Oxford International Study Centre
individually designed study programmes in the heart of Oxford
Oxford is a world-renowned university city, with its origins dating back over eight hundred years. Home to Oxford Brookes University, as well as the world-famous colleges of Oxford University, the city is an unparalleled centre of learning. The beautiful architecture provides a spectacular and inspiring backdrop for academic, business, and cultural programmes for visitors and students from all over the world.
Oxford is also a thriving, modern city, home to some of the most significant and pioneering developments in research and business in the world. It is an important cultural centre, full of art galleries, theatres, museums and musical recitals. It is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city - there is no better place to study.
Oxford International Study Centre - in the Heart of Oxford
Oxford International Study Centre is situated in the very heart of the university city, between the Town Hall and Christ Church, Oxford’s most famous college. The Study Centre occupies a beautiful and prestigious building which is over four hundred years old, and retains its beamed ceilings and many other original features. Students are taught in the Study Centre itself, as well as our adjacent Blue Boar Street teaching block. In summer, we teach many older students on University premises, and young students are taught in the famous Christ Church Preparatory School, both of which are a short walk from our main premises.
The tutors at OISC are graduates of leading universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, and have many years’ experience of teaching both domestic and international students, and international clients. The vast majority of our students who are applying to university gain a place at their first or second choice institution, and the pass rate for IELTS is 100%.
OISC is a well-established college in the centre of Oxford. We have a Grade One inspection report (excellent in all categories) from the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, an approved educational oversight body authorised by UK Visas & Immigration. OISC is an associate member of the European Council of International Schools.
We have a Highly Trusted Status licence from UK Visas & Immigration for the awarding of Tier 4 visa documentation (licence no. CEUN 82AB6).
English Language Programmes
These programmes take place year round, both for group and individual bookings. We offer tuition in small groups and one-to-one for a more intensive experience. All courses train students to communicate clearly both in written and spoken usage. Each lesson is 45 minutes long.
Course length is entirely flexible: we have students taking English Language for one week, and others for 1 or 2 years.
Group tuitionis organised in programmes of two types: General English, consisting of 20 lessons per week, or the Intensive English programme, which consists of 30 lessons per week.
Typically students taking 20 lessons per week will have lessons just in the morning, from 9.15 - 12.30, and those taking 30 lessons per week will also have lessons in the afternoon from 1.30 - 3.00.
These timings are not fixed and are subject to variation depending on availability and time of year.
Private tuitionis based on 10, 20 or 30 lessons per week (40 lessons per week in exceptional cases) and students will usually have two or three different tutors in order to have as varied and useful an experience as possible.
Combined coursesof 20 group lessons + 5, 10 or 15 individual lessons are also available.
We advise all students on the best programme for their needs before arrival.
Our General English programmes cover all four aspects of language learning: Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing, with a focus on learning functional English which can be used in everyday settings.
Courses are tailored to suit the needs of each class - younger students will experience a combination of classroom teaching and activities to make learning the language fun. Classes at a more advanced level will be focused on debating and public speaking skills, using colloquial language and stylistic flair. All tutors of English are CELTA– and degree-qualified and have many years’ experience teaching students of various nationalities.
All students receive a Certificate of Attainment upon completion of their course.
"I had a great time! Such nice teachers and pupils - we had a lot of fun. It’s the perfect place to improve English Language."
-Ania, Easter Course student, Germany
These courses are designed for students of all ages and abilities - we often have students as young as 5! Students are tested on arrival and are placed into classes based on their ability and their age - whilst English level is our main concern, we attempt to be age-sensitive with class allocation as far as is possible.
Our maximum group size is 15 students, and this is often as low as 3 or 4 students depending on the time of year.
Specialised English Programmes
As well as General English courses, we are able to offer specialist tuition in English:
English for Law, Medicine or Finance
English with Literature or History
We also offer Academic English programmes for students preparing for examinations, usually IELTS. These courses are intensively focused on the objectives of the exam, rather than more general language learning.
We have a 100% pass rate for students taking IELTS preparation courses with us. We accept students at all IELTS levels, and we usually advise that, with hard work, students can expect to improve their score by between 0.5 and 1.0 IELTS points during each six-month period of study.
Art and Design
Classical Languages (Latin and Greek)
Design and Technology
Government and Politics
We teach a wide range of subjects, from elementary level to post-graduate level. Most of the following subjects are offered at (I)GCSE and A-Level, and some of them for other international qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate. We also offer specially designed programmes for individuals, groups, and companies in subjects outside these areas.
