Student City Guide: Oxford 2023
8 min

Student City Guide: Oxford 2023

8 min
Uploaded on
Jul 2, 2021
Last updated on
Mar 13, 2023
Uploaded on
Jul 2, 2021
Last updated on
Mar 13, 2023
Christ Church in Oxford, England
All for Oxford Student

Welcome to our student guide for Oxford

Are you an international student planning to study in Oxford? If yes, you’re in for an amusement! From student accommodation in Oxford to the city’s best places to eat, shop and have fun – our Oxford student guide covers it all. Read on to arm yourself with valuable snippets of information ahead of your journey!

The rise of the COVID-19 has influenced worldwide instruction in remarkable and enduring ways that once were unimaginable. Nowadays, patterns like purge colleges and online modes of learning have gotten to be a new 'Normalcy', which has cleared out the student community in wonder. But despite the widespread, you will also be cleared out pondering to know that a more significant part of UK colleges is seeing record numbers of worldwide understudies amid the worldwide episode.

Cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds are a few well-liked for the UK's universal student people. But the greatest astonishment of all comes from one of the Northwest parts of Britain called Oxford. The city, which has been the heart and soul of the Non-European country for hundreds of a long time, has ended up the best looking city among students.

Oxford, a city in central southern England, is known for its renowned university founded in the 12th century. The city's 38 colleges in the mediaeval centre earned it the moniker "City of Dreaming Spires". The High Street, which runs from Carfax Tower (with city views) to the Botanic Garden on the River Cherwell, is home to University College and Magdalen College.

Our guide will cover the most outstanding institutions, the best places to eat, the most popular tourist destinations, student housing near Oxford, and tidbits about student life. So, without further ado, let's get started with the most common topics in our student guide 2021: the best colleges and universities in Oxford for students in 2021.

Which are the top universities of Oxford?

It would be hard to list all of Oxford's prestigious universities in our Oxford city guide for students because there are so many. As a result, Oxford's top and well-known universities will be included in our Student Guide Oxford 2021.

Every student should evaluate before applying to study abroad in England. While it is hard to list every notable Oxford institution, here are a few of the most well-known Oxford universities that provide excellent education at reasonable prices.

Lincoln College

Lincoln is one of Oxford's smallest colleges, with roughly 300 undergraduates. In most sports, we have college teams, as well as a variety of student groups. Drama and music are top-rated, and the Turl Street Arts Festival dedicates a specific section each year to student-led arts performances. Lincoln College is located in the city centre, near the University libraries and departments, and provides outstanding facilities and housing for its graduate students.

Oxford Smith Form College

Oxford Sixth Form College was put in place in 1988 and is located in the centre of Oxford. The College takes a different approach to education than a regular school. It serves students looking for a high-quality alternative to traditional GCSE and Sixth Form education.

It hopes to accomplish so by matching their hobbies to future career aspirations, providing them with instruction targeted to their academic ability, and assisting them in gaining admission to top UK colleges.

University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is the oldest in the English-speaking world, and it is so old that no one knows when it was founded — though it is thought that teaching began there as early as the 11th century. It consists of 44 colleges and halls, as well as the UK's most extensive library system.

It is located in and around Oxford's ancient city centre, called "the dreaming city of spires" by 19th-century poet Matthew Arnold. Oxford has 22,000 students, roughly half of whom are undergraduates and 40% of whom are international students. Oxford has the UK's youngest population, with students accounting for a quarter of the city's population.

City of Oxford College

Oxford, England's City of Oxford College, is a further education college. It has two campuses, one in the city center and the other at Blackbird Leys, located to the south of Oxford. It used to be known as Oxford & Cherwell Valley College (OCVC), but when the Oxford & Cherwell Valley College Group reorganized in 2013, it changed its name to Activate Learning.

The city of Oxford College offers a variety of vocational training programmes, particularly for the post-16 market. Vocational training for school leavers and professionals/adults, A-levels, apprenticeships, higher education, overseas study, leisure learning, and courses to assist the unemployed in regaining employment are among the programmes available.

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes University has a rich history dating back over 150 years. They began as a modest School of Art in rented classrooms and have since developed into one of the UK's top modern institutions, with a reputation for teaching and research excellence on a local, national, and worldwide level.

