There are many different areas within Oxford where you can shop. These include the city centre, Temple Cowley, Cowley Road and Headington. Pick up a free map at the International Student Meeting Point to locate these.
You can also purchase many items online and get them delivered to your door.
Most people buy ingredients for cooking at home from a supermarket. Popular cheaper supermarkets include: Aldi, Tesco, Asda, Lidl and Iceland. Others, such as Waitrose, the Co-op, M&S and Sainsbury’s, may be more convenient depending on where you live, as well as Ocado (online only). You can also order online from these supermarkets.
If you have any dietary requirements, look out for the “free from” range, which usually includes gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and vegan options. Students get 10% discount at the Co-op with their Totum card.
Headington is the closest shopping area to Headington Campus. There are also many shops and restaurants on Cowley Road selling food from around the world, including halal products. These shops may sell food from your home country or you may be able to buy things which are not available in the larger supermarkets. You can find more information on the Daily Info Oxford Food Shopping page.
If you are new to cooking for yourself and want some fun tips and healthy alternatives, visit the Save the Student cooking tips webpages.
Oxford Brookes University has a partnership with UniKitOut, which provides bathroom, bedroom and kitchen kits that you can order before travelling to the UK. Before placing an order, check what will already be available in your accommodation.
In the Oxford City centre, shops such as Primark, TK Maxx, Argos, John Lewis and M&S stock household goods. You can order them before you arrive and go and collect them once you are here. In Cowley centre, shops such as Wilko, B&M, Asda Living or TK Maxx will also sell household items.
The main area in Oxford to shop for clothes is in the city centre (especially in Westgate Shopping centre). There, you will find popular international chains offering clothes and accessories in a range of styles and prices, such as H&M, Zara, Mango, Levi's, Skechers or Primark (cheapest option).
Templars Square is also a good area to shop clothes and is close to the main student halls. The retailers TKMaxx and ASDA Living sell affordable items.
Shops often have sales going on during the year and it is a good time to shop for clothes, as their price will be reduced. The main sales are taking place in late June to early July and after Christmas (Boxing day) to mid-January.
You can also order clothes/accessories online via the retailers’ websites.
If you have a Totum card, you could get discounts using your card. Check out the Totum app/website to see which retailers offer discounts or ask a shop assistant when entering the shop.
Mobile phones and free SIM cards
Most international students use a pay as you go or SIM only card.
We give out SIM cards at the International Student Meeting Point during Arrivals. If you'd rather receive your SIM card at home, mobile phone companies will post you a SIM card free of charge, for example GiffGaff will send one out the next day if you order before 5pm and Voxi will send one within 2 working days. Other mobile phone companies include: O2, 3, EE or Vodaphone.
Cosmetics, toiletries, cleaning supplies
Most supermarkets have a Health & Beauty and Household aisle. If you want more choice, go to a specialised store such as Boots (beauty products and pharmacy), Superdrug (beauty products and pharmacy) and Savers (beauty products and cleaning supplies).
If you are about to move to the UK, we recommend that you check whether toilet paper, laundry liquid and washing up liquid are provided in your accommodation, as it won’t always be the case.
Medicines and prescriptions
You first need to register with a doctor (referred to as General Practitioner or GP) at a medical centre, who will send a prescription to a pharmacy.
There are many charity shops in the UK which sell second-hand clothes, shoes, furniture and lots of things you might want for a new house. Here are some of the charity shops you can find in Oxford: Age UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Helen & Douglas House, Marie Curie, Oxfam, Sobell House.
You can also find second-hand things on: