Immersion and Student Life
All students are housed in flats in Merifield, Wadham College student housing. You will have your own private room and share a common area that includes a kitchen, living room, and two bathrooms. Together with your flatmates, you will taste the independence of city life while you still are wrapped in the security and accommodation of program-sponsored housing.
As for meals, most students tend to prepare meals with their fellow students. You may also take your meals on campus: one dinner "in hall" per week is included in your fees, and Wadham's cafeteria-style lunchroom provides convenience and another chance to socialize with Oxford students. You can venture out to a nearby pub such as King's Arms. Or you can combine all of the above.
The social aspects of your Oxford year are as fundamental as your instruction and should not be ignored.
Your introduction to life at the University begins with Freshers' Weeks. Held during the 10-day orientation before classes begin you will be exposed to a wide range of clubs and societies open to your membership. Some clubs and societies center on academics while others focus on social awareness and activism, creative expression, cultural activities, sport or pure entertainment. In the past, students have participated in clubs and activities ranging from water-polo to Amnesty International to the Gregorian chanting society.
The University is a study in contrast: alongside historic grandeur, you'll also find much room for levity. From comic theatre to Pooh Sticks competitions to pie-eating parties, a wry humor and whacky sense of fun abounds.
All students have access to Wadham's gym and full use of the rowing facilities in the boathouse and the new gymnasium and weight room. For organized sports, you may compete on Wadham's teams in football, rugby, hockey, squash, and cricket, among others.
All Sarah Lawrence program students are members of the Oxford Union, perhaps the world's most famous debating society and a center for student activities such as film nights, themed balls, and guest lectures. Speakers have included the Dalai Lama, Tony Blair, Kofi Annan and Harold Pinter to name a few. Visit the Oxford Union Web site for more information on the opportunities available to you at Oxford.
The University may seem to dominate the city, but it in fact accounts for just 8 percent of the city's workforce. Oxford is a rich commercial center, drawing diverse immigrant cultures to its growing population of 150,000. It is world-renowned for its publishing industry, is home to the international development organization Oxfam, and provides the base for many bioscience and high-tech businesses.
Meanwhile, four million tourists annually visit Oxford's museums, restaurants, pubs, shops, theatres, bookstores, festivals, and art festivals.
So think of Oxford as an ideal situation for an American student: you're part of a beautiful, historic university in an enchanting city of significant urban enterprise, and within easy reach of London, the country's lively, cosmopolitan capital.