Oxford Brookes University is thinking worldwide, expanding our international reach and building on our already world-class research. Their estate has already seen significant investment, resulting in multi-award-winning facilities, and this investment will continue with a £220 million investment between 2015 and 2025.

How much can it cost you to live in Oxford?

Oxford is a lovely city with a lot of history and architectural beauty and is one of the UK's oldest educational institutions. It offers excellent schools and career possibilities, and it is only an hour's train ride from London.

If you're thinking about relocating to Oxford, the expenses mentioned below will help you make an informed choice about the costs of moving and living there.

Oxford is an expensive city to live in, with costs comparable to those in London in some regions. Its closeness influences Oxford's cost of living to London, outstanding schools, and the fact that it is home to one of the world's top universities.

Prices will certainly vary by location, but the statistics below will give you an idea of what is available and what price.

  • Accommodation - £800
  • Food Grocery - £45
  • Monthly transportation - £55
  • Books and copying - £50
  • Internet and smartphone - £40
  • Social events - £150

Note: To live comfortably in Oxford, we suggest a monthly budget of about £1,000 (excluding tuition).

The main cost of living in Oxford

The city's interconnectivity is one of the most pleasing aspects of living in Oxford. Because of the city's deep depth and well-crafted city streets loaded with a diverse range of renting locations, you could never reach the end of it as a student. Furthermore, with so many alternatives accessible at every turn, picking a location in the metropolis may become tiresome.

As a result, as a huge helping hand to all students, our Student Guide Oxford also covers some of Oxford's top student housing options.

However, readers should be aware that as you travel out from the City Center, the costs and sizes of various housing alternatives may vary.

Therefore, students are encouraged to select the most appropriate student housing that matches their budget and is appealing in terms of daily activities.

What are the different types of student accommodation in Oxford?

For beginners, it is vital to know a wide range of student accommodation in Oxford. Likewise, every one of the housing choices may accompany loads of experts and undetectable cons too as well! Let us add one more subject in our student rents Oxford to comprehend the various sorts of student halls in Oxford.

University-managed rooms

University-managed rooms should be your highest need if your objective is a calculable day to day environment present at low costs. University-managed rooms are dormitory-like constructions that offer single-room plans. These rooms are popular with sophomores and second-year students since they are available inside the grounds and save time navigating to and from the college.

Student halls

The second position on our posting of student accommodation in Oxford incorporates studio lodging choices. These are 1-room or 2-room rental homes that offer superior rooms and have somewhat high-grade room characteristics than college dormitories. Studio rooms are an extraordinary decision to live in and are fantastic to look towards pocket-accommodating student halls outside the college.


En-suite lodging alternatives are private rooms that accompany a superior security choice for students. This student accommodation conveys abundant space for students. Additionally, it incorporates separate restrooms and a kitchen with the goal that you don't need to burn through pointless time remaining in lines and at previous work all the more gainfully.

Shared Accommodations

Sharing accommodation is viewed as the rising star of student housing in Oxford. These lodging decisions are divided among a gathering of students and are retained inside a property manager or a domain specialist. A significant advantage of sharing convenience is dividing costs among the students and gel up with different international students.


PBSA, commonly known as the Purpose Built Student Accommodation, are those properties in Oxford that quickly become one of the UK's profoundly looked areas. These areas are shown at reasonable costs and frequently come with student-oriented assets and offices. Take our word; if you get an adjacent PBSA settlement, snatch it. We can also give you a list of Student accommodation and private corridors in Oxford.

Now that we have seen what the housing alternatives are in your other goal, let us take another course and tap into the excellence of Oxford and see what this radiant city views for inviting the newcomers.

What are the preferred places to stay in Oxford?

Cambridge Terrace

Living at Cambridge Terrace puts you close to the city's dreaming spires and everything that Oxford has to offer. You won't have to worry about the dreadful morning commute because you're just a 10-minute walk from Oxford Business School and a 20-minute walk from The University of Oxford!

Oxford railway station is also only a 10-minute walk away, making it ideal for day trips. Cambridge Terrace is a sophisticated modern structure that has been restored to the most acceptable standards. It offers university students 34 studio apartments with their bathroom and kitchen space and two two-bedroom flats.

