Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about preparing for your online programme or Oxford Summer School experience in the FAQs below, or contact us here if you have further questions.

summer school faqs

Online Course FAQs

What time will my live tutorials take place?
We will assign you to a class with other students in similar or compatible time zones. We usually have one class of students from the Eastern hemisphere, and one from the Western hemisphere, in order to best accommodate everyone.

Our small class sizes also mean that we are able to take individual students' availability into account, so if you have any pre-existing commitments we'll be able to avoid those when scheduling. We'll then send you the finalised timetable the week before the course starts. This flexible approach allows us to schedule the live sessions at a convenient time for all our students.

How many hours is the course each day?
You will have two hours a day of live contact time with your tutor, and about two hours of independent study or group work to complete each day. In total, therefore, you should plan to spend about four hours a day on the course.
Will I get a certificate at the end of an Oxford Scholastica Online course?
Yes, upon successful completion of the course you will receive a Certificate of Achievement. For those students who really impress us and meet our requirements, we are also able to provide a Letter of Recommendation, which you can use for future course, job or internship applications.
Do I need any special equipment in order to attend Oxford Scholastica Online?
You don’t need any special equipment in order to attend our online courses. All you need is a computer with a stable Internet connection and a webcam. Ideally you would be able to sit in a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed for your tutorials.
Is the online course content the same as an Oxford Scholastica summer school course?
Our online courses (as with all our online offerings) are project-based, meaning you’ll constantly apply what you learn to real-world problems. While these courses have been designed in accordance with our learning philosophy of Learn, See, Do — just like our Oxford Summer School — the content is different, with a greater focus on problem-solving. The course culminates in a final project, evaluated by your tutor.
Who will my tutor be?
We spend an enormous amount of time carefully selecting and training the best tutors for each course. Our tutors are subject experts from world-class institutions, including Oxford and Cambridge.
Do you have an English language requirement?

Students who enrol in our courses (other than our English Language courses) must be able to speak, understand and read English to an Intermediate/Upper Intermediate/Advanced English level. If you'd like to arrange a call to check whether you have the right level of English please feel free to contact us.

Online Internship FAQs

How do I apply to my chosen internship?

Please apply by filling in our application form. In the form, we’d like to hear about why you’d like to do your chosen internship, so that we can ensure that all interns get as much as possible out of the experience.

Is there an application deadline?

There is no fixed deadline, as we assess applications on a rolling basis until we’re full. We’ll reply to your application with a decision within one working day.

What will I get at the end of the internship?

At the discretion of your Mentor, depending on your performance, you’ll receive a Letter of Recommendation after your internship. You’ll also leave with a better understanding of what it’s like to work in your chosen field, a network of contacts from around the world, and the valuable experience of real problem-solving.

Can I do more than one internship at a time?

We love your enthusiasm, but it’s unfortunately not possible to do more than one internship at the same time, given the time you’ll need to dedicate to your project. However, many students choose to join us for multiple internships, in the same or different subjects, over time.

Do I need any special software or equipment in order to join my internship?

You don’t need any special software or equipment – just a quiet space in which to work and a reliable internet connection. You’ll be provided with a login to the software you’ll use to communicate with your team and your Mentor.

Who will my Mentor be?

Your Mentor is a young professional or academic with experience of studying and working in your chosen field. They will support you and your fellow interns throughout the internship, helping to push your ideas further and ensuring that you make the most of the opportunities given.

Is the internship suitable for international students?

Absolutely. As long as you’re able to be online each day at the specified time with your Mentor and your team, you’re welcome to join us from any time zone and any country! We’re very excited to welcome students from around the world to our events each year.

OxBright FAQs

Who is OxBright for?

If you're a 15-18 year old who is serious about discovering, exploring and preparing for your future, OxBright is for you.

After nearly ten years' experience of running academic summer and online programmes, we've learnt that while schools are often outstanding at supporting students to get good grades, there is often a lack of current subject-specialist knowledge available for students to access.

OxBright aims to fix this. So, for example, if you're thinking about studying Law at university, you'll have regular access to our Law Mentors, current undergraduate and postgraduate students from leading universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard. They have successfully been through the process you are experiencing - from deciding whether to study Law, through to choosing the best university and course for them, to succeeding in their university applications and thriving at university and beyond.

