Advice for International Students
Advice from Olivia, 2nd year international student
UK Bank Accounts
You can set up a UK bank account at HSBC, Lloyds bank, Barclays, Natwest, Monzo, etc.
Unfortunately college has stopped providing international storage as of MT23, and have suggested students to find external storage outside of college to keep their things.To avoid inconvenience it would be best for you to identify which storage company/unit you would use (some are around oxford, e.g. the big yellow storage, love space, etc.), and how you can transport these items back and forth (rooms have to be cleared out completely after each term).
Always make sure to ask for a student discount at stores!
Transport to Oxford
The nearest airports are Heathrow and Gatwick. You can then travel by tube/train, by bus (to Gloucester Green Bus Station, via Megabus), or by car (approximately 1 hour).
Packing Ideas (besides basics)
- Multi charging port
- Clock w/ time difference
- Microwave & kettle
- Cutlery, crockery (disposable & washable)
- Shower (caddy, slippers, mat, robe)
- Storage boxes (e.g. primark, john lewis, ikea, amazon)
There are 3 Asian grocery stores (gg oriental, Seoul plaza, 3rd near said business school). Gloucester green market also has a wide selection of international cuisines and is mostly quite affordable.
Try not to overwork yourself during the first few weeks of term (take time to sign up to a lot of extracurriculars - some societies only open sign up windows for the entire year during weeks 0-3 - you will find your study pace naturally so don’t miss out).If you want to reach out to a certain part of oxford (e.g. societies/activities/groups/etc) feel free to ask literally anyone in college and they will get you in contact with the appropriate person - everyone is really willing to help so don’t be afraid to ask.
Advice from Esme, 2nd year international student
UK Bank Accounts
A student account is likely to be the best with overdrafts/interest rates. You will need to have proof of an English address to create an account, which you can get by emailing college about a certificate of enrolment.
This is easy to get before coming. I got a really good deal with O2 (which is still available) where I can have unlimited international calls and data in both the UK and Australia (it applies to other countries as well). Also look for ones where you get benefits (like discounted rail cards) which can be really useful in the long run.
We were lucky in having college storage for our first year, but now that college is using off-site storage we are still waiting on how that will work. I’m looking at companies that can store my things near Oxford just in case the new system is lacking in space/security.However, I would say that it’s important to limit the things you take to college each term. The rooms aren’t that big, the JCR has some facilities for cooking food if you need (rather than using hall or having your own microwave etc.), and you will never wear all the clothes you bring.
There is quite a big international community in Oxford, and overall the people are so so accepting and interested in your different background/nationality. I have never felt out of place being from overseas.Personally, I haven't gotten involved in societies for international students, but there are societies for a variety of people/places that I know others have loved and made friends through as well. You can check the Oxford student society website to look at whether there is one which applies to you. I know that the European student society hosts huge social events each term which are really popular even with home students.Homesickness can be rough sometimes, but know that everyone is experiencing it no matter where they're from. There are always people to talk to at Keble, and I found that having set times (especially dealing with time difference) to call my family/friends really helped.