New Students' Newsletters

New Students' Newsletters

From July to mid-September, you will be sent emails from the College with useful information about preparing for your arrival and important things you'll need to know when you get here. The newsletters will also be cached on this webpage.

We will use the email address you provided when you applied to Oxford; if this has changed, please contact our Registry Administrator with your new address.

1. College Accommodation

2. Preparing for your arrival

3. Welcome from the GCR!

4. Medical Registration Information

5. Finance and Funding

6. When you arrive


1. College Accommodation

Types of accommodation

Length of tenancy

The accommodation ballot

The student view

Dear 2016/17 new students,

Welcome to St Antony's College!

We are delighted that you will be joining us later this year. This is the first in a series of New Students’ Newsletters that we will send between now and September to help you plan for your arrival at St Antony’s and to help you get ready to embark on your graduate course at the University of Oxford.

This week’s message focusses on accommodation in College, which many of you have applied for by successfully completing the Financial Declaration (Form A from your Offer Pack) and the Accommodation Application Form (Form B).

Types of accommodation

There are over 200 bedrooms in College, from our new en-suite single rooms in the Gateway and Ghassan Shakar buildings to rooms in Victorian-era properties on Winchester Road, Woodstock Road and Church Walk. All our rooms are either on the College site or within 10 minutes’ walking distance from the College.

Around half of our bedrooms are en-suite single rooms in the Gateway/Ghassan Shakar and Founder’s buildings.

Information about what is provided in an average room, plus a sample photo of each room type, may be found at You can find the postcode (zip code) of each of the properties at

A map of the College buildings can also be found on this webpage (see link at the end of the page).

Length of tenancy

The standard tenancy starts on Saturday 1 October 2016. Depending on the type of accommodation you have applied for, your tenancy will be for 38 weeks (1 October 2016 to 23 June 2017) or 50 weeks (1 October 2016 to 15 September 2017).

Please bear in mind that all en-suite rooms and some standard rooms in some houses are available for 38 week tenancies only. These rooms are unlikely to be available after 23 June 2016, even for an extension of a few extra nights. If you think you might need to stay in College accommodation after 23 June but you have applied for a 38 week tenancy, you may prefer to amend your Form B to request accommodation in a room that is available for 50 weeks and then give the appropriate amount of notice in due course to match your actual leaving date.

May we remind you that if you wish to arrive before 1 October, we cannot guarantee availability of rooms, and any room offered to you may not be the same room type/location you are offered from 1 October. Any additional nights booked before 1 October will be charged in addition to the 38 or 50 week tenancy.

The minimum length of tenancy is 13 weeks. The notice period for all College accommodation is 8 weeks.

The accommodation ballot

We aim to accommodate as many new students as possible in College. Demand for College accommodation is high and an accommodation ballot will be held in July 2016. If your first choice of room is not available, you may be offered an alternative type or grade of room.

If we receive more applications than there are rooms available, the College will allocate rooms in the following order of priorities:

·         Students with a disability that impacts on their living needs

·         Students awarded a College scholarship

·         Students who will be starting their first course at the University of Oxford

·         Students who are unable to visit the UK in order to look for a room prior to the start of term

If your application for College accommodation is successful, the College’s Accommodation team will email you information about the room you have been offered between Monday 18 July and Friday 22 July 2016. Check your email regularly that week!

You must respond to an accommodation offer within two weeks of the date you receive the email or your offer will lapse.

The student view

This section was written by Kevin Pinkoski, a recent Graduate Common Room (GCR, or student body) President and MPhil in International Relations student.

