Advice for new international staff coming to Oxford
Useful advice for new staff - advice on what to do before you arrive in Oxford, what to do on first arrival, general advice on living in Oxford and advice on childcare and schools. Do read this !
Living a car free life in Oxford can be rather challenging. It is made easier by some shops offering home delivery . The following shops deliver to addresses in Oxford:
Argos - catalogue-retailer: general goods (home electronics, furniture, white goods, toys, sport equipment).
Homebase - home improvement store and garden centre.
Here are some other stores you made need on arrival:
Mothercare - products for expectant mothers and children up to 8 years old.
Primark - affordable sheets, towels and pillows; located in Westgate Shopping Centre.
Wilkinsons - inexpensive but decent quality kitchenware and household goods as well as hardware items and other things; located in Templar Square Cowley. You can order online and collect instore or have delivery.
- with lots of cheap household goods ; located in Templar Square Cowley.
Uhuru - a small health food store carrying food and health and beauty supplies. Located at 48 Cowley Rd.
Asian Grocery - Carries fresh tofu, produce, noodles, rice, sauces and other hard to locate Asian foods. On Hythe Bridge Street, just over the bridge on the right hand side if walking from town towards Said Business School.
People's Supermarket - a non-profit co-operative supermarket dedicated to local food sources, 124 Cowley Road.
In the city centre of Oxford you will also find a range of larger department stores and local shops for instance
along with cafes and many places for excellent dining.
Robert Dyas (Shoe Lane) - for small kitchen, bathroom equipment, tools - very useful shop.
Extra Hardware (12 St. Ebbes Street) - for electrical, hand and power tools, key cutting, plumbing, light bulbs, extension leads etcetera.
Staples - for office supplies, office furntiure and technology.
Oxford Yarn Store - in North Parade - for yarn and workshops
Situated further out along the Botley Road are
P.C.World - for computer equipment
Hobbycraft in Meadowside Retail Park, Botley Road - a gem of a shop for all sorts of hobbies
Dunelm in Meadowside Retail Park, Botley Road - for all sorts of household furnishings
Currys - for electrical goods.
Toys R Us - for toys and baby equipment
If you have a car then situated out of Oxford is :-
IKEA - for cheap furniture, flat pack for you to build yourself.
Ebay - You could try shopping using Ebay - to buy and sell new, used and vintage items from private or professional sellers. Great deals on clothes, tech, car parts, home & garden .
Finding a Home
Transportation in Oxford
Walking is probably the best way to get around in Oxford. Excellent pocket sized maps are available at all the local bookshops including Blackwells and Waterstones, both located on Broad Street.
Bicyles are also a common form of transportation. The Tourist Information Centre on Broad Street has maps of cycle routes. Information for cyclists, including cycle safety, can also be downloaded
from the website of the Oxfordshire City Council.
Oxford has two bus companies Stagecoach and Oxford Bus Company, both of them are privately owned and compete on routes and schedules. Anyone over age 63 is eligible for a free Bus Pass provided by the Oxford City Council.
Transportation to London and London Airports
The Oxford Tube and the Oxford London Instyle Espress both provide direct coach service from Oxford to the city centre of London. They depart from Oxford Gloucester Green bus station up to every 10 minutes during daytime. There is also a train service from Oxford railstation to London Paddington Station operated by First Great Western. If you do not plan to go during rush hour and are able to book well in advance, you will be able to get very good deals on your train tickets.
The Oxford Public Library has a main branch at Westgate Shopping Centre on Queen St. There is also a popular branch of the library in Summertown on South Parade. To get a library card just go to the membership desk and fill out a form. The only identification you need to get a library card is something with your name on it like a passport or a bank card or a student ID.
Oxford Public Libraries have computers at all branches with internet that anyone can use for free. If you call ahead you can reserve a time slot to use the library computers .The central branch of the library is located at Westgate Shopping Centre at the end of Queen Street in town.
Oxford has several internet cafes, most charge £1 per 3/4 hour as of 2013. The best way to find one is to google 'internet cafe Oxford UK' as they seem to change frequently. At the moment you can go to the Links Com Ltd Internet Cafe on 33 High Street in the city centre of Oxford.
Health and the National Health Service
If you are a resident in the UK you are entitled to receive free NHS treatment. Please visit the NHS Website: www.nhs.uk for further details or link directly to How do I register with the NHS if I move to England. In the Find and Choose Services section you will find your nearest GP or hospital by entering your postcode.
Education and English Language Courses
The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers many classes that Newcomers have taken and enjoyed. The Oxford and Cherwell Valley College runs a variety of part time and evening courses for adults that cover arts and crafts but also English as a foreign language.
There are many institutions in and around Oxford that offer day time or evening English courses. You will find plenty of information about local English language schools on the internet. It is also a good idea to ask fellow Newcomers about their experience in choosing a good English course.
Oxford University Language Centre runs a course for teaching English for Spouses and Partners of University Members. This course is intended for any spouses or partners (male or female) of an intermediate level or above. In order to benefit from the course, you should be able to express opinions on a variety of topics and understand standard spoken English reasonably well, although every encouragement will be given to those who are not accustomed to participating in discussions in English. The class concentrates on improving fluency through discussion of social issues. Participants are welcome to use the library to supplement work in the class. See http://www.lang.ox.ac.uk/courses/english.html#esp
If you want your child to attend school in Oxford and if that child does not speak English well, you are advised to contact the school as early as possible. Then the school can apply for extra resources for special tuition.
A very good guideline on how to proceed if you need to find the right school for your child is given on the homepage of the Oxfordshire City Council: http://www.oxford.gov.uk/community/education.cfm. Or visit: http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/admissions for information about schools and the admissions process.