Pre-Departure Student Guide

Find useful information about preparing for EF Academy Oxfordall in one place

Pre-Departure Student Guide

Find useful information about preparing for EF Academy Oxfordall in one place

Traveling to Oxford, UK

Find out what to pack, get detailed instructions about flying to the UK, and know what to expect during your first days on campus.

Welcome to Oxford

Prepare for EF Academy Oxford by reviewing our Welcome Plan, which includes webinar dates and other useful deadlines throughout the year

View Welcome Plan webinar recordings below:

For help in selecting subjects please see our academic guides:

Documents and items

Make sure to bring the following documents and items with you in your hand luggage:

  • Valid passport

  • Printed E-ticket or boarding pass

  • Charged phone and other electronics

  • Emergency contact numbers in case of delay or a missed flight

  • Pocket money (in cash)

  • Visa documents

  • Any prescription medicines that you take

  • Your UK SIM card (see below)


Your UK phone number

EF Academy Oxford requires that all students have a UK phone number (UK SIM card) with country code +44.

Students should order one in advance to insert in their phones before travel. If you are not able to do so, you are will be able to purchase a 'Pay-as-you-go' SIM card from a local store.

Please share your UK mobile number with your home admissions office as soon as you have received it.

Packing list

This list will help you remember the most important things you’ll need as you study abroad. Don’t forget that you’ll always be able to purchase things you need if you forget something important!

Flights and arrival

Your flight information

t is very important that you share your flight details with the admissions office at least one month before arrival so we know when you are arriving. Please forward us your flight confirmation when you book your flight. We are also happy to help book the flight for you, so feel free to reach out to your local office for help. If possible, please book your flight for daytime arrival to London so your roommates and staff can be awake to give you a warm welcome!

Your arrival in the UK

When you first get off the plane, you might feel a little lost and disoriented. Don’t worry, this happens to everyone. Airports have good systems in place and it is relatively easy to find your way around. This is what you’ll do:

1. Go through immigration

When you land in the UK, follow the signs that say ‘Immigration’ or ‘Arrival.’ There are usually long lines here, so please be patient. When you get to the desk, the official will ask to see your passport, visa or 30-day vignette (which will be in your passport) and a Passenger Locator Form (printed copy or downloaded copy on your phone). If you have a Biometric Residence Permit (you will have previously had your fingerprints taken when you applied for the Visa) they will check your fingerprints at Border Control. You will also be asked questions about your travels. Be calm and honest. Tell them that you are coming to the UK to study and when you will return to your home country – this last one is very important!

2. Pick up your luggage at Baggage Claim

After you have cleared Immigration, you will follow signs to Baggage Claim, where you’ll pick up your checked luggage. To find out which conveyor belt will have your bag, check the flight numbers on the TV monitors. When you get your bag, be sure to check the name tag before leaving – a lot of bags look the same!

3. Proceed to the Exit or Arrivals Hall

From this point on, look out for our airport greeters. All students will be greeted at the airport on arrival day by a professional driver and escorted to campus. Please look for a 'Royal Cars' taxi driver with an 'EF Academy Oxford' board. Students must use the transfer service provided.

If you have any problems when you arrive at the airport, please call the School emergency number:

+44 7908479976

Getting to campus

Help is near

If you have any problems when you arrive at the airport, please call the

On-call phone

+44 7908479976

​School Phone

+44 1865 759667

Welcome Days

As we welcome students from all over the world, we know what it is like to arrive somewhere new for the first time. Our Welcome Days are designed to help you to settle in and make friends.

Welcome Days for new students are an exciting and immersive experience designed to introduce you to your educational journey. Bursting with energy and enthusiasm, these days are filled with a vibrant atmosphere of camaraderie and exploration. You are warmly greeted by faculty, staff, and fellow classmates who are eager to extend a helping hand and foster a sense of belonging. From campus tours and information sessions to engaging workshops and social events, Welcome Days offer a comprehensive introduction to the academic resources, support services, and extracurricular opportunities available.

