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Iowa at Oxford: Mansfield College

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Academic Year


Oxford, England




• Clear Interest and Commitment

• Demonstrated Preparedness/Maturity

• Minimum 3.7 GPA

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Junior, or Senior standing at the start of the program

• Approval by UI Study Abroad

• Acceptance by host institution

Application Due:

• February 14, 2021 for Academic Year 2021 - 2022

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.


The Iowa at Oxford program enrolls University of Iowa students in the Mansfield College’s Visiting Student Programme, hosted at Mansfield College, University of Oxford. This program provides students with a unique opportunity to spend an academic year fully matriculated at the University of Oxford, one of the mostly highly regarded academic institutions in the world. During their year at Oxford, students enroll in a wide range of courses at Mansfield College, one of the 38 colleges that make up the University of Oxford.

Through this program you will enroll in Mansfield College’s long-standing and highly regarded Visiting Student Programme. As such, you will be provided with full membership in the College, and an official status within the University of Oxford. You will be fully immersed in the academic and cultural life of the University of Oxford throughout the program. And, while you will only study the College for an academic year, you will be considered an official Oxford alum for life!

Mansfield College, Main Building

While you’re studying at Mansfield College, you will be enrolled in classes with local and international students, have access to all college facilities, and will be a member of the JCR (Junior Common Room- the undergraduate student body at the university).

Academic Program

Mansfield College offers courses in a wide variety of disciplines, including Economics, English, Geography, History, Human Sciences, Philosophy, Politics, and Theology.

Other courses may be available, depending on each student’s experience and areas of interest.

The academic year at Mansfield is made up of three terms- Michaelmas (October - December), Hilary (January - March), and Trinity (April - June).

You will enroll in one 8 semester hour course, and one 4 semester hour course per term, and so earn 36 semester hours for the academic year.

Academic environment and Expectations- Oxford’s Tutorial System:

Courses at Mansfield College are based on the tutorial system. Through this system, you will enroll in two classes during each of Oxford’s three terms. Classes consist of two lectures per week, and one two-hour tutorial- a small group meeting with a faculty member specialized in your field of study. You will be required to prepare a list of readings and write weekly essays related to the course content to discuss at each tutorial session. Each course requires a significant amount of time devoted to intensive independent study, in addition to lectures, tutorial hours, and laboratory time.

The tutorial system requires you to do extensive independent reading and research under the guidance of your tutor. The tutorial sessions require you to engage with your tutor in thoughtful and thorough analysis of your chosen readings and weekly essay. This system provides a unique opportunity to develop a keen understanding of your field of interest through critical evaluation and thoughtful organization. You will be enrolled in the same classes, taught by the same tutors, and held to the same academic standards as fully matriculated students at the University of Oxford.

Learn more about Oxford’s Tutorial System

Mansfield College Dining Hall


Students are eligible to enroll in courses (tutorials) in a variety of disciplines. You can find information about the courses available to students on this program on Mansfield College’s Subjects website.

Enrollment in courses related to Art History, Classics, Finance, and Statistics can occasionally be arranged upon request.

Flexibility Regarding Course Offerings

Foreign universities are typically unable to provide a final course catalog for the upcoming semester until shortly before the semester begins. Students usually do not know which specific classes they can take before arriving abroad, and they usually do not register for classes until they arrive in their host country- this means that there is no way to guarantee that you will be able to enroll in your preferred courses. Your final course schedule may not be finalized until you are already abroad and attending classes.

Because of these differences, all students must meet with their academic advisor before going abroad to discuss how the differences in course availability will affect their degree progress and graduation plans. It is important to develop a back-up plan in case your preferred courses are not available when you arrive at their host university.

The British Grading System

As a study abroad student, you are required to undertake the same form of assessment as the local students do in order to earn transfer credit at the University of Iowa.

