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From medieval to modern, enjoy endless wonders

The University of Oxford is the #1 ranked university in the world (Times Higher Education), and the oldest English-speaking university. Oxford alumni, faculty, and staff include 69 Nobel prize winners, 2 British kings, prime ministers or presidents of 40 nations, and leaders in all walks of life. This is the company you’ll keep during week one of your program.


Worcester College—a campus like no other

Worcester College is in the heart of the creative and influential community of Oxford. Yet behind the college walls lies 26 acres of landscaped British gardens and stunning architectural feats. From medieval cottages to the new Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, the campus is a delight. Things to explore include:

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A chapel and dining hall created by some of Britain’s finest 18th- and 19th-century architects
A lake with a Monet bridge and walking trails
A British sports field (the only on-campus athletic field across all 36 Oxford campuses)

Out on the town with friends

Worcester College gives you easy access to the city center of Oxford, and you’ll have free time every day to explore it with new friends. Eat breakfast and dinner in the Worcester dining hall, and spend your lunch break out and about in Oxford. 

Visit the 400-year-old Bodleian Library (a.k.a the Hogwarts school library), take your photo by the Bridge of Sighs or capture images at the the iconic Radcliffe Camera. 

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This “City of Dreaming Spires” is a hub of medieval and neoclassical architecture. Scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed here, and the city informed J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Each week offers performances, talks, readings, and more. Shop the historic Oxford Covered Market or modern stores right next door. 

Organized trips and events

Here are just a few examples of the types of activities and trips you might take during week one of your program:

Go punting on the River Cherwell, play in a rousing “football” (soccer) match, or stroll about the immaculate British gardens
Join a current Oxford student on an extensive and playful tour of the Oxford campuses 
Learn about the art and power of parliamentary debate and speech from a member of the prestigious Oxford Union
Attend seminars and workshops on applying to university in the UK, the special nature of the Oxbridge application process, and the differences in applying and studying in the U.K. and the U.S.
Experience a formal high table dinner in the Oxford tradition

The city is your classroom

Explorations show you how knowledge and skills are put to work in the real world. You’ll visit businesses, political centers, famous museums and buildings, and other centers of innovation all around the city of Oxford. You’ll meet and talk to working professionals about their challenges and successes. And you’ll see firsthand how theory becomes practice that benefits society.


24/7 EXPLO Living

Here’s the lowdown on daily life at EXPLO. Of course, you’ll have the support and guidance of our amazing EXPLO staff backing you up 24/7 to make sure you get the most out of your Oxford Exploration.

Dorm Life

You’ll be living in the student dormitories at the University of Oxford’s Worcester College. There’s plenty of open space to hang out and enjoy the weather, and breakfast and dinner are held in the on-campus dining hall. Looking for more options? For lunch, stroll outside the university gates into the city center to dine where a parade of renowned artists, writers, politicians, entrepreneurs, and more experienced life as students at Oxford. 

Your day, your way

We deliberately design the Pre-College Explorations residential experience to let you decide how to fill big parts of your day, from socializing and participating in EXPLO activities, to academics, to touching base with home (and, yes, sometimes even doing laundry!).


With a little backup

But we know you’re not in college quite yet—that’s why our Student Life staff will check in with you regularly to connect and offer support with anything you need. We’ll have live-in residential advisors available to you at any hour. This is how we create an environment where you’ll feel known, welcome, and confident enough to push your boundaries, try new things, and make meaningful friendships. 

The more you know

Here are more practical details on program logistics for one of the best pre-college experiences. We’re standing by to answer any more questions, though: don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 781-762-7400 or emailing us at

While some families may choose to accompany their students to campus, we know that this will not be the case for most, and that transportation is a big concern for many families. Our staff—easily identifiable in their bright orange EXPLO t-shirts—will meet you at the airport, escort you to campus, and help you settle in. On Arrival Day, staff members remain at the airport to pick up all students whose flights are scheduled within the designated window.

When it’s time to return home at the end of the session, we’ll take you back to the airport—and stay there until we’re sure everyone is safe and in the air.

Our students’ physical and emotional health is a top priority. In both Oxford and London, if a health issue crops up, we will make arrangements for and go with you to a local healthcare provider to make sure everything goes smoothly. We’ll communicate with parents and caregivers to keep everyone at ease. 

Dormitories are safe and secure, with key card access to get into the building. We collaborate with campus safety staff to make everyone’s stay as trouble-free as possible. 

We also balance student independence with clear boundaries for where students can go, maintain regular check-ins, and house EXPLO residential staff in the dorms. The program director and assistant director, along with career educators with years of experience with EXPLO, also live on campus during the program.

Attending an academic enrichment program helps students prepare for the greater independence of college. That said, EXPLO does not believe that our students should be supervised as if they are already completely independent; we work hard to ensure our students receive a developmentally appropriate and safe level of supervision and guidance throughout their days. In order to create the atmosphere that allows learning to be both fun and meaningful, we know that our students (and their loved ones back home) need to feel that our campus is safe—and that our staff is observant and trained to respond to our students’ needs.

All students should plan to bring laptops and/or tablets to the program, as these will be used regularly in classes. Wifi will be available on campus, and there are also several free access points in businesses around Oxford and London.

In addition, all students must have a mobile phone with voice access while at the program.  This will allow our staff to easily communicate with all students in case of an emergency.  Families are encouraged to check with their wireless carriers about short-term international plans if needed.

English is the working language of EXPLO. To enroll in the program, you must be able to speak and understand English at a reasonably fluent level. To ensure that everyone is able to participate in all aspects of the program, students who do not attend a school with an English language-based curriculum or speak English at home may need to interview with EXPLO. Once you’ve submitted an application and deposit, we’ll contact you and your family about completing an interview should we determine that one is necessary.

Students are not required to submit test scores. If, however, a student has completed testing, scores that would show an acceptable level of English to attend the program include:

  • C1 or IELTS level 6.5 or higher
  • TOEFL:  79 or higher

Students attending EXPLO in Oxford and London can check to see whether a standard visitor visa is required using the online Visa Check, and selecting the “tourism” category. Should you need to apply for a visa, EXPLO will provide you with a support letter tailored to your needs. 


Get to know your summer home.