6 Ways to Prepare for an Oxford Summer Course

12 May, 2024 | Blog Articles, Get the Edge

You’ve done your research, decided on your course, and secured your place at our Oxford international summer school! But, what now? When should you start packing? Which books should you be reading? How do you even get to Oxford?! 

It’s common to have lots of questions or uncertainties before arriving at an international summer school. Here are six ways that you can best prepare for an Oxford summer course to help you feel confident and ready for an unforgettable educational experience.

How to Prepare for Oxford Summer Courses

1. Plan your journey to Oxford

The first thing to focus on is planning your journey to Oxford! There can be lots of different factors to consider when making an international journey and it’s important to plan ahead to make sure you have everything you need so you can get from point A to point B smoothly.

Firstly, allow plenty of time to check if you require a visa, as these can take up to eight weeks to process.

We recommend booking your flight to London Heathrow as it’s the closest major airport to Oxford. Plus, on our arrival days, members of the Oxford Scholastica team will be there to welcome you with a friendly face and help you with your onward journey to our campus. 

You can reach Oxford by train, coach, taxi, or by our own minibus which runs directly from Heathrow to campus. If you’d like to book the minibus, just get in touch with Stephanie, who will be more than happy to assist you.

2. What should you pack for an Oxford summer course?

Once you’ve made travel arrangements, it’s time to start thinking about packing! You can take a look at our list of things to pack for a summer school in Oxford for a more detailed breakdown, and we’ve summarised the essentials below:

  • Casual clothing and comfortable shoes for everyday life in the city – we’ll be doing lots of walking to see the best Oxford has to offer!
  • An outfit for more formal occasions like our Boat Ball and Graduation evenings.
  • Your laptop or tablet – and don’t forget your chargers!
  • A notebook and stationery to make notes in class.
  • Your mobile phone (and charger) – our team can help you get a UK sim card on arrivals day.
  • Money for daily expenses and your bank card, as breakfast and dinner are included in your fees, but you’ll buy your own lunch and any souvenirs you fancy!
  • Toiletries and any medication that you might need for the duration of your stay with us.
  • Your passport and travel documents – you won’t get very far without these!

Our best advice would be to try to pack lightly, particularly if you’re travelling on your own. Think about bringing travel-sized or miniature toiletries and keeping your important documents organised in an easily accessible folder.

3. Ask your Oxford summer school questions now!

When preparing for study at an Oxford international summer school, it’s inevitable that you’ll have many questions. 

We encourage students to book a welcome call with Stephanie from our team. It’s a chance for introductions and to ask any further questions that you may have.

Oxford Scholastica international summer school students studying together outside

4. Check out your pre-Course reading list (optional)

If you can’t wait to get started on your academics with us, our pre-course reading lists are a great introduction to our courses, helping you make the most of your time with our summer school. 

We will provide you with the suggested reading, but it is entirely optional so don’t stress about trying to complete all the reading before the start of your course! 

If you do decide to work through the reading list, it’s a great way to experience university-style learning for the first time. Reading independently around your course content encourages you to think critically about the subject matter and gives you the opportunity to focus on your personal academic interests and steer your own learning.

To make the most of the reading list, we recommend keeping some personal notes of any ideas or thoughts that come up whilst reading, any questions you would like answers to, or any topic you’d like to read more about. You can then refer back to these during your first sessions in Oxford!

5. Making the most of your Oxford experience

Once you arrive, you’ll be able to experience the beautiful city of Oxford. Our summer school programme offers lots of day trips to local attractions (including Blenheim Palace and Windsor Castle) and plenty of activities to try (like Ceilidh dancing and punting). 

You’ll also get the chance to explore Oxford in your free time. The city has a lot to offer its students so take some time to consider what’s on your personal bucket list! Visit the famous Ashmolean Museum, have a picnic in Christ Church Meadow, or do some shopping in the Covered Market. 

Your experience will also be shaped by the people you meet and the friends you make. Our summer courses are a great opportunity for networking with peers, tutors and young professionals, so make sure to take full advantage of the Oxford Scholastica community once you arrive.

We also encourage students to join an online group with other participants before the summer begins so you can start forming strong connections before you even set foot in Oxford – keep an eye out for your invite nearer the summer! 

As well as networking chances, prepare to make the most of the summer school’s unique academic opportunities. Ask your tutors questions, push yourself during classes, and take part in all of the opportunities on offer!

6. Get excited for your Oxford summer course!

Finally, get excited – you’re on your way to your Oxford Scholastica experience!

Watch our videos and read our testimonials from previous students to gain insight into what life will be like as one of our international summer school students.

Connect with your fellow attendees and get involved with the pre-course social media groups and forums that are available.

Start looking forward to the summer of a lifetime! You’ll be exploring the city of Oxford, meeting new people from around the world, and gaining valuable academic and personal skills to raise your academic game, strengthen your mindset and increase your chances of university success.

Don’t forget to reach out to the team with any further questions or concerns – we’re looking forward to welcoming you to Oxford!

Please note, Oxford Scholastica is separate from Oxford University, and it is important to understand that we have no formal connection with the University (you can read more about our relationship here).

Would you like to explore Oxford this summer?

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