Some notes on College housing from the GCR/student perspective:

  • Single rooms are graded from D (least expensive) to en-suite (most expensive). From D to A+, the grade is based primarily on size, although there are exceptions to this (for example, if a large room has a low hanging ceiling that takes up a lot of its space, it may have a lower grade). There ends up being some variation between different rooms of the same grade.
  • Please note that, although you may request a lower graded room, these rooms are very popular, which is to say that you may end up with an A even if you requested a C (note that there are more en-suite rooms than there are rooms of any other single category).
  • En-suite rooms – a bedroom plus bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower – are in Founder’s and Gateway. The rooms in Founder’s are not all the same size, but they are all graded the same (that is, they are all en-suite). The rooms in Gateway are indeed all the same size, and they are all new and nice. Note that there is currently no mobile/cell phone reception in that building, although wireless access is good and so you will be able make/take calls via e.g. Skype and text via e.g. What'sApp, Viber, iMessage. This is pretty typical of a lot of places around Oxford.
  • Rooms in Founder’s and Gateway are on hallways with shared kitchens (there is one kitchen on each side of the hall). Rooms in the various houses share bathrooms and kitchens (and are obviously less dorm style). Whether you prefer house style or hall style is obviously up to you. You will meet/get to know the people with whom you're living either way.
  • All bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms are cleaned once a week by scouts (an Oxford term for a cleaner).
  • The College provides tea towels, soap, and cleaning supplies for dishes. These supplies are only provided so long as they are not abused, like when a tea towel is used to do what an oven mitt is meant to do.


2. Preparing for your arrival 

This newsletter contains information about what you need to do/prepare before you come to Oxford.

Meeting your offer conditions

Do you need a visa to study at Oxford?

University Orientation Programme

When to arrive in Oxford


Meeting your offer conditions

Your offer from Oxford came in two parts: an offer of admission from a Department or Faculty, and the Offer Pack you received from St Antony’s College offering you a College place here.

You have already met the condition of your College offer by successfully completing the financial declaration.

If you haven’t already done so, and if applicable, you must supply your Department/Faculty with evidence that you have met any academic conditions that were set with your offer. This may include supplying academic transcripts and/or sending in proof that you meet the English language requirement for the course. Your offer letter from the Department/Faculty will explain exactly what your conditions are, if any. It may also include a deadline for you to meet the conditions, so make sure you supply everything on time.

Once you have met any academic conditions placed on your offer by the Department/Faculty and the College’s financial condition, your offer from Oxford becomes unconditional. Your Department/Faculty will then send you the University Student Contract. You must sign and return this together with a passport photograph. We advise you to complete and return the contract and photo as soon as possible to avoid any delays in your registration (a process you complete when you get to Oxford).

Do you need a visa to study at Oxford?

If you need a visa – or think you might need a visa – then visit This part of the University website has clear and complete information about how to apply for a visa to study at the University of Oxford. For those students who require a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), please see the attached information sheet, issued by the University.

Incoming students who require a CAS number should contact their Department/Faculty for advice. St Antony's College cannot give visa advice or issue CAS numbers.

University Orientation Programme for European and International Students

If you are new to Oxford or to the UK (or even if you’ve been here before!), you are very welcome to sign up for the free University-run Orientation Programme. Please see the attached pdf for details of the Programme.

Thursday 29 September: For students in the Social Sciences Division.

Friday 30 September: For students in the Humanities Division and Department for Continuing Education.

To sign up, please visit and use code Oxorient.

When to arrive in Oxford

We recommend that you arrive on Saturday 1 or Sunday 2 October, and you must be here by Monday 3 October for the start of College and Department/Faculty induction programmes. You are also able to arrive before this date, e.g. to attend the University Orientation Programme or a pre-sessional course, or because your course starts in late September.

We are currently finalising our Welcome Week timetable and hope to be able to publish it shortly.


If you travel to College by car, temporary parking is available so you can drop off luggage. However, do not plan to keep a car with you to Oxford: there are no car parking facilities for students in or around College (unless you have a disability that requires use of a car). Oxford is not a big city and it’s possible to get around quite comfortably by foot or by bike.

If you’re flying in to Heathrow Airport or Gatwick Airport, see the Airline for details of regular coach services to central Oxford. The terminus is Oxford Bus Station (Gloucester Green), from where you can take a taxi or walk to College.