If you cannot see the subject you wish to study in this list, please do contact us. There is an excellent chance that we will be able to arrange a course for you in your chosen field of study.
We teach over twenty different academic subjects, including the Humanities, Languages, Social Sciences, Sciences and Business-related courses. Typically students take two or three subjects, and the balance of lessons can be altered to suit the needs of each student. Many students combine an academic programme with English Language support. A course of 20 or 30 lessons per week, divided between several subjects, is typical.
"Please thank all your tutors for their inspiration, encouragement, and support of Edward. He was very happy at OISC and he was made to feel welcome right from the outset. The one-to-one tuition and adult environment totally suited his learning style."
- Stephanie, parent of full-time GCSE student, UK.
We welcome both international and domestic students for full-time academic study. These are usually students preparing for British public examinations, but we are also very happy to help younger students wishing to prepare for Common Entrance or for entry into a British boarding school. For more details on these programmes, please see our section on Junior Programmes.
We offer full-time exam preparation courses for GCSE and IGCSE, A-Level and the International Baccalau-reate (IB). The academic year is divided into three terms of 12 weeks, with exams taken in June or July. Students on these programmes are given regular testing as well as a more formal mock exam session, usually at the end of the Winter Term. Unlike many similar institutions, we are able to offer fast-track A-Level study, with exams taken after one year’s tuition rather than the standard two.
Full-time courses are based on 20 lessons per week, taught in small groups - usually no bigger than 5 or 6 students. Lessons are usually divided equally between subjects, though we can be very flexible - students can choose to allocate more lessons to their weaker subjects.
In addition, students can choose, at an extra cost, to add supplementary individual lessons to their course if needed.
Pastoral Care and University Support
All full-time students at OISC are allocated a personal tutor, with whom they usually meet fortnightly. Additional meetings can of course be arranged in times of need. Personal tutors are responsible for students’ welfare throughout their time at OISC, though of course all administrative staff can be consulted by students regarding personal or academic matters at any time. All contact with both personal tutors and other staff is entirely confidential. Personal tutors and academic staff will also assist students with university preparation and the application process where relevant. For further details on specific university preparation courses, please see our section on University Preparation Courses.
During school holidays (Winter, Easter and Summer, and all half-term breaks) we offer popular short-term courses for students preparing for public or school examinations. For students whose first language is not English, these can be taken alongside an English Language programme. We offer a wide range of different subjects (for a full list, see page 8), and students generally take between two and four. Course lengths are entirely flexible, with some students joining us for intensive one-week revision courses, while others come for several months. Students typically take 20 lessons per week, though 30 or 40-lesson packages are also available for students requiring a more intensive programme. These lessons can be distributed between subjects according to each student’s needs. Homework and testing is standard, and mock exams are also used to monitor student progress. As with all courses, lessons can be taken individually, or in small groups.
We are also able to offer regular after-school support for local students, who purchase a package of 20, 30 or 40 lessons, which they can then spread over a number of weeks as they choose.
Students are encouraged to send as much information as possible about their specific areas of weakness before arrival so that their course can be tailored to their needs. Recent school reports and mock exam grades are especially useful.
"The tutors were really fun and friendly, and made Chemistry exciting and interesting! I have learnt a lot."
-Hollie, revision course student, UK
We teach for the following public examinations, as well as for internal school exams. This list is not exhaustive, so please do contact us if you require tuition for an examination not listed here - we will usually be able to help.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
American examinations (SAT, AP)
VWO and other European examinations
Specialist university entrance tests (eg. BMAT, LNAT, ELAT)
- for further details see University Preparation Courses opposite.
University Preparation Courses
We offer a variety of different options for students preparing for entry to a British university. For those who have not yet started the application process, these courses involve a high level of pastoral care. Meeting with our university advisers and senior tutors, students will select which institutions to apply to based on analysis of their requirements and academic standing, and will commence the UCAS application process, with close support throughout. Advisers will offer assistance with Personal Statement writing, and can provide the UCAS academic reference if required. Students will have intensive, high-level tuition in the subject(s) which they hope to read at university - normally this will be 20 or 25 lessons per week, with additional tuition available for extra subjects or extra support in any subject. International students will typically combine their academic studies with advanced-level English Language tuition.
These programmes are available in short-term courses of between 2 and 4 weeks, or as a longer-term, full-time programme for students preparing to apply during a gap year.
