quite similar, including punting down the river. Punting refers to boating in a punt, a special type of boat with a flat bottom and a square-cut bow. A punt is ideal for small rivers or shallow water. This makes punting the perfect pastime in Cambridge (Cam) and Oxford (Cherwell and Thames). Both Oxford and Cambridge have similar institutions between the two cities. Both have  museums (the Ashmolean in Oxford and the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge), debating societies (Oxford Union and Cambridge Union), botanical gardens (University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Cambridge University Botanic Garden) and publishing houses (Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press). Facilities in both cities are prestigious, adding to the environment of each city as a whole.


Both universities offer rigorous academic teaching, but the two universities differ in what they call this teaching. Both Oxford and Cambridge students benefit from one-on-one sessions with experts in their field. However, Cambridge refers to these sessions as supervisions, while Oxford refers to the sessions as tutorials. Both Cambridge and Oxford have similar traditions, such as matriculation, where students officially become a member of the university. Oxford also has the tradition of wearing academic dress, known as the subfusc. Every undergraduate and graduate student must wear a specific gown, cap and tie to formal events, which makes up their subfusc, which means “of a dark hue”. Students wear the gowns to formal dinners, chapel, examinations, matriculation, and graduation. In 2015, students voted whether or not to keep the archaic subfusc, and opted to continue wearing it to formal occasions and examinations. The demographics and geography of Oxford and Cambridge also pose several differences between the two universities. Oxford is larger in size, with a population about 30% larger than that of Cambridge. Both cities are located near rivers. The sole river in Cambridge, the river Cam, flows through the city centre. Oxford, on the other hand, has two rivers (Thames and Cherwell) which flow around the city centre.

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Both the similarities and differences between Cambridge and Oxford create an environment of shared respect and friendly rivalry. Please visit the Cambridge page and the Oxford page on our website to learn more about how you can study in one of these historic academic locations. Which will you choose?

Posted: December 11, 2017

10 Reasons to Study Abroad This Summer

If you are entering the workplace or university in the coming years, one of the most important ways to prepare yourself is through international exposure. In addition to the long-term benefits of studying abroad supported by various studies, such as increase in pay post-graduation salary and increased likelihood of entering into top choice graduate programmes, there are several other long-term benefits of study abroad programmes. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to study abroad this summer:

1. Build New Interests

Reasons to Study Abroad Summer 2018- Oxford Summer Courses An unexpected benefit of spending a summer abroad is that it will foster new interests. Have you ever played a game of cricket, or rugby? Have you taken part in debates in the style of the Oxford Union? What about punting down the River Cherwell, or the River Cam? As a result of studying abroad, you’ll have experiences unique to the environment, and may gain a new interest or hobby as a result.

2. Live Independently

Reasons to Study Abroad Summer 2018- Oxford Summer Courses As a result of living in university housing, you will gain more confidence in your ability to live independently. During a summer course, you are responsible for arriving to class on time, completing your homework, and preparing for class. These skills are valuable for all students. In addition to these independent living necessities, you’ll learn skills out of your comfort zone. Living in England, you’ll navigate exchange rates, learn your way around your city of choice, and, for non-English speakers, dive into a new language. Expanding beyond your comfort zone will expose you to new cultures beyond your own.

3. Take Part in International Discussions

Reasons to Study Abroad Summer 2018- Oxford Summer Courses In a summer programme with a focus on group discussion, Oxford Summer Courses facilitates international discussions. You’ll discuss your preferred subject with peers from around the world. Your views on your favourite topic will be shaped by international discussions. Following the programme completion, you’ll have an international worldview on your topic of choice.

4. Build Your Confidence

UK University Applications- Oxford Summer Courses Between navigating a map of your new city, learning the value of the currency in your hand and making friends from around the world, you’re bound to feel your confidence increase. Taking these skills back to your home country, you’ll feel more confident in your daily activities.

5. Gain Cultural Insight

Summer Course in London- Oxford Summer Courses England has a very unique and distinct culture that you will come to appreciate throughout this course. If you are already comfortable with English culture, you are bound to learn more about cultures from around the world in an international summer programme. Last year, Oxford Summer Courses hosted students from over 80 countries. You’ll learn new customs from your new friends, expanding your cultural insight.

6. Learn More about Globalisation

Oxford Summer Courses As business move increasingly digital, we’re seeing an increase in global digital flows as well. In a recent study McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), digital flows of information have been shown as being increasingly international. In fact, according to the study, the amount of cross-border bandwidth that is used has grown 45 times larger since 2005. Globalisation has become increasingly digitised. Studying abroad this summer will provide you with greater understanding of how to work in an increasingly global workplace and how to adapt to this ever-changing work environment.

7. Create an International Network

EFL Classes in England- Oxford summer courses For students aged 16-24, building an international network is a critical skill and one of the top reasons to study abroad. As you move on to university and the workforce, you will already be connected with peers from around the world. As a result, you will have a network of peers and colleagues abroad with which you can share ideas.

8. Help with University Admissions

EFL Classes in England- Oxford summer courses One of the clear reasons to study abroad is the assistance it will provide with admissions essays. In addition to a compelling application, admissions committees look for independent applicants who will adapt well to change. Because you have studied abroad, you have proven that you can handle the challenges of university. Oxford Summer Courses will provide you with a letter of recommendation following graduation. This letter of recommendation will also help to set you apart in the admissions process.

9. Learn through a Global Lens

EFL Classes in England- Oxford summer courses You will gain global perspective on your topic of choice. Through an international summer abroad programme, you will learn how others approach the same subject through their own perspective. While you may have approached a problem one way, a student from around the world may look at the same problem quite differently.

10. Lifelong Friends

Tour English Universities with University Guidance Tours The bonds that you form while living abroad are unbreakable. You will study and live with students from around the world, and the experience of living abroad will undoubtedly bind you. After your programme has finished, you will return to your home country with a group of close friends around the world.

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To learn more about spending this summer abroad, download a free brochure about your subject of choice.

Posted: December 9, 2017

Summer Course in India 2018

We at Oxford Summer Courses recognise that our locations in Britain are not always convenient for everyone. That’s why we’re expanding our classes to international locations, including a summer course in India. We will bring expert tutors from Oxford to you in India, and with them your favourite course topics. Summer Course in India 2018- Oxford Summer Courses Oxford experts will teach all courses at Oakridge International School in Bengaluru. You will be receiving the same expert academic knowledge as in Oxford, but will be closer to home. You will meet peers interested in the same subjects as you and are also in your age range, with whom you will make lasting connections. Subjects available to study under an expert tutor include: In addition to academic study, we at Oxford Summer Courses want to provide a comprehensive experience similar to that of a university student. You will also learn more about debate techniques used at the prestigious Oxford Union, and will practice debating with your peers. Debates are not only fun, but also a useful exercise which will give you a chance to practice your public speaking, form your arguments and develop how you think under pressure. These skills are all crucial for a university student. Summer Course in India 2018- Oxford Summer Courses At the end of study, there will be a traditional graduation ceremony, where you will receive a letter of recommendation and a certificate. The letter of recommendation can be used in your university applications and also in career applications. A letter of recommendation can help to set you apart in your university applications, and are also often required by most universities.

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In addition to setting you apart academically, a summer course in India can help you to learn independent living skills, enhance your public speaking, and more. Download a brochure or apply today by visiting You can also reach out to us by email at

Posted: December 8, 2017


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