This page aims to cover issues that other students with families have found important and to direct you to other sources of information. If you would like to discuss your situation in confidence, please contact the International Student Advice Team . With your permission, we may also be able to put you in touch with other students with families already at Oxford Brookes University.
Bringing your family with you
Your family may be able to choose to stay in your home country or come with you to Oxford. But it is likely to be difficult to balance their needs with the pressures of studying. It is best if you make your plans as early as possible. If your partner, spouse and/or children wish to come with you to Oxford, you need to think carefully how they will adjust to life in Oxford, how much money you will need and where you will live.
Students who have successfully coped with bringing their family to the UK, are generally those who have planned ahead. They have settled into university life and found suitable accommodation before their families have joined them. It may take some time to find accommodation, and temporary accommodation for families in hotels and guest houses can be very expensive.
If you decide to come alone to Oxford for the whole of your studies, you may find you are lonely and worried about your family. This may affect your ability to study. On your return, it may also take some time for you to settle back into family life after time away in a different culture.
- If you are in the UK as a student and your family are European Economic Area (EEA) nationals or from Switzerland, your family can join you in the UK without any restrictions.
- If you are an EEA national but your partner, spouse and children are not EEA nationals, they can also come to the UK with you, but need to apply for an EEA family permit.
' . . . the rents are so high here in Oxford . . . '
The University has very little accommodation for families. To rent a suitable family house in Oxford can cost about £1,000 each month, for three bedrooms. You would also have to pay for gas or electricity and water. You will have to pay a deposit and an administration charge before you can move into the house or flat. You can search for examples of houses and flats to rent at Right Move.
Before you sign a contract or pay any money for rent or a deposit, make sure you understand your rights. The Brookes Union Advice offers a free contract checking service for students and important advice on housing.
The Accommodation Office has information about Oxford Brookes accommodation and private letting agencies. Contact them as soon as you know you are coming to Oxford Brookes:
Oxford Brookes University
Helena Kennedy Student Centre
Oxford OX3 0BP
Michael Mowat, Warden
11 Pembroke Street
Oxford OX1 1BP UK
Tel: (+44) (0) 7906662886
Commonwealth House does not have accommodation for children
North Oxford Overseas Centre
117 Banbury Road
Oxford OX2 6JX
The Centre only has rooms for children up to nine years of age.
Your spouse/partner and children can have the same medical care as yourself. For more about health care and insurance for international students and whether you are eligible for free NHS (National Health Service) care look at ' Health and insurance'.
Students with families can register with the St Bartholomew's Medical Centre.
Childcare and Schools
Free schooling is only available for children after they are five years old. You will either have to care for your young children yourself or arrange care for them.
'. . . my daughter was below two years of age when we arrived, the private nurseries were too expensive.'
The University Nursery takes children between the ages of 4 months and 5 years. If you would like your child to go to the Nursery, apply as soon as possible before you arrive. Because you are a student at Oxford Brookes, it does not automatically mean that you will get a place at the Nursery as places are limited.
Information about the Nursery and how much it costs from:
The Nursery and Childcare Services Manager
Oxford Brookes University
John Garne Way
Oxford OX3 0TU
Tel: (+44) 1865 485050
Fax: (+44) 1865 485052 Email
Other activities for young children
Information about other nurseries toddler groups, playgroups, and registered childminders is available from:
- 'toddler groups' are opportunities for parents and young children to meet other families, and share activities. They do not provide childcare.
- 'playgroups' are usually run by paid staff and volunteer parents.
- 'childminders' are paid to care for children, usually in the minder's own home.
'A list of primary schools in Oxford with their telephone numbers, would have been helpful before we left home'
UK law says that children from 5 to 16 years of age must go to school. State education is free. Oxford schools are used to and welcome children from other countries. The school year is divided into 6 terms starting in early September. Although it is easiest for them to settle in if they start at the beginning of a new term, children can usually join their school whenever they arrive in the UK.
Your choice of school will depend on where you are living, the age of your child and the number of places. you can find more information about schools in Oxfordshire and how to apply for a place from:
Find out more..Schooling for your children (UKCISA)
English language courses
We would have liked . . . some occupation for my wife, not necessarily a job but something to keep her going . . . it took two months before she got friends to share her time with . . . '
If your partner is not confident in using English, they may feel isolated when you are studying. If they join a language course, they can meet new people as well as improving their English. Oxford Brookes International runs a number of Pathways courses. For more details and fees contact:
Oxford Brookes International
Oxford Brookes University
Oxford OX3 0BP
Tel: (+44) 1865 483874
Fax: (+44) 1865 484377
There are also courses at other private language schools in Oxford and at:
Study at higher education
If your spouse or children are here as your dependants, they can study full-time or part-time. They would be assessed for fees, under the same rules as you. If you and your spouse are studying at Oxford Brookes at the same time, you can claim 10% discount on your tuition fees. For more information about fees, contact Student Finance.
Work for family members
- If you are an EEA or Swiss national, your spouse and children can usually work in the UK without permission. You can see more about your family member working in the UK from EEA and Swiss students: working during your studies (UKCISA)
- If you are not an EEA national, and if your spouse and children (under 18) are in the UK on PBS Dependant visas they should be able to work as many hours as they wish. Find out more in Dependants: Working (UKCISA)
Study skills for older students
If you are an older student and are having difficulties with your studies, because you have not studied for some time, you can talk to the Mature Student Adviser, Jim Pye for advice and counselling.
To make an appointment to see the Mature Student Adviser, contact the Wellbeing reception Tel: +44 (0) 1865) 484650 Email
Estimate of living expenses
Financial difficulties are a common source of problems for students with families. The best way to avoid difficulties is to budget carefully before deciding to bring your family to the UK.
If you are not living in University accommodation your bills will also include utilities (for example, gas or electricity). Remember to add the living costs of any children, which will vary according to their age.
Living costs gives more detail about the estimated amounts for one adult studying at Oxford Brookes.