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The Oxford SU (students’ union) Freshers’ Fair is an opportunity to find out more about student life.
This free event is a great chance to sign up to the many clubs and societies available at Oxford. Your college (if you have one) will provide you with a ticket and a timeslot to attend the fair.
- 10am – 6pm (last entry 5pm), Wednesday 4 October, Examination Schools, High Street
- 9am – 5pm (last entry 4pm), Thursday 5 October, Examination Schools, High Street
As well as becoming a member of your college’s student community you will automatically become a member of the SU. The SU is an independent charity that exists to make your university experience a positive one by offering a range of help, advice, support, events, activities and campaigns that you can get involved with. To find out more, visit the SU website.
Membership of the SU is automatic and free. Entry to Freshers’ Fair is free.
You have the right to opt out of membership of your college student union and of the SU.
Orientation Programme - undergraduate students
To help international students settle into Oxford life, the University offers a free Orientation Programme.
As well as providing practical details for living and studying in the UK and Oxford, the Programme provides a fantastic opportunity to meet students from more than 90 countries before starting your studies.
The Orientation Programme will be held on Monday 2 October 2017 for undergraduate students and visiting students. For more information, visit the Oxford Students website.
Curiosity Carnival - Oxford’s first European Researchers’ Night
The event is a European Commission funded event that takes place on the last Friday of September every year.
It will be one of hundreds of events across the UK and Europe aimed at celebrating and debating the way that research affects all our lives and encouraging people to engage directly with researchers. The Curiosity Carnival is an evening of fun and entertainment for all ages and interests, taking place across the University’s gardens, libraries and museums, plus there’ll be all sorts of activities spilling out onto the streets of Oxford. Most events will be free to attend – from talks, debates and live experiments to dance performances, poetry, music, games. There’s even a pub-style quiz!
Find out more about the event at www.curiositycarnival.org.
Orientation Programme - graduate students
To help international students settle into Oxford life, the University offers a free Orientation Programme.
The Orientation Programme for graduate students will be held on 28 September 2017 (for Social Sciences) and 29 September 2017 (for other Divisions). Your college will have sent you information about how to register over the summer and the deadline to register is 11 September 2017. MBA and MFE students should not sign-up for the programme as you will have your own induction events at Saïd Business School. For more information, visit the Oxford Students website.
The Oxford University Newcomers' Club and Welcome Service
There are a number of groups to assist you and your partner or family as you adapt to life in Oxford
- The Oxford University Welcome Service holds induction events for new members of the University as well as their partners and families. A range of useful resources can be found on the Welcome Service website and you can email email@example.com for more information.
- The Oxford University Newcomers’ Club is for the partners of postgraduate students. A different programme of events and activities is organised each term and weekly coffee mornings are held. For more information, visit the Newcomers’ Club website.
Are you ready for university?
A checklist is available with useful advice to help you prepare for life at Oxford.
The checklist covers everything from returning your contract and accessing your University email to organising your finances and getting the necessary vaccinations. University registration is open until Friday 13 October. You can start your registration using Student Self Service once you have activated your Single Sign-On account; registration is a mandatory requirement for all students.
The University has an interactive map which you may wish to use to help you navigate Oxford. The map includes an image of each building, a link to the relevant website and an access guide page where applicable.
Oxford is a safe place to live. However, it is still important to look after yourself and your property, both at home and whilst travelling around the city.
Always remember to lock doors and windows when you’re out, back up work saved on your laptop and consider a tracking device for phones and computers. For more information on personal safety and protecting your belongings, visit the Oxford Students website. To insure your valuable items, visit Endsleigh.
Cycling is a great way to get around Oxford. However when travelling, please remember that it’s a legal requirement to have a working set of lights displayed on your bicycle (a bright white light on the front and a red light on the back). It is also important to wear a cycle helmet, and light coloured or fluorescent clothing. For more information and how to register your bike with the free Bike Register scheme, visit the Security Services website.
Anxiety about starting university
There are a range of ways to combat nerves relating to the start of term.
Whether it’s down to managing your workload, making friends or living away from home, it's normal to feel stress, nerves or anxiety relating to the new opportunities and challenges you may experience.
Rather than letting these feelings get in the way of enjoying yourself, there are a range of ways to combat them.
The Counselling Service is here to listen, help you develop emotional resilience and fulfil your academic and personal potential. Should you need it, on offer are both individual and group counselling sessions, supportive workshops, the Peer Support Programme and a range of resources including podcasts and web pages.
You can also listen to the Guide for Freshers podcastfor a better idea of what to expect when you arrive.
Get vaccinated against meningitus
Have you registered with a GP and had your MenACWY vaccine yet?
If not, you could be at risk of meningitus and septicaemia. As a university student you are particularly at risk due to being in confined environments with close contact, such as university halls. If you're aged 17-18, speak to your GP now about MenACWY vaccine - it could save your life. For more information, visit the NHS website.
Complaints and appeals
If you have a cause for concern on any matter whilst studying at Oxford, there are a variety of ways to get support.
Depending whether your issue is relating to academic matters, staff and student conduct, research integrity or University services, there will be a different point of contact available to you.
Usually the first step is to raise it with the relevant party who will attempt to resolve the matter directly. For more details and to learn more about the complaints procedure and what to do if the matter can’t be immediately resolved, visit the Oxford Students website.
Attend a freshers' party in your hometown
More than 200 alumni groups organise freshers’ parties for new starters.
These events are an opportunity to meet other freshers and alumni from your area and find out more about Oxford before you start your studies. To find out if there is an event in your area, visit the Alumni Office website.
Opening a bank account
UK banks are keen to open accounts for European and International Students.
