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Frequently Asked Questions

Applying, booking and refunds

  • Help! The course I want to do is fully booked!

    We pride ourselves on being extremely small so class sizes are tiny (there will be a maximum of 6 other people in your class) and everyone makes friends quickly, as well as being academically challenging. We offer places on a rolling basis, so our courses get full very quickly. Many of our courses are run on more than one set of dates, so make sure you check them, and there may still be spaces on related courses.

  • How do I apply for a place?

    Please apply here or email us with your details and she will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your requirements and confirm your booking. The main criteria are your examination grades, the personal statement you write and other supporting material. We may also conduct a short phone call with you, to discuss your application further. Please note that we have a limited number of spaces. We pride ourselves on offering a high quality experience, so while other summer schools take large numbers of students we have a small group of students taking part.

  • What’s your cancellation policy?

    We have a simple cancellation policy: a student pays a non-refundable booking deposit of £595 for the two-week summer course. If they cancel: 120+ days before the start of the summer school we will refund all of the balance of the fees, 90-119 days we refund 50%, 60-89 days 10% and 0-59 days 0%. This is so that other students who want to take advantage of the opportunity to join us on the summer school have enough time to make their plans. We recommend all our students take out travel insurance so they are covered by this in case of cancellations, including illness.

Arriving and Departing

  • When should I arrive for my course?

    On arrival, the OISS team will be there to help the students to get settled into their room, and to meet the other students. After supper there will be a chance to get to know each other better through our interactive games evening.

  • How do I get to the UK and Oxford?

    If you have any questions please contact us and we will be pleased to advise you on your travel plans. We can also arrange for airport transfers for a small additional fee from London airports (Heathrow/Gatwick/Stansted/Luton).

Academic

  • I don’t study X subject at school – can I still study it on the summer school?

    Of course! We want the summer school to be as academically enriching for you as possible, and we think this makes it a great opportunity to try out studying a subject you’re interested in, but have not yet encountered in school. We ask that you can demonstrate an interest in the subject of your choice; you can do this in your application by referencing something relevant you’ve read, or perhaps a hobby or some work experience which you feel has informed your choice. As we are academically selective, we want to make sure you’ve made an informed decision and will really benefit from studying the subject you’ve chosen.

  • Will I receive a certificate for attending the summer school?

    At the end of your course you will be presented with an OISS Graduation Certificate at our Prize-Giving and Graduation Ceremony. This is a fantastic memory of your time with us which you can take home and cherish.

  • What kind of people will I meet?

    You’ll meet fellow students from all over the world. We pride ourselves on being a hugely international summer school, and one of the benefits of our programme is the opportunity to meet new people and learn about their cultures. Hopefully you’ll make friends for life!

  • Do I need to do any pre-reading?

    There will be some subject-specific core reading required before you embark on the programme, and closer to the beginning of your course you will be contacted with more specific reading as allocated by your tutor. Please contact us if you have any further queries or would like extra reading – we are always happy to recommend more!

  • How much contact time is there?

    You’ll have six group tutorials, each of which lasts for a scheduled hour and a half (this doesn’t include additional time for questions at the end), as well as two forty-five minute individual tutorials and a two-hour subject excursion. This is a total of thirteen hours of contact time with your tutors. Not included in this, however, is our range of workshops and seminars, and the time set aside for you to prepare for the tutorials.

Accommodation

  • What’s the accommodation like?

    You’ll be staying in Oxford student accommodation, so you’ll experience what it’s like to live in Oxford. All rooms are single and have internet access. See here for more information on our accommodation.

  • How secure is the campus?

    The safety and wellbeing of students on the Summer School is paramount.There are check-ins for students throughout the day, and we also operate a curfew. College accommodation is monitored 24 hours a day by permanent college staff called porters. This is in addition to our trained and experienced team who are resident at the Summer School to support students 24 hours a day - our low student:staff ratio meaning we can provide students with all the individual support they need.
    All our staff and tutors are Disclosure and Barring Checked, as well as being trained in Child Protection and Health and Safety. We have comprehensive insurance for the Summer School, and to ensure best practice our students are encouraged to take out medical and travel insurance as well.

Affiliation

  • Are you affiliated with Oxford University or Lincoln College?

    Please note that the Summer School is an organisation which contracts with The University of Oxford and Lincoln College for the use of facilities, but which has no formal connection with The University of Oxford. The Summer School is not sponsored or organised by Lincoln College.

Visa and Insurance Information

  • Do I need a visa to travel to the UK?

    If your country is part of the EU or a European Economic Area you will not require a visa, whereas students from many non-EU countries may require a visa to enter the United Kingdom.

    Check online and with the local British Embassy or High Commission in your area, but in most cases you will require a short-term study visa. Please click here to find out more.

    PLEASE NOTE: when you apply for a visa, please use our registered company name “Oxbridge Interviews Ltd”, rather than “The Oxbridge International Summer School”.

  • Are you accredited with any official accreditation bodies?

    We are an Approved Candidate for Accreditation by the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education as a Short Course Provider. The British Accreditation Council is one of the United Kingdom Border Authority’s approved accreditation bodies.

  • What kind of insurance do I need?

    All students must have both travel and medical insurance. Students from the EU or the European Economic Area should bring a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Meals

  • Are meals included?

    We think it’s really important that our young people are well looked after. Breakfast and dinner are provided every day, along with packed lunches for our activities and trips. For other lunch meals the students can buy their own lunch and there are a multitude of nearby sandwich shops and restaurants which the students can visit during their lunch breaks.

  • Can you accommodate my special dietary requirements?

    Of course. If you have any dietary requirements please let us know before the summer school begins so that we can make arrangements with the college and our other venues.

  • When should I leave at the end of my course?

    After a celebratory dinner and our Prize Giving on the Friday night, the summer school comes to an end on the Saturday. Students should vacate their rooms by 9am, but are welcome to stay until midday, when all students must have left the campus.

Useful Information

  • What is a typical day like?

    After breakfast, students have tutorials with our tutors. They are then given a lunch break and come back for independent study on the work set by their tutors. Later in the afternoon, there will be a group activity which might be a visit to a museum, a sports afternoon or a debate. Supper will be eaten all together, either in the college or at a local restaurant. In the evening, there will be socialising and lectures or trips out to the theatre.

    On trip days, we will leave after breakfast and arrive back in Oxford in time for supper and have a debrief session afterwards in the common room. Throughout the day, we will stay together as a group or in smaller groups supervised by an adult.

    Be sure to check out our 'A Day in the Life' post, written by one of 2016's students.

  • Am I allowed to leave Oxford to visit friends or family?

    You will be very busy throughout the two weeks with tutorials, private study and activities. We recommend that you stay in Oxford throughout the course.

  • What happens in the case of an accident or an emergency?

    We will have residential staff in the college, so someone will always be on site and contactable 24 hours a day.