Foundation Courses in Businessare also offered in conjunction with Oxford Brookes and other universi-ties. Please contact us for more information regarding these.
"The support shown by everyone at OISC was heart-warming. Every single teacher I had played a crucial role in building up my confidence and they gave me the push I needed to apply to various universities in the U.K. It was awesome and I highly recommend it!"
- Meera, university preparation course student, Pakistan
Students applying to Oxford or Cambridge
During the summer vacation and in the Winter Term, we assist a number of students in applying to Oxford or Cambridge University. These institutions are unique in holding interviews and specialised entrance tests in November and December.
Tuition is at an advanced level, and is individual or in very small groups of two or three students. All tutors involved have a great deal of experience in assisting students in applying to these institutions.
At both universities the interview stage is extremely important. These are designed to assess a student’s understanding and critical skills, and also their enthusiasm for, and commitment to, their chosen subject. It is important that students are able to ‘think outside the box’. With this in mind, students on this pro-gramme take part in an advanced-level Current Affairs discussion group, in order to facilitate their critical thinking and debating skills.
In many subjects there are also written tests at interview. These are typically a test of the student’s abil-ity to move beyond the demands of A-Level or IB and to consider more demanding questions. In subjects which have not usually been studied at school, the tests are designed to gauge potential aptitude - for example in Law or PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics). Students applying for undergraduate study in Classical or Modern Languages should also expect language aptitude tests.
The courses we organise consist of:
Practice for the written tests with specialist tutors
Interview practice - both subject-specific and general
Advice on studying at Oxford or Cambridge
Unlike many tutorial colleges in Oxford, we accept junior students for courses all year round. We have no fixed age limit - we leave suitability for courses to the discretion of parents and agents. We are often joined by students as young as five years old! We do, however, reserve the right to suggest students wait a year or two before coming to Oxford if we believe their age to be a hindrance to learning.
Junior students are grouped separately from our older students, according to age, and every summer we have several groups of very young students - they are always a pleasure to teach!
In the summer, we have the use of Christ Church Cathedral School for our junior students. This is a wonderful venue, directly opposite the world-famous Christ Church College, and a two-minute walk from our main office. The school has excellent, modern facilities and the classrooms are bright and spacious - perfect for our younger learners.
We take the welfare of all our students very seriously, and this is especially true for juniors. Younger students are carefully monitored, and are encouraged to stay on-site under careful supervision during break-times. We are able to arrange transport by registered taxi to and from school every day, and this service is compulsory for students under the age of 12 who are unaccompanied in Oxford. The cost of this is £100 per student per week.
Students preparing for British Boarding Schools
A student preparing for a British school would normally combine tuition in English Language at the appropriate level with three to five academic subjects, as well as Study Skills. The balance of subjects is designed to meet the needs of each student.
For younger students, preparation for boarding school entrance tests and interviews usually includes Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning, together with English and Maths. We can also offer support for Common Entrance and Scholarship Entrance examinations. Practice interviews are included where necessary.
We have excellent links with many British schools, and we can assist with school placement if required. We liaise closely with the student’s future school in order to ensure all necessary material is covered before the start of the academic year.
Gap Year Programmes
"I would like to thank our teachers for their work, because I really enjoyed their lessons! They gave their heart and soul to their work. Teachers like this, caring ones, are very rare. We were very lucky to have them."
- Lev, Gap Year student, Ukraine
We arrange study abroad programmes for individuals and for school or college groups. These are taken in the form of a semester or year in Oxford and are a wonderful opportunity for students to discover the joys of Oxford, whilst continuing their education and broadening their horizons.
Some students take these programmes to enhance their existing studies, and possibly gain accreditation from their own high school or college. Others see the Oxford programme as an exciting way to widen their cultural and educational experience as part of a gap year. Some students love the city so much that they take the programme in order to enter a British university and stay in Oxford!
These programmes are very much tailor-made - they are unlike any other academic programme we offer. Some students choose to fill their schedule with academic study, aiming to work towards a qualification of some kind, whilst others choose to explore lots of different subjects which they have never studied - for example, learning a new language, or looking at an area of History which is new to them. Some students prefer to focus on the cultural, taking more vocational options in Art, Design, Architecture or even things like needlework or jewellery-making! The most important thing about these courses is their flexibility. We have welcomed students who have arrived planning to study Architecture at university, and have left to pursue undergraduate study in International Relations - we allow our study abroad students to shape their own programme in order for them to get a truly personalised, diverse experience.