Student Castle Oxford

Student Castle Oxford is a purpose-built student accommodation on Osney Lane, adjacent to all Oxford University institutions and less than a 10-minute walk from Oxford.

From September 2020, they will be offering a variety of communal flats, private studios, twin rooms, and two-bedroom apartments. 51-week licenses are available for all of their room types. Your double bed, en-suite, study desk, fitted wardrobe, and ample common kitchen/living space are included in the shared flats (5-6 beds).

West Way Square

On Horspath Driftway, West Way Square is an attractive and affordable Oxford student apartment. Slade Park is one of Oxford's most exclusive student residences. There is also a continuous bus service between Slade Park and Oxford Brookes University. The facility offers a diverse selection of student housing options, including self-contained studios and fully-furnished cluster apartments.  

You'll get a comfy bed, plenty of storage, an ensuite shower room, and a kitchen/living room with your flatmates. Studio flats are ideal for those who desire their personal space. There will be a comfortable bed, storage, an ensuite shower room, and a mini-kitchen in your room. It guarantees that you maintain a healthy balance between your academic and social lives.

In Oxford, we can also offer you a list of student housing and private halls. Now that we've seen what housing alternatives are available in your future location, let's take a detour and explore what this wonderful city offers in welcoming newcomers.

Which places in Oxford offer the best and affordable cuisines?

Oli’s Thai

It's impossible to dine well and cheaply in Oxford without venturing out to the student Cowley Road. However, as I trudged on to this chic, minimalist neighborhood Thai (a 30-minute walk from central Oxford), I began to question if the effort would be worth it.  

Is it possible that people who consider Oli's Thai to be Oxford's most fabulous restaurant exaggerate? Is Laddawan Thurston serving pin-sharp meals for under £10 for lunch and supper, as her devotees claim?

St. Giles Cafe

Since 1937, this location has housed a café. Generations of students and dons have sought sanctuary behind its steamed-up windows to contemplate or nursing a hangover (WH Auden was a fan).

Mark Butcher just took over this remote location, giving it a tidy, vintage facelift and a new culinary orientation. The kitchen, for example, bakes its pieces of bread and cures its fish, all for the sake of producing honest, inexpensive cuisine.

Turl Street kitchen

A restaurant that also serves as a social enterprise, with profits going to a local charity. To fill your face while also giving back to the community. This café, housed in a Georgian townhouse near the Bodleian Library, serves high-quality British cuisine. The slow-roasted pork belly is the centerpiece of the evening menu, and the breakfast is excellent.

Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saison

In the Oxfordshire countryside, two Michelin-star decadence. A lavender-lined walk leads up to a vine-covered manor home hotel and restaurant. It's much more aromatic inside: with two Michelin stars, this is a place to go for special occasions, as the tasting menus are intricate, delicate, and costly. You can always get a five-star room upstairs if things become extraordinary.

How to make most of the local attractions on a budget in Oxford?

Oxford is one of Europe's oldest and most renowned university cities, and it has long competed with Cambridge for intellectual supremacy in England. Its unbridled spirit of discovery, countless lovely gardens, courtyards, and university parks, as well as the frantic pace of its pedestrian zone and excellent cultural facilities all contribute to a unique environment.

Carfax Tower, which offers spectacular views of the city, and the old Covered Market, which has good shopping, are two of Oxford's many tourist attractions. Some university institutions now provide lodging choices, such as bed & breakfast, for a unique holiday experience.

Oxford’s City Centre

Even though the heart of Oxford is not very huge, enough time should be allocated for a visit because there is so much to see and do. The Carfax crossroads, where the city's four main streets converge, is a beautiful place to start a tour. The 14th-century Carfax Tower, a remnant of the now-destroyed St. Martin's Church, offers spectacular views of the city.

The Town Hall, St. Aldate's Church (1318), and Oxford Brookes University, are all worth seeing. Modern Art Oxford, a neighbouring visual art gallery that focuses on modern and contemporary art exhibitions, hosts discussions, music, and movies regularly.

The beautiful High Street of Oxford is bordered by several spectacular structures, including many of the city's famed colleges. It's so lovely that American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne reportedly called it "the loveliest street in England."

