Term dates

Length of Stay and Dates 

At Oxford University we have  three terms instead of two semesters.

  • Autumn/fall, or Michaelmas term, is from October to December - or September to December, if you come for the September Seminar.
  • Spring, or Hilary Term, is  from January to March.
  • Summer, or Trinity term, is from April to June.

The teaching term is 8 weeks long.  At the beginning of the teaching term is a “settling in” week called 0th week.  Visiting students arrive at the beginning of 0th week.

All students, including visiting students have to vacate their rooms at the end of 8th week.  Belongings can be stored in college during the vacation.  Many visiting students use the Christmas and Easter vacation to explore the UK and Europe.

Do I come for one, two or three terms as a visiting student?

It is possible to apply for the following options:

  •  The whole academic year (three terms)
  •  Spring and summer term  (two English terms or the American Spring semester)
  •  Autumn term only (American Fall semester) – only a few places possible for this option. Students can come at the beginning of September and take part in the September Seminar prior to the start of the Oxford term in October.
  •  Summer term only - for The College of William and Mary and Hampton University students

We especially welcome applications for the whole academic year, as this enables you as a visiting student to really get to know people in Hertford College and it gives you the best chance of getting to grips with  the Oxford academic system. Students who come for the year tell us that they are really glad that they did this.

For those students who cannot commit to a whole academic year we suggest that you apply for our two term option from January to June. This gives you time to settle in academically and  you will  have the opportunity to explore Europe in the Easter vacation.  It also enables you  to enjoy Oxford at its most beautiful in the summer term, and to enjoy quintessentially Oxford pastimes such as punting along the River Thames! 

 We can accept a few students in the Michaelmas term (October-December), but these “one term only” places are limited. Now, in co-operation with Worcester College, we are offering students who can only come for Michaelmas Term (the fall), the chance to extend their stay and come at the beginning of September to participate in the September Seminar.

 Term dates for academic year 2017-2018

Arrival and Departure

Michaelmas Term 2017
  • New students arriving for September Seminar (including Princeton):

Sunday 3rd September 2017

  • New students arriving for 8 week MT only and the Academic Year:

Sunday 1st October 2017

  • MT students to depart:

Sunday 3rd December 2017

  • Princeton students to depart:

Sunday 10th December 2017


Hilary Term 2018
  • New students to arrive:

Sunday 7th January 2018

  • Returning students (year students) to arrive:

Thursday 11th January 2018

  • All students to depart:

Sunday 11th March 2018


Trinity Term 2018
  • New students arriving for 10 week Trinity Programme:

Thursday 12th April 2018

  • Returning students (year and two term students) to arrive:

Thursday 19th April 2018

  • Year and two term students to depart:

Sunday 17th June 2018

  • 10 week Trinity Programme students to depart:

Sunday 24th June 2018



Please note: all students are required to vacate their rooms during the Oxford vacation periods.

If a student requires accommodation during the vacation, they should speak with the Visiting Student Administrator to arrange this. Vacation accommodation is charged at an extra cost per night.