Frequently Asked Questions

About Oxbridge

Accommodations & Facilities, General, Preparations, Safety & Supervision

There are many distinguishing factors separating Oxbridge from other programs, but the principal ones are the strength of our faculty and the students we attract. For over 35 years, we have recruited teachers from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, as well as educators from the best universities in France, Spain, and America. Our faculty members have included some of the most eminent professors in their fields from Ivy League institutions. Our roster of faculty often includes Rhodes, Gates, Marshall, and Fulbright scholars. Moreover, we encourage our faculty to use the stimulating and inspiring settings of our programs to fire the imaginations and interests of our students.

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. You may also participate in The Paris 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. Many Porters are former police officers or military personnel. The colleges also have CCTV cameras.

All students on our high school programs must check-in with the Deans on duty between 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm every night. Curfew is at midnight. On our middle school programs, students must check-in once at dinner and again in the evening between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Curfew 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.

We house boys and girls on separate hallways or floors. The majority 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.

(Question: to help with DEI initiatives, should we be more inclusive about the gender language used here?)

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.

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. Our Deans will oversee your recovery and cater to your particular needs. In the event of a serious medical emergency, you would be immediately 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 transatlantic 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 with them, few of our courses require either device. If your course instructor has requested you to bring a laptop, you will be notified well before the start of the summer. Please keep in mind that Wi-Fi access can be unpredictable and unreliable in ancient university buildings! On all the programs, we provide a number of computers in a common room, which are available for student use.

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. Better yet, consider a cost-effective pay-as-you-go deal from a local provider when you arrive.

We prefer that cell phones are only used as emergency resources. For this reason, the use of cell phones is not permitted during program activities, classes, field trips, meals, assemblies, or after lights out.

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 and welcoming everyone! 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.

Our Programs

Explore Activities, Courses, Requirements

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 popular subjects as well as relatively specialized courses for students with particular interests and passions. Our programs in continental Europe 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 a slightly more relaxed atmosphere and the appearance of being smaller in size.

Paris, with a population of about 2 million, is the capital of France and is much bigger than Montpellier. With approximately 500,000 residents, Montpellier is the eighth largest city in France. Montpellier is a cosmopolitan city with more of a small-town feel, whereas Paris is simply "Paris"—renowned throughout the world for its history, culture, fashion, food, and shopping. Montpellier has fewer tourists than Paris, and one is less likely to hear English spoken in the streets. While Paris is known for its monuments and museums, Montpellier is renowned for its charming maze of medieval streets, a world-class art museum, as well as 13th-century Jewish baths.

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 Paris Connection immediately after the conclusion of your program. The Paris Connection is additionally available at the conclusion of our programs in Barcelona and Montpellier.

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 Social Anthropology, and we don't expect our students to have much, if any, background in these subjects. Even subjects such as English Literature or European 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, and 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 roughly 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. Film and Journalism 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, as well as a letter from the founder of Oxbridge detailing the academic philosophy and structure of cultural enrichment at Oxbridge.

The majority of our students also 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. In Oxford, we do our best to make sure that rowers (crew) can get on the river at least once during the month.

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

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.

Our Students

International, Staying in Touch

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, and about 50% come from public schools.

Alumni have the opportunity to serve as Oxbridge Ambassadors, sharing about their experience at schools or Oxbridge receptions. We also have a limited number of spots every year for alumni to work as interns in our New York office or within the programs themselves.

Keep us updated on how your summer with Oxbridge continues to affect your college or career experience. Also let us know if you publish a paper or a book, win a grant, or accomplish any of the other impressive things we know our alumni go on to do. We'd love to include your news on our Alumni News and Achievements page!

As always, please let us know if your contact information changes, so we can remain in touch about reunion events or other updates.

Immerse yourself in some of the world’s greatest cultural centers

1919 Gallows Road, Suite 700,
Vienna, VA 22182, USA
T: (212) 932-3049 I F: (212) 663-8169
© 2022 Oxbridge Academic Programs. All Rights Reserved