Frequently Asked Questions
There are many distinguishing factors distinguishing Oxbridge from other programs, but the principal ones are the strength of our faculty, the students we attract, and the nature of the educational experience we provide. For 38 years, we have recruited teachers from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, as well as educators from the best universities in France, Spain, and America. Our roster of faculty often includes Rhodes, Gates, Marshall, and Fulbright scholars. Our students, meanwhile, stand out both in terms of caliber and ability. What really sets Oxbridge apart, however, is the fact that we are not a boot-camp or an extension to school. On our programs, our students are able to engage with subjects that they are passionate about in small groups, through discussions, debates, project work, and research, in much the same way as they would engage with them in a good university, without the pressure of tests or exams. Alongside, we encourage our faculty to use the stimulating and inspiring settings of our programs to fire their imaginations.
This carefully supervised and structured learning environment extends into the students' free time. We ensure that our activities are not only educational, but cultural and social as well. Day trips, field trips, and guest speakers are planned to complement each student's educational experience for a truly experiential learning opportunity.
Yes! In addition to our two- and four-week programs, students in grades 10-12 may opt to attend the Oxford Summer Seminar. Depending on the program you attend, you may also participate in the Barcelona Connection immediately after the conclusion of your program.
And you are, of course, welcome to come back for multiple summers. Some of our students have attended as many as four of our programs!
Yes, parents may visit if they wish. Keep in mind, however, that between classes, extracurricular activities, and exploring their new surroundings, students will be very busy during their time with us! We suggest that any family holidays be scheduled either before the start or after the conclusion of the program so that students can spend as much time with us with possible.
Our programs take place on secure, supervised premises. Oxford and Cambridge colleges were originally designed to keep the townsfolk out. Today, their "castle-like" walls keep our students completely safe. All of our program residences are also extremely secure, as they are designed to house students year-round. Entrances to residences are supervised round-the-clock by College Porters, Campus Security, and our own staff. The venues also have CCTV cameras.
Student safety, welfare, and discipline, are overseen by teams of professional educators drawn from reputable schools around the world. Students on our programs in continental Europe and New York, as well as our Tradition programs in the UK, must check-in with the Deans on duty between 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm every night. Lights out is at midnight. On our Prep programs in the UK, students must check-in once at dinner and again in the evening between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Lights out is at 11:00 pm.
Once students check in with their Deans, they are not permitted to leave the campus. All students are expected to adhere to curfew and check-in expectations.
After curfew, the gates are locked but our office remains open for a short while while staff and security patrol the grounds. Some of our staff live inside the residences alongside the students, so our presence remains throughout the night.
Students are housed in gender-separated hallways or floors. Some of our faculty and staff live in the dorms with the students, so there are adults available to monitor and counsel 24 hours a day. All students must be quiet and in their own rooms by curfew.
Please consult your family's medical insurance policy well in advance of the start of the programs to learn more about your coverage.
If students are traveling outside their home country to attend one of our programs, we strongly urge having full medical insurance. England, France, and Spain all provide excellent emergency medical care, irrespective of citizenship. Be prepared, however, to pay up front for their services - and keep your receipts, as many insurers will only reimburse you after the fact. American hospitals also offer excellent emergency care, but the costs can be extremely high, so it is particularly crucial that students coming from outside the United States are covered by an insurance policy.
Every venue has a qualified Medical Officer. For minor illnesses, such as a common cold, you will be given permission to miss class and spend the day quietly recuperating in your room. The Medical Officer and Deans will oversee your recovery and cater to your particular needs. In the event of a serious medical emergency, you would immediately be escorted to a surgery or hospital for professional treatment.
You'll receive a detailed suggested packing list in the weeks leading up to the summer. Clothing in class should be appropriate for an academic environment. You should bring at least one outfit to wear to dances and to the formal Final Banquet.
In addition to your hand luggage, please do not bring more than one other bag/suitcase. Most airlines have a limit of 50 lbs (23 kgs). Please check your airline's limit well in advance of flying. Overweight baggage is often subject to significant additional fees and, in some instances, may be refused altogether.
Also bear in mind that your luggage may be heavier at the end of the summer with souvenirs and classwork you want to bring home.
While students are permitted to bring a laptop and/or tablet, only a few of our courses may require them. If your course instructor has requested you to bring a laptop, you will be notified well before the start of the summer.
Unless otherwise specified, laptops and computers are not required. They can, however, be useful, so we would encourage students to bring one or the other.
Students may bring cell phones with them but using them abroad can be extremely expensive. We recommend you sign up for a roaming agreement with your provider in advance of the program. Cell phone use in class is at the instructor's discretion. Instructors may ask students to hand their phones over during the class, to avoid unnecessary distractions.
Musical instruments can be brought, within reason. Keep in mind that many instruments will be extremely cumbersome. In the past, student bands have formed by renting instruments from local stores for a reasonable price, and our residences typically have music practice rooms, some of which have pianos.
We do not allow pets on any of our programs for a myriad of reasons.
Yes, all our programs have laundry facilities either in or very close to the residences. Laundry is often coin- or card-operated, and program Deans are available to assist students in learning where and how to use the machines to launder their clothes.
We welcome students of all faiths and orientations, and we pride ourselves on accommodating all dietary needs. We are happy to provide Kosher and Halal meals in dining halls, and we cater to all manner of dietary requirements. We warmly encourage you to be in touch with our Admissions Team to let them know about your needs.
