Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't find an answer to your question below, please feel free to email us.
- Do I need a visa to study at the academy?
The majority of short-term students will not require UK visas to enter the country. However students from some countries may need to obtain a short course Student Visitor’s visa or a Child Visitor’s visa dependent upon whether he/she is over or under 18 years of age. You are advised to check the situation for your country on the UK Home Office website.
- Do I need to take out insurance?
Yes. Please ensure that a copy of the policy details is left with your parents during your absence.
- When should I arrive?
You can arrive at anytime on the Sunday. We suggest arriving by 4pm, to allow you time to settle in before the welcome reception at 17.30.
- What time should I leave?
You can leave at any time on the Saturday. There are no set activities on this day, as students will be leaving at different times throughout the day.
- Which airport should I fly in to?
Most students fly in to Heathrow, but other airports that are fairly convenient for coming to Oxford include Gatwick, Stansted and Birmingham.
- How do I get to Oxford from the airport?
We can organise private transfers both to and from the airport. If you are making your own way to Oxford from London Heathrow Airport, there are Oxford Bus Airline coaches, about every 30 minutes from stand 14A of the Central Bus Station serving Terminals 1, 2 and 3. The coach also serves Terminal 5 from stand 10. Passengers arriving at Terminal 4 have to take the free shuttle train transfer (from stand 4) to the Central Bus Station. The current adult fare between Heathrow and Oxford is £23.00 one way or £29.00 for a 3-month period return, and can be bought on the coach. The journey takes about 1½ hours.
Passengers from London Gatwick Airport South Terminal should make their way to Stand 1 and 2 of the Lower Forecourt: X80 coaches depart every hour and the journey to Oxford takes 2-2½ hours. The same coaches call at Gatwick North Terminal where they depart from the Lower Forecourt Stands 4 and 5. The current adult fare is £28.00 one way or £37.00 for a 3-month period return, and can be bought on the coach.
Students should get off the coaches at the Queens Lane stop on the High Street in the centre of Oxford. The driver will announce the stops. Cross the High Street and go down Queen’s Lane. The entrance to St. Edmund Hall is 50 yards down on the right hand side.
Students arriving from London may like to know that the X90 Express Coach starts from Bay 10 of Victoria Coach Station every 15-30 minutes and calls at Marble Arch and Baker Street before proceeding to Oxford. The journey takes about 100 minutes. The student single fare is £10.00 and return £15.00. Again, get off at Queen’s Lane stop as above.
Students coming from London may also take the train from Paddington Station to Oxford. Trains run hourly and take about an hour to reach Oxford. Generally train fares are higher than coach fares. St. Edmund Hall is about a 12 minute walk from the rail station; taxis are available from the station forecourt. You can plan your train journey here.
Students coming to Oxford from other airports or by other means are invited to contact the Academy for a preferred routing.
- What does the course fee include?
Breakfast and dinner each day
Tuition and tuition materials
Excursions and theatre visits
The programme of social events
- What doesn't the course fee include?
Travel to and from the course
Lunch each day
Spending money and souvenir shopping
- How much spending money should I bring?
You will need enough for your:
Journey to/from the academy (approx. £30-£40 by coach).
Lunch each day (approx. £5/day).
Personal laundry (max. £10)
Spending money and souvenir shopping
- How many students will there be?
In total, a maximum of around 50 students per fortnight will be enrolled (2016). Major and minor class sizes have a maximum size of 6 students in them.
- What are the entrance requirements?
Students should have a good level of English (e.g. IELTS level 5 and above), and be enthusiastic about studying with us.
- Where do students come from?
Students come to us from all over the world. Typically, around one third are from UK and Europe, one third from America and the remaining third come from South America, Asia and Australia.
- How old are the students who attend?
Students usually range in age between 15-19, with an average age of approx. 17.
- Can 15 year olds attend?
We can accept mature and academically gifted 15 year olds. We ask for evidence to support this, to ensure 15 year olds will be able to keep up with the courses we offer. Either a copy of a school report, a recommendation from a teacher, or something similar would be acceptable.
- Can parents stay attend for any part of the academy?
Parents are invited to join the welcome reception on the arrival Sunday. This starts with drinks at 17.30 and dinner at 18.30.
- What is your alcohol policy?
We have a strict no alcohol policy for all students on the academy.
- I'm coming with a friend, can we share a bedroom?
Yes, as long as you are the same gender.
- I have dietary requirements, can I be catered for?
Yes, most dietary requirements can be catered for. Please let us know in advance so that the catering staff can prepare for you.
- Can I receive credit for attending the academy?
We are unable to give you credit for attending the academy. However, you will produce pieces of work that you can take back to school with you, where they may be able to offer you credit for them.
- Will I receive a certificate?
Yes, students receive a certificate at the end of their course with us. These are presented at the gala dinner.
- What should I bring with me?
In addition to the usual items you would take when staying away from home, you should bring pens, paper/notepads and any equipment needed for your courses (e.g. camera for photography, racket for tennis). We also have a formal dinner at the end of the course, so you should also bring a smart outfit.
- What is the dress code?
Generally you can dress casually (e.g. jeans, shorts, t-shirts) for lessons, excursions and meals. At the end of each 2 week course we have a gala dinner where we all dress up smartly, and we would ask that you bring suitable clothing for this event.
- What is the timetable for the course?
A typical 2-week timetable is shown below.