We have been able to organise work experience placements for study abroad students in establishments as diverse as vintage clothing shops and patisseries. Students taking a gap-year programme should expect a culturally enriching and educational experience which they will remember forever.
If you are considering a study abroad year or semester, please write to us first with full information about your present studies and future plans, and an idea of what you hope to achieve during your time in Oxford. One of our staff members will be happy to offer you advice and to help you build the programme you are looking for. Where relevant, we will then contact your current school or college counsellors in order to best understand your current academic position, and to arrange accreditation where necessary.
All students taking a gap-year or study abroad semester receive full certification from OISC, with letters of recommendation and references to their school or college to ensure they receive credit where possible.
Summer at OISC
Summer is the most exciting period of the year at OISC. All our programmes run throughout the year, but during the main summer period (late June to early September) we welcome large numbers of students taking specialised summer courses. The focus of these courses is on a combined academic and cultural experience, and so most students take a less intensive programme of lessons, to include our cultural activities programme. This is a great opportunity for students to meet each other, and to make friends from all over the world. OISC is a wonderful place to be in the summer!
For groups of students we are able to arrange closed-group activities or integrate students with others. Groups can request that specific activities be included, but this cannot always be guaranteed and may be subject to additional fees.
"Really awesome activities - they were always fun, but left me with no time for a nap! They were great. Everyone who helped with the activities was really cool."
- Salla, summer course student, Sweden
In the summer, we continue to use our year-round teaching rooms, but in addition we teach students in a variety of different special summer locations. These include Oxford University buildings, especially the Oxford Union and several Colleges of the University. This is a wonderful experience for older students, giving them a taste of genuine undergraduate life!
In addition, our younger students are taught in Christ Church Cathedral School, where the classrooms are spacious, bright, and modern. This is an excellent facility, with a playground for break-times!
Social Activities Programme
In the summer, we arrange a regular social activities and excursions programme. Students will have a two-hour activity every afternoon, once their lessons have finished. The programme has a wide variety of different activities, but some of the most popular options include:
Punting on the River
Picnics in the Park
Barbecue in the Park
Oxford City Tour
Oxford University College Visits
Harry Potter Tours of Oxford
The programme also includes a full-day trip at the weekend. This usually takes place on Saturday, and students typically meet at around 8am and return home by about 6pm. Destinations vary by week, but some of the most popular are London, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath & Stonehenge, Cambridge, Windsor & Eton College, Portsmouth & the Isle of Wight, and Brighton.
"The Literature course was outstanding. Everybody in the OISC office makes an extra-ordinary effort to be flexible and nice and to make you feel at home. I will indeed recommend you to colleagues - I have learned a lot. Thank you!"- Ulla, Oxford Summer Experience student, Denmark
Oxford Summer Experience
Oxford Summer Experience is an academically exciting and challenging programme for students who are aged at least 16. Participants must be fluent in English. The emphasis is on an immersive cultural and social experience, and students on this course should expect to try a diverse range of different activities during their time in Oxford. The three course options listed below all include accommodation in a College of Oxford University - a wonderful place to stay whilst in Oxford. The courses are bespoke and are taught by specialists - it’s a truly excellent programme. Courses are subject to a minimum of 5 students and a maximum of 15. If these terms are not met, other options will be offered. Oxford Summer Experience runs for two fixed 2-week periods in the summer. Students can join for both sessions if they wish. For this year’s dates, please contact us.
Course 1: The Visual Arts
This course focuses on the study and production of works of art of all types: painting, photography, drawing, sculpture and textiles.
15 hours of academic tuition
6 hours of practical workshops
Half-day practical master-class
Full activities and weekend excursions programme
A formal lunch in the University
Course 2: Literature and Writing
On this course, students will read Shakespeare and the Oxford writers, and will produce writing of their own in a number of different styles.
15 hours of academic tuition
6 hours of practical creative writing workshops
Evening trip to view an open-air Shakespeare production
Full activities and weekend excursions programme
A formal lunch in the University
Course 3: Ancient and Modern History
The course takes students from Ancient Rome and Greece through to mod-ern European history, whilst engaging with their languages.
