Blog: January 2018

2018 Summer Course Accommodation Highlight: Worcester College

If you are attending a 2018 summer course in Oxford, you will be asked to choose an accommodation option between the five options available after your application has been accepted. This week, we’re highlighting one of our college accommodation options, located at Worcester College. Worcester College and its grounds have an extensive history, dating back to 1283. The college is well-known in Oxford for its award-winning beauty and modern accommodation. With historic buildings, beautiful grounds, and a history of illustrious alumni, Worcester College is an important Oxford institution.  

Worcester College as it is seen today is located on the grounds of its predecessor, Gloucester College. Worcester College cottagesBuilt in the late 13th century, Gloucester College housed Benedictine monks and was located near what was then the outskirts of the city of Oxford. The cottages of Worcester College are the last remaining buildings of the former Gloucester College, and are among the oldest residential buildings in Oxford. Today, Worcester College is located a in a fantastic central location. The college is a short walk from George Street, one of the central streets in Oxford, and Gloucester Green market. At Worcester College, you will live near the best that the city of Oxford has to offer.  

Worcester College is well-known in Oxford for its meticulously groomed gardens and sprawling acres of land. Worcester College GardensBecause Gloucester College before it was once located on the edge of the city, Worcester College, when it was established in the 18th century, was allowed to keep its extensive land. As a result, Worcester College today has remarkable, sprawling grounds, including multiple playing fields for sports, its own apple orchard, and a picturesque lake. The groundskeeping for all 26 acres is a large undertaking, and the groundskeepers and gardeners of Worcester College have a fantastic blog that outlines all of the work that goes into making this college so beautiful.  

The accommodation at Worcester College for Oxford Summer Courses is located in a modern building within the college, surrounded by the beautiful lake and gardens. The ensuite rooms look out over the Worcester College lake, a view that you will not find anywhere else in Oxford. For students, there is a shared common room at the college which offers a place to socialise with your new friends and relax between classes. Worcester College is also located a short walk from the middle of town, so Oxford’s best restaurants and shopping are mere steps from this historic institution. Worcester College is also one of the only colleges with playing fields, and the college often excels in sports as a result. Their football, hockey, and cricket teams are consistent winners, and are fun to watch practice in your spare time.  

Learn More

Visit our Oxford accommodation page to learn more about Worcester College. To apply to a 2018 summer course, and to stay in our college accommodation this summer, please visit our apply page.

Posted: January 16, 2018

A Passage to Oxford: Oxford University and its links to India

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The University of Oxford may be some 4,200 miles from Delhi, but that has done little to hinder the world-famous institution’s relationship with the nation of India. It was, in fact, a scholar from New College, Oxford who became the first Englishman on record to visit India in 1579. The first Indian students to attend the university arrived in 1871, and the bridge between Oxford and India has grown stronger ever since. Today, Oxford has 80 Indian academics and 380 Indian students studying degree courses. There are also over 1,500 Indian Oxford alumni who have made and are making an impact on the global stage, including:
  • Former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Indira Gandhi
  • Cornelia Sorabji, India’s first female lawyer
  • Actress Soha Ali Khan
  • Cricketer Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi
  • Writers Amitav Ghosh and Vikram Seth
Oxford students have also been taught by some of the greatest Indian minds, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Amartya Sen, and former president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Today’s Indian Oxford academics are working on researching, innovating, and collaborating across a full spectrum of subject areas: the INDOX partnership practises cutting-edge cancer research; the Said Business School has run the India Business Forum for over ten years; and the Sealinks project is exploring the history and geography of the first people to sail the Indian Ocean. As the second fastest-growing nationality in Oxford’s international student population, Indian Oxford students (or “Oxonians”) can be found contributing to every element of university life. The Oxford Majlis Society, for example, is the university’s second oldest student society (founded 1896), and the oldest Asian student society in the world. The society has a typically strong Indian membership, and has hosted speakers such as Ravi Shankar in recent years. Indira Gandhi was a member of the Majlis Society whilst studying at Somerville College! So, what is attracting so many Indian students to Oxford? We think the answer is simple:
  • The opportunity to study what you are passionate about with world-leading experts
  • A style of learning that helps you develop and defend your own unique views
  • The ability to build skills to help you fulfil your goals for the future
  • The most exciting academic challenge the world can offer!
Oxford Summer Courses has enjoyed welcoming hundreds of Indian students to Oxford since 2010. Even though we are not part of the university itself, we have years of experience of its famous teaching style and traditions, and can understand why students the world over are so keen to experience what it has to offer. In 2018, we are bringing the authentic Oxford experience to India, with courses in a variety of subjects from Creative Writing to Medicine, all taught by Oxford experts. If you’d like to challenge yourself and get a taste of the world’s most famous university, why not join us in India this year? summer course in India, summer course Oak Ridge, summer course Bengaluru, Bengaluru summer, summer class India, summer school India

Learn more:

To apply for our summer programme in India, please visit

Posted: January 15, 2018

Plenty of Room for Debate: Oxford, home of the world’s greatest arguments

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You only need two things to start you off on the road to becoming an excellent debater: an opinion, and the will to defend it. For centuries, Oxford has been the site of some of the most exciting and important debates the world has ever seen, and remains a hotspot for people to try out their arguments. We at Oxford Summer Courses think that being able to debate and present your arguments well is an important skill for academic study in any subject, so we are excited to bring a taste of Oxford debating to India.
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Students debate at the Oxford Union

The Oxford Union is the most prestigious debating society in the world. Founded in 1823, it is also Oxford’s oldest student society, and has a long history of hosting two things: famous speakers from all walks of life, and formal debates on a huge variety of subjects. The Oxford Union elected its first Indian president, D.F. Karaka, in 1933, and a number of distinguished Indian speakers have visited the Union to address its members. In the last couple of years, this has included:
  • Politician and diplomat, Shashi Tharoor
  • CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi
  • Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif
  • Indian-American Special Representative to the US State Department, Farah Pandith
When Oxford Summer Courses visited India in 2016, our students tried their hand at Oxford Union-style debating. This isn’t just a case of shouting out your argument: this kind of debate needs you to be disciplined, clear, and ready to listen to other points of view. So, how does it work? The rules are a bit different from any schools debating you might have done before. A typical Oxford Union debate would look a bit like this:
  1. Opening presentations: the spotlight is turned on your argument – no interruptions!
  2. The judges then ask each team questions which get to the heart of the issue being debated.
  3. The audience ask the teams their questions, followed by the teams asking questions of each other. You will also be able to respond to your questions, but you don’t have to answer all of them.
  4. Final remarks: you can either sum up your argument in a one minute speech, or make a closing point related to it.
  5. The judges offer constructive feedback on each team’s arguments and presentation skills.
  6. The audience vote (for fun!) and the judges present their final decision.
As for what is debated, there are endless possibilities! Last year, our students in India enjoyed debating:
  • Should childhood vaccinations be compulsory?
  • Are Gender quotas in the workplace good for equality?
  • Is space exploration a waste of time and money?
  • Should Britain pay reparations for its role in the slave trade?
We at Oxford Summer Courses believe the most important thing to remember about debating is that issues are never as simple as they seem, and you can’t expect to agree with your peers on every point. What can be agreed, however, is that trying your hand at some Oxford Union-style debating is a great way to hone your skills in building and presenting a winning argument. We’ll look forward to seeing you speaking at the Oxford Union in the future!

Posted: January 10, 2018


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