However, as they need to collect certain information from you to meet UK government financial rules, please follow these three steps to make the process easier:
- Meet the banks at the Orientation Fair to begin the process
- Gather the documents you need: your passport and enrolment certificate stamped by your college with your address
- Go to the bank early – try to avoid busy periods and check the ‘late opening hours’
To download the guide to opening a bank account, visit the Oxford Students website.
Activate your IT account
Remember to activate your Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO) account.
These include including your University email account, learning and library resources and the tutorial/supervision system. Your SSO will also give you access to web data storage and free or discounted software.
Your SSO username and activation code will be sent to you by email once you have signed and returned your University contract. Once you have activated your SSO you will also be able to connect to internet networks available at Oxford. The eduroam wireless service is the most widely available, providing internet access not only at Oxford but in academic institutions around the world using the same username and password. For more information, visit the Oxford Students website.
Also visit the welcometoit.ox.ac.uk website for essential IT information from ‘What is Nexus?’ and ‘How does an SSO work?’ to ‘How do I get free software?’ and ‘What should I bring?
Your offer letter outlines any conditions you need to satisfy, any actions you need to take and associated deadlines.
It also links to the University contract web page which contains three documents you will need to read:
- University Terms and Conditions
- University Student Handbook: Applicant edition for entry 2017/18
- Course Information Sheet – as relevant to your course
Your offer letter constitutes your formal offer of a place at the University of Oxford. If you accept the offer you will enter into a contract with the University.
BRP (student visa) collection at Examination Schools
If you require a Tier 4 Student visa, you will be issued a 30 day vignette when you apply overseas for a visa to be able to travel to the UK.
When you arrive here, you will need to collect your longer visa in the form of a biometric residence permit (BRP). If you choose/have chosen the option during the online visa application to collect at the Examination Schools (Tuesday 26 September – Tuesday 3 October) then remember to sign-up here so we can plan for numbers collecting each day. For help with your student visa queries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An essential part of being a student of the University is the annual completion of registration.
Once you have activated your SSO account, you will be able to start your University registration online using Student Self Service. You will be emailed full details about Registration shortly after the window opens.
You should complete the first step of your University registration for the 2017/18 academic year by verifying your details online using Student Self Service before you arrive. When you log in to Student Self Service you will need to check your personal, contact, academic and other information and confirm that you wish to be enrolled at the University of Oxford. You will also be able log back in to Student Self Service to print your enrolment certificate as proof of student status. When you arrive in Oxford you will need to go to your college (or department if you do not have a college) to complete the final part of your University registration and to be issued your University card. If you are not in Oxford at any time during the registration period (1 September–13 October 2017) you must contact your college or department to ensure that the final step of the registration process is completed for you.
If you are a Recognised Student please email email@example.com to ensure that you have made an appointment to come in and pick up your card (you will need to complete the online form for Registration before your appointment). If you have an approved application in place for a Postgraduate Master’s loan and you have returned your signed declaration form to Student Finance England, the first instalment will be released to you in accordance with your student finance agreement once the registration.
For further information on completing your registration visit the Oxford Students website.
Full academic dress, known as sub fusc, must be worn at all formal University ceremonies.
This includes matriculation and degree ceremonies. You’ll also wear sub fusc when sitting examinations. On these occasions, you should wear the appropriate gown (your college/department will advise); a mortar board or soft-cap; a dark suit, skirt or trousers; a dark coat if required; black shoes; a plain white collared shirt or blouse; and a white bow tie, black bow tie, black full-length tie or black ribbon. To find out more about academic dress, visit the Oxford Students website. To buy your academic dress, visit the University of Oxford Shop.
Alternative arrangements and adjustments
If you require alternative arrangements or adjustments whilst at Oxford, you should contact the Disability Support Service (DAS) or your college office.
The deadline for examination adjustments is Friday of Week 4 of the term but the sooner you can get in touch the better. Examination provisions may include:
- extra time
- use of a word processor
- enlarged font papers
- written instructions
- seating arrangements
- scheduling of examinations at a specific time of day
- permission to bring food and drink into an examination
Getting in touch with DAS as soon as you can will allow you to focus on settling in and enjoying your course once you arrive. For more information, visit the Oxford Students website.
Volunteers wanted for study
Volunteers needed for a study investigating the effects of mental exercises.
The Department of Psychiatry are looking for healthy participants (male or female), aged 18 to 65 years. In order to participate, you must be in good health, not be engaged on a regular basis in any kind of formal mental exercises (e.g. yoga, meditation, psychotherapy), and you must not have a history of any mental disorder.
You would be invited to the Department of Psychiatry (Warneford Hospital) for two study sessions. Both sessions would take approximately 60 to 90 minutes. Between the sessions you would be assigned a brief mental exercise (taking approximately 10 minutes per day) that you carry out for seven days. After this training period, your performance on a range of computerized psychological tasks will be assessed.
You will be compensated for your time. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporting the community
A great way of getting to know Oxford is to contribute to the local community.
With students making up 24% of the city’s population, the positive impact you can make is enormous. Oxford Hub supports students in tackling social challenges, learning about issues and connecting with each other. There are a variety of practical volunteering and skilled placements to get involved in as well as events throughout the year. Whether you want to tutor a child in a local school, become a visiting trustee, befriend an elderly person or help at our food cooperative, there is something foryou. To receive details of social action events and projects, visit the Oxford Hub website.
You can also find volunteering opportunities through the Oxford University Student Union and the University of Oxford website. Volunteering acts as a valuable addition to your CV and can help broaden your horizons with a view to future employment. For more information, see the Oxford Students website.
For information relating to the Oxford Students website, contact Academic Administration Division Communications by calling 01865 284847 or emailing email@example.com