Directions to the College are at

The next newsletter will provide an introduction to, and welcome from, the GCR.

If you have decided not to come to St Antony’s but have not yet informed us of your decision, could you please let us know so that we can update our records.


3. Welcome from the GCR!

Dear 2016/17 new students,

Welcome to the third of a series of email newsletters from St Antony's College! We will be in touch regularly between now and September to help you plan for your arrival at St Antonys and to help you get ready to embark on your graduate course at the University of Oxford.This weeks message is sent on behalf of Azfar Anwar, GCR President:

My fellow Antonians (that's what we call ourselves), 

You've worked hard to arrive at this stage, so here's another congratulation on becoming Oxonians! 

Welcome to St Antony's College — the coolest graduate college in all of Oxford (there’s absolutely no bias in this statement)! Known for its diversity, St Antony’s College is dynamic, and is set apart by its students who seek to make the most out of every aspect of their Oxford life — from their studies to their activism. Our alumni make up of foreign ministers, influential figures and world leaders (the recently elected President of Iceland is a former Antonian). St Antony’s College is definitely one of the most inviting and exciting colleges to be a part of. You made the right choice!

My name is Azfar and I'm the current president of the Graduate Common Room (GCR). The GCR is essentially the student council of the College; we work as a liaison between the students and the College and we try to enrich the lives of the students of St Antony's College by coordinating a variety of social, academic, and welfare events. To that end, we are putting together an array of activities for you for 0th Week (pronounced at Oxford, for some reason, as "Nougth Week") to welcome you. The timetable for this week of welcome (or, as we're originally calling it, "Welcome Week") will be published very soon! As you'll see, we'll spend the week introducing you to the town, the College, life at College in and outside of the classroom, and, most importantly, each other. 

This is another part of the series of emails that the College and GCR will be sending you throughout the summer to ensure that you're well-prepared for your arrival (and well-versed in the idiosyncrasies of Oxford/St Antony's terminology, none of which, I promise, is as confusing as it seems), so please do keep your eyes on your inboxes for forthcoming information. While you're waiting to read those, there is the College website, the GCR website, and our Facebook page, which I highly recommend joining — pertinent information is posted there year round. 

Life in Oxford is amazing and I sincerely hope you will all make the most of your time as Antonians. Whether it be rowing for the St Antony’s Boat Club, playing for the men’s or women’s football teams,  joining one of the many Clubs and Societies we have at St Antony’s, or getting involved with the GCR and any of our weekly events, I encourage you to define your time in Oxford by more than just serious academic work. There are currently several GCR positions open (refer to the GCR website) and/or you can also apply to be a Peer Supporter. After all, Antonians are known globally for being holistic!

If you have any questions or concerns about student life, please do not hesitate to email me at If I can't answer your question, I can certainly point you to the person who can. For administrative questions, you may want to email (keeping in mind that response time will be slower than usual in July and August).

Enjoy your summer, spend time with your family and prepare yourself mentally as you embark on this new phase of your life. I look forward to meeting and getting to know all of you.


Azfar B. Anwar

St Antony's College GCR President 

MPhil Candidate in Islamic Studies & History

University of Oxford


4. Medical Registration Information

Dear all,

Welcome to the next students’ newsletter from St Antony's College! This email focusses on the support and services available to students which aim to help you keep well, both in body and mind. It is extremely important that you read the information provided below carefully.

You are very strongly advised to register with the College’s NHS provider for a number of reasons: once registered, you will be able to access healthcare and screening (as appropriate) most quickly and effectively; the College doctor and nurse are best placed to help with the management of any ongoing conditions during your time here; and the College doctor and nurse have experience of providing the appropriate certification required by the University in the event of any circumstances that might affect your study. The final point might seem remote at this stage, but it is vital to understand that the Proctors (who are responsible for the running of University examinations) will only allow examiners to consider medical evidence when submitted properly and the College doctor and nurse are best placed to provide that information on your behalf.

