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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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If you can’t find what you are looking for below, then please contact our admissions team: info@oxfordsummercourses.com +44 (0)1865 818403

If you can’t find what you are looking for below, then please contact our student services team: studentservices@oxfordsummercourses.com

Applications and Policies

It will depend on what course you apply for and whether you are residential or not, but in general all teaching, accommodation, pastoral care, activities and excursions are included. Most meals are included for residential students. Please check the website for more details. Also included for courses in the UK is travel insurance and complimentary transfers at specified times. Further information can be found in the Travel & Insurance FAQs.

Please click the ‘Apply’ button on the website where you will be directed to your application form. Depending on the course you select, you may have the option to pay the deposit and/or balance immediately. Details of how to do this will be provided and through our Flywire payment system, we accept most local method of payments including all major credit cards and bank transfers. If you are not directed to pay a deposit, one of our Admissions team will contact you. Once you make a deposit payment, you will receive an email with a link to our Assessment Form. This form gives us a clear understanding of your educational interests so we can allocate you to an appropriate class group. You must complete this form and pay your full fee balance to guarantee your place in the course.

If your area of interest isn’t listed we may not be able to accommodate a new subject choice as we want to ensure you have tuition from an expert in your field, and can work alongside other students who share your interests. No matter what subject you choose, you are guaranteed to learn in new areas and leave enriched in your knowledge base, transferable skills and academic development.

We’ll be in touch with lots more information before the start of your course, this will include details of your accommodation and where to go on your first day.

We can cater for any dietary specifications (religious or health), and have often in the past had students fasting; we can arrange meals outside scheduled times where necessary. Once you have submitted your dietary requirements, please note that amendments can only be made for medical reasons. All other requirements are dealt with on a case by case basis so please contact us and we will make every effort for your child to be able to attend. We will collect all essential details about our students in an information form, sent to you before they join us on their course.

Unfortunately at this time we do not offer any scholarships or bursaries for our UK-based courses. For our India courses for 14 – 17 year olds in Bengaluru, non–Oakridge students will have the opportunity to win a scholarship worth 50% of the course fees, to be awarded at the graduation ceremony at the end of the course. These scholarships will be based on academic excellence, and will be awarded to students with the highest score in each of the main exam boards in India. Students will become eligible upon payment of the course fees in full, and submission of exam transcripts pertaining to the summer 2019 sitting. Please have a look at the website for more information. Oakridge students are eligible for separate scholarships. Oakridge International School will provide more information on request.

If you’ve been accepted on to Oxford Summer Courses, any refund will be limited to recoverable costs. We won’t be able to refund the initial deposit. The specific details can be found in our terms and conditions.

What to Expect During your Course

Yes, there will be occasional afternoons when we are very happy for you to catch up with your parents, but this will need to be arranged beforehand so it doesn’t affect your studies.

As well as the visits around the places you are staying in, we also run a range of workshops for you to take part in. Our younger students might try tie-dyeing, music making, and circus skills. For our older students, there is a more professional focus such as CV writing, interview skills and public speaking. Again, the programme will vary depending on the age group of your course. If you are on our week-long Spring courses, there is a greater focus on professional development workshops and academic and subject specific networking. Your time outside the classroom will combine a genuine taste of the city of Oxford, such as visits to historic colleges, a formal banquet, and a chance to go punting on the River Thames, in addition to discussing great ideas with professionals and thinkers in your field of study.

For students coming to the UK we are fortunate to have some incredible experiences all within a close distance of our course locations. The cities of Oxford, Cambridge and London themselves are gems with a range of things to do and places to visit. You will get time to visit these and soak up the atmosphere. Organised trips travel further afield and all of our students will get to visit some amazing places in our capital city, London. Other trips include the royal residence of Windsor, the Royal Naval Dockyards in Portsmouth, the Roman city of Bath, Harry Potter Studios, the medieval city of Canterbury, and the architecturally stunning Blenheim Palace. The visit programme varies according to the date and age group of your course but we aim to give every student a varied and exciting cultural programme. For students attending one of our international courses, we aim to show you the amazing cultural experiences on offer.

