Oxford is home to one of the oldest universities in existence and plays host to the global leaders of the future. It is also home to one of the most up and coming modern universities in the UK, Oxford Brookes. Of the 25,000 young and talented undergraduate students who come to this city, 95% don’t know Jesus. We are working to change that.
At Oxford University, we have an established Cru group that is involved in spreading the gospel through campus-wide campaigns, weekly meetings, college discussion groups, and personal conversations. With an emphasis on building up personal relationships, we are helping students from across the university explore the bigger questions in life and what it might mean for them to connect with God.
At Oxford Brookes University, the group is much younger and is pioneering ways to engage the wider student community with the good news of Jesus. We are creating authentic community as we gather together regularly throughout the term, and take the initiative to do surveys and have booths on campus that start to get the seeds of the Gospel onto people’s agenda.
Coming on a study abroad program to Oxford would mean an opportunity to help restore a city, once described as a “vineyard of the Lord”, back to its Gospel roots. Everything we do is aimed at helping students explore the implications of the Gospel, sometimes for the very first time. You wouldn’t think that this could be the case in Britain, but increasingly more and more students are coming to Oxford with little or no understanding of the life and claims of Jesus.
During your time here, you will be getting alongside other Christian students to be trained and equipped in sharing the gospel, taking that into your everyday contexts as you develop relationships with those around you, taking the initiative around campus to engage people in spiritual conversations, and having a transformational impact on the spiritual climate of both the universities and the city.
Will you be part of the change?
There are two main universities in Oxford: Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University. We are a registered group at both with staff and students leading movements there.
These universities offer a wide variety of programs that will count toward most degrees. The study abroad office on your campus can help you select the courses you need for your degree requirements. Oxford University is known for its intensity, with many courses expecting you to work on up to 3 essays or problem sheets each week.
Oxford University consists of three short 8-week terms. These run from early October-early December, mid January-mid March, and late April-late June.
At Oxford Brookes University, it works on a two semester system. The Fall semester runs from mid September-late December, and the Spring semester runs from early February-late May.
A typical week would normally consist of a weekly meeting for all students, a time of training and equipping, and taking the initiative to share the gospel. At both universities, though, the real emphasis is on building personal relationships with those around you.
At Oxford University, there is less opportunity to evangelize to those you don’t already know, so the majority of our Gospel conversations happen in the context of intentionally spending time with friends. Therefore, in order to meet new people and surface the spiritually interested, there is a focus on implementing university-wide campaigns and college discussion groups centered around Gospel-related topics. In the past we have run campaigns on forgiveness, success, and women’s unity.
At Oxford Brookes, there is much more opportunity to run booths and do surveys around the campus as it is more open, with the Students’ Union acting as a hub of activity. You would be involved in using resources such as Soularium, Perspective Cards, and spiritual surveys to initiate conversations with different students.
Both universities offer accommodation for students on study abroad programs and you will have to submit an application for this. If on-campus housing is not available, there should be many housing options for international students. Your study abroad agency or study abroad office on your campus can help you to obtain housing.
Oxford is well accustomed to welcoming Americans into the city and it is common to hear American accents throughout the streets and universities. You will have no problem communicating with other students and will likely fit in quite seamlessly.
The cost of tuition and fees varies by campus and by university you currently attend. If your university has a direct exchange with Oxford or Oxford Brookes Universities, the tuition will be similar to what you are currently paying. Check with your school’s study abroad department for pricing.