The grading system in the UK is significantly different from the US system. Grades are given as 'marks', and a score of 60% is typically considered a high mark. UI does not convert British marks into US letter grades. While you WILL receive academic credit for the courses you take in the UK, you will NOT receive a typical A-F grade.

This does not mean that you are taking courses on a Pass/Fail basis . In order to receive credit for the course, you must receive a passing grade in the British system and, in the future, when official transcripts of your college work are requested, you will need to provide both an Iowa transcript and the British academic record – your British grades will be clear and will influence future scholarship application and graduate school admissions decisions.


Applying credit toward a UI degree

Unless UI Study Abroad has an approval on file for the courses you take abroad to be applied toward a specific major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, you will receive general elective credit for your course.

If you plan to apply the credit you receive for your program course to a major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, contact your UI study abroad advisor for details on the process. 

Receiving Honors Credit

If you are an Honors student, you can apply the credit earned through this program to your Honors requirements!

Contact your UI study abroad advisor for more information.

When will I receive my transcript/grades?

Transcripts are sent from the host institution to UI Study Abroad within about two months after the conclusion of the program. From there, the transcripts are processed by UI Study Abroad and the Admissions office at the University of Iowa. Grades for the Iowa at Oxford program are typically applied to the student’s UI degree around three months after the conclusion of the program.

If this effects your plans to graduate at the end of your academic year abroad, please contact your UI study abroad advisor.

Program Dates

Oxford street scene with gnarled tree

Program dates vary from year to year, but typically follow the University of Iowa’s academic calendar.

You can find detailed semester dates for the upcoming sessions on the Dates of Term website.

Students should consider these dates tentative until they receive final dates for their session abroad from the host university prior to the start of the program.

For More Information

Mansfield College Natural History Museum

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application for this program, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa.
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353

Where You Will Study

University of Oxford

Founded around 1096, the University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, predating the Magna Carta, the reign of Genghis Khan, and the Aztec Empire. Since its inception, Oxford has been a leading figure in learning, teaching, and research.

Today, Oxford has grown to be one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world. Oxford is consistently ranked among the top ten (and first in the UK!) universities in the world. It is currently ranked first in the world for English Literature, Modern Languages, Geography, History, and Clinical, Health, and Life Sciences, second in the world for Anthropology, Archaeology, Politics, International Studies, Law, and Medicine, and fourth in the world (first in the UK!) for Arts and Humanities.

Oxford street with ivy

Famous Oxonians include 27 British Prime Ministers, 30 international leaders, 50 Nobel Prize winners, Bill Clinton, T S Eliot, Indira Gandhi, Hugh Grant, Aldous Huxley, Felicity Jones, C S Lewis, Rosamund Pike, J R R Tolkein, Emily Davidson, Oscar Wilde and.... you!?

The University of Oxford consists of 38 different colleges, each with its own unique history, traditions, academic focus, houses of residence, dining halls, libraries, and friendly rivalries- a bit like Hogwarts! When they are admitted to Oxford, each student becomes a member of one of these colleges based on their academic focus, or personal interest. Students have full access to all of the university’s facilities, but enjoy many exclusive benefits related to their particular college, and often develop a close community of friends and peers within their own college.

Oxford currently enrolls around 22,600 students in its 38 colleges. Around 11,600 of those are undergraduates, and 10,500 are graduate students.

Most colleges within the University of Oxford system are located near the center of the city of Oxford. Transportation around the university, and the rest of the city, is easily accomplished by foot, bike, bus, and taxi.

As a registered student of the University, you will have access to a full range of University facilities, including student clubs and societies, the Bodleian Library, specialized faculty/subject libraries, the Oxford University Computing Services, and a large variety of lectures , and special events.

Mansfield College

Through the Iowa at Oxford program, you will become a full member of Mansfield College. Mansfield College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford.

