New to Wolfson?

We welcome our students joining us at College.

Before you arrive at Wolfson

Those of you coming from overseas and who are required to self-isolate on arrival in the UK (see above and consult should arrange to arrive at least 14 days before the start of term on 1st October, so that you can complete the prescribed period of self-isolation before term begins.

At least 14 days before your arrival, you must contact the Accommodation Officer either by email at or by telephone at +44 (0)1865 274071. This is because you will need to agree on a date and time of arrival well in advance to ensure that your accommodation is ready for you when you arrive.

Priority will be given to those required to self-isolate on arrival and, in order to respect the rules on social distancing, it will be necessary to limit the number of people arriving at the College at any one time. You should therefore be prepared to be flexible when arranging the day and time of arrival and, especially if you choose to arrive at a weekend, be prepared to wait at the prescribed social distance and, if necessary, outside the College, before you can get into your room, flat or house.

During your journey and once you arrive, you should be prepared to wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently and regularly apply hand-sanitiser, and disinfect surfaces such as seats, tables and bathrooms, that may have been touched by others. We therefore recommend that you should pack, so as to be easily accessible: a few reusable face coverings; a few days’ supply of paper handkerchiefs and a plastic bag in which to discard them, antibacterial soap, antibacterial spray, and alcohol-based (60%) hand-sanitiser; and also, perhaps, reusable gloves, a personal thermometer and medicine such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) to reduce fever. Such supplies may be difficult to obtain easily and quickly on arrival in the UK. See below “Arriving at Wolfson” for information on food and other support at Wolfson.

You are likely to need a phone during your journey to Wolfson, so we recommend that you purchase a UK SIM card before you depart or at the airport, seaport or station where you arrive in the UK. Your room in Wolfson will not be equipped with a telephone.

Different countries have adopted different methods of dealing with COVID 19. Before you arrive in the UK, you must ensure that you are aware of, and are ready to abide by, the current laws imposed by the UK government. Before departure, it is essential that you establish whether or not you will have to “self-isolate” on arrival — in other words, to stay in your accommodation for the first 14 days after your arrival in the UK.

If you have been allocated accommodation in Wolfson (and have received a licence agreement, signed and returned it to us and paid your rent in advance) you will be able to travel to Wolfson and self-isolate in your accommodation (if required).

If you have not been allocated accommodation at Wolfson and have not received a licence agreement, you should not travel to Wolfson but should instead travel directly to the accommodation you will have arranged to rent privately, or to any interim accommodation (B&B, hotel, etc) you have arranged. If you have not yet arranged for private accommodation, the Wolfson Accommodation Office can provide you with a list of accommodation agents, or you may be able to arrange accommodation via the central University Graduate Accommodation Office here . If you are required by UK law to self-isolate, then you must do so in your private or interim accommodation.

For further information on accommodation, please email the Accommodation Office at or telephone +44 (0)1865 274071 (9:00–17:00 British Summer Time).

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 when you are travelling to the UK, you should tell one of the crew on your plane, boat, train or bus. They will tell staff in the airport, port or station, so that they can instruct you what you should do next when you arrive. In that case, you may need to self-isolate elsewhere before you come to Wolfson. Please also immediately email the email account, or call the Lodge on +44 (0)1865 274100 so that Wolfson is aware of your illness and can assist.

When travelling to Wolfson during the pandemic, in order to avoid contact with other travellers, the best options are:

Drive yourself (preferably by hire car so that you will not be charged for parking at the College). Be dropped off by a member of your home household or home “support bubble” Use a taxi or private hire company. If you have no option but to take public transport, please follow the UK Government’s guidelines here, which currently require you to wear a face covering and observe social distancing (you should regularly monitor the UK Government’s advice as it may change before your arrival). 

Residents who are not required to self-isolate: 

  • Ensure that you arrive at the agreed day and time and go straight to the Lodge.
  • The Lodge (or reception) is open for business daily from 7am–11pm. A porter is on duty out of hours for emergencies.
  • On entering the College, please wash or sanitise your hands immediately. There are bathrooms next to the Lodge, and a hand-sanitising station in the Lodge.
  • If there is a queue, you may need to wait outside to maintain social distance.
  • If you have a car, the receptionist will tell you where you must park.
  • Please go straight to your room, and unload your belongings as quickly and as safely as possible. Please do not go to other parts of the College until you have done so.
  • Instructions on how to use the wifi are in your room. If you need further support, please contact the IT team here

Residents who must self-isolate on arrival in the UK: 

