Arriving | University of Oxford
New College
New College
Image credit: Joshua Ettinger / Graduate Photography Competition


We aim to make all our students feel welcome as soon as they arrive in Oxford. 

Once you’ve fulfilled all your offer conditions and confirmed that you intend to take up your place at the University, you’ll receive information by email about enrolling as a student at the University. 

Before you arrive

On the Oxford Students website, you can find a checklist of things to do when you’re preparing for study at Oxford. This includes information about enrolling as a student at the University. 

Make sure the contact information we hold for you is correct: this will be used to send you important information until you have your University email account.

You’ll receive pre-arrival information from your academic department. If you are studying for a matriculated course, your college will also send you information about your college membership, the college’s facilities and services, and arrival arrangements. 

International students

There is plenty of support available for international students before you arrive and during your studies. We aim to make all our students feel as welcome as possible and to help them settle in quickly. 

If you need a visa to study at Oxford, you can find detailed guidance on the University's visa and immigration pages. 

The Oxford Student website offers lots of advice on getting ready to study at Oxford, including information about accommodation, finances, insurance and medical treatment, travelling to Oxford and adjusting to life in the UK. The Orientation for New Students podcast series has insights and advice from current students, and is particularly relevant for students from outside the UK. 

Pre-Sessional English course

The Oxford University Language Centre’s summer Pre-Sessional English course is open to all students with a conditional or unconditional offer from the University. The six-week intensive programme is designed to provide you with the necessary academic language and literacy skills to succeed in an English-speaking university environment. 

More information about the pre-sessional course and how to apply can be found on the Oxford University Language Centre website.

Term dates

Oxford’s academic year is divided into three terms — Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity — and three vacations. Most of our graduate courses begin in Michaelmas term (October). However, a small number begin in Hilary term (January) or Trinity term (April). 

Some graduate courses do not follow the University’s standard eight-week terms. Make sure you read the pre-arrival information you receive carefully. This may include details about induction events and Freshers' Week, which take place before term starts (see Your first few weeks on the Oxford Students website for more information). Your department will let you know the dates of term for your course, and when you should arrive in Oxford.

For more information, visit the University's dates of term page. 


You’ll also receive a timetable of activities you’ll need to attend during your first few weeks. Be aware that pre-sessional courses, orientation events, teaching and examinations may be held outside of official term dates.

University-wide orientation events for international students take place at the Oxford Student Union Freshers’ Fair. Here, you’ll be able to talk to advisors from central University services. Visa presentations are also held at the start of term.

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