Coming into residence

Please read the information on this page, which includes important arrival information and details about accommodation, directions to Christ Church, receiving mail, and cycling in Oxford.

Coming into residence

Arrival Information for Freshers Arriving from the UK

Undergraduate freshers arriving from within the UK, who do not need to self-isolate on arrival, will be expected to arrive at Christ Church by 3pm on Sunday, 3rd October. You should make arrangements to arrive in College between 10am and 3pm on this day. 

Graduate freshers arriving from within the UK, who do not need to self-isolate on arrival, will be expected to arrive at Christ Church by Sunday, 3rd October. Your exact date of arrival will be determined by the start date of your course, which will be communicated to you by your department. If you are living in College accommodation, you should communicate with our Accommodation staff in good time about the date of your arrival.

Arrival Information for Freshers Arriving from Overseas

The UK government is currently operating a ‘traffic light’ system for those arriving from overseas, with differing levels of restrictions for students on the ‘green,’ ‘amber’ and ‘red’ list countries. There is a wide range of rules about testing and vaccination requirements, which are subject to regular change, so it is vital that you carefully review both local travel advice in your own country, and the UK Government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england. Please see the University’s FAQs for guidance for students in red and amber countries: https://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus/students/returning-and-offer-holders.

Students from amber list countries who must quarantine for 10 days on arrival will need to arrive in the UK 10 days before their course start date (including Freshers’ Week for new starters) to complete their period of quarantine.

Those students living in College accommodation who are travelling from outside the UK can arrive from 20th September. Students planning to quarantine in Oxford should aim to self-isolate in the same accommodation they have arranged for the term. Students who are quarantining in College accommodation will be supported during this period, and may need to move rooms at the end of the quarantine period.

Students travelling from red list countries must currently quarantine in a Government hotel. Students who are under-18 will need to obtain permission from the DHSC two weeks before travelling, if coming alone: see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/booking-and-staying-in-a-quarantine-hotel-when-you-arrive-in-england#unaccompanied-minors.

A questionnaire has been sent to all students (by email on 27th August) to ask for dates and times of arrival, and confirmation of whether quarantine will be required (we appreciate that this may be subject to change, and students should keep the Accommodation Office informed of any changes to arrival arrangements and requirements).

If you are concerned about whether you will be able to travel to Oxford for the start of your course, contact the Academic Office.

Accommodation

Accommodation Households

During the pandemic, allocations for College accommodation managed by the Steward’s office will comply with any Government and University social distancing guidelines that may need to be put in place. Students will be allocated to small groups called households, so that social distancing can be observed if this is deemed necessary at any time.

Use of Face Coverings

Students are currently required to wear face coverings in ALL communal spaces including on communal staircases, entry to all catering areas, administration and academics’ offices, the Library, and all meeting and lecture rooms.  Face coverings must be worn in all face-to-face teaching situations. Exceptions may be in place for both individuals and settings where they are not appropriate (for example on grounds of disability). Arrangements for face coverings may be revised during the 2021/22 academic year, but students should be prepared and bring adequate face coverings with them.

Rooms in College

Almost all undergraduate freshers will be given single bed-sitting rooms, but a few may share a study and have a separate bedroom. It is not normally possible to arrange changes of rooms after arrival, so freshers with disabilities or special needs should inform the Admissions Office at once. If you are reading Music you will be allocated a room with a piano or clavinova in it.

Furniture and Accessories

Rooms in College are adequately furnished. You will need to bring bed linen, such as two or three single sheets, a duvet and covers, pillows plus pillowcases, and towels and tea cloths. All linen should be marked with the owner’s name. You may like to bring from home other useful things, such as coffee mugs, plates, glasses, a bicycle, etc. (If you have a bicycle you must register it at the Porters’ Lodge, for which there is a small one-off charge). We advise that students travelling from outside the UK bring items that they will need on arrival as if they are quarantining they will not be able to visit shops to buy them. If you order items online, these should be timed to arrive at the Porters' Lodge to coincide with your arrival date. There is more information about what to bring in the Freshers' Guides: https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/freshers-guides-2021

The University has produced a self-isolation guide, including information about what to bring: https://www.oxfordsu.org/news/article/6013/Self-Isolation-Tips-amp-Tricks/. The University has also produced a series of podcasts and articles to support students during the pandemic, including those in quarantine.

