10 Good Reasons for Studying in Oxford

A mix of ancient and modern, Oxford is a vibrant cosmopolitan city full of history and amazing architecture. Lots of students live in the city and there is no shortage of ways to fill your free time. Oxford enjoys five theatres, three cinemas, an ice rink, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and countless cafés and restaurants.  Here are our top 10 reasons why you should consider living and studying in Oxford:

1. The University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is one of the oldest, most beautiful and most acclaimed universities in the world! Alumni of Oxford University include 26 British Prime Ministers, at least 30 international Heads of State, 50 Nobel Prize winners and 120 Olympic medal winners. Enjoy walking around the many colleges and learning their colourful history!  (photos: www.biography.com)

Famous Oxford Alumni - from www.biography.com 

2. The famous Oxford skyline

Oxford can seem like one big postcard. There are lots of spectacular views. In 1865, the great Romantic poet Matthew Arnold hailed it the city of “dreaming spires”. You can catch a glimpse of what he meant from South Parks Hill – just 100 metres from Oxford International College. (photo www.oxfordlight.co.uk)

 Oxford City of Dreaming Spires

3. Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and other children classics

Enjoy Harry Potter? Many of the scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed right here in Oxford (the photo below is of the Great Hall at Christ Church College). Prefer The Lord Of The Rings? J.R.R Tolkien was a student and tutor at Oxford University. Other books by famous Oxonians include Alice in Wonderland and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

 Harry Potter film location - Christ Church Oxford

4. The Bodleian Library - a thousand years old

Founded between 400 or 600 years ago (depending on your dating), The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest and largest libraries in the world. Its many faculties contain a copy of every book published in the UK. Students can arrange tours through its ornate interiors, or just stroll between its lavish courtyards.

Bodleian Library - a thousand years old

 5. You can walk or bike everywhere

Oxford may have loads to do, but it isn’t a big city. Oxford is acknowledged as one of few true 'Cycling Cities' in the United Kingdom. Oxford International College and its accommodation are within walking distance of the city centre. For anything further afield, it’s more than easy to hire a bicycle.

Biking in Oxford

6. Like books? Blackwell's Bookshop is for you!

Blackwell's is the largest book store in the world. It's flagship branch in Oxford occupies several buildings and its famous Norrington Room alone houses over 100,000 books. The company has also recently opened new music and print stores, all available on Oxford’s Broad Street.

Blackwell's Book Shop 

7. Punting down the river

There are only two places in the world where you can try punting – one of them is Oxford. The calmest and most luxurious way to experience Oxford’s rivers, punting is a must-do summer activity.

Punting in Oxford

8. Famous Museums and Natural History Collections

Oxford has more than 20 museums and galleries. The most renowned include the famous Ashmolean Museum and Gallery (opened in 1683), and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (established 1850). But don’t miss some of the smaller exhibits either! The Pitt Rivers Museum houses a world famous collection of Amazonian Shrunken Heads.

 Oxford's Natural History Museum

9. The '4-minute mile' track

In 1954, Roger Bannister, a 25-year-old British medical student, was the first man in history to run 1 mile in less than four minutes. His time was 3mins 59.4 seconds, achieved at the Iffley Road track in Oxford and watched by 3,000 spectators. It was once thought the 4-minute mile was impossible to achieve.

Roger Bannisters' 4 minute mile track

10. Famous places to visit nearby...

Situated right in the centre of England, it’s easy to escape Oxford for a weekend away. London is only an hour’s journey by train. Other cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol are also accessible by bus and rail. Alternatively, visit the stately home of Blenheim Palace, the birth place of Winston Churchill.

 Blenheim Palace