Whatever your stage of your journey - whether you're thinking of studying a particular subject at university, whether you're weighing up which university and course to study, or whether you know you want to study a subject at a specific university and are looking to prepare effectively - OxBright is here for you.

What does a typical week look like?

Let's imagine you're an OxBright Medicine member. A typical week might look like this:

  • Monday: your Mentor sends over our podcast on Oxford's role in pioneering the COVID-19 vaccine, and asks you to think about some of the challenges involved in vaccine discovery
  • Wednesday: your Mentor sends over a 5 minute vlog on what it's REALLY like to be a first year medical student at Oxford, Cambridge and in London
  • Thursday: your Mentor gives you priority access to our recent blog article they've written on the top 3 latest treatments in psychiatry
  • Saturday: your live, hour-long Tutorial takes place on "Artificial Intelligence in Medicine - How AI is Discovering New Antibiotics". You'll join your fellow Medicine mentees and will have the opportunity to ask your Mentor lots of questions
When are the live Tutorials?
The live Tutorials usually take place on Saturdays around 1-2pm UK time (which we have found to be the best time to allow students from lots of different timezones to participate).
What if I can't attend a live session?
Don't worry! OxBright is designed so that you can access the content whenever you want. If you're unable to make a live session you'll be able to watch it back afterwards. We also have vlogs, blogs and podcasts for you to enjoy whenever your schedule allows.
How long can I sign up for?
You have the choice of subscribing on a monthly basis, for six months or for a year. Whatever your subscription, you'll get access to the same great content. The benefit of signing up for six months is that you get three months free. The benefit of signing up for a year is that you receive six weeks free, and you also get 15% off any online course/conference/internship you book with us, and £300 off our residential Oxford summer school.
Is it easy to cancel?
It is no problem to cancel, and we make this easy for you - just let us know and you won't be charged the next month's subscription (if you are on a monthly subscription) or the next six month subscription (if you are on a six monthly subscription) or the next year's subscription (if you are on an annual subscription).
Where are the participants from?
At Oxford Scholastica, we have a diverse international intake, with students from around the world taking part (last year we had students from over 60 different nationalities!).
Will OxBright get me into university/college?

OxBright is designed to help you plan and prepare effectively for your future. We're on a mission to give students the edge to enable them to succeed, have purpose and make a difference. While attending OxBright won't guarantee you'll get into a specific university, our Mentors will help you to get the clarity and motivation to give you the best possible chance of fulfilling your potential.

As with all our courses, while many of our tutors come from leading universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and others, it is important to remember that we are not affiliated to these universities.

I've already done an Oxford Scholastica course, how is this different?

OxBright is designed to complement our other courses, and many students who experience our courses choose to sign up to OxBright (and many OxBright students choose to sign up for our courses, conferences and internships either online or in Oxford - if you sign up to the Annual Subscription you benefit from 15% off our online courses and £300 off your Oxford summer school experience).

Whereas our courses last anywhere from a full day through to two weeks, OxBright is there for you year-round, giving you the opportunity to access live and on-demand subject-specialist content at times which suit you. Think of OxBright as your personal companion guiding and motivating you throughout the week, inspiring and stretching you to fulfil your potential and succeed in your aspirations.

Online Conferences & Events FAQs

Will my Conference or Event be held live?
That's right, all our Conferences & Live Events are held live, so you'll be able to participate in real time with other attendees and interact live with our speakers.
Which platform do you use to host the Conferences & Live Events?
Our events are held live over Zoom. We use a meeting format, rather than a webinar format, so that students can keep their cameras on and interact fully with our speakers and with other attendees. You'll have the opportunity to take an active part in the day, which many of our students find very valuable!
Will I get a certificate after my Oxford Scholastica Online Conference or Event?
Yes, after attending one of our Conferences or Events, you will receive a Certificate of Attendance for your records.
Do I need any special equipment in order to attend Oxford Scholastica Online Conferences or Events?
You don’t need any special equipment in order to attend our online Conferences & Events. All you need is a computer with a stable Internet connection. We recommend that you also have a webcam and microphone so that you can take an active role and participate fully on the day, but if you would prefer not to appear on screen this is not compulsory. If possible, please try to sit in a quiet place so that you can concentrate fully on the event!

