• England
    • Oxford
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
Anthropology Art History Biology Chemistry Classical Studies Computer Science Conflict Studies Creative Writing Economics English European Studies Finance Geography Global Studies History Humanities International Business International Relations Liberal Arts Life Sciences Mathematics Middle Eastern Studies Natural Sciences Peace Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Religious Studies Social Sciences Sociology Theology Women's Studies +22
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type


What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Classes Travel Insurance
Oct 30, 2023
Feb 15, 2021
30 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Find inspiration at every turn, from the Narnia door that likely inspired C.S. Lewis, to the world’s largest bookstore, and the chalkboard where Einstein dashed off E=mc2. Study at one of eight colleges as a visiting student with Oxford’s renowned one-on-one tutorials or small groups. Applications are due in mid-December for upcoming fall, spring, and year terms; apply early for this competitive program.

Hertford College
Lady Margaret Hall
Lady Margaret Hall (summer program)
Mansfield College
Regent’s Park College
St. Anne’s College
St. Anne’s College, Premedical Program
St. Catherine’s College
St. Edmund Hall
St. Peter’s College (summer program)
Worcester College

Video and Photos

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.85
  • Housing 4.85
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

A Tight-knit Oxford Community with IFSA Support

The people I met were a clear highlight of my time in the program. Though I was only at Oxford for a semester, current undergraduates made an effort to get to know the Visiting Students and I found them to be incredible individuals – driven and bright, compassionate, and curious. I still keep in touch with a few of them and hope we cross paths again in the future! The best advice I received was to join clubs and throw myself into different activities. The ones that I did join – ultimate frisbee and table tennis – were very welcoming and an important support network while I was there.

While I felt a strong sense of community within my Oxford college, it was also helpful to have outside IFSA support. Through IFSA, we had an orientation period in London, which prepped us for the experience and was a helpful transition time. Then, weekly, one of the IFSA residential advisors came down to Oxford in case we wanted to chat. I really enjoyed this opportunity to reflect on the week and to ask questions while adjusting to life in the UK. Overall, I would highly recommend this program! Oxford is a beautiful, historic place to study, filled with dedicated and caring students – and enrolling via IFSA makes the whole process rather seamless, and definitely provides helpful supports!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
One of the IFSA trips I participated in took us to the Lake District, which is a beautiful pastoral area in Northwest England. One of the days we were there, I signed up to participated in ghyll scrambling, which involved climbing up rocks in the middle of a freezing river – it was quite the shock to the system and very exhilarating! If you do get a chance to go on this trip, definitely take it!
99 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An Exciting and Challenging Abroad Experience

I had an amazing time at the University of Oxford and would highly recommend the program to anyone looking for an academically rigorous and exciting abroad experience. I grew a lot as a writer because of the close attention my tutors gave to my papers, and the one-on-one tutorials pushed me to come in each week with ideas and research that I was proud of and ready to discuss. With the many amazing libraries at Oxford, I had access to a wide variety of resources for researching topics. I studied at Mansfield College, and I almost instantly felt fully immersed in the college community because everyone was so friendly, accepting, and welcoming. Oxford was definitely challenging in a number of ways, but the academic system and the independence of living on my own in a new city helped me to grow as a student and learn a lot about myself as a person. Before going abroad, I had never left the United States, so I really appreciated that my IFSA advisor abroad, Andrew, picked me up from Heathrow and took me to my hotel. Throughout the year, Andrew would take the train from London to visit the IFSA students studying in Oxford. I took six English tutorials while at Oxford and went back to my home university, Kenyon College, with more credits than I would have had if I hadn’t studied abroad! For the English major at Kenyon, we are required to take classes in various time periods, and I was able to complete all of these requirements with my tutorials. I also had the opportunity to take fun and niche subjects that had not been offered at my college back in the states, such as Fairytale, Fantasy, & Myth and Classical Reception in the Modern American Novel. The experience was amazing beyond academics, too, and I am so grateful for the friendships I formed with other students at Mansfield College. I would give anything to go back and relive IFSA’s Oxford program over and over again!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would recommend visiting as many other colleges throughout the university as you can! I made a point to visit all 38 colleges in Oxford over the course of the year, and I found it to be a great way to see the city. If you are able to climb the 127 narrow stone steps, I would going to the top of the tower of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin to get a different view of Oxford. It is especially beautiful at dusk, just before the tower closes!

The coursework is very intense, so I really appreciated taking study breaks with friends, often in the form of walking around and exploring. I also found it helpful to switch up my study locations whenever I started to feel drained, so I might start the day in a coffee shop before moving to a library in the center of town and then back to my room.
107 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience of my undergrad

It was a dream to take classes at Oxford for a year. The city is beautiful, the classes were challenging, the people were inspiring. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in studying abroad in England. IFSA gave me so much support, both before I left and while I was abroad. They really care about their students' success. I found their support to be most helpful during the visa application phase; the paperwork can get pretty overwhelming, but the IFSA team was there to answer all of my questions and guide me through the process. I also really appreciated all of the activities the in-country team hosted for all of their students. Those were a lot of fun, and I met some of my closest friends abroad through IFSA.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would make more of an effort to make friends with the matriculated students at my college. I made some, but the majority of my friends were other American visiting students. What’s the point of studying abroad if you don’t meet new people and immerse yourself as much as possible in your host culture?
105 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Truly life-changing

My time at Oxford through IFSA truly changed my life for the better. The program is an incredibly unique opportunity to immerse yourself in incredibly rigorous academics, work one-on-one with experts in your respective field, receive the benefits of and be treated as a full-time student at Oxford, and throw yourself into a revered culture. Yet, for all the intimidating focus on a rich history in academia, Oxford (and IFSA's efforts to accommodate you) makes for a very welcoming, supportive environment.

