Welcome to the International FAQs page! If you didn’t know that Wadham has an international officer, now you do! It is part of our college culture to make every single member of college feel as included as we can, and to cater fully to your needs. My job is to make sure that your views are heard, and to answer any questions that you may have about any issue you might have as an international student. I may not know everything, but I will be able to find you someone who knows the answer to your questions!
Many of you visiting this page may be about to come up to Oxford from places far far away, and this page should hopefully give you more information on what to expect!
You can find specific information for EU students here: EU Students
Wadham collects battels (money for accommodation and other college fees) at the start of its terms, so it will be good to have some cash on hand when you arrive (although you are also able to pay by debit/credit card, cheque etc., you will probably not have a bank account at this point to allow you to use other forms of payment). Bank accounts may take some time to be opened, and how quickly you get an account set up varies widely. Banks available in Oxford include Barclays, Natwest, Santander, HSBC and Lloyds, which are all clustered near the city centre at the intersection of High Street and Cornmarket Street. ATMs here also allow you to draw money from different banks without charge, so do not worry about having to find ATMs specific to your bank.
Students here are subsidised under the NHS – that doesn’t mean they will pay for every single expense, but a significant portion of the expenses you may encounter will be covered under this. For more details, please refer to http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/welfare/health/, or approach our college nurse when she’s in.
Network operators here include Vodafone, Orange, O2, Giffgaff, T-Mobile, Virgin and 3, and most offer plans at different rates depending on your usage. An important thing to note will be not to sign up for 12-month plans unless you have special reasons for doing so – you will be paying for these plans even though you may not actually be in the UK over the holidays. For SIM-only contracts that you can renew every month, you will be able to retain your number even if you do not top it up in the period that you are away (as long as you do not lose your physical SIM card of course), and those are much cheaper. Shop around to see what’s right for you, although the cheapest plans will not (and should not) differ by much across the different telcos.
There is quite a diverse range of restaurants providing a variety of different cuisines, and a quick Google search should bring up the nice places for you (or just ask your seniors who are living in Cowley – there’s lots of great food there as well). Tesco does stock lots of international cooking condiments and ingredients, so familiar food should not be far away. I say *should*, because even if you really are not able to find food, there’s more than enough time to get out of Oxford (and perhaps return home?) over the holidays because our terms are objectively not too long (although the same 8 and a half weeks may seem like eternity when you’re in the middle of Week 4).
Things to expect once you’re in Oxford:
The international officer organizes international crew dates once in a while, where you will get to meet international students from other colleges. It’s normally a casual night out with conversation over dinner, and it may be a chance to meet other people from the same country that you have never met before! Of course, there are also many national societies here in Oxford that you’ll learn about over Freshers’ Fair, which will also help you to make Wadham a home away from home.
College also whips up international meals once in a while, where the chefs put their skills to the test by taking on cuisines of various cultures (they do pretty well most of the time!).
Drop me an email at su.international [at] wadham.ox.ac.uk if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to get back to you as quickly as I can!