Oxford Summer School FAQs

Flights & Travel

How do I get to Oxford?

Oxford is situated around 60 miles from London, and has excellent transport links.

Most of our international students fly to London Heathrow or London Gatwick airports, which are around 60-90 minutes away. We recommend Heathrow if you can fly there as it’s closer, we will have Oxford Scholastica staff present there on our arrival days and our airport transfers go to and from Heathrow (see below for more information).

Oxford can also be reached from other airports such as Birmingham, Luton or Stansted, and we are also reachable by train. Oxford train station is around an hour away from London Paddington. Please note, Oxford has two train stations – ‘Oxford’ and ‘Oxford Parkway’. ‘Oxford’ is much closer to our accommodation.

We are very happy to advise you on your travel plans. We can send you a link to book a taxi with a chauffeur firm who will meet you at arrivals and take you directly to our campus. Alternatively, you can use our own Oxford Scholastica minibus transfer service from Heathrow airport (£150), which involves meeting us at our central meeting point at Heathrow. As well as these options, there is a regular public coach from Heathrow and Gatwick to Oxford which we are happy to provide further information about.

If you have any questions please get in touch with Lavinia who will be happy to help.

My child isn't used to travelling alone, how can you help?

We appreciate that travelling can be a bit daunting! We’re here to help:

  • If you are flying, we recommend arriving at London Heathrow airport as this is the easiest airport to get to Oxford from. Our friendly staff members will be present on arrival day at Heathrow, and we will also give you their contact number so that if there’s any problem you can contact them
  • We can provide a link for you to book a taxi from any airport or arrival destination. Their driver will have your name on a board and will meet you in the arrivals part of the airport. They will then chauffeur you directly to our campus
  • Alternatively, you can join our Oxford Scholastica minibus transfer from Heathrow Airport (£150). You will receive extremely detailed instructions (with lots of photos) on how to find our meeting point at Heathrow Airport and will head to our accommodation in Oxford with a group of new summer school friends
  • As a final option, we can give you the details of the direct bus service which is accessible from Heathrow and Gatwick airports and which will take you to Oxford. Our campus is only a couple of minutes from the bus station
  • For extra peace of mind, we have members of staff at Heathrow airport on arrival and departure day to help the students finding their way to their preferred method of transport and to support them in case they have any issues

We want to make your travelling experience as easy and stress-free as possible, so please contact Lavinia if you have any questions.

Do I need a visa?

If you are from the UK, European Union or the European Economic Area you shouldn’t need a visa.

If you are from another country we recommend you click here to find out more information about whether you will need a visa.

As we are fully accredited by the British Accreditation Council, we are able to welcome students who need a visa. We will issue you with an official, stamped acceptance letter so you can use it to apply for your visa. Please note that by law we can only provide this when you have paid all the fees for your place, so we typically issue your letter from April each year.

It can take a while for visas to be processed, so please let us know as soon as possible after you have paid the balance if you require a letter from us. You’ll need to make sure you apply for your visa with plenty of time to spare before the summer school starts.

Please note that we can only offer informal advice on visas, and that it is your responsibility to check the latest information and make sure you apply for the correct visa in a timely manner. If you have an existing visa, it is also important that you check that your visa allows you to study with us.

If your visa application is rejected, unfortunately we can’t offer a refund outside of the refund period outlined in our terms and conditions.

When is the earliest I can check in? What if I want to arrive earlier?

Students are allowed to check in from 12-5pm. If you want to arrive earlier, please let us know and we will always try our best to help. If you need to arrive earlier, we suggest you book one of the local hotels and we would be happy to advise you on the best hotels to book (we have created our own Oxford Scholastica Guide to our Favourite Oxford Hotels for your convenience).

When is the latest I can depart? What if I want to stay for a few more days?

We’ll ask you to be all packed and ready by 9am on the final day (when you’ll need to vacate your room). You’re welcome to stay in the accommodation building any time until midday, but most of our students tend to head home around 10am. If you would like to stay for additional days, we can provide you with details of the best local hotels.

Preparation

Should I get travel and medical insurance?