Founded in 1838, Mansfield College is among the youngest college in the Oxford system (for reference, the University of Iowa was founded in 1847, so maybe it’s not so young!). Mansfield has always strived to be among the most inclusive colleges in the Oxford system, opening its doors to women a 60 years before most others colleges, and making a strong effort to recruit and support students from the UK’s public schools and first generation college student population. In this tradition, Mansfield makes a significant effort to welcome international students to the college, and today around 10% of its students are visiting students from around the world.

Mansfield College dining hall

Mansfield is a relatively small college- home to approximately 400 undergraduate and graduate students, around 40 of which visiting students from around the world. This small size allows for friendly and close relationships among students, faculty, and staff, and supports the college’s unique and innovative personality.

Mansfield’s academic focus is primarily in the fields of Economics, English, Finance, Geography, History, Human Sciences, management, Philosophy, Politics, and Theology and Religion.

The Mansfield College campus is centrally located on the University campus, around 10 minutes from the Oxford city center, and is well connected to the rest of the city by foot and by bus. The college site includes student accommodation, tutors’ rooms, offices, the chapel, the dining hall, the library, a laundry room, common rooms, and other social facilities.  Mansfield also shares excellent sports facilities with Merton College, including tennis and squash courts.

The College’s main library is a wonderful wood-paneled room which contains core texts for all courses, and there are separate libraries devoted to Law and Theology.  All three libraries are open to students twenty-four hours a day, and there is a computer room available for use by students.

Mansfield College library

Take a look at the Mansfield's Student Life website for more information about life at Mansfield.


Oxford, a city of 160,000 residents located in the southern part of the United Kingdom, approximately two hours away from London. Oxford is a small, modern city with a long history.

Oxford High Street

The city was first settled during Saxon times around the 8th century, and was formally established as a city in 1542. The city’s long history and dramatic architecture provide a setting for its modern status as an important cultural center and tourist destination. Today, Oxford is home to the University of Oxford, Oxford Botanic Garden, Christ Church Cathedral, the Headington Shark, and a huge variety of architecture, museums, galleries, theaters, libraries, music venues, sports facilities, and shopping attractions.

Oxford is a fantastic place to live and study, while being well connected to other destinations in the UK, Ireland, and the rest of main land Europe by bus, train, and car.

Coffee shop sign reading

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK) refers to the four countries of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This is in contrast to another common name, Great Britain, which excludes Northern Ireland. Life and culture in the UK is different from that in the US. Experiencing this rich tradition is what studying in the UK is all about!

Some general facts about the UK:

  • The UK uses the British Pound as its currency.
  • Communication from the UK is easy. Cell phones are relatively inexpensive, the internet is easily accessible, and post offices are plentiful.
  • British food is unique! Try fish and chips, bangers and mash, steak pie, Indian curry, neeps and tatties, haggis, and more!
  • The UK is a relatively safe environment. Police are helpful and visible. Emergency services are reliable. Pharmacies, called 'chemists', are common and carry a wide variety of medicine and other essentials.
  • The UK has a temperate climate, influenced by the ocean that surrounds it. It is never too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. Rain is common most of the year. Make sure to take plenty of warm clothes and waterproof shoes.

Cultural Resources

1800s leaflet titled

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements/Accommodations

While attending Oxford, you will live in Mansfield College’s dedicated student housing. In most cases, this means that you will live with other Mansfield students. You will live in a British-style ‘flat’ where you will have your own study-bedroom, and share bathroom and kitchen facilities with your flat mates.

Mansfield  College campus

You will live either in the Ablethorpe Building, or in a house managed by Mansfield on Cowley Road. You will not have to move out of your accommodation over the Easter and Christmas vacations.



Ablethorpe is a College-owned student accommodation block with single occupancy rooms with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. All bedrooms have a single bed, desk and chair, wardrobe, and drawers. All kitchens have a stove and oven, fridge freezer, microwave oven, kettle and toaster.  There is a laundry facility on the site as well as a common room with flat screen telly, sofas and chairs, and a computer station.