15 hours of academic tuition
6 hours of language workshops
Half-day excursion to Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill
Full activities and weekend excursions programme
A formal lunch in the University
At OISC we offer a number of less common, specialist programmes. These are taught in much the same way as our other programmes, individually or in small groups, but are designed for students preparing for specific examinations which are less widespread. Many of these programmes are not offered at other institutions, and, as with all our courses, we can be very flexible in their organisation. If you are hoping to prepare for an examination not listed here, please do contact us - we will usually be able to help.
We are a recognised pre-training centre for Oxford Aviation Academy, where students undertake Pilot Training. We have excellent links with the Academy, which is one of the leading providers of APP First Officer and Airline Cadet programmes.
Before entry to the Academy, students must pass a series of tests, designed to assess level of English and potential for success in full Pilot Training. We arrange programmes in pre-aviation Physics and Maths specifically designed to prepare students for these tests. Our students taking this programme have a 100% success rate for entry to the Academy.
Applicants for our pre-training programme should be at least 17 years old, and have English at IELTS level 5.0 or equivalent. The programme usually lasts for 3, 6 or 9 months, depending on the entry level of the student.
Test of Legal English Skills (TOLES)
We are a recognised test centre for TOLES at Foundation, Higher, and Advanced level.
These examinations are for those at intermediate level or above in English, who want to focus on English for Law, either for academic or professional purposes. For example, it is well-suited to international students seeking a career in Law, or those who wish to study Law at university before entering another profession. These examinations are sat regularly throughout the year, and students can take a pre-exam programme with us, or simply join us to sit the exam. Pre-exam programmes typically last between two weeks and six months. For further information on TOLES, please visit their website - www.toleslegal.com
Our Bildungsurlaub programmes for German men and women are recognised by the provincial governments, and we offer both General English and Business English. The programmes are two weeks long, with 30 lessons per week. For full information on Bildungsurlaub arrangements in each Bundesland, please visit www.bildungsurlaub-service.de
Study Skills Workshops
Lessons in Study Skills are an essential support for many students who would benefit from help with revision planning, time-management, essay-writing, and other related matters. Although all students taking academic subjects with us will receive some study skills advice as part of their normal lessons, we also organise regular workshops for all students, especially in the lead-up to public examinations.
Study Skills workshops will cover the following areas:
When and where to study - what suits you as an individual?
Making notes in and outside lesson time
How best to tackle homework assignments
Planning for exams and management of revision
Personal development planning
Use of IT, libraries and resources
Communication with teachers and working with fellow pupils
Motivation and managing stress
Current Affairs Discussion Groups
For students with at least an intermediate level of English, we arrange weekly discussion and debating groups. These focus on articles in the news and current affairs in general. They are led by one of our senior tutors and are an excellent way of developing communication skills. Typically, the tutor will take a newspaper or online article as a starting point and allow the discussion to develop from there. The groups are also enormous fun, since the discussions are often very heated!
As well as informal discussion, tutors will usually cover the rules of formal debating and encourage students to engage in a debate. This is extremely good for improving spoken English and is an interesting experience - very quintessentially English!
Many of the students who opt to join these groups will subsequently apply to leading British universities, and they are an excellent preparation for the general interview.
Oxford is well known as the home of discussion and debate. Many of our leading politicians began their careers at the Oxford Union Debating Society. In summer, discussion groups are taught in the Union buildings, and students have the chance to visit the world famous debating chamber, which has hosted speakers from US Presidents and UK Prime Ministers to international celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Shakira.
Students joining us for long-term programmes at OISC are able to join the Oxford Union as associate members if they are over 16.
During the summer, students over 17 have the option of staying in a college of Oxford University. This option is more expensive than staying in a host family, and prices vary according to dates and college options. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get a feel for life as an Oxford undergraduate, and has the added bonus of being right in the City Centre! University accommodation does have limited availability, so we recommend booking well in advance if you plan to choose this option.
University accommodation is on a half-board basis.
In summer, we are able to accommodate group bookings in one of the halls of residence at Oxford Brookes University.
Please do contact us if you wish to discuss which type of accommodation would be most suitable for you.
We offer a range of accommodation options to meet each student’s preferences and budget. The most popular option for students is to stay in a host family. All family rooms are regularly inspected by our Accommodation Manager, and all hosts are checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service for their suitability to accommodate students. A copy of our full policies on Safeguarding Children and on Health and Safety are available on request.
All host family accommodation includes breakfast and an evening meal, with students usually buying their own lunch in the town centre during their break. Accommodation is in single rooms, though students coming to Oxford with friends or family can request to share a twin room if they so wish.