University Church of St. Mary the Virgin

While traveling in Oxford, be sure to visit the University Church, also known as the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin (or just St. Mary's).

Climbing its ornately adorned tower should be a highlight of your vacation. This vantage point, built about 1280, provides spectacular views of the city and surrounding countryside. The chorus is also enjoyable. It was rebuilt in 1462 and faced the nave and Lady Chapel, which date from 1490, and the stalls, which date from 1466.

The porch, which you will have gone through while entering the church, is another remarkable feature. You can still see bullet scars from Oliver Cromwell's forces' cannons during the English Civil War if you look closely.

Christ Church Cathedral

Although the current structure originates from the 12th century, Christ Church was designated as a cathedral in 1546. The double arcading of the nave, which gives the appearance of considerably higher height, is the most remarkable interior element. The church was expanded to the north in the 14th century, and the choir was built around 1500 with fan vaulting overhanging keystones.

The Thomas Becket window (1320) and five glass windows planned by Edward Burne-Jones and manufactured by William Morris in 1871 may be seen in the south transept.

The St. Frideswide window (1858) and three 14th-century graves of Lady Montacute, Prior Sutton, and John de Nowers, as well as the ruins of Frideswide's shrine (1298), are also noteworthy.

Christ Church College

Christ Church, one of Oxford's major colleges, was founded in 1525 by Cardinal Wolsey and re-formed by Henry VIII following his fall. Christopher Wren constructed the Tom Tower in 1682, which houses a massive seven-ton bell known as Great Tom, which rings 101 times every evening at 9:05 pm (once for each member of the original college).

Tom Quad, Oxford's most enormous courtyard, is named after the main square, which features a beautiful fountain. The lower tower leads up to the hall, an exquisite dining room with a superb hardwood ceiling constructed in 1529, through a grand staircase and fan vaulting.

The walls are adorned with portraits of Henry VIII and notable members of the institution, including William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania.

Sheldonian Theatre

The Sheldonian Theatre was Sir Christopher Wren's second significant structure, completed in 1664. The ancient venue's magnificent ceiling fresco is of particular significance. The fresco, which shows "Truth" eliminating "Ignorance" from the University and was restored in 2008, is made up of 32 panels initially painted in the 1600s.

There are both guided and self-directed tours available. It's still used for the University's annual Commemoration, in addition to concerts and lectures and the occasional theatrical production.

What are the things to do in Oxford city?

  • The Covered Market is a hidden gem inside the city, with charming cafés and more local cheese, meat, fresh fruit, and boutiques than you could ever expect to discover (literally, considering the market's maze-like structure). It's certainly worth looking into.
  • If you'd like to waste your student loan, go shopping in Oxford's Clarendon Shopping Centre, or catch the bus to West London's massive Westfield Shopping Centre.
  • During the spring and summer, you may cruise the River Cherwell in a typical Oxford punt, rowing boat, or pedalo. If you get a group of you together, you're sure to have a good time.

How to get around in Oxford city?


There are connecting bus services between Oxford city centre and most other parts of the city - including the University campus. Several different companies operate buses - the two largest companies are Arriva and First Oxford. The Students' Union sells annual Arriva City Student Tickets, which can offer considerable savings to research students who regularly use Arriva bus services.


Cycling is fun, cheap, good for you, and good for the environment. Many research students choose to cycle to and from the University. In the UK, you cycle on the left side of the road, and cyclists cannot use footpaths unless there is a marked cycle lane.

On the University campus, we have a 300 space secure cycle park and shower facilities and tools to help you keep your bike safe. There are cycle racks at various points in the city centre and other specific attributes such as Oxford train station.

If you prefer to travel by foot, Oxford has well maintained and safe routes for pedestrians. Oxford's New Walk was the first pedestrian-only route in the UK and still provides an attractive tree-lined walk between the University and Oxford city centre.


Oxford City Council issues licences for taxi operators and carries out inspections to ensure that standards are maintained. Taxis must display their licence details - you can usually see these next to the registration plate at the rear of the vehicle and usually inside the car above the front passenger seat.

How to manage some bills and mandatory expenses of the students?

