Oxford or Cambridge – Which to Choose This Summer?

Oxford or Cambridge – Which to Choose for Your Summer School?

Attending a summer school in Oxford or Cambridge provides an opportunity to delve into a vast array of courses which reflect the rich academic diversity championed by the Oxbridge institutions. Within these hallowed halls that have nurtured world-famous luminaries like Stephen Hawking, Sylvia Plath, Lewis Caroll and Oscar Wilde, students can explore their passions and make lifelong connections with peers from around the world. But which is the best choice for you this summer – Oxford or Cambridge?

Aside from the Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge are often referred to collectively as ‘Oxbridge’) universities themselves, each city has its own rhythm and pace of life. As the larger of the two cities, Oxford has more to offer in terms of student life outside of the classroom and may better suit those who are attracted to big city lights! Cambridge has a smaller-town feel which may be attractive to those travelling away from home for the first time. Both cities offer picturesque cobblestone streets, charming architecture and a chance to try punting on the rivers that meander around the famed university buildings and landmarks.

It’s worth noting that although some of the terminology may differ between Oxford and Cambridge, many of the features are very similar if not the same. For example, both employ a teaching method based around 1:1 sessions with a tutor, which Oxford calls ‘tutorials’ and Cambridge ‘supervisions’. Other small traditions may also vary, imperceptibly to the less discerning observer: for example, when punting on the river, punters stand on opposite ends of the boat in Oxford and Cambridge!

For prospective students, both cities and their respective institutions guarantee unmatched academic rigour. Each provider in this Oxbridge guide offers its own unique summer school experience, tailored to suit a diverse student body and ensure excellence.

Established in 1096, the University of Oxford holds the status of the world’s second oldest continually operating university. With its historic spires and modern city life, Oxford offers students a unique blend of old and new

Explore its cobbled streets, visit University Colleges, climb Carfax Tower, or dive into the world-famous Blackwell’s Bookstore. As you walk through a city steeped in centuries of history, you’ll follow in the footsteps of greatness: Oxford has inspired numerous Nobel Prize winners, Prime Ministers, and Olympic champions throughout its existence – famously, Roger Bannister ran the first 4-minute mile on the running track at Iffley Road in Oxford in 1954, which is still there to this day.

Founded in the 13th century, Cambridge is celebrated for its historical tales and ancient traditions such as punting.

Students who attend a summer school in the city of Cambridge benefit not only from its rich academic reputation but also from its place in British history, evident in its eight dedicated university museums. Interestingly, it was a conflict in 1209 that led to some Oxford scholars relocating and laying the foundations for Cambridge University; this marked the genesis of their spirited rivalry, epitomised in the annual boat race.

When it comes to choosing a provider for your summer school experience, it’s worth noting that Cambridge leans more towards natural sciences and technology courses. This includes state-of- the-art courses in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and specialised sciences such as Zoology and Neuroscience.
Download our Guide!

Looking for more help and information? Feel free to reach out to one of our advisors at apply@oxfordsummerschools.com, and you may also enjoy our downloadable guide to summer schools taking place in Oxford and Cambridge. For practical support on queries such as visas, insurance, travel and more, please see our Frequently Asked Questions here.

Need Help & Advice? Contact Us