‘City of dreaming spires’, that’s how the 19th century British philosopher Matthew Arnold described Oxford. And, for some people, gaining a place at one of the Oxford University’s colleges, with their honey-stone ‘quads’ or courtyards, exquisite architecture and ancient traditions, is an ultimate aspiration.
But today’s Oxford has a lot more to offer than academic study alone. The city is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan, with one of the fastest growing and most ethnically diverse populations in the United Kingdom. It’s also home to a growing hi-tech community served by numerous Science and Business Parks. There are arts and food festivals and great theatre, music and dance. So, there’s no shortage of opportunities for those who want to volunteer abroad or intern abroad in one of the United Kingdom’s most beautiful and romantic cities.
What is the Cost of One Month of Housing in Oxford?
Between £650 a month for a shared dorm in a hostel to £1800 for a self-contained apartment.
AirBnB has single rooms in shared flats from £30 a night in a central location (you often get a discount if you commit to 2 weeks or more). For a studio apartment expect to pay around £450 a week through an agency like Central Oxford Self-Catering Apartments.
Central Backpackers, 13 Park End Street, and Oxford Backpackers Hostel, 9A Hythe Bridge Street both have accommodation in shared dorms for just under £20.
Expect to pay £84 for a double occupancy room at The Oxford Hotel, Godstow Road Wolvercote Roundabout or £65 for the same at Green Gables Guest House, 326 Abingdon Road.
There is accommodation in many of the Oxford Colleges during student vacations. The University Rooms website is a good place to search for availability. Magdalen College offers a single room for £42 a night during the holiday season.
Gumtree website is also a popular place to search for flat and house shares – useful for pairs or small groups seeking to work abroad together.
What is the Cost of Transportation for One Month in Oxford?
£200 for bike hire and a bus pass valid throughout Oxfordshire
Bikes: Everyone cycles everywhere in Oxford. Bainton Bikes on the Bainton Road offers bike hire, with free puncture repair, for £100 a month or £90 for students.
Buses: If you’re staying a little way out of town, buses are the most widely available form of public transport. A ‘Plus Pass’ allows unlimited travel on all of Oxford’s buses for £16 a week. There are also good value long distance services to many other cities in the UK including frequent buses to London. Megabus offers some fares to the capital from as low as £1 for a single trip, depending on the time of day. Stagecoach serves many of the smaller towns in Oxfordshire and runs the X5 service to Cambridge. If you’re planning a lot of bus journeys it’s worth buying a ‘Megarider Gold pass’ for £26. This allows unlimited bus travel in Oxfordshire for seven days.
What is the Cost of Food for One Month in Oxford?
Budget £300 for meals mostly cooked at home with the odd lunch and drinks out.
Buying food in supermarkets expect to pay just under £1 for a litre of milk, £1.15 for a loaf of bread, £2 for 12 eggs, £5-8 for a bottle of wine and £3.75 for a kilo of apples. Drinking out, expect to pay £2-£3 for a pint of domestic beer and £2.50-£3 for a small glass of wine.
The city has a wide range of fruit and vegetable stalls and markets, including the historic ‘Covered Market’ which runs between the top of the High Street and Market Street.
Popular student pubs include The Jericho, which has live music nights. It also has a two courses of food for £8.50 Monday-Friday.
Many restaurants offer good value meals including The Nosebag Restaurant, 6-8 St Michael’s Street. This cafeteria-style dinner serves soups, quiches, casseroles and lasagnas for between £5-9.
What is the Cost of Entertainment for One Month in Edinburgh?
Oxford is a wonderful city in which to wander, linger and get lost. There’s lots of things to do and see – and the good news is that many of them are free.
Modern Art Oxford (MOMA), 30 Pembroke Street, has developed an international reputation for exhibitions of contemporary visual arts. Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, holds the University’s internationally significant collections of geological and zoological specimens, all housed in a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture. Admission to both museums is free.
Punting: Hire a long flat boat called a ‘punt’ from one of the three stations on the Rivers Thames and Cherwell. For £14 an hour on weekdays you can float serenely along the riverbank taking in bridges, college gardens and beautiful wildlife.
The Oxford Playhouse, 11-12 Beaumont Street, hosts a wide range of live performance including British and international drama, contemporary dance, music, comedy, lectures and poetry. Its ‘OPT in!’ scheme (£1 to join) allows those aged 16-25 access to free, £5 and £10 tickets, along with backstage tours, special events and other discounts.
Want to Volunteer Abroad For One Month in Oxford?
There are many opportunities to volunteer abroad in Oxford, including helping to monitor climate change in local woods with Earthwatch or providing support to people living with disabilities via Leonard Cheshire Disability. Check out their websites for more details.