Ablethorpe is a 15 minute walk from the main College site and is close to many local amenities including numerous restaurants, shops, bars, and music venues.

Dining Hall

Cowley Road

Depending on availability, you may live in one of the houses Mansfield manages on Cowley Road. These period houses were built in the early 1900's, but have been modernized for life in the twenty-first century. They feature comfortable single occupancy rooms with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities as well as WiFi. All bedrooms contain a single bed, desk, chair and chest of drawers. The kitchen contains a cooker, fridge/freezer, washing machine, microwave, kettle, and toaster.

The houses are in an excellent location for taking advantage of the amenities to be found on Cowley Road, including numerous music venues, restaurants, and shops. Cowley Road is served by a frequent bus service into the town centre, though it is only a 25 minute walk to the main College site on Mansfield Road.

Dining and Meal plans

There are no formal meal plans available, but low cost cafeteria-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available in the College’s dining hall. Students are also free to shop in local markets and cook in their accommodations, or take advantage of the many fantastic restaurants around the city of Oxford.

Mansfield also provides a twice-weekly formal dinner (gowns and suits required!), and Thanksgiving and Burns Night supper events are also available. As a member of the College, you will be welcome to attend!

More Information

You can find more information about the housing and dining options on Mansfield's Living at Mansfield website.


All students need a valid passport to participate in this program. You can find details about applying for a passport on the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website.

Travel Arrangements (Flights)

Students make their own travel arrangements with advice from UI Study Abroad- UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

Do not purchase plane tickets until:

  1. You have received an official offer of acceptance by your host university.
  2. You have finalized your housing arrangements abroad.
  3. You are aware of both the semester start date and the move-in date for your accommodations.
  4. You have received your visa (if required- contact your study abroad advisor for more information)

Students will receive contact information for any other program participants several weeks prior to the start of their program so that they can coordinate travel plans with other students.

If you need advice on making travel arrangements, contact your UI study abroad advisor.

Local Transportation

Oxford has an excellent public transportation system, though many students navigate the main areas of the city on foot or by bike (when the weather cooperates). Taxis are available throughout the city, but they can be expensive. Oxford is also well connected to the rest of the UK and Europe by bus and train, and is close enough to several major airports that international travel can be easily arranged.


Radcliffe Camera

This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 3.7 UI and Transfer GPA- Students must have a minimum 3.7 UI and Transfer GPA to participate in this program (transfer GPAs lower than 3.7 may be considered on a case-by-case basis).
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked, and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
  • Junior or Senior standing required- Students must have junior or senior standing at the time the program begins.
  • Approval by UI study abroad advisor- A student’s application must be reviewed and approved by their University of Iowa study abroad advisor.
  • Acceptance by host institution- Students must be accepted by their host institution as a temporary visiting student. Acceptance by the host institution is typically automatic for students that have been nominated by their study abroad advisor, but the final acceptance decision is made by the international student office and the sponsoring departments at the host institution based on their own internal requirements.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programing presented by UI Study Abroad.


Christ Church Cathedral

Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.

The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.

Cost Sheets

PDFCost Sheet- Iowa at Oxford- Fall 2021

A cost sheets for the Spring 2022 session will be available by mid-fall 2021. Costs for the spring session are typically very similar, or less, than the fall session.

Calculating Fees

The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:

The cost sheet does not include the following optional additional costs:

Personal Travel Costs

Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.

The cost of personal travel depends entirely on each student’s individual travel plans and spending habits. Estimates for personal travel costs provided by past students on this program vary significantly from $1,500 to as much as $9,000 or more per session.

Costs charged to the U-Bill

  • Application Fee- (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed.
  • Course Fee- (includes course fees and accommodation at Oxford- charged shortly before departure.)
  • Study Abroad Fees- (charged shortly before departure.)
  • CISI Health Insurance- (charged shortly before departure.)

