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My time at Oxford was an experience that I will never forget. To this day it remains one of my favorite foreign locales to visit, if not for the people and places that are present, then most certainly for the history that occupies nearly every building that is present.

It is an experience that I would recommend to all...provided that you approach it adequately prepared.

With that in mind, I would like to present the following tips that will assuredly make your experience at Oxford one to remember.

  1. Read; while this may appear to be a redundant point of advice. One of the main items that I noticed about Oxford is that it is a city that prides itself on its history. Learning as much as you can about Oxford beforehand is vital, as it will not only prevent you from getting lost in the city, it will also allow you to become that much more informed during your time there. Along with general travel books that can be found here and here, it also helps to scour the Internet and learn as much as you can about the city and its history. It can only lead to a more enriching experience.

  2. Pack clothes for every season, as the weather in Oxford can range from very cool to very warm. Also remember to obtain some electricity converters, as the plugs are different from what is familiar in the U.S.

  3. Be Polite and Respectful; again, while initially trite on the surface, it is vital that visitors to Oxford be respectful of the customs there. Otherwise, it could give away the fact that you are tourists, not always the best method if you are trying to fit in.
    For instance, be sure to shake everyone's hand upon meeting them so as not to appear rude. Also, smoking is banned in all enclosed public spaces, including the various pubs and restaurants throughout, so smokers who choose to visit Oxford will have to set aside their cigarettes for the duration of the trip.
    Etiquette should also be recognized when riding on escalators; remember to stand on the right and walk on the left. Unusual for America, but business-as-usual in Oxford.

  4. Be aware and observant; this will ensure that you take advantage of your Oxford experience to the fullest. Always be on the lookout for tours and concerts that are being announced around Oxford; announcements for them can usually be found on posters or placards throughout the various colleges and churches that are there. Of course, should you decide to drive to one of these events, be mindful of using the parking meters, as the city is very strict on parking fines.