For students who do not wish to stay in a host family, we are able to offer advice on a range of hotels and rented accommodation, though students must book this independently.
"Really lovely host family! Everything was good - perfect. So I loved them very much! Everything was clean - room, sheets. Dinner every day was different, and always a friendly atmosphere at home."
- Anastasiya, summer course student, Ukraine
Teacher Training Courses
We offer year-round teacher training programmes for teachers of all nationalities. These courses are aimed at trainee or practising teachers of English, and other academic subjects, who wish to develop their language and teaching skills further. Many people who take these courses are well-established teachers of academic subjects in their own countries, but join us at OISC in order to get a genuine flavour of what teaching is like in the UK, and how English teaching methods may differ from those to which they are accustomed. We have welcomed many teachers who prepare students for (I)GCSE examinations in their own countries and wish to add an authentic edge to their teaching methods. We have also helped many English Language teachers from overseas who wish to improve their awareness of advanced English idiom and colloquial spoken English. Typically, participants will join advanced-level English group classes, then take a number of individual or small-group lessons in teaching methodologies. Courses include:
"After 5 months spent in Oxford, I miss those wonderful times so much. I have to say that my expectations about Oxford were absolutely exceeded, and the staff and tutors at OISC had a very important role in this remarkable experience in my life. As a man in my mid-fifties, the lovely days I’ve spent in Oxford have definitely been a gift."
- Mario, teacher training course student, Brazil
Developing command of written and spoken English and building confidence in using English in the classroom at a variety of different levels
Extending vocabulary and improving pronunciation
Effective lesson planning
Use of resources and new media in teaching
Development of new teaching methods and practice in implementing these techniques
These courses are available to individuals and groups of students - please do contact us to discuss your options, especially if you would like to join us as a school group.
Teachers from the European Union are able to apply for funding through the Erasmus programme.
Programmes for Companies and Organisations
We have many years of experience of welcoming individuals and groups from international companies and organisations for short, tailor-made programmes at OISC, organised through our training division, Oxford International Corporate Training. Oxford is not only a major university city of world renown, but it is also a thriving business centre, in one of the fastest-developing parts of Britain.
Programmes are personalised and organised in discussion with programme leaders, and prices are by agreement, but in general they include the following:
Residence in a superior-quality hotel with business facilities, gym and spa
Seminars with specialist leaders from business or academic life, held in buildings of Oxford University
Site visits to relevant companies and organisations
Social and cultural programme
For further details on training courses, please see the website for Oxford International Corporate Training, found at www.oict.co.uk , or request a separate OICT brochure.
Programmes we have organised in the past have been for managers and staff from these sectors:
Finance and Banking
International Relations and NGOs
Construction and Project Management
Data and Communications
Marketing and Media
Education (School and University Teachers)
Business and Social English
"OISC gave me an amazing Oxford experience, and I'm so grateful for that! The people at OISC are wonderful, and I had a great time living and learn-ing in such a beautiful setting. The effort they put in to make sure you're having a great time really shows. I'd go back in a heartbeat, I miss my time in Oxford! "- Kris, Oxford Summer Experience student, USA
"I really had a great time with OISC! The teachers are enthusiastic and passion-ate, my English improved a lot and they gave me so much confidence about my English. It's really a wonderful school, with friendly and loving people!"
- Lara, summer course student, The Netherlands
" A very good time! Great teachers and very friendly people - easy to talk to. I was able to go around Oxford and famous English tourist desti-nations as well as studying and meeting new people."
- Shoa, Easter revision course student, Japan
"Jeanette was extraordinary! Her ability to take control of the class yet not be overbearing made every class enjoyable and an absolute pleasure - my favourite class of the day!"
- Leonora, summer course student, Morocco
"I was here for a summer course a few years ago and had the most incredible time ! Everyone was so lovely and helpful, and I made friends who I've stayed in touch with ever since. I had so much fun and would absolutely recommend to everyone! Oxford is such a stunning place, and I'm so grateful for the time I spent at OISC. "- Salla, summer course student, Sweden
"I loved my tea in the morning and being welcomed every day by smiling faces, flowers and ornaments from around the world. I feel like my time and lessons here have prepared me extremely well for university and have gone beyond that and given me a much broader general knowledge and appreciate of my education and a great desire to further it."