Campus life

During your first few weeks on campus, you will make many friends from around the world and discover a completely new way of learning. As part of your first weeks, you will:

  • Meet the adults who support you in residence, called HPs (House Parents)

  • Meet your roommate(s) if you are sharing a room

  • Get a campus tour

  • Take important placement tests for English and your teachers will assess you in other subject areas

  • Attend information sessions on activities available

  • Participate in activities that will help you start making friends. There is a team of returning student ambassadors that will help with all of this, called buddies, in addition to many adults.

  • Meet your Pathway Manager – the person who will discuss your course schedule, overall support and guidance, and will communicate with parents.

Residential life

Living on campus is a fantastic opportunity to learn how to take care of yourself while making friends for life. Just like being a solid student, successful and satisfying dorm living requires a high degree of personal responsibility and respect for others.

Room allocations

How rooms are allocated

Room allocations are made by the school before you arrive. Living arrangements are decided based on age and gender. We always try to have students of different nationalities sharing a room; after all, what better way to learn about a new culture than from your roommate!

Policy on room changes

It's not a good idea to switch rooms in the first few weeks of school if you're having problems with your roommate. If you give it some time, you and your roommate end up getting along better. It's important for building relationships and doing well in school to stick it out and try to work things out. If you're having issues with your roommate, the first thing to do is to talk to someone who can help you both find a solution. You can always reach out to your House Parent for support and guidance—they're here to assist you!

Living on campus

At boarding school, you are the primary person responsible for looking after yourself. Learn to live independently by organizing your responsibilities.

Pocket money

Although your daily meals are covered by school fees, you’ll probably want to spend some money on extra activities and weekends. We recommend a minimum budget of 300 GBP per month.

Parents: Please make sure your child always has access to at least this much money on a monthly basis. We recommend that you bring a bank or a credit card from home.


This might be the first time you’ll need to do laundry by yourself, but there are plenty of people on campus to help you out. Washers and dryers are located on campus and operated through scanning your card, like you would in a shop.


You and your roommates are responsible for keeping your room tidy. Make sure to make your bed, hang up your clothes, and generally keep your room in good order. House Parents inspect rooms for cleanliness on a regular basis but also visit rooms at random intervals without previous notice. The school housekeeping team cleans communal bathrooms daily and student rooms are cleaned twice per week.

Traveling off campus

Travel to London requires a higher level of vigilance and self-awareness, but our students rarely experience difficulties. When students want to go check out a museum or a new restaurant in London, there are convenient transportation options close to campus. For day trips, students must ensure they’re back on campus in time for curfew. You can always call the emergency number if you experience any difficulties traveling to or from the city.

Settling in

Leaving home at your age and travelling to study and live in a boarding school with young people from all over the world is exciting and transformative, but it can also be challenging. Don’t worry if it takes you some time to adjust. Adapting to a new environment, schedule, people and even homework takes time and patience. It also takes a support network of adults here on campus, in addition to your parents back home, to work together to see you through until you are fully on your feet.

House Parents and Pathway Managers will interact with you most, especially at first. Go to these adults with questions and needs, but always feel free to ask any adult for support. Once classes begin, students also have Academic Tutors, Teachers and Course Co-ordinators for support.

Staying healthy

Proper hydration, sufficient sleep, good nutrition and exercise form the basis of good health. Keeping your room clean is helpful prevention as well. While residential staff will support you in staying healthy, you must also take responsibility for your own wellbeing.

ERIKA insurance: All students (except US residents) are covered by ERIKA insurance. The ERIKA insurance policy covers all accidents and illnesses.

Staying safe

Boarding school provides you with a safety net, allowing you to try new things without fear or trepidation. At EF Academy, you are supported not only by teachers, but by House Parents and Advisors, club advisors, Pathway Managers and more.

More information for parents

The following page outlines the most important information you need to know before your child arrives on campus and throughout their international high school education.

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