Please note that, if social distancing arrangements are deemed necessary, students might spend more time than usual outside or in less heated spaces such as marquees, as these spaces as less favourable to virus transmission. Students should be advised to ensure that they bring warm and waterproof clothes and shoes with them, or purchase these as a priority on arrival. 

Cars, Motorcycles and Bicycles

There is no formal restriction on keeping a car or motorcycle in Oxford. However, Junior Members are themselves responsible for finding a garage or parking space, and the College can provide parking only in exceptional circumstances (such as disability). The unauthorized parking of cars on University or College premises is prohibited, and free long-term parking spaces in the City of Oxford are impossible to find. Most of the City’s parking is restricted to holders of Residents’ Permits and the City Council will not issue permits to students. You are therefore strongly advised not to plan to have a car in Oxford. A separate sheet on cycling in Oxford is attached.

Student Possessions Insurance

All graduates and undergraduates who are living in college accommodation are covered by a Student Possessions Insurance Policy which is administered through Endsleigh Insurance Services. The annual premium of approx. £6.82 will be charged to your first battels bill each Michaelmas term. You will receive details of the insurance cover and another copy is available from the Steward’s Office, if required.

Directions

For additional information, please see our our 'Find Us' page, including an interactive map of Oxford City, the Colleges, and University sites.

By Car

For many people, arriving by car is the easiest way of transporting you plus your entire luggage to Oxford in one piece. On arrival and departure days only, you may park on Christ Church Meadow (map attached) on arrival, to unload your belongings. Cars are not allowed into College quads.

Oxford has a Transport Strategy that restricts city centre access along the High Street/Merton Street for private cars (for traffic from the east) and egress (traffic heading east) between 07:30 and 18:30 each day. The restrictions include a barrier in Oriel Square. There are no access restrictions from the south, up the A4144 Abingdon Road, which is the recommended route. 

The Oxford one-way system is complicated, and some roads are closed at certain times of day, so whichever direction you travel from, we would recommend that you stay on the Oxford ring road system until you get to the south of the city where there is a roundabout with the A423 and A4144. Take this A4144 north towards the city centre and you will see Redbridge Park and Ride on your left. The A4144 (Abingdon Road) turns into Folly Bridge; go over the bridge and then take a left on Thames Street, a right turn to Speedwell Street, and a left turn into St Aldate's. (All these names are on the enclosed map). Turn right into Christ Church through the Meadow Gate (which is before you come to Tom Tower) and drive about 100 yards along a cobbled road past the electric barrier arm that will already be raised, and then park on the Meadow opposite Meadow Buildings. Further details will be communicated soon about the actions to take on arrival.

By Train

Oxford station is about twenty minutes’ walk from College so if your bags are heavy it’s probably worth getting a taxi. Black metered cabs wait outside the station, and should cost about £5. The station has good links to London, and a direct train from Paddington takes a little under an hour.

By Bus

National buses terminate at Gloucester Green Bus Station, which is about 15 minutes’ walk away from the College.

Again, a taxi is available if you have lots of bags – there is a stand at the station.

The two London services (the X90 and the Oxford Tube – which runs every 20 minutes for 24 hours) stop at various points throughout the city. The Oxford Tube stops right outside Christ Church, on St Aldates.

Mail

Mail (post) received for all students is delivered to the Mail Room at Tom Gate and pigeon-holed. (Read the Freshers' Guides for further explanation.) Please note that packages, parcels and trunks may be sent to the Porters’ Lodge at Christ Church, OX1 1DP but, owing to lack of storage space, should not arrive ahead of you.