- Lisa, full-time Gap Year student, South Africa
"Dear OISC - thank you for your outstanding effort undertaken to make my time in Oxford as good as possible. Thanks to you, we might see each other back here in Oxford…
- Johannes, Oxbridge preparation student, Germany
What people say about us...
"What a WONDERFUL PLACE! Great memories and so pretty! Miss it so much. It taught me so much last summer. I wish I was back!"
- Bailey, Oxford Summer Experience student, USA
"If I had another chance I would definitely visit OISC again!"
- Prim, summer course student, Thailand
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"I had a teacher from God! I was extremely fortunate - he improved not only my knowledge of English but of culture, religion, and the history of different countries. My practical experience at the patis-serie was just perfect! It was exactly what I needed. All my goals were achieved. My level of English is higher now, as well as practical experience in confectionery technology. Thanks to everybody who works at OISC. It was a real pleasure to study there." -Ekaterina, full-time Gap Year student, Russia
"OISC provided everything I needed during these two weeks. Both Maths and Chemistry tutors were brilliant and I gained a lot from their teaching."- Haokun, half-term revision student, Japan
"Each lesson was special and funny, but also I learned a lot. Everything was just perfect. Thank you for everything - I had the most wonderful time with you!"
-Kristyna, revision course student, Russia
"We think very highly of your revision courses and will continue to recommend them strongly to our students."
- H.C, IB counsellor, Switzerland
"Amazing place! No words can describe the fun I have had learning and meeting new wonderful friends from all over the world. Thank you!"
- Patricia, summer course student, Spain
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have Highly Trusted Sponsor status?
Yes, Oxford International Study Centre is recognised as Highly Trusted Sponsor under Tier 4 of the Points Based System.
Is Oxford International Study Centre connected with Oxford University?
Oxford International Study Centre is not part of Oxford University. However, we are very well connected indeed with the University. The principal and most of the senior tutors are graduates of Oxford, and our summer courses (for those over 16) are held in the University. Some of our tutors also teach for the University, and we invite guest lecturers from the University to take part in many of our programmes. We are an affiliated institution of the Oxford University Union (www.oxford-union.org) and therefore our students (age 16+) can become members, where they can enjoy the debates with world famous speakers, and use the libraries and restaurant.
What is a typical class size?
Most classes typically consist of between 5 and 10 students. However, in some A Level and IGCSE classes there are as few as 3 students. This makes us unique, enabling us to focus on your personal academic needs.
Which countries do the students come from?
Oxford International Study Centre attracts a wide range of nationalities. We typically have around 30 nationalities with us each year.
How can I apply for a course?
The best way to apply for a course is to complete the application form which is on our website. Alternatively, please email us for an electronic or paper copy.
What deposit is required in order to be accepted onto a course?
The exact deposit will depend on the course for which you are applying. Typically, a deposit of 25% must be paid before confirmation can be issued.
Do I need to take a UKVI approved English language test in order to be accepted for just an English language course?
A UKVI approved English language test is not necessary if you are planning on studying an English language course for up to six months. For entry onto this length of course, Oxford International Study Centre’s own English language test will be suffi-cient. However, if you are planning on studying an English language course for more than six months, then we recommend that you take one of the UKVI approved English language tests, such as IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson.
How long will it take for me to be issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)?
We will endeavour to issue your CAS within 48 hours of receiving both your signed offer and your deposit.
Do I require a visa to study in the UK?
If you are a national of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you do not require a visa. However, if you are from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland, then you may require a visa to study in the UK - please check with your embassy. For short-term courses under 6 weeks, a visitor visa may be sufficient.
How do I apply for a Student Visa to come to the UK?
Please contact us for detailed information regarding visa applications. Once an application for study is received, we will send advice on how to be issued a visa.
Will I be refunded my deposit if my visa is refused?
Yes, if you are refused a visa, and have unsuccessfully appealed the decision, we will refund your full deposit minus the registration fee. See terms and conditions overleaf for our full refund policies.
How do I open a bank account?
You will only be able to open a bank account if you are enrolled on one of our courses for at least six months. If this applies to you, then you will need a letter from the college which you may obtain from us on your first day.
How do I register with the police?
You will only need to register with the police if there is a stamp in your passport requesting you to do so and this will need to be done within 7 days of arriving in the UK. In order to register, you will need to complete a simple registration form, which we will help you complete on your first day at the college. You will then need to personally visit the police station in Oxford with the following: your completed registration form; your passport; two passport-sized photographs; and an administration payment (cash only).