You’ll be expected to spend a few hours each day preparing for tutorials and seminars. There are plenty of organised (optional as well as programmed) activities most days. This still leaves time to explore and relax. Giving you the freedom to choose when to work and when to relax is part of the university experience, and key to our ethos at Oxford Summer Courses. Have a look at our example weekly timetables for a clearer idea.

Apart from Sundays, when there is a more relaxed programme, the day will start between 7.15 and 8am. Our younger students are settled in their bedrooms by between 9.30 and 10.30pm at night. The daily programme is a busy one, and there is registration at least twice a day. Our 13-24 year olds should expect to do quite a lot of walking because lessons, tutorials and seminars are not always in the same place as the accommodation. You will also want to make the most of the chances to explore the city you are staying in!

Most meals are included, particularly if you are on a residential course. Breakfasts are served at the colleges and often dinners are at local restaurants. Highlights for many of our 13-24 students in Oxford and Cambridge are the formal 3 course banquets held in the college dining rooms on a Friday night. If you have to buy your own lunch, our pastoral staff are there to show you where and how.

All arrival and departure information is sent to you at least 4 weeks before you begin your course. For most courses, students must arrive on Sunday afternoons as the courses do not open and rooms will not be accessible before 2pm, so you should aim to arrive between 2 and 4pm. When it is time to leave on Saturday, you will need to hand back your room key by 10am and leave the site by 12.00noon. Your first meal will be on the evening of your arrival day, and your last meal with us will be breakfast on your departure day. Please note, we cannot accommodate students outside of their course dates, unless students are participating in consecutive courses with us.

This is our fantastic team of people, drawn from all over Oxford, Cambridge, London and further, who are dedicated to looking after you and your well being, and making sure that you get the most out of your course. There is someone in charge of the whole site, and they have a team of leaders and helpers who will look after groups of students. They are all trained in working with young people. Not only are the pastoral teams around whenever you aren’t in an academic session, some of them are subject specialists in their own right, and will bring their expertise to subject specific workshops and expand your academic experience.

For 18-24 year olds we recommend that £300 will cover additional expenses, including lunches, souvenirs and free time. For 16-17 year olds, we recommend £250. For 13-15 year olds, we recommend £200. 9-12 year olds will not need any more than £50 for a week.

We will send you information closer to your course with details of the types of things you will need to bring depending on the course you are doing. Most important are your travel documents, chargers with UK adaptors for your devices and a range of clothing to suit the variable weather we can experience over spring and summer.

Travel & Insurance

We don’t book flights for our students although we do offer an airport transfer service each way to all our UK locations from Heathrow only. This can be booked closer to your course start date. Please note that this service must be booked in advance, and your arrival must be within a certain time on the day. You may be able to take advantage of our complimentary offer.

Arrivals for UK-based courses: All unaccompanied 9-15 year olds must use this complimentary service and it is optional for our other students. Student Services will contact you about this and you must confirm your transfer booking at least 4 weeks before your course. You should aim to land at London Heathrow Airport between 8 a.m and 3 p.m UK time so that we can get you to your course for the important first introductions. For flights landing outside of these times additional charges will apply. The transfer day can be a long and sometimes boring one because there is inevitably some waiting in our secure and comfortable lounge area with the transfer team. Whilst we aim to make this process as efficient as possible, the welfare of our students is our primary concern whilst we manage the movement of our students to the correct destinations. Departures for UK-based courses: You should remember that all courses end at 10am and you need to leave the site by midday of your final Saturday. Our departure service runs throughout the morning, so in order to avoid long waiting times at the airport, you should aim for a flight that departs between 10am and 6pm UK time. For flights departing outside of these times this must be by prior arrangement before you arrive on course and additional charges will apply. If you wish to use the departure service you should book onto this when confirming your travel plans before your arrival onto the course with Student Services.