Each of our programs has a designated program office which is staffed by our Deans from 8 am to 12:00 am each day. They can be contacted by email or telephone and are happy to assist with any questions you may have.
The structure of each of our programs is similar, but beyond that, our programs differ according to size, location, and courses offered.
A major difference to consider when choosing a program is the variety of courses offered in each location. Each program offers a selection of core subjects as well as relatively specialized courses for students with particular interests and passions. Our programs in continental Europe also offer language classes as well as immersion classes in either French or Spanish.
Oxford is a larger city than Cambridge, with a population of about 150,000 compared to Cambridge's 110,000. These are quite small populations compared to almost 8 million in London. Oxford has a busier city center than Cambridge and a larger shopping district; Cambridge has a greater concentration of colleges and university buildings in the town center, which gives the city the appearance of being smaller in size.
If English is your second language, please provide your TOEFL score or a short letter from your English teacher confirming your fluency in English. Our programs are conducted primarily in English, and our programs in Oxford and Cambridge are taught exclusively in English. We want to ensure that our students can integrate fully and feel comfortable with the program community. In France or Spain, immersion courses are taught exclusively in French or Spanish, but program information, materials, and literature are all available in English.
Yes, if you participate in The Oxford Tradition, The Cambridge Tradition, The Oxford Prep Experience, or the Cambridge Prep Experience, you can participate in The Barcelona Connection immediately after the conclusion of your program.
Of course! We've designed our curriculum to include a large number of courses that are rarely offered at the high school level, such as International Espionage, Criminology, Zoology, and we don't expect our students to have much, if any, background in these subjects. Even subjects such as English Literature or History, which are taught at all high schools, will cover material you are unlikely to find at home. You can study an entirely new subject or new material in a traditional subject. Whichever you choose, you'll experience creative teaching in a stimulating, refreshing learning environment.
In France and Spain, just as in Oxford, Cambridge, and New York, Oxbridge offers a collegiate residential experience for its students rather than a homestay. The primary reason for this is one of safety and security-having all our students under the same roof with our own staff allows us to have much stricter control of the environment. Having students dispersed around big cities like Paris or Barcelona would make quality control far too difficult. Furthermore, living together in one residence creates a greater sense of community, emulating the college dormitory environment which goes hand in hand with the intellectual experience our programs provide. Given the exceptional improvement in French and Spanish made by our students every summer, we have no reason to believe that the residential experience diminishes language learning (see question above on immersion).
You should expect at most one hour of homework per night for your Major classes. Your Minor/Workshop course may include some homework (often set at the students' own request!) but it will not be quite as time consuming. Workshop classes, which also conclude with a final production or project, also demand extra time.
No matter what course you take, your work will culminate in an exciting final project that will test your grasp of the course material.
Your academic work, however, is not the only thing you do - we have a full (but optional) curriculum of social and cultural activities, including films, lectures, dances, plays, sports events, and tours.
Shortly after the conclusion of your program, all students and parents will receive a comprehensive set of grade reports. These reports include the course syllabus and highlights of your contributions and achievements over the duration of your course as noted by your instructor.
You can also expect to receive a letter from the executive director of Oxbridge to congratulate you on completing the program, which details the academic philosophy and structure of cultural enrichment at Oxbridge.
The majority of our students submit copies of their grade reports along with their college applications.
Our students can pursue a wide variety of activities and interests. In addition to course field trips -- past excursions have included Stonehenge, Versailles, and Montserrat -- students are offered the chance to participate in a range of local activities. These could include panel discussions with guest speakers, concerts, plays, dances, talent shows, poetry readings, or coffee socials.
We also offer a wide variety of sports: some favorites include basketball, softball, soccer, cricket, pétanque, swimming, and Ultimate Frisbee. Classes in activities such as yoga, salsa dancing, and juggling are sometimes offered.
We make every effort to ensure that our activities complement the cultural and intellectual enrichment at the heart of our academic programs.
Dates, Fees & Details
Yes. This is a rare occurrence, but any student who is not accepted will receive their deposit back in full. A student will not be accepted if their academic or behavioral record suggests that they will not meet the standards we uphold.
We do have a number of full and partial scholarships available for students, based on both demonstrated financial need and academic excellence. For more information on the specific scholarships and the application process, please see our Scholarship Page.
This depends on your spending habits in general. We provide breakfast and dinner each day, so students need only to provide their own lunch. The evening meal, in particular, is considered an integral part of the collegial atmosphere we create as a program and we expect all of our students to partake in communal meals.
Our experience has indicated that students tend to spend the equivalent of $15-30 USD a day, on meals, incidentals, and souvenirs. You may bring more, if you wish. It is up to the discretion of you and your family.
Certainly! Our welcoming staff will be there to greet you upon your arrival at the airport, and when the program concludes, we'll ensure you return safely as well. Best of all, this service is provided at no extra cost.
Typically it takes our admissions team around 3 - 5 days to review applications.
Our students come from countries across Europe, Asia, South and Central America as well as the United States and Canada. Over half of our students arrive not knowing a single other student.
Many of our students are offered the opportunity to join our Oxbridge Ambassador program. They can share their summer experience at school or through our official receptions. We often ask ambassadors to return as junior staff members on the program itself.
We highly encourage our students and their families to connect with us on Facebook & Instagram. During the programs, we run a blog that details all of the fun and exciting things our students get up to during their stay.