6 Great Reasons to Choose our Oxford Summer School

As a setting for an academic summer school, the historic city of Oxford takes some beating. This enchanting location has a global reputation and a name synonymous with the highest echelons of academia. In this guide, we take you through some of the many reasons why Oxford makes the perfect summer camp destination – and why you should come to Oxford to study with us this summer.

1. The splendour of Oxford city

Magdalen 683

Magdalen College is one of Oxford’s most famous and beautiful sights

Renowned for the picturesque “dreaming spires” of its many churches, colleges and their chapels, Oxford is a visually stunning city steeped in history and synonymous with academic endeavour. It’s a name that frequently appears in the news in the context of cutting edge scientific research, or new literary or historical discoveries, but it is its fascinating past that forms the basis of its appeal for most people. Oxford’s prestigious university dates back to 1096, making it nearly a thousand years old. For centuries, gifted students have been taught by leading academics in this scholarly environment, which is uniquely suited to academic pursuit. Today, the university continues to enjoy an international reputation, invariably appearing in the top five of the world university rankings.

As an ancient seat of learning, the city of Oxford has an illustrious history that’s intimately linked with the university that dominates it. Current students and tour guide leaders continue to recount the city’s legendary tales of student antics in times gone by, and even the many old pubs of Oxford have achieved almost mythical status thanks to their role as backdrops to the exploits of famous old Oxonians. J.R.R. Tolkien, Oscar Wilde and Albert Einstein are just three of the household names to have spent time at Oxford, either as undergraduates, teaching fellows, or both. The university’s quirky traditions – some ancient, some relatively recent inventions – are as much loved by tourists as they are gleefully perpetuated by successive generations of students, and they’re part of what makes Oxford so special – and so enduringly popular. In particular, the image of students dressed smartly in ‘sub fusc’ (the university’s academic attire) parading through the streets to their exams sums up the vibe of this atmospheric city.

But Oxford isn’t just about this historic, tradition-oriented university; it’s part of the real world, too. It lies within easy reach of both London and the Cotswolds, so it’s easy to get to from the major international airports. It’s also a superb base for day trips for those who want to explore the country’s energetic capital or the rural charm of the famous Cotswolds villages, such as Woodstock, Burford and Bourton-on-the-Water. Before or after your summer school programme, why not take a few days to travel beyond Oxford with your parents? There’s so much to see that you may as well take advantage of your visit to England to spend some time being a tourist. You might find that you like it so much that you want to apply to university here!

Browse our summer school course options ➙

2. Residential courses in the heart of Oxford


Balliol College is one of the eight Oxford centres in which Oxford Royale Academy courses are located

The university’s beautiful old buildings, a big factor in the city’s unique atmosphere, are a major draw for tourists, but they’re also very much working buildings rather than museums or tourist attractions. They’re home to the university’s students and they’re where Oxford’s world-class teaching takes place (using the famous one-to-one tutorial system, of course); but they’re a lot quieter over the summer, and that’s when Oxford Royale Academy moves in! Our residential summer schools are held mostly in real Oxford University colleges, giving our students the privilege of an inspiring setting in which they feel motivated to make real academic progress over the summer. Oxford truly is the place to be for gifted kids, and an Oxford Royale Academy course is an ideal precursor to an Oxford or Cambridge application if that’s what you’re aiming for.

Some of the teaching on our summer schools also takes place at our amazing home, Yarnton Manor, on the outskirts of Oxford. Yarnton Manor is a beautiful Jacobean manor house that offers just as much history and splendour as the university itself. Frequented in the past by the likes of Iris Murdoch and John Betjeman, it’s connected with Oxford city centre by our minibus service, which allows students staying at Yarnton Manor to travel easily between this stunning country house and the famous Oxford University buildings and attractions in the heart of the city.

Browse our summer school course options ➙

3. An unbeatable teaching faculty

Teaching 683

Our teaching faculty is second-to-none

Oxford Royale Academy’s teaching faculty is superb, with many of its members having been educated at Oxford or Cambridge Universities. This means that the members of our teaching faculty are not only exceptionally well qualified academically – and so can help you learn to think in an intelligent and original way that will go down well at Oxbridge – but they’re also well placed to offer ‘insider’ application advice for those students who wish to apply to one of these prestigious universities themselves. The remaining members of our teaching faculty come from the UK’s other top universities, such as UCL and Durham.

What’s more, our pastoral staff are often undergraduate or postgraduate students of Oxford University themselves, so they know how to help you cope with academic pressure, and can answer your questions about what it’s like to study at Oxford University. Because of this, you can enjoy a relaxed summer camp atmosphere at the same time as picking up valuable tips that will help you apply to world-class universities in the future.

Browse our summer school course options ➙

4. An international environment: 108 nationalities represented

ORA Thurs (6)

Traditional Oxford activities like punting prove popular with students from all over the world

With Oxford itself drawing in visitors from around the world, it’s no surprise that Oxford Royale Academy summer schools enjoy an equally international environment. Our summer courses regularly attract students from over 100 different nationalities, from as far afield as China, Brazil, Korea, St Kitts and Nevis and many other far-flung corners of the globe. Uniting students from these many nationalities is a shared love of learning that transcends cultural boundaries and makes for a stimulating academic atmosphere.

