24 hours in Oxford
If you are lucky enough to stay in Oxford the night before the Open Days (maybe even in an Oxford college), make the most of it by sampling student life with a visit to G&Ds for waffles or maybe catching a show at the Oxford Playhouse. Don't stay out too late though, because being first in the city means you can get ahead of the crowds.
|8:30||Start your day with an early-bird college tour at St Anne's, St Hilda's or Pembroke. Be sure to leave enough time to find your next destination.|
|9:00 or 10:00||Arrive early (these get busy!) for your course talk. These are not always repeated later and you should allow at least 15 minutes to walk there.|
|12:15||The lunch time slot between 12:15-14:00 is the ideal time to visit some colleges. All of them are open for tours at this time and some even offer lunch. See our map for more lunch suggestions.|
Some departments re-run course talks after lunch, so check to see if there's anything else that interests you.
The Open Day Information Centre (ODIC) in the High Street is open all day, so once you've finished exploring the departments, come along to ask any questions you still have. There is a talk about Student Finance and Careers at 14:30 and a range of exhibition stands to visit.
|15:00||Visit another college or two to learn more about your course by talking to students and tutors. Allow an hour per college and narrow down your choices in advance. Visiting just one or two will give you a good idea how the college system works and you can use our 360° virtual tours online to look at other colleges when you get home.|
|17:00||End the day at one of the colleges staying open until late - Lady Margaret Hall, Pembroke, St Catherine's or St Hugh's - and enjoy a well-earned drink and relaxed chat with tutors before making your way back home.|
12 hours in Oxford
|7:30||If you can arrive really early, stop off for breakfast at one of our favourite spots - Queen's Lane Coffee House or Gail's Bakery - while you get all your questions ready for the day.|
|8:00||Make sure you've arrived by now (be at a Park & Ride by 8:00, or Oxford station by 8:30) to give yourself enough time to get into town and find your way to your first destination.|
|9:00 or 10:00||Spend the morning find out all you can about the courses you are interested in by attending the talks offered at departments.|
|12:15||This is the ideal time to visit some colleges. Plan to spend about an hour at each - remember that you will meet students and tutors at colleges, so you can keep asking questions about your course.|
After lunch, if you realise you would like to know more about another course, you may still be able to catch a repeated course talk in a department. Otherwise, continue with your college visits or call into the Open Day Information Centre (ODIC) where you can attend talks and pick up information about the admissions process, student finance and careers, international student services and student societies.
|15:00||Once you've finished exploring the departments, spend the rest of the afternoon visiting another college or two - make sure it offers your course.|
|17:00||If you don't have to rush off to get a bus or a train, end the day at Lady Margaret Hall, Pembroke, St Catherine's or St Hugh's and enjoy a well-earned drink and relaxed chat with tutors before making your way back home.|
6 hours in Oxford
If you really can't manage to spend a whole day in Oxford, we encourage you to prioritise learning all you can about your course.
|9:00 or 10:00||Head straight to the department that offers your course and attend any talks or sample lectures on offer. Most departments will have students and tutors available for you to talk to before or after the main talks so make the most of this opportunity by having your questions ready in advance.|
|12:15||Once you've finished exploring the departments, spend the rest of the afternoon visiting another college or two - make sure it offers your course.|
|15:00||Once you get home, follow up on what you've seen with the virtual tours available on our website.|
Some general advice
Don't be tempted to drive into the city, there really is nowhere to park! If you are able to use public transport it is very likely to be quicker.
There isn't always room for parents to join these talks. Instead, why not stop off for a coffee, or head to one of the parents talks happening around this time. Meet back up for lunch and compare notes.
Be aware that there are likely to be queues at bus stops to get back to the Park & Ride car parks from 16:00 onwards, and that the train station may also be busy between 16:00-18:00. Either try to avoid these times, or at least make sure you have a bottle of water to keep you going until you get on the road.