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Living in Oxford?

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Oxford at a Glance

Living in Oxford

Are you planning to live in Oxford? Find here useful information about the quality of the education with a world class university, some tips on the city’s culture and what to do in this unbelievable historic and yet sporty city. Get to know all about safety and security here!

Education in Oxford

Obviously, with Oxford being the home to one of the UK’s most famous universities, education plays a huge role in the city. Over 25,000 students attend higher education in Oxford, whether they attend the renowned University of Oxford or not. Oxford Brookes University is another well-known institution within the city and offers over 9,000 places each year, most of which have a more vocational slant than the courses offered at the University of Oxford.

The University of Oxford itself has over 40 colleges within it, scattered all over the city. It is one of the oldest universities in the world and one of the more traditional. However, such prestige comes at a price as the Oxford University has fairly high tuition fees, meaning that it isn’t necessarily ideal for everyone.

Before they can attend university, however, children moving to or living in Oxford need to attend school, and Oxford has a great range of schooling as well as higher education facilities. There are four types of schools in the area, and all schools are managed by the Local Education Authority. The four types of schools are Community, Voluntary Controlled, Voluntary Aided and, Foundation schools, creating a good mix of options for families moving to the city. Independent, fee-paying schools are also available to those who live in Oxford, with both single-sex and co-educational institutions in evidence.

Culture and Leisure

This is one of the most historic towns you could move to, creating plenty of opportunities to take in culture and history for those moving to or living in Oxford. Many of the university buildings are available to be enjoyed as part of a day out, with guided tours providing plenty of information about the history of the buildings and the institution as a whole, for locals and expats alike.

The university is also home to a number of other sights and attractions that have cultural significance. The Bodleian Library is a beautiful and historical piece of architecture, which is still used as a library today. For those looking for something a little less traditional at great prices, the Pitt Rivers Museum is one of the most popular attractions for those living in Oxford and teaches about natural history in an interesting and exciting way. Life in Oxford doesn’t have to mean museums and galleries, though. For a more outdoorsy experience that costs nothing, Christ Church Meadow is a scenic park that offers walks across areas of vast natural beauty, rivers and, meadows.

Life in Oxford can be fairly sporty, too, with plenty of sporting opportunities available for students and residents alike. Many of these again relate to the university, which has a range of teams for students to join and take part in, as well as for those who are not a part of the university to enjoy, at the very least by watching. There is a popular Street Sports program that is available during the summer holidays for children between the ages of 8 and 13. A number of swimming pools and leisure centers are also available.

Safety and Security

Life in Oxford is fairly safe, with a relatively low crime rate, although it obviously has more crime than smaller towns and less populated areas, since it is still a city. There are around 1.15 violent crimes per 100 residents living in Oxford, in comparison with the city of London, which has 8.34. There are a few areas that are more run down and have a worse reputation than others. Headington and Littlemore are two of the areas considered more pleasant with lower crime rates.

The emergency number for the police in Oxford and the whole of the UK is 999, and this should be called if a serious or violent crime has occurred, or if a crime is currently being committed. You must not call the emergency number if a crime has previously been committed but has now passed, as this could hold up the line for others in emergencies. The number for any crime which is not an emergency is 101.

To stay safe when traveling around Oxford and avoid being a victim of crime, take standard safety precautions, e.g.  avoid taking short cuts and walking alone at night through parks and in quieter areas. If you are aware of your surroundings and use your common sense, you’ll be quite safe during your stay in Oxford.

InterNations Expat Magazine