All of our staff waiting at Heathrow Airport will carry proof of identity and an official letter from Oxford Summer Courses confirming their role in the collection of students arriving into the UK. We will have a full manifest of all students we are to meet at the airport, and which of these are in the care of an airline. This is information which parents/guardians will provide to us in the weeks running up to the course, when they make their request for our airport transfer service. If your airline requires a specifically named individual when you book their Unaccompanied Minors service, please contact us.

All our students studying in the UK are covered under a travel insurance policy – included in your course fee. Please view the Insurance Policy wording and our Terms and Conditions. This means if anything unexpected happens and reasonably prevents you from coming on your course, you will be able to make a cancellation claim. You can contact us via email for a claim form. Please note, if you are requesting a refund based on a visa refusal, you will not be able to make an insurance claim and our cancellation policy will apply (as per our Terms and Conditions). If you are attending one of our internationally-located courses you will need to take out a travel insurance policy of your own before travel. If you are a local student you may not need this, please speak to one of our Student Services team.

We provide travel and medical insurance for our students. We do not provide visas. Oxford Summer Courses is accredited by the British Accreditation Council as a short course provider, so please apply for a Short-term Study Visa if you are aged 16 or over at the beginning of your course. You must provide proof of the course you’re studying on official headed paper, stating the course’s name, duration and cost (including the accommodation element). Oxford Summer Courses will issue this to you when you pay your deposit. If you are under 18 you need to provide additional documents where the following are true: You are travelling on your own You are travelling with someone who isn’t your parent or guardian Your parent or guardian needs to provide both their: Written consent for you to travel to the UK, and Full contact details For full details please use the UK Visa Government website. Should you have any further queries please contact us.

Teaching & Education Outcomes

No. We’d like to make it very clear that we’re not affiliated to any. But, unlike many other summer courses, our founders and co-directors have been educated at Oxford University. We believe that anyone should be able to experience the magic of Oxford, Cambridge and the best of British academia, and we benchmark our standards against these universities. The majority of our tutors for our Oxford and Cambridge courses are Oxford and Cambridge academics who use the seminar and tutorial Oxbridge methods of teaching. This gives you the opportunity to explore and discuss your subject, and individual subject interests, with your tutor. Our Juniors programme draws on expert teachers, often from elite British schools. Our unique and exciting London programme is project-based and taught by tutors with expertise in project-based learning. Finally, our language courses are taught by carefully selected teachers who are qualified in teaching English as a foreign language and experienced in working with our age groups and levels of language skills.

Our tutors can support students of all abilities. All we ask of you is to have a genuine passion for your chosen subject and a sufficiently good level of written and spoken English. On application you will be asked to submit a personal statement, you can use this to demonstrate your enthusiasm, previous experience and interest in your subject.

Many of our tutors are academics from across Oxford and Cambridge with experience of the seminar and tutorial methods, which sets Oxford Summer Courses apart from other course providers. For the 9-12 and13-15 age groups we require tutors to have significant and relevant teaching experience or a teaching qualification, so they can best engage, motivate and lead the students they are working with. For our London courses we use tutors and teachers who have experience with the project-based learning method of teaching. Our English languages courses are taught by appropriately qualified tutors, for more information see the UK English Language Courses section.

