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A Guide to What to Expect at Oxford Summer Courses

Embarking on a journey with Oxford Summer Courses is an opportunity for more than just academic enrichment; it's a chance to shape your summer into a memorable chapter of learning and personal growth. As you eagerly anticipate the upcoming experience, questions about what lies ahead are only natural. To provide clarity and insight, we're here to guide you through the intricacies of what to expect during your summer school course. Ready to take the first step? Apply Now and let's unravel the details together.

1. If my parents stay nearby, will I have time to see them?

Certainly! During your time at Oxford Summer Courses summer school, we allocate occasional afternoons for you to catch up with your parents. To ensure it doesn't affect your studies, please arrange these meetings beforehand.

2. What is on offer when I am not studying or being taught or tutored?

Expect a vibrant social and cultural programme delivered by your on-course team. Tailored to your age group and course location, activities range from team building for younger students to professional focus for older ones, including CV writing, interview skills, debates, and public speaking. University fairs and guest speakers enhance the learning experience. Sample timetables can be provided by our Admissions team during your application.

3. What kind of places will I get to go to on the cultural excursions?

Explore gems like Oxford, Cambridge, and London, along with full-day excursions to places like Windsor, Portsmouth, Bath, the Tower of London, and Blenheim Palace. The full-day excursion itinerary varies, promising a diverse and exciting cultural programme.

4. How long is the day?

The day typically begins with breakfast at 07:30, followed by the first class or activity at 09:00. Evening activities finish around 20:00 for younger students and between 21:30 to 22:00 for those 13+. Lights out is set for 21:00 for younger students and by 22:30 for those 13-24. The day is filled with lessons, tutorials, seminars, and activities, so be prepared for a lot of walking between buildings. Sample timetables on individual course pages offer a glimpse into a typical day.

5. How are breakfast, lunch and dinner organised?

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on-site for 9–12-year-olds. 13–15-year-olds enjoy inclusive breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with dinner at local restaurants or provided by the college. For 16-17- and 18–24-year-olds, breakfast and dinner are provided. Lunch is not included, but the on-course team recommends local eateries for exploration. A formal three-course banquet in college dining rooms is a highlight for 13–24-year-olds in Oxford and Cambridge.

6. When should I arrive? And leave?

Course dates are inclusive, indicating the arrival and departure dates. For example, a course from 23rd June to 6th July means arriving on the 23rd June and departing on the 6th July. Check-in is from 2 pm on the start date, and check-out is by 10 am on the end date. Arrival in the UK earlier or departure later is allowed, but on-site access is only granted from the course start date.

7. Who are the on-course (pastoral) staff?

Meet our dedicated on-course team committed to your well-being. Led by a site coordinator, the team includes leaders and helpers trained to care for groups of students. They are available outside academic sessions and may even be subject specialists contributing to subject-specific workshops.

8. How much of my own money will I need during a two-week course?

We recommend £300 for 18-24 year-olds, £250 for 16-17 year-olds, £200 for 13-15 year-olds, and £50 for 9-12 year-olds. This should cover additional expenses like lunches, souvenirs, and free time.

9. What should I bring with me?

Refer to the detailed packing list in your Welcome Pack. Essential items include travel documents, chargers with UK adaptors for your devices, and more.

10. How structured is the free time, and can students engage in personal activities outside of the scheduled programme?

Oxford Summer Courses provides a balanced approach to free time, offering a structured programme of activities alongside opportunities for personal exploration. While there are scheduled activities and excursions, students also have some free time to pursue personal interests, relax, or spend time with friends.

11. Are there any opportunities for students to pursue their hobbies or interests during their free time?

Yes, students have the opportunity to pursue their hobbies and interests during their free time at Oxford Summer Courses. Depending on the course location and availability of facilities, students can engage in a variety of activities such as sports, arts and crafts, music, drama, or simply exploring the local area.

12. What measures are in place to ensure the safety and supervision of students during off-campus activities and excursions?

The safety and supervision of students during off-campus activities and excursions are of paramount importance at Oxford Summer Courses. Trained staff members accompany students during all excursions, ensuring adherence to safety protocols and providing guidance and support throughout the experience. Additionally, emergency procedures are in place, and students are briefed on safety guidelines before participating in any off-campus activities.


As you embark on your Oxford Summer Courses journey, rest assured that every detail has been carefully considered to make your experience enriching and seamless. If you have more questions or need further assistance, our team is here for you. Get ready for a summer of learning, discovery, and lasting memories with Oxford Summer Courses!

Ready to start your Oxford Summer adventure? Apply Now and make this summer a transformative experience!

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Oxford Summer Courses is an organisation which contracts with the colleges of the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London for the use of facilities, but which has no formal connection with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London.
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