Overview of medical services in the UK

Health care in College

How to register to access health care


Medicines and treatments not available through the NHS

Dental treatment

Disability, long-term health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Welfare support


Overview of medical services in the UK

The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s state health service, and provides a full range of medical treatment. All St Antony’s students doing a course of six months or longer should be entitled to see medical professionals trough the NHS, either because you are an EU national or because you paid the immigration health surcharge when you applied for your UK student visa. Whilst it is free to see a nurse or doctor, please be advised that there is an NHS charge towards the cost of prescriptions and dental services, and that these are not covered by the immigration health surcharge.

Private medical providers are also in operation offering a range of paid-for services, though usually not for emergencies.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs offers a good summary of health and healthcare options in the UK, which should be particularly helpful if you are new to the UK’s medical system.

Health care in College

The College has an agreement with nearby NHS provider Summertown Health Centre to provide medical services for our students. Their website is

A doctor from Summertown Health Centre and a College nurse, who works in conjunction with the Health Centre, visit the College regularly during term time. Please see the College Nurse and Doctor section of the College website for details.

At other times, you can also make appointments to see a doctor or nurse at the Health Centre, a 15 minute walk from St Antony’s.

How to register to access NHS health care

Registration is by means of an online form, which should be completed before you arrive in Oxford. It would be extremely helpful to both the College and Health Centre if you could please ensure that you have registered before the end of September so that there is time for your registration to be processed prior to your arrival. The registration form is available here:’s and also on the attached Medical Registration Letter.

During Welcome Week, you will also be required to attend a Medical Registration session at which your details will be confirmed. The sessions will run on Tuesday 4th October from 14.00-18.00 or Wednesday 5th October from 13.30 -17.00 and you will be advised nearer the time which session you should attend. Registration in College takes around 10 minutes, and you can see the College Doctor or Nurse straight away if you have any pressing medical needs.


Please read the attached immunisation letter for information about the vaccinations you should have before arriving in Oxford. In addition, the College Nurse also recommends that you are up to date with Diptheria, Tetanus and Polio vaccinations before arriving.

Students from some countries will be required to receive tuberculosis screening before starting their course.

It is extremely important that you organise vaccinations so as to allow sufficient time to acquire immunity before you arrive in Oxford.

Medicines and treatments not available through the NHS

Please note that a few medicines and treatments are not available through the NHS service. Commonly requested but unavailable medications include desensitising injections for the treatment of allergy, triphasic contraceptive pills, Nuva-ring contraception, Bupropion for the treatment of depression, and stimulants for the treatment of conditions including adult onset ADHD. Please bring adequate supplies with you or the College Doctor or Nurse can suggest alternative treatments.

Dental treatment

Dental treatment is available through the NHS but you have to make a contribution towards the cost of treatment. St Antony’s students usually register with Studental based at Oxford Brookes University or Temple Street Dental Practice between Cowley and Iffley Roads. Both are NHS practices. Registration is done and appointments are booked directly with the dentist, online or in person. The College nurse will be happy to provide you with details as appropriate.

Disability, long-term health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Your College Offer Pack has details of how to contact the University’s Disability Advisory Service and we strongly encourage you to get in touch as early as possible if you have (or think you might have) a disability. In addition, please understand that the College’s medical professionals have many years of experience of helping students manage with a wide range of conditions and that you can be assured that your medical information will be treated in confidence. It will be very helpful if you could make the College doctor or nurse aware of any conditions at an early stage so that they can support you most effectively.

Welfare support

Just as important as your physical health is your mental health. The College has a strong support network of people you can turn to and you will also have access to the wide range of services and support provided for all University of Oxford students. Welfare information will be sent to you later in the summer.


5. Finance and Funding

The theme of this week’s New Student Newsletter is finance and funding.


What do I have to pay to the College, when do I have to pay and how can I pay?

