The Academic Year

  • The academic year at Oxford is divided into 3 terms, rather than semesters. These terms are known as Michaelmas Term (October to early December), Hilary Term (January to early March), and Trinity Term (April to mid-June).

  • Because terms in Oxford are short (there are 8 teaching weeks, while students have to arrive approximately four days before those teaching weeks begin), they are also intensive - you will be amazed at how much academic, sporting, and other social activity you can pack into such a short period of time.

  • Between the terms, many Visiting Students take the opportunity to travel throughout Britain and Europe. The intensity of term time means that it is not possible to leave Oxford during them, though the Easter vacation in particular provides an excellent opportunity to travel.

  • Pembroke only admits Visiting Students for the full Academic Year - it is not possible to study for just one or two Oxford terms. We have this policy because we believe that it is of much more benefit to Visiting Students to have the time to adapt to the different Oxford system, and being at Pembroke for the whole year has considerable benefits in terms of integration into the social life of the college.

  • Given that the start date for the Oxford academic year is considerably later than that of US universities, Visiting Students have the pleasure of a longer summer vacation before arriving at Pembroke. However, the result of this is that the Oxford academic year ends later than back in the US.

  • Unfortunately, it is not usually possible for Visiting Students to leave before the end of Trinity Term, even if you might want to start internships. Nevertheless, we believe that the value of having attended Oxford for a year more than compensates for this.