Our terms and conditions require you to take out comprehensive insurance for things like health, contents and travel insurance, and this should also cover you in case you have to cancel your place on the summer school. Unfortunately, if you have to cancel we can’t offer a refund outside of the refund period.

Can I get to know my fellow participants before the summer?

Yes absolutely! We’ll add you to a private group chat on Instagram with other students from your course before you come to Oxford. This is optional, but it’s a great way to get to know your fellow students in advance.

What clothing should I bring?
We have a casual dress code at Oxford Scholastica. As the courses will be during the summer, you should bring clothing that is suited to warm weather. However, England is renowned for rapid changes of weather – so be prepared for this too!
 
We have two occasions when you will want to wear something a little bit more formal – our Graduation Ceremony and our Oxford Scholastica International Ball. For the Graduation Ceremony we ask that you dress at least smart casual. For the Ball it is really up to you, and we encourage you to consider wearing something that represents whichever country you call home! You can find out more about the Ball here.
 
We recommend bringing shoes durable enough for walking as Oxford is a relatively spread out city and there will be a fair amount of walking. You may also wish to bring trainers if you want to do any sport such as tennis/football.
 
We have more information on what to bring to Oxford in our Welcome Pack which we’ll send to you when you register with us.
What academic things do I need to bring with me (such as stationery etc.)?

You should bring the standard stationery that you would take with you to school – pens, pencils, paper. There are good stationery shops in central Oxford if needed.

How much money do I need to bring with me?

We recommend bringing a small amount of spending money (£10-15 per day) so that you can buy lunch and do other things such as shopping. We do not recommend bringing large amounts of physical cash – there are plenty of banks and ATMs in Oxford which we will show you, and we recommend you bring a credit/debit card if you can.

Do I need to bring my laptop with me?

Wireless internet is provided at our accommodation and we strongly recommend that you bring a laptop so that you can use this to do research/work on, and to keep in touch with your family and friends.

If you are studying on our Experience Computer Science & Coding Academy or our Discover Technology Academy, a laptop is essential.

Do I need to bring my mobile phone with me?

We ask you to bring your phone with you, and there are plenty of stores in Oxford where you can buy cheap UK Pay As You Go SIM cards.

Do I need to do much pre-reading?

We will give you some suggested reading. While this is not compulsory, it will give you an introduction to your course so that you can make the most out of your classes with us.

About the Programme

Where are the other students from?

Our students come from the UK and all across the globe to join us in Oxford. Last year, we had over 70 nationalities on the Oxford Scholastica Academy, ranging from Brazil to China, America to India, Holland to Malaysia – and more!

What are the activities to unwind/relax?

We have a variety of afternoon and evening activities, from formal visits to watch an outdoor Shakespeare play to informal evening football/rounders sessions – and plenty more. Click here to read about our activities and trips.

How much free time will I get?

We want you to make the most out of your time with us, so we pack in lots of activities to offer a fun and rewarding schedule. However, we know you’ll want to have free time to explore Oxford, hang out with friends or just relax in your room, so you’ll get a couple of hours off for lunch each day, have Sunday afternoon off (to unwind or go on our shopping trip to Bicester Village) and there are other periods of optional free time during the summer school.

When outside of our accommodation, we ask students on our Discover summer courses course to be in groups of at least two people.

What is a typical day like?

The morning will typically involve your classes. After lunch, you will normally have a mixture of either workshops or seminars, while the evening will usually involve fun social activities. For a more detailed outline, click here.

When do we have to go to bed?

Students are asked to be in their own rooms by 10.30pm, with lights out at 11pm. This will enable you to get enough rest for the next day ahead.

Who are my tutors?

We spend a lot of time hand-picking and training the best tutors for each course. You can read more about our typical tutors here.

Will I get a certificate/accreditation at the end of the course?

All students who successfully complete the course will be given an Oxford Scholastica Academy certificate at our Graduation Evening on the last night of the summer programme at the Saïd Business School. Parents or relatives are very welcome to attend this.

I'd like to study for four weeks. What's the difference in the timetables between the first and second fortnights?

You are welcome to join us for four weeks. You get to choose a second course to study with us for your second two weeks.

