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Oxford University (St Edmund Hall)
Through St Edmund Hall’s Visiting Student Program, UNC-Chapel Hill students study alongside undergraduate students admitted to Oxford as full degree-seeking students. This program admits a small number of highly qualified students from top US universities and colleges and fully integrates them into the academic and social life of the College. Admission is therefore extremely competitive, and applicants must show not only a high level of academic achievement but also maturity and self-motivation. UNC-Chapel Hill students who apply for admission to this program will be interviewed by a small faculty committee which will determine which applications are submitted to St Edmund Hall where the final decision on admission will be taken.
The University of Oxford is routinely ranked, along with US universities such as Harvard and Yale, as one of the top five universities in the world. St Edmund Hall is one of the many colleges that constitute Oxford University.
Oxford is both a university and a city. Colleges, departments, and libraries are interspersed with shops, offices, houses and all the other features of a busy commercial city. It is a city of great architectural and natural beauty; the historic facades and spires of churches and colleges, world-famous libraries and museums dominate the ancient and narrow streets. Oxford city prides itself on its parks, gardens and green spaces. In the spring and summer especially college gardens with their great trees and beautiful banks of flowers offer a restful recess to students and visitors alike. The River Thames winds through the heart of the city at Christ Church Meadow.
The Academic System
The method of teaching at an Oxford college is very different from that of universities and colleges in the US. The focus of teaching at an Oxford college is the tutorial system, with lectures and seminars available as secondary means of instruction. A tutorial takes the form of an hour-long in-depth discussion between the student and his or her tutor. At the center of the tutorial is a paper which the student will have been asked to prepare during the preceding week. The tutorial will usually begin with the student reading the paper, and then the tutor will critically review the approach and content of the paper, suggest alternative ways of tackling the subject matter and then initiate a more general discussion. The tutorial system is an extremely concentrated form of teaching and learning. In preparing the paper, the student is expected to read widely, using the recommended reading list provided by the tutor as a starting point for individual research. After a week of reading around a topic, the student selectively assembles the information into a paper that will be expected to show an independence of thought and the ability to evaluate critically the material consulted. During this time, the student may attend lectures on related topics, but the bulk of the work which goes into the paper will derive from the student’s reading.
The program allows visiting students to take two tutorial courses in each of the three eight-week terms of the Oxford University academic year. Visiting students may take tutorial courses in the following subject areas: Biochemistry, Chemistry, Comparative Literature/Great Books, Czech/Slovak language/literature in translation, Earth Sciences, Economics, Engineering, English Language and Literature, Film Studies, French Language and Literature, German, History, History of Art, Law, Materials Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, Psychology, Physics, Russian Language and Literature. Not all subject areas are available every year. Please consult with the UNC Study Abroad Advisor for subject availability.
St Edmund Hall Visiting Students are housed along with other St Edmund Hall undergraduates in college-run accommodation in one of several annexes close to the College. Typically each student will have a single study bedroom with a wash-basin and access to kitchens and bathrooms. All rooms have telephone and/or Ethernet connections. Self-service breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available in College in the Wolfson Dining Hall every day and there is Hall dinner on Sundays. There are also a number of formal “Guest Nights” when students can invite their friends and special menus are served.
Review the Budget Sheet posted above for detailed information on costs and fees. Costs vary per term and are subject to change.
Tuition and fees for the program are set based on the host institution’s rates, and will be charged to the participant’s UNC student account. Always refer to the Budget Sheet on this page, and not the host institution’s posted rates, as it is customized for UNC students. Review the Budget Sheet for additional Cashier Billed Expenses and Out-of-Pocket Costs. The Study Abroad Office strongly encourages students to budget carefully for their time abroad.
Getting Started: Funding Study Abroad
The Armitage Scholarship
The Christopher Mead Armitage and Pauline Brooks Armitage Scholarship for Visiting Students, covering the cost of tuition, housing, and some meals at St Edmund Hall for the duration of the Michaelmas term, is available to one UNC undergraduate Arts or Humanities student each year. To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must complete the Study Abroad Office scholarship application
in addition to the program application by the posted application deadline.
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Complete the required UNC application by clicking “Apply Now” at the top of the page. If you have not done so already, create a profile to start your application.
UNC-Chapel Hill students who apply for admission to this program will be interviewed by a small faculty committee which will determine which applications are submitted to St Edmund Hall, where the final decision on admission will be taken.
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For information on requesting ARS accommodations (academic, health, and mobility concerns) for a study abroad program, contact the Advisor for Access