This diversity results in an exciting, cosmopolitan vibe, in which many perspectives can be shed upon whatever topic is being debated in the classroom. Indeed, academic discussion is a fundamental cornerstone of teaching on our summer school courses, so the variety of opinions and viewpoints made possible by this international mix of students is tremendously helpful in sparking useful debate. What’s more, graduates of Oxford Royale Academy go away with a network of international contacts that may well end up benefiting their future careers. Not only that, but many of our students form friendships for life with the like-minded people they meet through their course.

Browse our summer school course options ➙

5. Exciting activities and coach excursions


Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill, is one of the destinations on our coach tours

While academic pursuit is clearly the main priority for all our summer sessions, an Oxford Royale Academy summer school is by no means all work and no play. We know that you’re giving up some of your longed-for summer holidays to be with us, so rest assured that your hard work will be rewarded with plenty of treats to get you away from your desk.

One thing’s for sure, and that is that you’ll never run out of things to do while you’re in Oxford. We run a varied programme of fun activities that give students the chance to relax with their new friends in between bursts of hard work. As well as numerous activities being on offer on-site, we also arrange exciting (and often, at the same time, educational) coach excursions to famous UK attractions and landmarks. Some of the most popular coach trips we’ve organised recently include an outing to London to see The Phantom of the Opera in the West End, an excursion to beautiful Blenheim Palace (birthplace of wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill) in the Cotswold town of Woodstock, and a day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, the Warwickshire hometown of the playwright Sir William Shakespeare.


A huge range of activities are available, such as the Birds of Prey workshop

Oxford itself is also home to a wealth of cultural and outdoor attractions, many owned by the University. The colleges are an obvious choice for sightseeing, with Christ Church being among the most popular for its connections with both Alice in Wonderland and the filming of the Harry Potter films. Adjacent Christ Church Meadow and the Botanical Gardens are a lovely place for a summer stroll by the river, with beautiful views to Merton College. Punting on the river is a much-loved Oxford pastime, and a must for your visit, as is a walk in the extensive University Parks. And you’re spoilt for choice with museums; Oxford is home to the world’s first purpose-built museum: the incredible Ashmolean Museum, which houses a priceless collection of art and antiquities. There’s also the Natural History Museum, the fabulously Victorian Pitt Rivers Museum, the Museum of the History of Science and many smaller museums.

When it comes to evening entertainment, you can look forward to exclusive parties and glamorous balls, held in prestigious venues that give you a flavour of what it’s like to be an Oxford University student. Another popular evening event is our multicultural feast, which celebrates the cultural diversity of those who attend our courses, giving you the chance to showcase your home country – whether through your own cookery skills as you prepare a native dish, through your speaking prowess if you choose to give a talk about your country, or through your musical talent with a performance of typical music from your country. You might even get the chance to take part in Oxford Royale Academy’s very own Talent Show!

Browse our summer school course options ➙

6. Top-notch pastoral staff for complete peace of mind


Oxford Royale Academy counsellors lead activities, dispense advice and provide a listening ear

Parents can rest assured that their children will be extremely well looked after at Oxford Royale Academy, and we’ve got the prizes, awards and accreditations to prove that we’re great at what we do. Students are cared for by top-notch pastoral staff, with members of staff including professional headteachers and heads of house.

Numerous awards and accreditations reflect our commitment to offering an outstanding summer enrichment experience to every one of our students. We’ve won Best Educational Product from the British Educational Travel Association for four years running, reflecting our dedication to providing the ideal student experience. We’ve been a finalist in the Educational Excellence category of the EducationInvestor Awards for the last three years, recognition for our outstanding contribution to international education services. And, in acknowledgement of our ever-growing numbers of students, we’ve won the ultimate accolade: a Queen’s Enterprise Award, known as “the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a UK company”.

Our accreditations demonstrate our commitment to maintaining our supremely high standards of academic and pastoral excellence. In recognition of our high-quality teaching, we’re accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English, and by the British Accreditation Council; both organisations carry out regular inspections covering all aspects of the student experience, so you can be sure that we’re always up to scratch in every area. What’s more, we’re members of several organisations that share a vision of providing rewarding education to the highest standards, including StudyUK, EnglishUK, the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation (WYSE) and the Council of British International Schools (COBIS).

Browse our summer school course options ➙

The definitive Oxford summer school – also available in Cambridge and London!


You can give your studies a boost and have a great time with Oxford Royale Academy

So there we have it: here at Oxford Royale Academy, we offer all the ingredients of the perfect summer camp, in which you’re fully immersed in the most inspiring of academic surroundings. We pride ourselves on offering the definitive Oxford summer school experience, and we’re completely confident that you’ll have an unforgettable time with us. Whatever your academic aims over the summer – improving your general knowledge, getting better at a particular subject, taking your English to new heights or preparing for an exam or university application – our summer programmes allow you to see what it’s like to be an Oxford University student at the same time as helping you forge ahead with your studies, make friends for life and see a bit of England.

However, if you’re looking for a course in London or Cambridge this summer, ORA is pleased to offer our award-winning courses in both of these prestigious locations as well. You can find find out more about our London and Cambridge Summer Schools here:

London Summer School

Cambridge Summer School

Browse all of our summer school course options ➙

Image credits: banner; Magdalen; Christ Church.

If you would like to consult with one of our Registrations Team members before making a booking, we would be delighted to hear from you.
admin@oxford-royale.co.uk +44 (0) 845 130 60 21