Oxford & Cambridge Summer Courses – self-directed learning for ages 16-17, 18-24 Singapore – self-directed learning for ages 16-17, 18-24 You will be taught through the highly effective seminar and tutorial method. During seminars you will work directly with a tutor who will introduce a particular topic to you whilst providing their expert support. Between your seminars and tutorials you will be set independent work by your tutors, such as an essay question or problem sheet, which you will submit to your tutor via email before a set deadline. During your one-hour tutorial you will revisit this piece of work and you will be able to delve into your topic in further depth with your tutor. One of the key success factors to the Oxford and Cambridge method of learning is your own self-directed learning. You will be set wider reading and homework by your tutors in addition to the contact time with them. It is expected that you will complete this to the best of your ability and to direct your time accordingly to meet the self-study requirements. In addition you will have the opportunity to undertake workshops which will develop the wider skills needed to be successful These workshops may include topics such as communication, drawing on your strengths, performance at an elite level and using your voice effectively. You’ll also attend our wider-interest lecture series. Oxford & Cambridge Summer Courses – small-group learning for ages 13-15 Working within small groups of 8 or fewer you will receive taught and practical teaching sessions from your tutor. These are designed to be interactive and encourage you to work with individuals within your group. Your homework and study time will build on the work that you have been covering in class. In addition you will participate in workshops which will build and enhance skills required for your present education and future career. Juniors Programme – small-class teaching for ages 9-12 Your teaching will take place in a small class size of fewer than 15 students (divided into 9-10 and 11-12 age groups) and you will be learning in different, fun and interesting ways. You will also be able to improve your skills when you are working in a group, or making presentations. You will get the chance to take part in activity workshops, some of which will feel quite academic, and some which will feel more like play and games. All of our workshops will be with your fellow students from across a variety of subjects so that you can share ideas and learn from each other. London Courses – project-based learning for ages 15-17, 18-24 If you are taking part in our London courses, you will be taught through a project-based learning method. This method means that you will have hands-on experience to investigate and engage with a real-world challenge and respond to key issues and questions related to this area. With the support of your tutor, fellow students and industry experts you will begin your journey in learning about your subject and also gaining some valuable life skills in evaluating and problem solving. Oxford Spring Courses – intensive teaching for ages 16-17, 18-24 Your teaching will take place in small groups with a mix of taught-tutor lead sessions, hands-on workshops and visits to local sites that will enhance knowledge of your subject. The course is designed to immerse you within your subject whilst giving you the practical skills needed to advance your knowledge and understanding. You will also experience networking evenings and be involved in a professional presentation. India Courses – intensive teaching for ages 14-17 Your teaching will take place in small groups with a mix of taught tutor-led sessions, hands-on workshops and group project work.

Our 18-24 courses have been recognised as credit-bearing for students studying in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and mainland Europe. We will support you with the relevant transcript to ensure your home university recognises your study with us with the appropriate level of credit. You are advised to speak to your home university first to obtain their individual requirements as these vary between institutions.

Your certificate will be issued by Oxford Summer Courses and will state your name, subject and course dates. It will be signed by the founders of Oxford Summer Courses, Harry Hortyn and Robert Phipps. In addition you will receive written feedback from your tutor which you may wish to use as a reference. These are not documents from the University of Oxford or any of the colleges.

You will be sent a welcome pack in the weeks before you arrive, which may include a course outline from your tutor. Do be aware your tutor may set you a piece of work or some pre-reading to do before the course. Do try your best but do not worry if you have difficulty completing or understanding what is set. It is your tutor’s job to help you develop and learn as much as you can; the first assignment will help the tutor assess where your knowledge and experience lies and help them tailor their course to you. It won’t help anyone if it is not your work though, and do note our policy on plagiarism in the Student Handbook.

On-site Accommodation

We will take your request into consideration, but we can’t guarantee it.

There are plenty of suitable accommodation options nearby if parents want to stay locally; accommodation included in the programme is for the students only.

Unless you have enrolled in a course with a non-residential option, you are required to stay in the accommodation.

Only where you sleep! If you choose to join our London course as a non residential student, then you will participate in the full range of programmed activities. This will mean, meeting at the London accommodation site at 08:30 am each weekday (weekends will have different timings), and leaving the accommodation at the end of the day’s programme (up to c.10 pm). It’s really important that you can adhere to these timings, so that you get the full experience of your course, integrate fully into the group, and – vitally – so that we can account for you and your safety at all times.

Students studying with us in the UK experience a real university or boarding school lifestyle by staying in historic buildings and locations. The UK has only recently started experiencing extreme temperatures in the summer, and some of these historic sites are not equipped with air-conditioners for students living on-site. Some classrooms are air-conditioned, depending on location, but this is not something we can guarantee.

You will stay in a top UK boarding school, which will give you the opportunity to experience British boarding school life. You will stay in rooms used by pupils during the term time and be looked after by a House Parent. Your meals, apart from packed lunches on day trips, will be eaten together as a group in the school during dining room or in the boarding house. The accommodation has impressive sports facilities and you will have the opportunity to play different team sports and take part in inter-house sports competitions.

