Oxford Application Guide for International Students

Information about Oxford interviews for international students. Coming to Oxford as an international student may require some additional logistical considerations, however, the starting point for an Oxford application is the same for all students. Applicants must complete their UCAS forms, including a personal statement, and go through the necessary stages as part of the selection process.

Last Updated: 27th November 2018

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Information About Oxford Interviews for International Students

Coming to Oxford as an international student might require some extra logistical considerations, however, the starting point for an Oxford application is the same for all students.

Applicants must fill out their UCAS forms, including a personal statement, and go through the necessary stages as part of the selection process. However, when it reaches the interview part of an Oxford application, there are some alternative arrangements that should be arranged for international students.

As a quick heads up, we would always advise keeping an eye on the projected timetable (make note of the Oxford University interview dates for 2018) as the notice of interviews is often given quite late. We appreciate this is even more of an issue for international students.


Will my child still have to travel to Oxford for their interview?

As you may have guessed or heard, there are sometimes options for a Skype interview with an Oxford application.

However, it is suggested in the Oxford website guidance that attending in person is preferred by tutors. This is especially the case for applicants for Medicine, as well as those applicants who do not require a visa to visit the UK, and for applicants who have plans to be in the UK already at the time when interviews are held in Oxford (usually the first week of December). In fact, for these groups of applicants, the wording actually says that your child must attend an interview in Oxford in order for their application to be considered. If you fall into one of these groups but have an extremely urgent or pressing reason why your child might not be able to make it to Oxford at the specified time then it is worth getting in contact with the college handling their Oxford application as soon as possible. Otherwise, it is best to prepare your child to travel to the University.

If your child is a national of a country where a visa is required to visit the UK, you will have the option to be interviewed by Skype. It is still worth making sure you have this confirmed in writing from your college. However, your child’s application won’t be advantaged or disadvantaged by the choice they make – whether to travel overseas to Oxford or to take the interview by Skype. Many applicants have been successful either way before and you should consider the circumstances which would allow your child to perform best.

Two of our quick tips for a Skype interview are:

  1. Try to get a neutral background – shining a light onto a plain white surface so that it reflects a natural tone is not a bad idea.
  1. Don’t forget to still try and make eye contact as best as you can, although of course, this is much more difficult. Making eye contact will help try and keep interaction as natural as possible. The tutor will understand, but you don’t want them to think you aren’t concentrating or worse, that you are reading from somewhere else!

Is my child at a disadvantage?

We understand with all this information, and the ostensible emphasis on travelling to Oxford, which will obviously be much easier for some candidates than others, it may seem that international students are at a disadvantage during the Oxford application process.

We say: this is a shame, and we hope you don’t believe it! Oxford attracts all kinds of high-calibre applicants from all over the world and it would be very sad for everyone involved if your child felt they could not make a competitive Oxford application due to them not applying from the UK.

If you would like to see some uplifting and encouraging evidence that international students have an important place at the university, why not have a listen to some of the testimonies in Oxford’s Wall of Faces? Here there are videos of students talking about their experiences, and one tab is dedicated entirely to international students.

Get in contact

For international students, checking about particular circumstances – whether academic or logistical – can be particularly important. Don’t forget to see some of our other blogs about how to contact Oxford university with queries.

And of course, don’t forget that Uni Admissions has packages which are accessible online! To find out more for how to best prepare for your child’s Oxford application, pick your premium package and choose online tuition courses.

A Weight Off Your Shoulders…


You’ve got enough on your plate to also think about giving expert support for your child’s application. Let us take the weight off your shoulders by providing a premium Oxbridge programme. What are the Oxbridge application programmes? We offer an extensive package which will support your child through every stage of the admissions process whether it’s help writing their personal statement or getting interview advice and communication skills. Whilst you deal with logistics, we’ll deal with the nitty-gritty of the application.

Further Information

We’ve got more information that might be of interest to you. Perhaps you’d like some advice on the financial options to support the Oxford application. Or, maybe you want to learn more about how you can help your child prepare for the admissions process. We’ve got the top tips on their UCAS personal statement, what they need to sit exams and the skills to pass their interview. Have a read for yourself and learn about how your child can optimise their application from our blogs…

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UniAdmissions students placed at Oxford And Cambridge