Your Pre-Course Checklist, Guidance on What to Pack & What to Expect


Date of Publication: 31 May 2017

We want you to be as ready as possible for our 2 and 4 week courses in the summer, therefore due consideration needs to be given to your pre-course arrangements and packing list. It’s easy to neglect; as something that can be done later, or nearer the time, or not at all – “I’ll just sort it out when I get there…”


Some very key details need to be in place prior to you even departing for Oxford or Cambridge; just think how you’ll feel when the British sunshine decides to show itself and you’ve left your Aviator sunglasses at home!

Plan to plan.

Ensure key documents and materials are in place to enable you to travel (if necessary), and then make sure you have what you need for your stay with us. One can never predict the British weather accurately, even in summer, sunshine is not guaranteed and rain is never avoidable. First advice is to pack clothing suitable for both warm and cool weather.

Campus life is casual, and this is the typical student dress code during the day. Evening events may require slightly dressier attire such as skirts or dresses, and trousers and shirts.

On our website, we provide fortnight timetables per age group which detail what a typical day will look like and what is included on each day. Also, pre-course information will be sent out prior to the course start date with further information. Please consult these materials, or contact us if you are still unsure, to think about what you might need.

Read on for our recommendations on what “must haves” you’ll need, the types of clothing to pack and what prizes could be yours…

Pre-course checklist:

  • Cash/ATM cards – get GBP currency in advance of your trip and save what you can on the exchange rate.
  • Electronic chargers, – if you are bringing any electronic devices with you, make sure you have a British standard plug socket adaptor.
  • Medications – if you require medications, do not forget them! Note that we send out a Key Information Form prior to the course start dates to capture medical and dietary requirements. Always get directly in touch if you want to be sure.
  • Passport and other travel documents – you will need your passport if you are travelling from overseas to the UK. You may also need a visa, please check on the UK visa government website. As Oxford Summer Courses is accredited by the British Accreditation Council as a short course provider, please apply for a Short-term Study Visa.
  • Mobile phone and laptop/tablet – students are encouraged to bring their own computer if they have one and if it is easy to pack. Do not forget your mobile phone as this will be needed as a form of direct contact, plus, how else will you snap that perfect selfie on the lawn of an Oxford University college?

What to pack:

  • Footwear – shoes suitable for walking long distances.
  • Every day/casual clothes.
  • Sportswear (indoor and outdoor) – trainers, t-shirts and shorts.
  • Formal clothing – your chance to dress up!
  • Toiletries – students are expected to bring their own (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothbrush and toothpaste).
  • Rucksack or small travel bag – for afternoon trips and excursions.
  • Weather protection – English summer demands both an umbrella, and sun protection cream, sun hat and of course, those Aviators!

Please note that towels and all bed linen are provided. Also, emergency buys can be done with ease considering the central location of Oxford University colleges, so do not panic if you manage to forget something.

What to expect:

  • Photography/videography – we will be capturing footage and images so you can see how wonderful you all look once the course is over.
  • Contests and competitions – expect hidden treasures and prizes for the best snaps.
  • International community – students from all cultures, backgrounds and languages will join us this summer. Embrace the highly international group. Relax and learn with students from around the world.
  • Student help – friendly pastoral staff members await your arrival! Many of whom are current or former Oxford/Cambridge students. They’re open to chat, help and answer your questions.

One more thing to remind, get social! Tell your friends where you are and what you’re doing on social media leading up to your arrival and during your time with us. You can find us on Facebook Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ & Pinterest. We’ll be watching for any standout snaps or videos.

We cannot wait to welcome you on to our courses this summer. We truly believe an academic course is the best setting for a great summer, just ensure you are well equipped for the academic adventure.

See you there!

Have more questions about the courses? Contact our Student Ambassadors to find out more about their on-course experiences

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