Oxford is highly appreciated for its exclusive low-cost environment that is a dream come true for all students. Whilst some of these expenses may or may not fall under your blanket, it's essential to know what different types of bills you could expect in the upcoming months.

Electric/gas/water bill

All utility services, electricity, gas and water, are covered in preliminary expenses for each student. For the ones who are interested in living in studios or private halls, these bills are to be excluded and will be present according to your monthly usage status.


Students' lives always revolve around their instruments. Pen, pencil, required books, etc., are essential items that are needed during your semester. As their use is never-ending, students are advised to buy bulk deals of stationary to get additional discounts and offers.

Mobile phones and SIM cards

After the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile phones have become necessary to tell your well-being to your loved ones. Moreover, it would be an intelligent decision to buy a budget mobile with essential functions such as internet, voice-calling, above-average camera quality, and ample storage to share crucial files and documents.

TV license

In the UK, in general, the process of buying a TV connection starts right after buying your TV license. The UK government has made it mandatory to buy a separate TV cable subscription for every system installed. On the other hand, you can try purchasing a combined monthly/ yearly subscription of OTT subscription plans to enjoy all the latest shows and movies.

Earning some bucks by side hustles

Till now, you may have already gotten the idea that Oxford isn't as costly as its neighbouring cities like London or Birmingham. But living away from home can come hefty if your expenses aren't managed well. While you can always take a safe deposit of cash from your family, doing some side hustles to gain an extra income won't be as hectic as it seems.

To deliver knowledge to our readers reading the 'student guide Oxford,' we have enlisted top part-time job offers that you can easily find around the city. These chores may or may not become your full-time career but are indeed pointed out to improve your work ethic and make you a more reasonable person.

Part-time tutoring

Teaching young minds is one of the most lovable part-time jobs that one could ask for. As the job requirements are essential and require no additional degree or course, students can engage in tutoring students and can earn fair basic wages, side by side.

Become a web writer

The advent of the Coronavirus pandemic has left people using their smartphones now more than ever. This has left the content writing industry to work even more than before. Thus, by writing guest blogs or doing ghostwriting, not only can you earn a respectable amount for every article, but you can hone your communication skills alongside.

University application mentor

The university administration hires a university application mentor every year. Their role is to guide sophomore students and indulge in hearing their course preferences, their queries regarding academic and social grounds, and making sure they feel more comfortable in such a new environment.

Student Ambassador

Have you ever heard about a leader of a student union? Well, that is who the student ambassador is. A student ambassador's role is to resolve conflicts between students, cater to their daily needs in and out of university, and control the student panel during functions or events. Such positions are assigned to someone who can handle groups, work under pressure and manage other students without difficulty.

Subsequently, don't take it hard upon yourself if you don't find part-time work in the first few days. Oxford and all other parts of the UK have ample opportunities for both part-time and full-time career opportunities.

How to make life a bit easier for the students?

Our student guide, Oxford 2021, mainly revolves around the city's latest ground report and how to explore the town at basic expenses. But our guide wouldn't have been complete if we hadn't shared these essential points with our readers.

What to do in case of emergency(rental frauds/immigration issues etc.)?

As this may be your first time in the city, students are advised to look upon their shoulders every time. With more, you are on your own, which means there will be no one else to blame if any wrong foot is stepped upon. For starters, if any student is put under such stress of rental fraud or tenet misbehaviour, you are advised to contact the undersigned authority the right way.

You can also communicate with the university administration to help you out with your problems. If not, you can always tap on your senior's doors for briefing you about the city's council and verified city agencies who can take care of your student accommodation in Oxford. Keeping a tab on these points cannot guarantee you wouldn't make mistakes but will help if done.

Manage Finances

Going outside your native region brings a list of spendings, starting from tuition fees to food and other supplements. The tip here is to be cautious and save anywhere possible. You can also look up to second-hand shopping centres or discounted shops where you buy reusable items at lower expenses. Also, make sure you make a budget for every month and manage to go through it once in a while.  

Useful apps and offers

In this era of digitalisation, every facility is present in your palm. Thus, it would be wise to use your phone positively. Students visiting Oxford are advised to download popular local apps such as the Official Oxford Gateshead City Guide for complete city information and the Q Tap app that allows you to book and pay for beverages in advance.

Frequently Asked Questions