Jan 2018 - Sep 2019
After an absolutely amazing module in India, the first full-scale group assignment and the kick-off of the GOTO project, I’m be returning to Oxford in less than a weeks’ time. Travel arrangements, packing and other preparatory activities are taking place so I decided to share what I have learned, as a non UK resident, on how to prepare the modules:
1- DO IT EARLY – Oxford is a pretty busy place, London airports are busy as well, so you’ll want to book things sooner rather than later. Accommodation and plane ticket prices do go up or, worse, disappear.
2- FLY INTO AN AIRPORT WITH AN EASY CONNECTION TO OXFORD – this means flying into Gatwick or Heathrow (if into London), Southampton or Birmingham.
For Gatwick and Heathrow, you can (as of May 2018) buy a 12-ticket package on the Oxford Bus Company app for a direct connection from said airports into central Oxford. 90 minutes to/from Heathrow and 2h30 to Gatwick.
Southampton and Birmingham airports on the other hand have direct, fast train connections to Oxford Station (roughly 60-75 minutes).
3- TRY DIFFERENT ACCOMMODATIONS – check hotels (and ask SBS for discounted rates), check AirBnB and local letting agencies, check the colleges. Accommodation prices fluctuate a lot and one option might be cheaper than another for any given month – and don’t forget you are getting breakfast (and other meals) at SBS, so breakfast-less rates can provide a saving.
Also, Oxford is not that big, so a lot of places are within walking distance – if not, it also has a extensive bus network with reasonable weekly ticket rates. You don’t need to stay next to SBS.
4- USE YOUR LOCKER – SBS provides you with a locker (which may be shared). Don’t lug everything around every time. Use the locker – save your back, save your hold luggage allowance. A lot of the reading material is provided in electronic format, so decide if carrying around printouts is really needed.
5- DON’T RUSH IT IF YOU CAN – You need to get in a day before and should leave the day after (so, normally arrive on a Sunday and leave next Saturday). You need time to settle down before Mondays and relax after Fridays. If possible, arrive a little earlier or leave later so you have a free day to enjoy Oxford, take advantage of the activities your College might have or just hang around with your EMBA friends – trust me, you won’t regret it!
6- GET INTO THE MINDSET – the EMBA is a marathon but you are not competing against anyone, apart from yourself. Your colleagues are your friends, your co-runners – enjoy them, cultivate friendships, discuss ideas, have fun. Oxford is one of the premier learning centres in the world and one of the oldest as well – enjoy Oxford, soak in the atmosphere, try and participate in college life – such as attending formal hall or MCR activities. The experience, the sharing, the place is as important as the courses and lectures (some would say even more so!)Back to top of article