This is outlined in the Offer Pack you received when you were admitted to St Antony's College. You have already met the College’s financial condition and have also received a one page ‘Thank you for completing the financial declaration’ document that explains what you have to pay, when you have to pay it and how to pay.


You may like to bookmark the Fees and Charges and How to Pay webpages on the College website.


What are battels and when will I get battels statements?

 ‘Battels’ is one of many Oxford-isms you will become familiar with during your studies! This basically refers to your account with the College where we keep a record of the bills that the College issues to you and the payments that you make to the College. Each member of College has a battels account.

Battels statements are sent by email, usually to your College email address although your first statement may be sent to the email address you gave on your application form. Your battels must always be paid by the deadline shown on the statement. 


The first battels statement of the year will include all of your tuition (University) and college fees for the year. It is sent by the end of September and the deadline for payment of the full balance is Friday 14 October 2016. You will normally then receive a battels statement at the start of each new term and payment is required by the end of the second week of each term.


What if I have a scholarship or a US federal loan?

If you will be receiving funding towards your fees or other costs and you have told the College that we need to invoice the funder, the amounts to be charged to your funder will appear on your battels statement as a reduction to the amount you need to pay and we will follow up with the funding body directly.

If you have scholarship for your fees that will be paid to you in instalments to the College, it may be possible to arrange an instalment plan to align with payments from your funding body. If this applies to you, please contact the College Accountant (

If you are a student funded by US federal loans, you will receive a statement showing the fees and charges due but you do not need to make a payment unless your loan is insufficient to cover the full amount of your fees as they will automatically be deducted from your loan instalments in equal parts through the year.


Setting up a UK bank account

If you don’t already have a UK bank account, you’ll need to set one up as soon as possible after you arrive. You will need your enrolment certificate as part of the account opening process. The enrolment certificate can be obtained after you have completed New Student Registration. The University has a good guide to opening a student bank account (current at September 2015).


Bringing cash to the UK

If you are travelling to the UK from a non-EU country, you must declare any cash of €10,000 or more (or local currency equivalent). Please see the UK government website for details.

We strongly advise students against keeping large amounts of cash in their rooms or carrying large sums on their person as theft or loss may occur. Instead, you would be welcome to deposit any cash with the College’s Accounts Office for safekeeping until you have set up your UK bank account or have made other secure arrangements. Carrying travellers’ cheques may also be a safer option.


Financial support once you have started your course

The College is able to offer a range of grants for current students to support fieldwork and academic activities; details can be found on the STAR Grants and Antonian Fund webpages. Some of the regional research centres linked to the Colleges may also have funding for current students.

The College does not have any scholarships for current students as our funding is geared towards entrance scholarships. The picture is similar at departmental and University level, with funding that is available advertised through the Fees, Funding and Scholarship Search.


If you need advice or help with financial matters at any time during your course, please come and talk to the Registrar or Accountant as soon as is practical.


6. When you arrive


Dear all,

This week’s newsletter focusses on what will happen and what you need to do when you arrive at St Antony's College.


Getting to College

Directions to the College are at

If you arrive by car, temporary parking is available so you can drop off luggage. However, do not plan to keep a car with you to Oxford: there are no car parking facilities for students in or around College (unless you have a disability that requires use of a car). Oxford is not a big city and it’s possible to get around quite comfortably by foot or by bike.

If you’re flying in to Heathrow Airport or Gatwick Airport, the Airline offers regular coach services to central Oxford. The terminus is Oxford Bus Station (Gloucester Green), from where you can take a taxi (about 5 minutes) or walk (about 15 minutes) to College.

From Oxford train station, you can take bus 14 to the Bevington Road bus stop, 300m from the College main entrance on Woodstock Road or take a taxi (about 10 minutes).


Checking in to College accommodation

If you will be living in College accommodation, you can check in after 2pm on the day that your tenancy starts. Please report to the Porters’ Lodge in the Ghassan Shakar building (marked 1 on the College map), where the Duty Porter will give you your key and explain how to find your room.