Out of Pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

  • Round trip airfare from Cedar Rapids- (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Food- (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
  • Program Deposit- (paid to Oxford by student in the spring before departure to the UK, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Visa/Immigration fees- (paid by student on arrival to the UK, or shortly before arrival/before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed. See the Immigration/Visa section under the Predeparture tab for more information.)
  • UK Police Registration fee- (paid by student on arrival to the UK)
  • Immigration Health Surcharge- (paid by student on arrival to the UK)
  • Local Transportation- (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
  • Cell phone- (paid at the student’s discretion while abroad)
  • Passport- (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed.)
  • Textbooks- (paid as needed while abroad)
  • Medical Exam/Immunizations- (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
  • Personal expenses- (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
  • Personal travel expenses- ( paid by student at their discretion while abroad )

Financial Aid & Scholarships

You can find information about options for funding your study abroad experience, including financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc, on UI Study Abroad’s Funding Website.

How to Apply

Oxford- High Street
  • Meet with the appropriate study abroad advisor to discuss your study abroad plans well ahead of the application deadline. Your application will not be approved until you've completed this step. You can set up an appointment by calling UI Study Abroad at 319-335-0353 or through the Advising Appointment section of your MyUI account.
  • Honors students should contact the Honors Experiential Learning Director Andy Willard to discuss applying this program to their Honors requirements.
  • Meet with your academic advisor(s) to discuss how this program might fit your graduation plans, and make a back-up plan in case your preferred courses are not available when you arrive on your host university’s campus (see the Flexibility Regarding Course Offerings section for more information.)
  • If you and your academic advisor agree that the program is a good match for you, request the online UI study abroad program application for your chosen program from your UI study abroad advisor. Note that a non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
  • Please note that for study abroad programs through Spring 2022, students will not be charged the $50 application fee until travel is assured. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to the application fee being billed, it will not be charged.
  • Request nomination to your host university by submitting the online UI program application by the due date.
  • Your study abroad advisor will review your program application and, if you meet the requirements for the program, your advisor will nominate you to the host university.
  • Once nominated, you will complete a visiting student application for the host university abroad.
  • This application will be reviewed by the host university, and they will contact you with a final acceptance decision.
  • Students can expect to receive their final acceptance decision for the following academic year from the host university by early Feburary.



If you are accepted to your program, you will be asked to commit to participating in your program by submitting the University of Iowa Confirmation of Participation form, and by completing requirements for your host university.

After you have formally confirmed your plans to participate, you will work both with UI Study Abroad and your host university. Follow instructions from both. Later in the semester, your UI study abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.

Limited Admission

Admission to this program is limited to five students each academic year.

Complete applications from eligible students will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Interested students are encouraged to submit complete application materials as soon as possible to increase their chances of securing a place in the program during their chosen session.

Contact your study abroad advisor for updates on available spaces for the upcoming session.

Application Deadline

Applications for the Academic Year 2021 - 2022 session are due on February 14, 2021.

Applications for the Academic Year 2022-2023 session will be available by November 2021.

Confirmation of Participation

Confirmation materials will be posted after the program application deadline.

Health & Safety Planning

All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


All program participants are required to complete immigration requirements to enter and study in your host country. UI Study Abroad and your program provider/host institution abroad will provide you with immigration instructions prior to departure.

Note that permission to enter and study in your host country is provided exclusively by the host country’s government based on that country's immigration requirements. Your host country’s immigration requirements may include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to receive permission to enter the country in some cases. Contact your UI study abroad advisor for more information.

It is essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration materials before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are absolutely complete and accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration materials are in order and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration materials contain inaccurate information of any kind, contact your UI study abroad advisor immediately to discuss your options.

Do not take steps to complete your host country’s immigration requirements until you receive more information from UI Study Abroad.

Review the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website for further guidance on the immigration/visa process.


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

Wadham College Entrance
The Kings Arms restaurant