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Five Great Reasons to Take an Oxford Gap Year

4th May 2016

Gap years – basically taking a year between leaving high school and beginning college – have been popular here in the UK for decades. The concept is not so familiar to US students, although that has begun to change over the last ten years or so, as more and more colleges, professors and academics have become more vocal about the benefits of a gap year.

Now that First Daughter Malia Obama has decided she will be taking a gap year between graduating from high school this spring and attending her father’s alma mater Harvard University, the idea is one that more US students are not only exploring but actively considering.

We don’t know what Malia will be doing with her gap year but she, like other students considering making a similar choice, certainly has lots of options available to her. At Campus Oxford we have been helping US students craft their ideal Oxford University gap year experience since way back in the Eighties. But why should you consider becoming an Oxford University student is you are weighing up possible gap year options. Here are just five very compelling reasons why we think you should:

It’s Oxford


Drop the names of certain educational institutions anywhere in the world and they will be instantly recognized. And along with the likes of Harvard and Yale, Oxford University is certainly one of the most recognizable of all. And for good reason.

In its millennium long history (as in yes, pretty much 1,000 years) the colleges of Oxford University have educated hundreds of historical notables that include 27 Nobel laureates, 26 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, many heads of state from around the world, a slew of scientific pioneers and dozens literary icons and business leaders. To be able to add to your resume that you too spent time at Oxford University is certainly something that will impress almost anyone.

You Can Explore Your Academic Passions


Many high school students apply – and are accepted – to a college without a real idea of where their true academic passions lie. They choose a major only to discover that it really wasn’t for them at all. They can change that major of course,and many do, some several times. However the upheaval and extra expense that major switching causes can be a real distraction to the overall college experience.

The courses offered to Campus Oxford gap year students are very varied, but all are diverse and fascinating. We can even arrange for a bespoke course, one tailored to the individual students specifics interests and desires. This allows gap year students to explore their academic options at the college level without having to make a long term to commitment or even to follow a course of study that they may never have a chance to again. By the time they are ready to enter college back home, our students usually have a far better idea of where their true academic passions lie.

Love The Location

Oxford aerial view

The City of Oxford is amazing in itself and has a lot to offer. But it is also located 60 miles away from the UK capital, London and 57 miles from her centrally located ‘Second City’ Birmingham, and the distances in between these points mean that Oxford University students have easy access to much of the best that Britain has to offer. Our students are encouraged not only to take trips to iconic locations like Stratford Upon Avon as a group but to explore the country on a larger scale in their own way. And while Britain may be a relatively small place there is certainly a lot to see.

A New Cultural Experience


Technically here in the UK we speak the same language as you do, but as many often joke, it’s actually not the same at all, something our gap year students quickly discover! But that is just one of the cultural differences between what, on the surface of things, seem to be two rather similar peoples.

And language differences are only a small part of the cultural differences our students are exposed to and have the chance to learn from. From the food we eat to the sports and entertainments we enjoy to the way we view the world in general a gap year spent in Oxford gives a young US student a new perspective on the world in general that their peers back home, the ones they will eventually attending college with, simply won’t have.

Mom and Dad Will Sleep Easier


No matter how old we all get, our parents still worry about us. And the thought of sending their child off out into the world alone for a year, knowing that child has only recently graduated from high school and still lacks many of the ‘real world’ smarts older adults have can be an understandably nerve-wracking experience.

While a Campus Oxford Gap Year program offers students a lot of independence they are never alone and if they need help and guidance it’s always there, from tutors to program directors to other students. Most expenses are calculated ahead of time, something that a parent’s financial ‘brain’ will appreciate, accommodations are vetted and the student’s physical and mental wellbeing is always the most important thing. All of this means that while a student is out exploring the world and themselves Mom and Dad will have far fewer sleepless nights wondering if they are really doing OK.

Interested in applying for our Oxford Gap Year Program? You can do so here. Want to talk to one of our counselors and ask more questions? Give them a call at (917) 720 3220 or drop a line to, we’ll be delighted to help.

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