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ENGLAND - Oxford Study Abroad Program

The Oxford Study Abroad Programme (OSAP) places students of academic distinction at affiliated colleges of Oxford University. Founded about AD 1090, Oxford is the oldest English-speaking university in the world and is considered to be one of the two or three best institutions of higher education in the world.

OSAP, which was founded in 1985, has placed students at colleges of Oxford from nearly 600 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Emphasizing the unique Oxford tutorial method of teaching, OSAP students study with world-renown scholars.

With privileges at four of the top-ranked colleges at Oxford- New College, Christ Church, Magdalen College and Trinity College, OSAP students and faculty have access to their libraries, clubs, societies, dining halls, and chapels as well as over six million volumes of books in libraries throughout the University of Oxford. 

Study with OSAP for an excellent academic program and a rewarding personal experience in the beautiful medieval city of Oxford.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND be in their third year or higher before participation. (Transfer students may participate after first semester on campus if they meet campus deadlines)  Second-year students with advanced credit standing are not accepted to this program, per OSAP rules.
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2 for Associate Member status.  Minimum of 3.7 GPA (and additional cost) for Visiting Member status.  

Oxford, The City of Dreaming Spires, is famous the world over for its University and place in history. For over 800 years, it has been a home to royalty and scholars, and since the 9th century an established town, although people are known to have lived in the area for thousands of years.

Nowadays, the city is a bustling cosmopolitan town. Still with its ancient University, but home also to a growing hi-tech community. 

To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the Embassy of England Website


Founded about AD 1090, Oxford is the oldest English-speaking university in the world and considered to be one of the two or three best institutions of higher education in the world. 

Oxford is ranked among the best universities in the world by The Times Higher Education Supplement and for the sixth year in a row, Oxford has been ranked as the best university in Britain.

Oxford has the largest university library system in the UK, with over 100 libraries with over 9 million printed items, and vast quantities of materials in many other formats. The Bodleian Library, the University’s main research library, is over 400 years old and is globally acknowledged to be one of the greatest libraries in the world. Its priceless collections include the papers of six British Prime Ministers; a Gutenberg Bible; the earliest surviving book written wholly in English; a quarter of the world’s original copies of the Magna Carta; and almost 10,000 western medieval and renaissance manuscripts.

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Students normally take between 14-18 tutorials between 2 subjects. Students normally study a primary course for 9-10 tutorials and a secondary for 5-6 tutorials. 

Oxford uses a tutorial model, in which students take a primary and a secondary tutorial.

To Earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 15 tutorial meetings.

To Earn 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 12 tutorial meetings.

The number of credits listed here is estimated, and GEO will work with you, your advisor, and the registrar to ensure you are earning enough credits to keep you on track for graduation.

Since all education at Oxford is highly individual (the exact courses are worked out jointly by the academic advisor, the student, and the tutor) there is no Oxford Course Catalog in an American sense.  The teaching style is most often one tutor and one student, who work together to set up a meeting schedule that fits both needs.  In rare occasions, there may be two students in the tutorial.  Learning is often based on one on one discussion, and the tutor may assign a large paper each week to be discussed at the next meeting.  

Tutorials are most similar to upper-level electives at a US institution. Students are expected to have a background in the topic discussed.  This is not a term in which to choose a tutorial that you would expect to cover 100-level course material, or survey courses, like world history through 1865 or British literature.

The academic advisers have found by experience that most OSAP students tend to select from five or six subjects, primarily history, English, politics (including political thought and international relations), economics and philosophy. A few students will study psychology, physics, chemistry, math, law, geography, sociology, art history, etc. (Remember that practical science courses, i.e., those requiring laboratory facilities, are usually available given sufficient notice, but this is not guaranteed).

For more information on the academic system and recommended tutorials, please click here

Many students will say that this is the most rigorous, yet rewarding, study abroad program. Though letter grades will appear on the Lake Forest transcript, they will not factor into a student’s GPA except in calculations of honors or the Dean’s List.  

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.

Housing and Meals

OSAP provides students with double room housing normally in the same apartment or house with British or other foreign students. OSAP believes that the opportunity to live with British or other foreign students adds to the educational experience. A surcharge is required for more expensive housing in the center of Oxford.

All housing units include TVs, VCRs and internet access by either wifi or ethernet cables in the bedrooms.

Meals are not included, but students may use the kitchen to cook their meals or eat in one of the local restaurants.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for the OSAP program for Associate Status includes orientation, on-site director, college and library fees, housing, several excursions, and insurance. Meals are not included.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 programs:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated) for Associate Member 

*Visiting Status does incur an additional cost; the program fee for 2018/2019 is an estimated $8,950.


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College




Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)


Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2019. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office


If participating in the Lake Forest spring semester, students must choose either Hilary or Trinity.  These are two separate, full-time terms. Hilary is often referred to as Winter term at Oxford.