How do I register with a doctor?
If you are enrolled on a course for at least six months, then you are entitled to free care on the National Health Service (NHS). You will have the opportunity to register with a local doctor on your first day at the college.
Will I have to share a room?
No. All students are given a single room as standard. If you are visiting us with friends, you can request to share a room, and we will offer shared rooms if they are available.
Do your homestays cater for Muslim diets?
Yes, some of our homestays are flexible and can cater for Muslim diets. Some of our homestays will also gladly serve halal meat upon request. During Ramadan, these homestays are extremely understanding of fasting requirements. Do let us know of any dietary or religious requirements before arrival so we can make suitable arrangements.
How much money should I budget for to allow for living expenses?
The exact amount will depend on your individual circumstances and lifestyle, however, as a rough guide; we suggest £100 a week for food and travel, not including accommodation costs.
Does the college offer a sports and social programme?
Yes, we run a variety of sports and social activities throughout the year. These are usually weekly during full term, and every day during the summer.
Fees must be paid in full 21 days before arrival. A deposit of 25% (or full fees for programmes of one month or less) is required on enrolment for students who need a UKBA letter of acceptance to facilitate Visa and Immigration applications. Payment must be made in Pounds Sterling, either by cheque, bank transfer, or in cash. International bank transfers are subject to a surcharge.
When there is no alternative, we reserve the right to alter courses and course dates without notice. In such cases, alternative arrangements will be made of equal or greater value than the original course booking. All lessons are 45 minutes long (unless otherwise stated). In the event of a subject being booked by only one student, we offer individual lessons of equal or greater value, or an alternative subject where a group is available.
Enrolment is confirmed only when we have received all fees, completed application forms, and a signed copy of the student terms and conditions. Student may begin their programme on any Monday. Applicationsmust be accompanied by a passport scan and copy of recent qualifications.
We require that students applying for A-Level programmes have the equivalent of 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C, and English at CEFR level B2 - IELTS 5.0 or equivalent. Students applying for GCSE or Pre-Boarding programmes must demonstrate aptitude in Maths and English appropriate to their year group.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
Please note that the refund and cancellation policy for groups is different, and each group has its own separate agreement.
Atotal refund (less registration fee, accommodation service fee, any expenses - eg. courier fee - and administration fee of £50) is payable when:
A visa application has been rejected, an appeal has been made, and the two letters of rejection are shown.
30 days’ cancellation notice is given, prior to course commencement.
Evidence is produced concerning death or serious illness involving the student or their immediate family.
Students registered for programmes of more than one term in duration must give a term’s notice in writing if they do not wish to complete their programme, or pay one term’s fees in lieu.
A50% refund is payable when 15-29 days’ cancellation notice is given, prior to course commencement.
A25% refund is payable when 3-14 days’ cancellation notice is given, prior to course commencement.
No refundof deposit or fees paid is made to students who cancel courses with less than 72 hours’ notice, or after commencement, or to students who fail to arrive in Oxford after a CAS has been issued and a visa granted, even if notice is given.
The above refund conditions refer to tuition, accommodation, and all other payments.
The above terms also apply to cancellation or postponement due to circumstances beyond our control, eg. disruption of flights, and you are advised to take out insurance against such events before travelling.
Medical and Travel Insurance
Students must obtain medical and travel insurance prior to enrolment.
OISC reserves the right to suspend or dismiss any student, without refund, who behaves in a manner which is deemed to be unsatisfactory. In all such cases, the Home Office and the student’s family will be informed. A copy of the full policy on disciplinary procedures and exclusions is available on request.
Liability and Complaints
OISC is not liable for any damage sustained by students, or their property, howsoever caused, while enrolled at the College. Complaints about any aspect of OISC should be addressed directly to the Principal. A copy of the full complaints procedure is available on request.
Terms and Conditions
VAT IS NOT PAYABLE ON FEES OR OTHER CHARGES
"I’ve been saying to everyone that one of my favourite things about my time at OISC has to be all the different people from different places in the world that I’ve met. I’ve really enjoyed chatting to them and learning about their cultures, languages, and countries - some of which I didn’t even know existed! Meeting all these people from different countries has deepened my knowledge and interest in the world, and has given me a perspective on life which I would never have gained had I not met and interacted with all these different people. Although I feel I got great value for money with regard to lessons and accommodation, what I gained from meeting all these different people from all over the world is priceless."
-Lisa, South Africa