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. Co-op students get 10% discount 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 Student Cooking TV Facebook page.
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 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 Matalan, Wilko, B&M, Asda Living or TK Maxx will also sell household items.
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.
Books and stationery
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: