Why should you make Oxford your first choice for study abroad? Because we offer you the widest selection of courses, credit options, and program choices; because it is one of the world's leading universities, with its own distinctively independent academic culture; because you will be taught by Oxford faculty using the unique tutorial method of undergraduate education which has made Oxford famous; because you will study beneath the soaring domes and spires of its incredible and inspiring environment; because you will live and work within one of Oxford's beautiful colleges, and experience Oxford's collegiate life first-hand; because you will have the comfort, safety and security of our own UGA Centre always at hand, as part of a program built on over 30 years experience. To learn more, please explore the pages below.
The UGA at Oxford program has been in existence for over twenty-five years, making it one of the best established study abroad programs in Oxford and at UGA. We offer a vast array of courses in a wide range of disciplines – humanities, sciences, international affairs, business, communications, law and more – with something for every major. We also have sessions at every stage of the year, with regular semester programs for Fall and Spring, an intensive Junemester option, and summer term programs. On average, students take 12 credit hours during a semester program, or 6 hours during summer programs.
There are also many other things which make the UGA at Oxford program special. First, all our course offerings are regular UGA classes enrolled through Athena, earning direct UGA credit, counting towards your major’s pathway, paying regular in-state tuition, and covered by any existing financial aid. However, unlike taking these classes on campus in Athens, they are taught by Oxford faculty and take place in the distinctive Oxford style of undergraduate education. Second, unlike any other study abroad program, we have both UGA-owned facilities in Oxford as well as the ability for students to integrate into the actual Oxford college system. This provides both the safety and standards of a UGA campus, with full immersion in the authentic Oxford student experience.
It is also the oldest English-speaking university in the world and has an incomparable tradition of learning, thinking and innovation which counts among its former students and professors some of the greatest minds in the history of Western civilization. To learn about some of these, take a look at Oxford's famous alumni.
Oxford also has a very distinctive structure, political philosophy and intellectual culture. Every Oxford student belongs to one of the university’s 38 constituent colleges. Students are taught within their individual college by faculty members who belong to that specific college and are known as its ‘fellows’. The college’s fellows collectively form a council called the ‘governing body’ which controls, administers, and ultimately owns the college. These colleges form a union which makes up the University of Oxford, but each remains strongly independent from central control.
The colleges and their fellows are not subject to the university, but rather the relationship is the other way around. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford is elected by and accountable to the fellows of the combined colleges, who collectively make up one large legislative body called ‘Convocation’. This means that the colleges and their faculty are strongly independent in their thought and expression. Importantly, the colleges are both partners in their union as a university as well as fierce rivals in academic achievement and intramural sport.
Oxford has a very distinctive method of undergraduate education, characterized by two key features, the ‘collegiate system’ and the ‘tutorial model’. Under the collegiate system, each student is taught within his or her individual college throughout the three years of their education, but then at the end must sit a series of six three-hour exams, set by the University. In this way, students of every college are subject to the same standards of assessment, but are taught and prepared by the individual colleges in a competitive spirit, always seeking to produce the very best students. The core of a student’s education is not made up lectures and seminars, but rather an hour-long meeting, one-on-one, each week, with one of the college’s fellows, who is often a full professor and a world-leading academic in his or her field.
In the tutorial model, students do not sit in lectures where they are told what they must learn; nor are they provided with chapters from text books which contain ‘the answers’. Instead, they are given access to the vast field of academic literature on any given topic, with guidance as to where to begin and what direction to pursue; but ultimately they must learn to chart their own course through the field effectively. Moreover, for every meeting each week, students are expected not only to read as much as they can from this array, but must produce an essay or complete a set of problems. They must then defend this against their tutor’s critique and use it as the basis for a two-way discussion of the fundamental issues underlying each week’s topic. Students must learn how to construct their own original argument, put it forth persuasively, and defend it against criticism. As the only member of the class, failing to have attempted the work is not an option.
Students on Fall, Spring and Junemester programs live in the UGA at Oxford Centre. The Centre is housed in a renovated nineteenth-century Victorian mansion in north Oxford. It is not only able to accommodate 40 students but also boasts a library, seminar room, IT facilities, comfortable living areas, modern kitchens, a beautiful set of gardens, sporting lawns and laundry facilities. Its period features are complemented by modern security systems and contemporary amenities, and the property is run by the program’s Centre Manager, assisted by UGA resident advisors living on site.
Students on the Fall and Spring programs with UGA at Oxford are granted special status as members of Keble College. As explained elsewhere, Keble is one of the colleges which makes up the University of Oxford. It has its own faculty and its own students, and within its grounds in central Oxford it houses not only the teaching rooms of its professors but also a soaring neo-gothic chapel, a grand and cavernous dining hall, a stunning library, and accommodation for all its undergraduates. As members of the college, UGA students have full access to every aspect of college life, right alongside the Oxford students at Keble. They may dine in hall, study in the library, join college sports teams and participate in student societies, just as they undertake their classes in the one-on-one setting of tutorials, as all Oxford students do.
Students on the Franklin, Grady and Terry summer programs live in Trinity College. As explained elsewhere, Trinity is one of the colleges which makes up the University of Oxford. It has its own faculty and its own students, and within its grounds in central Oxford its ancient buildings house not only the teaching rooms of its professors but also a magnificent chapel, a stately dining hall, an excellent library, extensive gardens, and accommodation for all its undergraduates. However, during the summer vacation, it is UGA students who get to live in and experience the life of this academic community, first founded in 1555.