I really enjoyed the way that this program pushed me outside my comfort zone while maintaining a sense of helpful encouragement. I never felt like my hand was being held, but everyone involved in this Visiting Student program really made an effort to check in on you, point you in the right directions, and make sure you were getting the most out of your experience. On top of that, the student community is incredibly welcoming--the university is fairly multicultural, so visiting students are not the only ones coming in from different countries and cultures, and full-time students really make an effort to befriend and include you. This supportive environment was very important to me while being away from home in a foreign place for an extended period of time!

Some of the specifics that you will get out of this program come from the ability to tailor your academic experience and take full advantage of all student benefits. The tutorial system allows you to handpick which areas of study you wish to explore, making for very unique learning that is completely dictated by you and your tutor. The work is, essentially, graduate-level but very rewarding, and your resources within the university are endless. Additionally, students have access to numerous lectures, talks, seminars, and other academic aids that are definitely worth taking full advantage of. Not to mention the extra-curriculars--Oxford has a ton of clubs, sports, trips, formals, dinners, common rooms, famous speakers, shows, museums, parks, and activities to partake in! In this program, you can join any of those even as a visiting student. I rowed for my college and played baseball for the university, which was really fun and a great way to make friends.

Aside from organized events through the program, living alongside the full-time students lets you have a very fun social life. It is really great to be fully immersed with them, and I made a lot of friends just by using our shared kitchen in housing, going to meals in hall together, or hanging out in my college's common room. There is definitely a work-hard, play-hard mentality--students were quick to invite me out clubbing during the week, to grab a pint at some of the local pubs, or to go to formal cocktail hours. While there are definitely a lot more champagne and black tie events mixed in than at my home university, the social scene is not lacking in the slightest!

Overall, IFSA's program at Oxford is an incredible experience. I absolutely loved my time there and am still reaping the benefits today. Not only is it a great talking point on your resume, but the skills I gained have carried into how I conduct myself every day. I am more confident, independent, and willing to throw myself into hard work. Very highly recommend it!

What was your funniest moment?
The other visiting students and I planned a night in October to carve pumpkins and celebrate Halloween--something that Brits don't really do. Some of the full-time students wanted to join in on the tradition, and one was very impressed with our pumpkin-carving abilities. He asked me if we practice, and I told him that we did get some because everyone carves pumpkins every year. He misunderstood me and asked if Americans practice carving pumpkins year-round just to prepare for Halloween! They all thought we took the holiday that seriously.
109 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Worthy experience "I wouldn't trade it for the world"

To be honest, I was planning to study abroad in 2019 or 2020, which will be my senior year as an undergraduate student. Unfortunately, during Fall 2017, I went through some challenges that required some extra time and energy so my results were not up to my normal standards. This temporarily affected my confidence. After all that, I decided to challenge myself to prove that I can accomplish much more than my previous expectations. I was trying to find something that would give me my power and confidence back. Then, I found out that studying abroad at Oxford University which is one of the greatest universities in the world, is the most challenging thing that I could do during the summer. I was confidently sure that the experience will re-charge up my ideas with positivity and will help me prove my method in the possibility and existence for all our dreams; excitingly, it did!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would manage my time to be more balanced between sightseeing and study/research time.
114 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Greater academic confidence, beautiful campus, resonant friendships

My friends tried to dissuade me from applying to Oxford--they warned me of the academic pressures, and said that I wouldn't enjoy my time there. I applied anyways because I like a good challenge, and I'm so glad I went.

During my two terms at Oxford, I took my primary tutorial in math, and my secondary in French. I didn't love the tutorial system for math, since I would've liked more lectures and peers to work with, but tutorials worked incredibly well for French. Reading so many dense texts and synthesizing my own ideas gave me the confidence to pursue a French thesis my senior year. I actually ended up writing a thesis in math as well, since I felt confident in my ability to tackle independent study after Oxford.

The campus/town is so stunning, so walking around always lifted my spirits, even when I was stressed. I loved my living situation, though it was a bit far (15-20 min walk from my college). I was put in a house with other international students, and we grew very close. I didn't actually make any good local friends due to the independence of the classes and my living situation, but I still stay in touch with my visiting student friends. I did participate in the Oxford University Orchestra for one term, and did a few practices with the triathlon club. One thing to note is that clubs always cost extra at Oxford, and membership to the main gym as well.

I would highly recommend this program--IFSA really makes sure you're supported and plans many fun events. Andrew, the director, would visit weekly and meet us for tea and pastries or ice cream. There's also a wonderful trip to Lake District, which is such a stunning mountainous region.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish we knew more about our housing beforehand, and also knew that clubs/university gym membership would cost extra.
109 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers