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international programs

Oxford, England

program description


The City

Oxford is a dynamic city, located about an hour north-west of London. It is home to Oxford University, whose academic history can be traced back to at least the 1200s. The city is pedestrian friendly and has a population of 165,000 people.  Oxford is rife with history and academic traditions: punting on the river, medieval architecture, and formal dinners in full academic gowns. Oxford has many museums, theatres, cinemas, and concert halls. It is a city, both ancient and modern and an excellent location for study abroad.

The University

Oxford University is routinely hailed as one the best universities in the world. It offers world-class academics in numerous disciplines. Oxford University is unique due to its collegiate system. There are 38 separate colleges at Oxford, each with its own academic strengths and cultures. Students from all colleges can participate in university-wide lectures, events and groups.

Boston College students will study at Mansfield College. Founded in 1886, Mansfield College is the smallest college at Oxford. Like all Oxford colleges, Mansfield has its own campus, library and dining facilities. The campus is located just a short walk from the city center.  Mansfield is known for providing the best of Oxford with its own unique personality.

The Program

The program is for the full year only. Selection for Mansfield is highly competitive. Students should have at least a 3.8 GPA and a strong academic background in their academic major. Students with a lower GPA may be considered on a case-by-case basis if their academic background is suitable for Mansfield.

BC students are fully immersed and integrated into Mansfield College. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the Oxford and Mansfield College community by participating in any activity offered.


Subjects available at Oxford may include: English, History, Politics, Philosophy, Theology, Economics, Art History and Classics. Please note that availability of certain topics within these subjects will be dependent of the availability of tutors. Mansfield will work with each student to determine the most appropriate subject matter.

Mansfield is separated into three academic terms, each eight weeks in length. Students are considered Mansfield undergraduates and are required to take a full course load. In each term, students will take a primary and secondary tutorial.

The tutorial system is the primary method of teaching a course. The tutorial is a meeting between one or two students and their tutor. The tutorial places great emphasis upon independent study. For a primary tutorial, students meet with their tutor once per week; for a secondary tutorial students meet every other week. During the tutorial, the student reads an essay on a topic the tutor has assigned. The reading leads to a more general discussion of the topic being explored.


Mansfield College will hold an orientation at the beginning of the academic year. The orientation is run by the Tutor for Visiting Students. The orientation will introduce students to Mansfield College. Visiting students are encouraged to participate in wider Oxford orientation meetings. During these meetings, students can sign up for various clubs and societies.


Mansfield provides housing for all BC students. The accommodation is offered throughout the city of Oxford. All accommodation is self-catering.


The Junior Common Room (JCR) is the term used to refer to the undergraduate student body as a whole and is also the place where students gather and socialize. Mansfield has many events and student societies. Some of the events and societies include: formal dinners, concerts, theater events, student journalism a film society and various sport teams.  Students may also participate in activities sponsored by Oxford.