Studying Abroad in London: A Quick Stop in Oxford

by Heather Robinette /
Heather Robinette's picture
Aug 14, 2017 / 0 comments

Here's the next article in my series on traveling outside of London during your time abroad! If you didn’t get a chance to start at the beginning, make sure you read my first post here. Then you can check out my next three trips to Stonehenge, Bath, and York before checking out Oxford!  

Next up is a trip to Oxford! It is located northwest of London. It is an easy hour drive or ride by train. This can be an easy day trip, or you can pair it with a trip to Cotswold like we did. You can also pair it with a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to see the birthplace of William Shakespeare. We spent about half a day in Oxford. We didn’t get too much time for exploring, but we did get to see cool things!  

Studying Abroad in London: A Quick Stop in Oxford


Oxford is a fairly well-known city around the world, but did you know the city dates back to the 12th century? To put it in perspective, the United States gained its independence in the 18th century, in 1776. When looking around the city, make sure to take in as much history as you can because you won’t find anything like it in the United States. 

Studying Abroad in London: A Quick Stop in Oxford

Oxford University

Known as University of Oxford or Oxford University, the school has a very unique history. According to the Oxford University website, “As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is a unique and historic institution. There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.” 

And you may be familiar with the Rhodes Scholarship. It is a unique scholarship provided to a select group of post-graduate students from countries all over the world. What you might not know is that it is actually home to Oxford University and selected scholars are able to study at Oxford University. If you aren’t familiar with it, I would encourage you to read more about it. Even after students complete their studies at the university, they are still part of the lifelong fellowship and will always be known as a Rhodes Scholar. It is a very high honor and recognized around the world. 

Studying Abroad in London: A Quick Stop in Oxford

Christ Church 

Christ Church is a college of Oxford University located in the middle of the city. While you might not be familiar with the name, it might look oddly familiar. Our stop at Christ Church gave us the opportunity to see a few Harry Potter sites. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, so I absolutely loved it there. Check out the next section for more information. As with many other sites, you can expect a large number of people to also be visiting from around the world. We actually ended up there on graduation day, so there were even more people there. This made it a little harder to get around; we didn’t have too much time to check out more. The university also had additional areas blocked off for the graduation. But, it was cool to see the graduates walking around the campus. It is hard to believe how similar it is to the United States, but yet the students attend university in buildings older than our country. 

Studying Abroad in London: A Quick Stop in Oxford

Harry Potter

I love everything Harry Potter, so I really enjoyed our quick trip to Christ Church. We were able to check out the staircase that is used for the Hogwarts arrival scenes in the first two movies. The staircase leads to a room that looks like the Great Hall, but was actually used as a basis for the set that was created in the studio. It is really hard to get a picture that really represents it, but walking through the room was incredible. It is lined with paintings and, much like Harry Potter, you honestly think they are watching you. It is hard to explain, but it looks like the eyes on the paintings are following you. So don’t be surprised if people walk forward and backward to see it. 

Studying Abroad in London: A Quick Stop in Oxford

The Great Hall at Christ Church. From Studying Abroad in London: A Quick Stop in Oxford

Things to Think About

Oxford University is a great place to visit during your time in Oxford, especially if you enjoy history. Seeing buildings that are still used today that have been around for centuries provide a unique experience you won’t find many places. I would also encourage you to learn a little bit more about the history of Oxford University before visiting, so you can really take everything in. Universities have evolved and changed throughout the centuries, but Oxford University is a great example that higher education has been around for longer than most people realize. 

Make sure to check back for my next article about Cotswold. Catch you next time! 


Heather Robinette is the London Study Abroad Editor for Wandering Educators. She notes, "During the summer of 2011, I studied abroad for six weeks in London at the University of Westminster with Academics Programs International. I graduated from Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS in December 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. I currently work as a marketing analyst for a small company in central Texas. I currently work as a marketing coordinator for a real estate firm in Las Vegas, NV. I am also pursuing my MBA. While I was abroad in London, I was able to create many unforgettable memories that I will never forget! My study abroad experience helped me gain various skills, but above all else, it helped me to learn more about myself and the world around me." You can find her online at

Click here to read more of Heather's articles about studying abroad in London.


All photos courtesy and copyright Heather Robinette, except word photo creative commons, adapted by Wandering Educators