While there will be some parts of the programme which are the same, you’ll get to experience a new class, choose some different Masterclasses, experience different trips and make new friends. We’ll sit down with you at the end of your first session (along with the other students attending for four weeks) to discuss what you would like to do in your second two weeks (for example, whether you would like to participate in some of the activities again with the new friends you’ll make on the second session, or whether you’d prefer to do something different).

Do you accept students who are at university?

We can only accept students who haven’t yet started university. If you have just finished attending school and are not yet at university you are welcome to join us, but if you have already started at university unfortunately you aren’t able to attend.

Are you officially connected to Oxford University?

No. Whilst we use Oxford University facilities, and a number of our tutors teach or study at the university, it’s important to understand that we have no formal connection with The University of Oxford. Read more about our relationship here.

Safety & Welfare

Sending your child away from home is an important decision. The safety, happiness and welfare of your child are significant factors in making your choice and this is something we take seriously at the Oxford Scholastica Academy.

Below are some of the key questions parents have asked us. If you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to call Lavinia on +44 (0)1865 522 166 or email her here.

What if my child has a minor illness or injury during the summer school?

All our staff are first-aid trained, and we have a matron, so if there are any minor issues we are able to deal with them with the appropriate urgency.

What happens in the case of an accident or emergency?

Our accommodation has residential staff, so there is always someone on site 24 hours a day. During the summer school, we provide a 24 hour emergency phone number that students, family and friends may call. As well as getting contact details from parents/guardians, we ask students to provide another emergency contact as a precaution.

How do we monitor where the students are?

Our students have a full programme of classes and activities, and as such we know where they are. However, if students choose to use their free time to explore Oxford, we have a signing-in and signing-out register. Please note, students on Discover courses are only allowed to leave the accommodation with a friend (they are not allowed out on their own).

From dinner time onwards, students are always supervised. They must either participate in one of our group activities or relax at our accommodation.

How secure is the accommodation?

You’ll be given a fob/key to access your accommodation building, and you will also be able to lock your door. We have a safe in the main staff office where students can choose to deposit items such as passports, bank cards, travel documents and other items of value (though students should also take out relevant contents insurance and we recommend not bringing anything too valuable).

Can I visit my child?

Upon arrival, we hold an opening “Welcome Drinks” for all parents and students on the first Sunday afternoon. Parents are also welcome to come and visit during the summer programme if we are given notice (we also advise you to check what activities your child will be doing at that particular time so as not to clash with their activity scheduling).

Accommodation & Food

What are the arrangements for food?

We provide both breakfast and dinner. A continental breakfast will be provided at the accommodation, and we will be taking you out around the best local restaurants or eating in the accommodation in the evenings. At lunchtime, our students have the opportunity to explore Oxford where there are lots of cheap and healthy lunch options (we have created our own Guide to Oxford’s Best Lunch Spots for your convenience, and also a guide to where the best halal lunch spots are).

I have dietary needs – can this be accommodated?

We are used to accommodating most dietary requirements – including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, lactose intolerant, as well as religious dietary requirements and other dietary needs. We’ll ask you to let us know what your dietary requirements are so we make sure we can cater to your needs.

I have an allergy - can this be accommodated?

A number of our students have allergies. If you have an allergy, please inform us when you book so we can talk you through how we can best support you, and so we can make sure we can cater to your needs. We have an Allergies Policy which is available on request.

How does laundry/washing work?

There are washing machines and drying machines (and washing powder) available, and these are cheap to use (costing around 2-3 GBP). If you aren’t used to doing your washing, our friendly team of Activities Coordinators will be on hand to help you and provide you with training!

Will boys and girls be separately housed?

We make every effort to place boys and girls on separate floors within the accommodation, within any limitations due to the layout of the accommodation.

I'm coming with a friend, can we be put in the same room?

You’ll get your own bedroom with connecting private en suite bathroom. As long as you let us know before you arrive, we can make sure we put you in a next door room to your friend(s).

Please note that we place males and females in different parts of our accommodation, and 12-14 year olds may be in a different building to 15-18 year olds (our buildings are close together though so you won’t be far away).

Does everyone have lunch at the same time?

Yes. This means you can meet up with your friends in different classes for lunch.

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