  • Residents who are required by law to self-isolate on arrival in the UK should arrange to arrive at least 14 days before their first scheduled appointment. The date of a student’s first scheduled appointment varies according to the subject studied and, in this exceptional year, not all arrangements for the induction of new students have yet been finalised and timetabled. At this time, we recommend that new students who are required to self-isolate on arrival should arrive at least 14 days before the start of term (1 st October), and on a date agreed with the Accommodation Office.
  • Ensure that you arrive at the agreed day and time; if your transport is delayed, please advise the Lodge as soon as possible by phone on +44 (0)1865 274 100 or by email at
  • You will need a working mobile phone in order to gain access to your room, so you should purchase a UK SIM card either before you depart or at the airport or station where you arrive in the UK. Your room in Wolfson will not be equipped with a telephone.
  • If possible, activate your “Oxford Single Sign-On Account (SSO)” before arriving in Wolfson. You will need it to order food during self-isolation, to access your University email account, to use the libraries remotely and for many other purposes. Go to “Email at Oxford today. 1. Getting started”.
  • Instructions on how to use the College wifi will be in your room. If you need further IT support during self-isolation, please contact the IT team here.
  • On arrival at Wolfson, do not enter the College buildings.
  • From outside the College, telephone the Lodge Receptionist on +44 (0)1865 274 100. (The Lodge, or reception, is open for business daily from 7am–11pm. A night porter is on duty outside these hours for emergencies.)
  • If you have arrived by car, the receptionist will tell you where to park.
  • The receptionist will direct you to your room by phone. Your building will be open and your key will be in your room.
  • Please go straight to your building and your room within it, and deposit your belongings as quickly and as safely as possible. Do not go to any other part of the College. Within your building, do not go anywhere except your room and, if applicable, to the shared bathroom facilities in the unit to which your room belongs.
  • If you need assistance at any time, please contact the Lodge by phone on +44 (0)1865 274 100 or by email at
  • If your room is not an en-suite room — that is, it does not have a private bathroom within the room — the bathroom facilities are shared with the other occupants of your set or unit. Their location is in most cases self-evident; in the few cases where this is not so, you will receive instructions with your keys that will let you know which bathroom to use and how to access it. When using the communal bathroom facilities, you must take the greatest care to touch as few surfaces as possible, and to clean scrupulously with antibacterial spray or disinfectant all the surfaces that you have touched, including door handles, light switches, taps (faucets) and basins, seats, etc. Remove all personal items when you leave, place sanitary products in the bin provided, and remove all other waste (such as empty containers, tissues and wipes) to dispose of in the waste bin in your own room.
  • Do not use the communal kitchen in your unit while you are in self-isolation.

What does self-isolation mean

  • Government guidance stipulates that you should self-isolate in one place for the full 14 days. You should not have visitors, including family and friends, and should stay away from others unless you travelled to the UK with them and are within the same household.
  • You cannot go out to work or visit public areas.
  • You should not go shopping but should arrange to have items delivered. If you require help with this you should ask relatives or friends or, if you are new to Oxford and Wolfson refer to the information here.
  • You must remain within your household to exercise – you may not leave your household to exercise within the College grounds as these are shared areas.

What will happen if I don’t follow self-isolation rules

  • The most serious thing that will happen is that you will be putting other members of the Wolfson community and residents of Oxford at unnecessary risk of illness or worse. Within our own Wolfson community there are individuals living and working on site who are in more vulnerable categories. You will also be increasing the risk of the reintroduction of local outbreaks and subsequent lockdowns in Wolfson and in Oxford.
  • If you are found to have breached self-isolation rules you will also be subject to the College and University disciplinary process and, as such, it may be necessary for us to report you to the authorities. The safety and wellbeing of you students, staff and wider community is our priority and we will not tolerate individuals putting other members at unnecessary and avoidable risk. Just because you don’t have symptoms does not mean you are exempt from self-isolation rules.

What should I do if I am concerned that members of Wolfson are breaching self-isolation rules:

  • If you have concerns that another member of Wolfson college is putting others at risk by breaching self-isolation rules then you can raise your concerns by emailing The matter will be investigated under the college disciplinary processes by the Vicegerent.  
  • More detailed information will be provided when you arrive.

Academic year 2020/21

What to expect
The health and safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. We and the University will have a range of measures in place including a dedicated testing service, support for students needing to self-isolate, and clear guidance informed by scientific advice. Social distancing measures will be in place, and large gatherings are unlikely to be possible, so we will, like the rest of the country, be operating a more cautious service than normal. 

What life at Oxford is likely to be like
The highly personalised, face-to-face Oxford method of teaching and supervision will continue as normal, and College life will provide the opportunity to mix with those from many different disciplines and backgrounds.

College societies and the Bar committee have been working hard to plan a range of events and initiatives which comply with social distancing guidelines, for example by maximising the use of the College's outdoor space whenever British weather allows! Some events may be hybrid online and in-person, such as some committee meetings.

We hope that moving some college events online will broaden their accessibility, particularly for our students, staff, Fellows, and common room members who live off-site, as well as for those who are undertaking fieldwork and research abroad. Given the nature of social distancing restrictions and the extensive administrative work required to organise digital events, the timetable of the term’s events may differ to normal circumstances, but please be assured that plans for a full timetable of social and academic events are well underway.

While we plan to host as many in-person events as possible, please be assured that contingency plans are in place to move these events online in the event of a lockdown.