Student Safety & Privacy

Here at Oxford Summer Courses, we take the well-being and safety of our students extremely seriously. Our on-course (pastoral) team is carefully selected, well trained and given 24/7 support to ensure that our students have the best experience possible. We use the same standards that are applied in UK schools, and we are regularly inspected by the British Accreditation Council and the British Council (for our EFL courses). There will always be staff members on hand, at all hours of the day, to help with any issues which may arise. All of our accommodation sites for under 16s are closed – that is, the entrance and exit is security controlled. Our staff have their own bedrooms amongst the students’ bedrooms, with same genders housed together. Depending on their age, the students are accompanied by staff members to and from classes and always during the social and cultural activities. Staff members will also be present before and after classes and activities, and at mealtimes. Registrations and checks take place regularly; at the beginning of the day, regularly throughout, and at the end of the day.

We maintain a strict pastoral staff to student ratio throughout the entirety of every course. This ensures that our students are well looked after and safe. Please contact our admissions team if you’d like to know the exact ratios for your course, as this varies slightly between courses and age groups. Our staffing levels are set to support student supervision levels. Supervision levels are dependent on the activity. For example, a film night in the boarding house will have different supervision needs by comparison with a day trip to London. All activities are risk assessed.

We are fortunate in the UK to have good traffic and pedestrian laws, and a culture of safety and social responsibility. We also have some wonderful buskers, street artists and independent shops which our teenage students love to experience. There is some free time in all of the course programmes where student may enjoy some of these. Our rules that are adhered to for student safety are: 13-15 year olds. In groups of at least 3, for short durations (eg an hour), and only with charged phones and clear timings. 16-17 year olds. In at least pairs, for short durations (eg an hour), and only with charged phones and clear timings. Unaccompanied walking out is always at the group leaders’ discretion, and only ever in the daytime. 9-12 year olds will always have staff members with them.

We hope that no one gets ill but sometimes it happens. If your child does get ill, our staff will make sure that they can access appropriate medical services to be diagnosed and treated. The on-course team and house parents will make sure that they are looked after properly. Even though children, generally, are quick to tell their parents if they have been poorly, we will always make sure that you know exactly what is happening, and we will keep you updated. We do our best to maintain your academic programme, and may reallocate time with your teacher or your tutor once you are feeling better. If you choose to end your course early because of an illness, we are unable to refund you the cost of your course. You may be insured for the course costs and/or any emergency travel through your holiday/travel insurance (included in the fee for UK-based courses).

From the 25th May 2018 we – and our College partners – have been compliant with a new UK Data Protection Bill based on the EU General Data Protection Regulation. We ask you for information about you to help us process your application and to make sure that we can cater for your requirements. We pass on relevant data such as dietary requirements, names and ages to our College partners. We abide by UK and EU law when data is required by authorities, although this will be on a case by case basis. For our compliance, you must confirm to us that you give consent for us to use your data in this way so that you can attend our courses. You can confirm to us that you are happy for us to use your contact details in the future to tell you about our products. You can also tell us not to use this information in which case we will delete your contact details. You can read more about data protection in our privacy policy.

In addition to the images we may take for any marketing purposes (which you may opt out of), we find it very helpful for our group leaders to have their students’ photographs on their devices. These are deleted at the end of the course. The images we take of activities and of the students during their course are also used for course blogs. Each course team runs a blog and the link will be shared at the beginning of the course. We find that these blogs are reassuring and are enjoyed by parents who are able to see what their children have been doing each day.

Programme Information

It will depend on what course you apply for and whether you are residential or not, but in general all teaching, accommodation, pastoral care, activities and excursions are included. Most meals are included for residential students. Please check the website for more details. Also included for courses in the UK is travel insurance and complimentary transfers at specified times. Further information can be found in the Travel & Insurance FAQs.

Students staying with us for more than one course will be catered for throughout the changeover weekend. This includes all accommodation, transport between cities if courses are in different locations, meals (including lunches for our under 18s), and an additional excursion or activity on the Saturday. On the Sunday, students will join the new course and meet their new course mates.

