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  • Oxford: six reasons 

    With such a beautiful and historic city centre it’s easy to see why tourists flock to Oxford year on year. But the city’s main focus is on catering for the 18 - 29 year olds who make up a considerable third of Oxford’s population. As a student, you will be welcomed into a thriving, youthful and alternative scene with great nightlife, student-centred amenities, and lots to do.

    Here are six main reasons why Oxford is such a fantastic place to study and live:

  • 1. The Cowley Road experience

    Oxford: Cowley Road

    Cowley Road is the heart of student life outside of uni

    Rachel Kimberley - studying Law

    A quick stroll down the hill from Headington Campus and you are in the heart of Oxford’s student community: the Cowley Road. This is where many of our students live, and where many of their favourite spots are.

    The restaurants, bars, music venues and shops here have a very independent and unique feel, while the street art gives the neighbourhood a fresh and energetic feel.

    For me, there is nowhere better than Cowley Road. It's packed with students and locals alike giving it a truly vibrant atmosphere. There are tonnes of great bars, pubs and restaurants, all unique and all fantastic student hangouts.

    Megan Wood, studying English Language and Communication with French Studies 
  • 2. Culture and intrigue

    Oxford has some of Britain’s oldest and most absorbing public museums, galleries and cultural hotspots. Guy Fawkes’s lamp, Amazonian shrunken heads and the remains of a dodo are just some of the weird and wonderful objects and artefacts that you’ll find. Make sure to check out:

    Oxford: Modern Art Oxford
  • 3. Vibrant nightlife

    Given that almost a quarter of Oxford’s population are students, your nightlife needs are very well catered for. You’ll find ancient pubs hidden down back alleys, student bars and clubs with drinks deals, big venues for international bands and DJs, and quirky spots if you fancy something less conventional.

    The O2 Academy on the Cowley Road is the biggest venue for live music but you’ll find lots of gigs going on in pubs, concert halls and other venues around town. Foals, Radiohead, Stornoway and Supergrass all hail from Oxford. And Handel played here too.

    Oxford: Raoul's cocktail bar

    Our students’ top spots

    Best place for a night you might not remember is the Purple Turtle thanks to its unique interior design, fine drinks and music that never disappoints.

    Ross Bourke, studying Biology

    Kazbar and Café Tarifa would be my pick. They are both really cool venues, with a really relaxed, Mediterranean vibe and often have live music. It's perfect on a summer's evening when all the windows are open.

    Megan Wood, studying English Language and Communication with French Studies

    Fuzzy Ducks - the biggest and craziest night of the week and a must-go for all Brookes students. With plenty of fancy dress nights, and a DJ playing crowdpleasers as well as the top 40, it’s not to be missed!

    Rachel Kimberley, studying Law
  • 4. A foodie’s paradise

    Local restaurant owners know that students simply want great tasting food at great prices, and this is what they deliver. From Mediterranean flavours and gastro-pub classics to a wealth of more exotic options, there are restaurants, cafés, and takeaways to suit all tastes and budgets.

    Oxford’s food scene is so diverse and extensive that you won’t know where to start. Check out the Guardian's top 10 budget restaurants in Oxford for an idea, or have a look below at some of our students' favourites.

    jam factory

    Chutneys in the city centre! Good Indian food for a decent price!

    Zarah Mowhabuth, studying History and Anthropology

    Atomic Pizza, because of all the pop culture references, the unique feel of the place also the milkshakes.

    Samuel Williams, studying Biology

    Best place by far to eat is the noodle bar Red Star. Get the box menu and you can try two or three different meals at once.

    Dominic Grantley-Smith, studying Biology

    Sasi's Thai - fast food with a difference - Spicy, fragrant authentic Thai food for a fiver. Just one of many amazing little spots in the famous Covered Market.

    Mollie Huckin, studying Psychology

    The G&D franchise is a particular favourite of mine, dotted around the Cowley Road and city centre, they provide a great place for a catch up over ice cream or homemade cake.

    Rachel Kimberley, studying Law
  • 5. The great outdoors

    Oxford’s green spaces allow you to easily escape the hustle and bustle of the city. There are over 50 parks, meadows and nature reserves as well as the Oxford Canal and the rivers Thames and Cherwell to enjoy. Explore University Parks, or watch the sun set over the spires from South Park next to Headington Campus.

    The Cotswolds – an area of outstanding natural beauty – is a short journey away, as are places of historical interest such as world heritage site Blenheim Palace, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and Wittenham Clumps, site of Bronze Age hill fort remains, to name a few.

    Punting along the river as it winds past the botanic gardens and under beautiful bridges is Oxford's most relaxing summer activity. You might (gently) collide with a rowing boat but it's all part of the fun and definitely worth a go!

    Ellen Kirk, studying Biology
    The great outdoors
    The great outdoors
    The great outdoors
  • 6. Live like a local

    Those who get the most out of living in Oxford do so by immersing themselves in its unique community. You can experience a great crossover between locals and students in Oxford’s events, classes, projects and venues.

    Oxford has so many interesting things going on - there are lots of talks, debates, socials and random meet-ups for various causes. It's a great way to meet friends outside of university and gain experiences beyond your academic studies

    Sana Batul, studying Politics and International Relations

    Here is our pick of festivals and activities enjoyed by students and locals alike: