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Off-Campus Study

Oxford University (OSAP)

The Oxford Study Abroad Programme (OSAP) places students of academic distinction at affiliated colleges of Oxford University. Founded about AD 1090, Oxford is the oldest English-speaking university in the world and is considered to be one of the two or three best institutions of higher education in the world.

OSAP, which was founded in 1985, has placed students at colleges of Oxford from nearly 600 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Emphasizing the unique Oxford tutorial method of teaching, OSAP students study with world-renown scholars.

With privileges at four of the top-ranked colleges at Oxford- New College, Christ Church, Magdalen College and Trinity College, OSAP students and faculty have access to their libraries, clubs, societies, dining halls, and chapels as well as over six million volumes of books in libraries throughout the University of Oxford. 

Study with OSAP for an excellent academic program and a rewarding personal experience in the beautiful medieval city of Oxford.

Program Type

Approved Third Party Provider


Oxford, England

Program Dates

Fall 2018 (Michaelmas): late September - mid-December

Spring 2019 (Hilary - Winter): mid-January - mid-April OR (Trinity - Spring)  mid-April - late June 

If participating in the Lake Forest spring semester, students must choose either Hilary or Trinity.  These are two separate, full-time terms.  Hilary is often referred to as Winter term at Oxford.

All dates are tentative and may change.  OSAP will alert all accepted students of final dates.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least four semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND be in their third year or higher before participation. (Transfer students may participate after first semester on campus if they meet campus deadlines)  Second-year students with advanced credit standing are not accepted to this program, per OSAP rules.
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2 for Associate Member status.  Minimum of 3.7 GPA (and additional cost) for Visiting Member status.  


Oxford, The City of Dreaming Spires, is famous the world over for its University and place in history. For over 800 years, it has been a home to royalty and scholars, and since the 9th century an established town, although people are known to have lived in the area for thousands of years.

Nowadays, the city is a bustling cosmopolitan town. Still with its ancient University, but home also to a growing hi-tech community. 


Founded about AD 1090, Oxford is the oldest English-speaking university in the world and considered to be one of the two or three best institutions of higher education in the world. 

Oxford is ranked among the best universities in the world by The Times Higher Education Supplement and for the sixth year in a row, Oxford has been ranked as the best university in Britain.

Oxford has the largest university library system in the UK, with over 100 libraries with over 9 million printed items, and vast quantities of materials in many other formats. The Bodleian Library, the University’s main research library, is over 400 years old and is globally acknowledged to be one of the greatest libraries in the world. Its priceless collections include the papers of six British Prime Ministers; a Gutenberg Bible; the earliest surviving book written wholly in English; a quarter of the world’s original copies of the Magna Carta; and almost 10,000 western medieval and renaissance manuscripts.


Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Students normally take between 14-18 tutorials between 2 subjects. Students normally study a primary course for 9-10 tutorials and a secondary for 5-6 tutorials. Lake Forest students are usually encouraged to aim for about 16 tutorials, which is about equivalent to 16 semester hours, or 4 Lake Forest College credits. The primary and secondary can be taken at the same time, or one after the other.

Since all education at Oxford is highly individual (the exact courses are worked out jointly by the academic advisor, the student, and the tutor) there is no Oxford Course Catalog in an American sense.  The teaching style is most often one tutor and one student, who work together to set up a meeting schedule that fits both needs.  In rare occasions, there may be two students in the tutorial.  Learning is often based on one on one discussion, and the tutor may assign a large paper each week to be discussed at the next meeting.  

Tutorials are most similar to upper-level electives at a US institution. Students are expected to have a background in the topic discussed.  This is not a term in which to choose a tutorial that you would expect to cover 100-level course material, or survey courses, like world history through 1865 or British literature.

The academic advisers have found by experience that most OSAP students tend to select from five or six subjects, primarily history, English, politics (including political thought and international relations), economics and philosophy. A few students will study psychology, physics, chemistry, math, law, geography, sociology, art history, etc. (Remember that practical science courses, i.e., those requiring laboratory facilities, are usually available given sufficient notice).

More information on the academic system and recommended tutorials can be found here

Many students will say that this is the most rigorous, yet rewarding, study abroad program. Though letter grades will appear on the Lake Forest transcript, they will not factor into a student’s GPA except in calculations of honors or the Dean’s List.  

Course Approvals

Check to see if your department has pre-approved courses here. If not, don’t worry. You can work with your advisor.

Housing and Meals

OSAP provides students with double room housing normally in the same apartment or house with British or other foreign students. OSAP believes that the opportunity to live with British or other foreign students adds to the educational experience. A surcharge is required for more expensive housing in the center of Oxford.

All housing units include TVs, VCRs and internet access by either wifi or ethernet cables in the bedrooms.

Meals are not included, but students may use the kitchen to cook their meals or eat in one of the local restaurants.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for the OSAP program for Associate Status includes orientation, on-site director, college and library fees, housing, several excursions, and insurance. Meals are not included.

Here is an estimated budget for your Fall 2018/Spring 2019 program:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee 


Lake Forest College Deposit (credit)


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


Lake Forest College Deposit (non-refundable)




Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, club or team fees, books, supplies, personal expenses, additional travel etc.)


Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2018. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change. 

Deposits to other programs, if required, will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill.

*Visiting Status does incur an additional cost; the program fee for 2016/2017 is $8,950.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate.  Housing upgrade charges are not included in this estimate.

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.