Complaints Procedure If there is any problem with your course, we want to be the first to hear about it. If you’re experiencing a problem during the course, then please contact your Course Director. If you’re experiencing a problem before or after the course, then please contact admissions at info@oxfordsummercourses.com To support our students with unforeseen circumstances, we provide medical and travel insurance for our students staying in the UK, see policies for details. It is essential that you contact us as soon as possible so that we can try to rectify the situation on the spot. In the unlikely event that the matter remains unresolved after 5 working days, then please ask to speak with a manager and we will do our utmost to find a satisfactory solution.

Technology Requirements & Screen Policy

Yes – you’ll have access to WiFi networks that function where you are staying and studying. There are also often WiFi networks available throughout the city where your course is located.

Students are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptop if they have one (make sure that you bring the right charger!). It is possible to complete all of our courses without a laptop or similar device, apart from Computer Science, but it is recommended that students work as they would at university; for us this means laptops. Oxford Summer Courses does not provide laptops, however, and you are responsible for the safety and security of your hardware, however, all students have access to a lockable space. Where any valuables are brought, please ensure you have the relevant insurance.

We want students to enjoy their time with us and make the most of the courses that they are enrolled on; making new friends, taking part in activities and studying with top teachers. We feel this is best done without the distraction of phones and personal electronic devices (PEDs) and we encourage our students to be mindful of this. While students are permitted to bring phones and PEDs to dinner, activities and day trips, our staff will encourage them to interact with others to build great friendships rather than use their devices. As with all personal possessions, our 13-24 year old students are responsible for their own devices. Our 9-12 year old students are allowed to bring their phones when they join us, however all of the Juniors sites operate a ‘restricted screen-time’ policy. Students will have their phones and PEDS for specified periods during ‘free- time’. This is time that is set aside from study and group activities for students to hang out with their new friends or call home. Our highly- trained staff will ensure that all phones and PEDS are collected in and safely secured outside of ‘free-time’ and day trips. Robust procedures will ensure that students remain safe and contactable throughout their time with Oxford Summer Courses.

Airport Transfers

Students are responsible for arranging their own flights/ transportation to and from the UK for their courses.

The first Sunday of your course is for checking in and settling in. This is the date you should arrive on campus. If you arrive before this date, we are unable to arrange additional accommodation or transportation, you will need to arrange this yourself.

The last Saturday of your course is for packing up, saying goodbye to your new friends and checking out. This is the date you should book your flight home for.

We offer a complimentary airport transfer service from Heathrow airport, all terminals, for all flights arriving between 08:00 - 15:00.

If your flight arrives outside of this time at Heathrow or from another airport, you will need to arrange your own transportation to your course.

Transfers can be arranged to Heathrow Airport only. This will be arranged by your on-course staff; they will confirm your departure flight on your check in day, then you will receive confirmation of your taxi transfer to the airport during your course.

Yes we do! This service costs £145; students will travel to the airport and be met by the “unaccompanied minors" supervisor who will escort students and help them with the check in process so that they are safely handed over to the care of the airline’s designated staff member. Please ensure that all airline conditions for unaccompanied minor travel are met: every airline is different!

We will provide you with a contact number closer to arrivals. This will be monitored by staff on the ground and a team member in the head office who will also be monitoring the emails.

No, this service is for students only.

Unfortunately we are unable to arrange accommodation for additional nights, so you will need to arrive and depart according to your course dates.

Check in is between 14:00 and 16:00 on the start date of your course. We will send out information about the exact check in location closer to the start of your course. It will be clearly signposted on the day.

For the majority of sites, students will need to be checked out of their rooms by 10:00 and have departed campus by 12:00.

If your flight moves and you can no longer use your scheduled taxi, you can claim this money back using the insurance included in your course fees and will need to make your own way to your course location.

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Oxford Summer Courses Limited

18 Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2NA, United Kingdom

+44 01865 818403

Summer courses for 9-12 year olds
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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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