Imagine yourself sitting in class, listening to your professor lecturing about Shakespeare’s plays or Winston Churchill’s policies. But you’re not at your home university—you’re learning in England, where these famous figures lived. This is your chance to study at one of the most renowned universities in the world: the University of Oxford.
Our program offers you the opportunity to directly enroll in St. Catherine’s College, one of the 38 self-governing colleges that together make up the University of Oxford. In 2013, the University of Oxford ranked as the 4th best university in the world, according to Times Higher Education.
Enjoy studying at one of the oldest universities in the world—teaching existed here in some form as early as 1096. Today, Oxford has a total student population of more than 21,000, with more than 140 nationalities represented in its student body, and is a renowned seat of learning and tradition. The student body at the University of Oxford is diverse, as well as its professors—about 40% of the University’s academic staff are citizens of countries other
than the United Kingdom.
You have the opportunity to attend St. Catherine’s College for the fall semester, spring/summer term, or the full academic year. Like all Oxford colleges, St. Catherine’s utilizes the tutorial education system. This allows you to select a highly personalized course of study, based on previous coursework at your home institution and your academic interests. You meet with a tutor on a regular basis, either alone or with another student, to discuss the written work produced for each meeting. These tutorials are supplemented by lectures.
Oxford will be your classroom. Enjoy the vibrant intellectual and social life that Oxford has to offer. Explore the city’s stone buildings and classic cloistered colleges that are integrated into the fabric of the town center. Get to know the faculty and students who come from around the world to live and work in this beautiful city.
We want you to feel at home in Oxford, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the best, most authentic study abroad experience possible.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
IES Abroad’s mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. That is why we partnered with St. Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford.
Because of the high academic rigor of this program, a 3.85 GPA (out of 4.0) is required to participate.
Fall and Academic-Year Students' Pre-Term CourseSince St. Catherine's Fall term begins in October, Fall-semester and academic-year students will supplement their time at Oxford with a three-week course at the IES Abroad London Center prior to the start of St. Catherine’s term. They will live in a residence hall during this time. Students will receive three IES Abroad credits for this course, which prepares them for the unique academic system used at Oxford. Students receive 12 credits for their coursework at Oxford and three credits for the IES Abroad course in London. The pre-term course will be a condensed, specialized version of any course in the IES Abroad London portfolio of your choosing.
St. Catherine’s CollegeSt. Catherine’s College, whose foundation stone was laid by Her Majesty the Queen on November 4, 1960, welcomed its first undergraduates two years later. Although St. Catherine’s is the youngest college in Oxford, it is also one of the largest with 450 undergraduates and 160 postgraduates, as well as 70 fellows and lecturers.
In addition to its formal academics, St. Catherine’s is known for its extracurricular opportunities in music, drama, and sports, and is generally regarded as one of the friendliest and most open colleges in Oxford.
The college was designed to be a modern reflection of a traditional Oxford college. At the heart of the college lies a rectangular quad, its sides flanked by student rooms built in the conventional Oxford “staircase” format, its ends consisting of the dining hall and library.
The facilities also include a large junior common room with a debating pit, television and game room, small theater, and music house. Squash courts, a weight room, and punt house are also on-site. You can also utilize a boathouse and playing fields for rugby, soccer, and field hockey nearby.
Study abroad students usually apply to one or sometimes two academic departments and then select courses from these and/or other departments. St. Catherine’s offers a wide range of disciplines.
For more details about course options, visit the "CATZ" website.
Past IES Abroad students have taken courses like:
Oxford Academic Environment & Expectations: The Tutorial System
University education at St. Catherine’s is based on the tutorial system. Typically, you have two lectures per week for each class and one tutorial, or small group meeting, that you’re expected to prepare a list of readings and topics to discuss. There is a high expectation that you will put in a significant amount of independent study in addition to classroom, laboratory, and tutorial hours.
Because of the high academic rigor of this program, a 3.85 GPA (out of 4.0) is required to participate. St. Catherine’s sometimes considers applicants with a GPA slightly below 3.85 who include an exceptional set of essays or an original and compelling personal statement. St. Catherine’s will not consider applicants with a GPA lower than 3.7.
Using the resources available, you engage in extensive independent reading and research under the broad guidance of a tutor. Your tutorial sessions require you to discuss your weekly reading and essay. This methodology sharpens the learning skills of critical evaluation and organization of ideas. You are taught by the same tutors, in the same manner, and held to the same standards as matriculated Oxford students.
St. Catherine’s buildings, located on the east side of Oxford, are modern—the result of an international competition won by renowned Danish architect Arne Jacobson.
Even though you’re directly enrolling in one of our partner universities, there’s something IES Abroad wants you to know: we’re here for you if you need us.