Porters in Oxford colleges play an important security/reception role: despite the name similarity, they do not have the same functions as hotel porters so please don’t ask them to carry your bags!

Single and double bed packs can be ordered ahead of your arrival. They include:

  • Single bed pack: single sized duvet, one pillow, one bottom sheet, one duvet cover and one pillow cover.
  • Double bed pack: double sized duvet, two pillows, one bottom sheet, one duvet cover and two pillow covers.

To order a bedding pack, please email the Accommodation team as a matter of urgency. There is a charge of £25 for a single pack and £32.50 for a double pack, payable with your first term’s battels statement. The pack will be placed in your room ready for your arrival.

Lack of storage space on campus means it’s not possible to have your luggage shipped to the College before you arrive. If you are using a shipping company, please ensure the luggage arrives at the same time (or after) your own arrival.


New Student Registration

All new students must complete New Student Registration. Before coming to register in college, please ensure that you have completed the first part of your University Registration, which you can do from 1 September.

New Student Registration is open between 8:00 – 9:00 from Monday 12 September – Friday 7 October. We strongly encourage students to register as early as possible.

Here is what will happen at New Student Registration:

  • To register, you should come to the College offices on the ground floor of the Gateway Building (marked 2 on the College map) to meet with the Registry team.
  • We will check that you have completed and handed in the forms that will be sent to you in advance, including the Student – College contract; please note that you will not be able to register if you have not completed and returned these documents. 
  • You will then receive your New Student Registration Pack, including your University card and other key information to get you up and running as a member of the College.
  • Student visa holders must bring their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and passport to be scanned.
  • You can then print your enrolment certificate. This confirms that you are enrolled at the University of Oxford for the current academic year, and is used for police registration (if this applies to you).

Appointments are not necessary; please drop in at any point during the times noted above. During busier times a queuing system will be in operation. 


Collecting your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

Student visa holders should prioritise collecting their Biometric Residence Permit on arrival as we cannot enrol you until we have scanned a copy of your BRP and passport.

Attached to this newsletter is some information from the University’s Immigration Team about collecting your BRP.


Police registration

Some students will also be required to register with the police within seven days of arriving. See the University visa webpages for advice and guidance.


College Inductions

All new students must attend all elements of their designated College Induction evening. These evenings will take place on Monday 3 October and Wednesday 5 October; students will be informed in advance which evening they have been allocated to attend. The evening comprises a formal induction with relevant College and University staff, a drinks reception with College Advisors, and a Welcome Dinner in Hall. Please see the Welcome Week timetable for more details: .

All new students are also required to attend a Medical Registration and Welfare, Library, & IT Induction session. As with the College Induction evenings, students will receive guidance as to which sessions they should attend to fit in with other commitments.


College Advisor

All students at St Antony’s are allocated a College Advisor from amongst our Governing Body and Emeritus Fellows. You will receive details about your College Advisor, and how they can support you, by email before the start of term.


Welcome Week activities

The Welcome Week timetable has details of events and activities being organised for new students by the College and Graduate Common Room (GCR). We aim to offer you a good variety of events and activities to help you settle in to life at St Antony's College. The Graduate Common Room (GCR) will be hosting a range of events which are shown in green.

There are some events that are compulsory. These are shown in purple:

  • New Student Registration
  • College Induction, College Advisers’ drinks reception and Welcome Dinner
  • Welfare and Library / IT induction and College tour
  • Matriculation – more details in a future Newsletter
  • Medical Registration

Optional events/activities are shown in yellow.

We look forward to welcoming you to St Antony’s. As ever, if you have any questions, do please feel free to get in touch.

Related Documents: 
PDF icon 2a. Orientation events information sheetPDF icon 2b. Biometric Residence Permit FAQsFile 4a. Medical Registration LetterPDF icon 4b. Immunisation LetterPDF icon 6a. College MapPDF icon 6b. BRP Collection