Oxford University

Lots of students, from all over the world, come to Britain each year to study. Nick visits Oxford University and the London School of Economics and talks to some students to find out what it's like to study in the UK.

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.


Before you watch

Nick meets some students at university in Oxford and London.

  • What have you heard about Oxford University?
  • Do you know anyone who has visited Oxford?
  • What's the most famous university that you know?

Watch the video to find out more about going to University in the UK.



Oxford should be about an hour's drive from London. It’s very popular with tourists and students. And Oxford University is one of the top ten universities in the world. 

I’m at the top of the Carfax Tower. It has amazing views over the city and from here you can see that the university really is at the heart of the city. 

Oxford University is made up of thirty eight different colleges. There are twenty thousand students studying at Oxford from nearly a hundred and fifty countries. Studying here can be an amazing experience. Some of these colleges are more than 700 years old. 

Many students get involved in activities outside their studies. The Oxford University Fencing Club is over a hundred years old. It is still popular today.

Nick: How important are the extracurricular activities like the sporting clubs and societies? 

Student: I think it’s really important. I think especially in Oxford where it’s a really strong academic environment it’s really easy for people to just get really caught up and just live in the library. It’s definitely good for people to get out and do something different.

Nick: Is it difficult to get the balance right between your university work and your sport? 

Student: Well, I tend to be busy all of the time. So I’m studying during the daytime and then in the evenings I come down here and train. You have to work really hard but at the same sense you can also, kind of, play really hard. You can train hard and do really well at sports and other activities.


There are universities in most big towns and cities in Britain. This is the LSE, the London School of Economics, part of the University of London. 

Many students come from abroad to study in the UK. They have to find tuition fees, food and somewhere to live. It can be expensive.  

Waqas Adenwala is from Pakistan and lives in Rosebury Hall, the university halls of residence about 2 kilometres from the main campus.

Nick: Hi, Waqas.

Waqas: Hi Nick.

Nick: Nice room.

Waqas: Thank you.

Nick: So why do you live in a Halls of Residence? 

Waqas: It’s really nice. It’s a short walk to the campus, it’s cheap and I get to meet a lot more people.

Nick: What’s it like to live here?

Waqas: It’s great. There’s so many things I can do over here. There’s a canteen, a bar, a TV room and then there’s even a laundry.

Nick: Will you live here next year?

Waqas: I will. In the first year everyone gets the accommodation, but they move out to share a flat next year, but I’m definitely staying here. 

Back on campus, students have social areas where they can relax. The Students’ Union building is the place where they can meet friends after a busy day.

Michael Lock is from Hong Kong and is studying law at the London School of Economics. He’s also International Students’ Officer.

Nick: So what goes on here at the LSE Student’s Union? 

Michael: Well, Nick, as you can see, students will come here between their classes and lectures and will meet up with their friends before going home or going to another class. 

Nick: And you’re an International Students’ Officer. What does that mean?

Michael: About 70 percent of our students come from overseas, so I work with some of them in helping them in visa issues and generally settling down in a new home in London.  

Nick: And what tips would you give to any students thinking of coming to study in the UK? 

Michael: I think my number one tip is – get a nice jacket because it can get pretty cold – and secondly – know what you are looking for – because different universities are very different. And finally keep an open mind – do not be afraid to meet new people and have fun! 

Nick: Good advice. Your shot. 

Studying in Britain can cost a lot of money and students need to work hard but the main thing to remember about being a student is that it’s also a lot of fun.

Task 1

Language Task

What prepositions go in the gaps? Watch the video again if you get stuck.


Task 2

Can you re-order Stephen's questions to the students?


Take your language skills and your career to the next level
Get unlimited access to our self-study courses for only £5.99/month.

Language level

Submitted by hnn1990 on Wed, 14/11/2018 - 06:30

hi how can I download the videoes?

Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 14/11/2018 - 06:56

In reply to by hnn1990


Hi hnn1990,

I'm afraid the videos on LearnEnglish are not available for download for legal and technical reasons. The audio files from many of our listening pages can be downloaded, however.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Reihaneh on Mon, 08/10/2018 - 20:01

Hi Could you explain about caught up I don’t understand Thank you

Submitted by Peter M. on Tue, 09/10/2018 - 06:06

In reply to by Reihaneh


Hello Reihaneh,

In the context of the text 'caught up' means to be really absorbed or fascinated by something. Usually we say 'caught up in'. For example:

I was really caught up in the conversation and completely forgot that I was supposed to meet my friend!



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Jahongir on Sun, 19/08/2018 - 08:33

Sometimes I come across prepositions "out of" and "from". The difference between them I find quite hilarious. Coud you explain me them?

Hello Jahongir,

It's not really possible to give a list of all the various uses of these items in the comments section. When used to talk about origin, 'from' has a more general meaning, I would say, while 'out of' usually has a physical meaning involving motion. However, there are many uses.

You can find summaries quite easily with a search for 'out of vs from'.

You can also find descriptions in good dictionaries:





The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Sergey on Sun, 06/05/2018 - 20:48

Hellow Teacher. Could you explain me why in the sentence of the second task "What goes on here at the LSE Students' Union?" We do not use an auxilary verb?

Hello Sergey,

This is an example of a subject question with the present simple.

We can ask questions about the subject or the object of a particular sentence. For example:


Paul ate a pizza.

Object question: What did Paul eat?

Subject question: Who ate a pizza?


As you can see, subject questions simply replace the subject of the sentence with an appropriate question word and no extra auxiliary verb is needed.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by safirasafirasafira on Fri, 12/01/2018 - 11:04

Thank you very much KIrk.

Submitted by safirasafirasafira on Wed, 10/01/2018 - 16:24

Hello Teacher.Tell me please the meaning of 'keep an open mind'. Thank you very much Best regards Safi.

Hello safira3,

You can find a definition and example sentence in the dictionary entry for 'open mind'. I think that should clear it up for you, but if not, please let us know.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Trinh Phuong Anh on Sat, 30/09/2017 - 14:06

Hi Teacher, Seek your explaination what’s difference betweeen “what’s it like to live here” with “what’s it like living here”. Thanks Best regards Phuong Anh

Hello Trinh Phuong Anh,

There is no difference in meaning between these two phrasings of the question. You can also see 'What's living here like?' All three are correct and mean the same thing.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Loi on Mon, 31/07/2017 - 04:43

Hello teachers, In dialogue of Nick and Micheal, Nick asked Micheal "So what goes on here at the LSE Student’s Union?". The question make me confusion because in English grammar there is "auxiliary word" in question sentence. This mentioned above question is not an "auxiliary word". Can you help me please? Thank you so much.

Hello Loi,

This is a 'subject question', i.e. a question where the question word is the subject of the verb. In this case, an auxiliary verb is not used. If you follow the link, you'll see a more detailed explanation of this. If you have any further questions, however, please let us know.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Vũ Quốc Oai on Sun, 02/07/2017 - 07:22

I want to find sourses of teaching American- English pronunciation and Ielts writing. Can you help me?

Hello Vũ Quốc Oai,

For lots of useful information about the IELTS, I'd recommend TakeIELTS. For teaching English in general, I'd refer you to our sister site TeachingEnglish. For American English, a good place to start is the Voice of America's Learning English site. We also have a few pages that discuss some of the general differences between British and American English.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Sar ya on Thu, 26/01/2017 - 20:42

I can ask for about grammer

Submitted by legioner on Fri, 20/01/2017 - 12:02

Hello, Why in Task 2 written "the questions Stephen asked", however all questions asked by Nick?

Submitted by Kirk on Fri, 20/01/2017 - 15:10

In reply to by legioner


Hello legioner,

Thanks very much for calling our attention to this mistake. I've now fixed it, though it may take several hours for it to be visible.

We're very grateful for your kind help!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Dmeza on Fri, 06/01/2017 - 16:53

Hey Collegues, Exist a FaceBook or WhatsApp group to know people interested on practice the english lanaguaje?

Hello Dmeza,

I'd encourage you to visit our Facebook page, which has links to lots of different resources. You might find something like this there.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team