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Scholars’ Semester in Oxford

Offered fall and spring semester by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

Open to all majors with a GPA of 3.7 or higher by application.

ABOUT The Scholar’s Semester in Oxford is designed for students who want to study intensively and to a high standard. Students develop their academic writing and research skills and explore the disciplines and interests of their choice. As visiting students of Oxford University and members of the Vines or Wycliffe Hall, students study in the oldest university in the English-speaking world. SSO students enroll in primary and secondary tutorials, an integrative seminar and the British Culture course. Second term students write a thesis on a topic of their choice. Students group their work in a concentration so that all elements of their program work together. SSO is designed for students interested in art history, classics, English language and literature history, modern languages (French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Russian), musicology, philosophy, psychology and theology, though all majors may apply. SSO also offers 18 thematic or integrative concentrations such as history and philosophy of science and social sciences. Applicants are generally honors and other very high-achieving students and must have, at minimum, a 3.7 GPA to be considered for the program.

CURRICULUM Fulfills CCS requirement by taking the following SSO courses:

  • Selected Topics in British Culture (4) (Fall)
  • Selected Topics in British Culture II (4) (Spring)

SSO students can earn up to 17 credit hours for one semester and may complete two semesters of the program.

The rich history of Oxford is a testimony to her enchantment; poets, authors, and artists have long remarked on the dreaming spires, the romantic cobbled streets, and the venerable air of academia. To spend a semester studying in those ancient libraries and existing in such an astonishing space is indeed a privilege, but I would argue the greatest treasure which Oxford may boast of is her inhabitants. In particular, the community of SCIO (Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford), the leaders, tutors, and students alike, which were composed of unique, passionate, and sparkling individuals. Everyone I have spoken with about the program attests to being encouraged to grow not only academically, but spiritually and relationally, also. This transformation, I believe, is part of the magic of Oxford.

Joy Richter

Oxford was one of the best times of my life. It expanded my intellectual horizons and was a key step in my journey toward earning a PhD. I forged life-long friendships in the tight-knit community at The Vines, and I grew spiritually through fellowship with people with diverse religious backgrounds. If you’re looking to expand your heart, mind, and community while exploring a beautiful country, I can’t recommend a semester at Oxford highly enough!

Ethan Goodnight

Having the opportunity to spend an entire semester at the University of Oxford was an experience for which I will be forever grateful. Due to the program’s excellent structure, and Oxford’s academic rigor, I was inevitably enchanted by the spirit of critical thought and the collegial and scholarly community. I was challenged academically, grew spiritually, and made lifelong friendships. The reputation that precedes a place like Oxford does not do the actual experience justice. It was better than imagined.

Tony Mayotte

All I can say is that, if you ever find yourself in Oxford, take a bike ride through High Street, when the moon is shining shadows onto the spires of Magdalen College and University Church, and feel the wind, refreshing but curiously thick and warm. Hear its whistle above the bustle of commuters heading home for the evening. I imagine the wind as spirits of Oxford, old students and professors, still lurking the streets, like Moaning Myrtle, whispering stories of Oxford’s past, its tradition. What I am trying to say is that Oxford is a place more influenced by the dead than by the living, with a tradition and history that colors every corner of the town. The more I try to explain Oxford, the more I am convinced that it is not only a strange place, but an enchanted one.

Jordan Moore
Two male Spring Arbor University students posing with tea at a table outdoors at the University of Oxford with the Bodleian Library in the background

This experience, like all CCS experiences, is subject to political and safety realities at the time of departure. CCS options can be physically and emotionally intense and stretching. Before enrolling, all participants should consult the disclosures on Physical Hardships of CCS.

SAU institutional aid (such as academic scholarships) does not apply to the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford. SAU students can apply for the SOCSOF grant and use their CCS benefit (if eligible). The Gilman Scholarship may also help fund the experience for students who are US citizens and Pell grant recipients. Please see the CCS office for program cost details.

NOTE: Students who are Pell Grant recipients and U.S. citizens may apply for the Gilman Scholarship (up to $5,000).  Attend a Gilman workshop with the CCS Director to learn how to apply for the scholarship.

To learn your next steps toward participating in this program, get an application from the CCS office and attend an International Semester workshop for important details in your planning.

Passport and immunizations required (both at additional cost).

CCS program costs do not include: tuition, passport, immunizations, or the $150 study abroad fee. The study abroad fee provides the basic international ID, insurance, travel photos and support services. For semester/summer abroad students without medical insurance, the Premium international ID card is required and costs $75.