Choosing and directly enrolling in courses abroad can be confusing and overwhelming. This is why we offer you predeparture advising that’s specific to your needs. Our goal is to provide support and guidance throughout your application and enrollment process.
But our advising services don’t stop there. While you’re in Oxford, our staff in London is available to help you transition into your new home.
The support services we offer IES Abroad direct enrollment students are specifically designed to help you achieve your study abroad goals as effectively and smoothly as possible. We know studying abroad is an adventure, and, at times, you may need help or just someone to talk to—that’s why our staff will be there for you.
St. Catherine’s is dedicated to finding you the tutors that best meet your specific academic and personal goals, making this a truly unique and unparalleled learning experience. Staff members at St. Catherine’s place you with a tutor before you’re even admitted, based on the interests you indicated upon applying to the program.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Oxford, it will feel like home.
Accommodation Blocks - Live on campus in either single or double rooms with shared facilities. Wherever possible, IES Abroad and St. Catherine’s try to pair a St. Catherine’s student as a roommate if you select a double room. All rooms have Internet access. You have access to basic kitchen facilities, and the college has a dining hall on campus that provides meals throughout the week. When you arrive, you are issued a pay-as-you-go photo ID card, which is debited every time you take a meal and can be added to throughout the term. You are responsible for loading money onto your own card—meals are not included in the program fee.
Like all Oxford colleges, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are cooked on-site and served in the dining hall at set times. Meals are available to all enrolled students, not just to residents living on campus.
Residence Hall (for fall and academic year pre-semester tutorial only) - You will live in an international student residence hall located in central London. You and another IES Abroad student share a room with an attached bathroom and will either have access to a common kitchen with others on your floor or a kitchenette in your room. No meals are included, but there are many affordable eateries nearby. There are laundry facilities and common areas with wireless Internet (and 24-hour Internet; access in your room) on various floors of the residence hall. Enjoy 24-hour security and a short walk to public transportation.
Part of making you feel at home in Oxford is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
Fall and Academic Year Students – The IES Abroad orientation program starts in London, and is designed specifically for direct enrollment students. The orientation program introduces you to St. Catherine’s, your fellow students, and to London. You also become acquainted with the teaching methods of British professors. Noteworthy activities may include a bus tour, discussion groups, and walking tour of the city.
Following the IES Abroad orientation in London, you participate in an orientation program at St. Catherine’s that covers topics such as accommodation, academic policies, registration, student life, travel, and safety.
Spring/Summer Students – Fly into London, stay the night, and the following day take the train to Oxford with IES Abroad staff. You participate in a short orientation by St. Catherine’s that covers topics such as accommodation, academic policies, registration, student life, travel, and safety.
University Clubs & Events
While you’re in Oxford, joining a social or sports club is a great way to meet local students. We encourage you to get involved in the many clubs and societies covering almost every interest at St. Catherine’s (www.stcatz.ox.ac.uk)—from sports and music to drama and art. You can also join the University of Oxford Students Union.
Although your adventure begins in Oxford, our field trips take you to other great locations in England to provide contrast and context for what you are learning in Oxford. These trips are organized by IES Abroad London. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. As these field trips typically depart from London, past Oxford students have also found it convenient to visit some destinations independently as well. IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and length of stay may vary according to term and availability.
Stonehenge, Bath, and Salisbury
2 Days | Fall Only
Visit mysterious Stonehenge, the ancient Roman baths in Bath, and the Salisbury Cathedral, one of the finest examples of the early English Gothic architecture style in Britain.
Oxford or Cambridge
1 Day | Fall OnlyVisit one of these historic university towns, with their picturesque colleges and punting (like a gondola) on the river.
About the Center
The IES Abroad London Center, situated in the central London neighborhood of Bloomsbury, is a two-minute walk from the British Museum.
John brings over 15 years of experience with IES Abroad, including seven years with IES Abroad Milan and nearly three years with IES Abroad Siena before coming to IES Abroad London. During his time in Siena, John developed and implemented a banner program with a strong focus on cultural immersion and academic rigor. In Milan, he played a key role in improving and developing the Milan program, notably in the areas of student housing, student activities, orientation, and supervision of the student services staff. Prior to working for IES Abroad, John received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Italian Literature and Art History from Brigham Young University and worked in Geneva for the United Nations.
IES Abroad Staff
Kimberley Aparisio Assistant Director
Sally HarrildAcademic Programmes Manager
Alice Kerby Direct Enrolment Programmes Coordinator
Dr. Diane AtkinsonAcademic Support
Simon CaustonSenior Student Affairs and Housing Coordinator
Natalie CrownStudent Affairs Coordinator
Beth LehlbachInternship Coordinator
Mads Bomholt NielsenProgramme Assistant
Zosia RutkowskaCustomized Programmes Manager
Martin HannanBuilding Manager
Sachna Hanspal Internships Assistant