Accommodation

All undergraduates have a guaranteed room in college for their first year, whilst some colleges can even offer accommodation for the full three years. Living in college provides a welcoming sense of community, and facilities like the library, dining hall and common room are all close. ‘Living out’ may mean being in a property owned by college, or you may have to rent a flat of your own. Being in your own accommodation often creates a much greater sense of independence, and you will be able to live with your friends. Students often live in areas such as Cowley and Jericho, and the University Accomodation Office is a useful way to find properties.

Numerous colleges are able to accommodate graduates too for all or some of their course, either on site or in a graduate annexe. There are also colleges who are able to cater for students with partners or families. If you do live out, the Graduate Accommodation Office lets and manages properties owned by the University.All undergraduates have a guaranteed room in college for their first year, whilst some colleges can even offer accommodation for the full three years. Living in college provides a welcoming sense of community, and facilities like the library, dining hall and common room are all close. ‘Living out’ may mean being in a property owned by college, or you may have to rent a flat of your own. Being in your own accommodation often creates a much greater sense of independence, and you will be able to live with your friends. Students often live in areas such as Cowley and Jericho, and the University Accomodation Office is a useful way to find properties.

Numerous colleges are able to accommodate graduates too for all or some of their course, either on site or in a graduate annexe. There are also colleges who are able to cater for students with partners or families. If you do live out, the Graduate Accommodation Office lets and manages properties owned by the University.

Food and night life

Freud Bar, on Walton Street
Freud bar

Wikimedia Commons

Food and drink options are diverse in Oxford, from high-street favourites like Pizza Express, through to independently owned Thai, Indian, Spanish and French restaurants. A popular choice with law students remains The Alternative Tuck Shop, whose legendary sandwiches are a five minute walk from the law faculty. The Cowley area of Oxford is particularly good for eating out, and is home to the well-loved Atomic Burger. Expect diner-style food in settings inspired by vintage American comic books.

Student clubs are mostly concentrated around the city centre, and cater to a variety of tastes. Park End is famous for its ‘cheese floor’ (cheesy tunes only) whilst Cellar offers a more eclectic range of music and various themed nights.  If you prefer something different to clubbing, there are several excellent cocktail bars. Freud is housed in a converted church, whilst The Duke of Cambridge serves drinks at happy hour prices to Oxford Union members.

Clubs and Societies

There are more than 400 student groups to choose from, meaning there’s something for everyone. Oxford hosts a vibrant drama scene and as well as acting and directing you can get involved in publicity or the technical side of production. The two student newspapers Cherwell and The Oxford Student welcome submissions on everything from current affairs to travel, and you can also apply to join the editorial team.  Many students volunteer during their time here, with opportunities coordinated through the Oxford Hub.

Sports are played at a high level at the University, and the very best players are award the coveted ‘Blue’ sporting awards. This said, you can play both as a complete beginner and as a seasoned professional, and aside from traditional sports such as rowing and rugby there are more unusual options. This includes quidditch, which is played in University Parks.  Be sure to go to the Fresher’s Fair at the beginning of the year in order to discover the many extra-curricular activities on offer

Green Spaces

View of river in Christ Church Meadow
Christ Church Meadow

Ed Webster via Flickr

Oxford has a number of beautiful green spaces, perfect for either unwinding or keeping fit. Christ Church meadow is a popular jogging and picnicking spot, and lies close to the section of the Thames where major rowing competitions take place. There are also scenic riverside walks in University Parks, which borders the Cherwell to the North of Oxford. The grounds are also home to the Oxford University Cricket Club, and tennis, football, rugby are often played there. For something more sedate, Oxford also has the oldest botanical gardens in the country, and entry is free for university students.

Faith provision

There are many different places of worship in Oxford, reflecting the diversity of the city and the student population. There are also a wide variety of religious student societies which organise social events which those of any faith are welcome to attend.

Bahá'í Faith

The University has a Baha’i society which organises various events and study circles for young people and adults.  There is also a wider Baha’I group in the city

Buddhism

The Oxford University Buddhist Society puts on free meditation classes and hosts speakers on topics such as Buddhist Theory. You do not have to be a Buddhist to attend, nor to be a member of the University.

Free classes as well as yoga, prayer and meditation sessions are also hosted by Thrangu House, Oxford’s Tibetan Buddhist centre.

Christianity

The Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian union (OICCU) is the second oldest Christian Union in the world, and puts on talks, meetings over free coffee and cake and even residentials over the holidays. 

There are a large number of churches in Oxford representing Christians from across the denominations. 

Hinduism

Hum Soc (the University of Oxford’s Hindu society) runs cultural and religious events, including the very popular annual Diwali ball and the Holi festival.

The Oxford Temple & Community Centre Project is currently working to establish a Hindu temple in Oxford and offers communal prayer sessions in community halls around the county.

Islam

There are four mosques in Oxford, and staff and students of the University have their own prayer room in the Robert Hooke building on Parks Road.  The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OxCIS) fosters cross-disciplinary study of the Islamic world, and aims to create a meeting point for the Western and Islamic worlds of learning.

The student-run Oxford Islamic Society (OISoc) puts on social and spiritual events for the Muslim community in Oxford, although encourages non-Muslim participation too.

Judaism

The Oxford Chabad Society, associated with the Oxford Chabad House, organises high profile speaker events and hosts an open Shabbat dinner which is free for Oxford students. There is also an Oxford Jewish Chaplaincy, where an experienced husband and wife rabbinic team provide support and guidance on all aspects of student life. The Chaiplancy also hosts events and fosters Jewish learning.

The Oxford Jewish Society (JSoc) is open to Jewish students of all denominations, and serves Kosher two-course dinners every weekday and a special three-course Friday night dinner. The society also takes part in fundraising for the homeless in Oxford by baking challah bread.

Sikhism

The Oxford Sikh Society hosts numerous events, including talks throughout term. There is also a Sikh temple in Headington.