Q&A with Head of Oxbridge Applications

To gain an insight into how studying with Summer Boarding Courses may be beneficial in terms of preparing for University life, we asked Rebecca Williams – head of Oxbridge Applications – a few questions.

Rebecca studied Theology at Oxford University, and now manages the entire team at Oxbridge Applications and is the head of application guidance. Established in 1999, Oxbridge Applications is the global leader in Oxbridge admissions consulting. OA provide expert guidance and support for students at every stage of their application to Oxford and Cambridge (two of the world’s best Universities), as well as those applying to top UK medical and law schools.

In addition to performing regular talks for students wanting to apply for Oxbridge around the world, she still finds time to mentor her own Premier Service mentees in Theology. Rebecca is regularly asked for her opinion in national and international press, and you can read some of her pieces here.


1) How might studying at one of SBC’s schools/colleges benefit a student in terms of gaining a place at a UK University?

The benefit to a student going to an SBC college when applying to the UK is huge. One of the key barriers we see with any of the thousands of international students we meet every year is the language and cultural understanding of how Universities work in the UK versus the rest of the world. The way that SBC immerses students fully in the geographical environment that they are in means that applicants are even more likely to be successful when they come to apply. What’s more, SBC are one of the most diverse summer educators in the UK. In 2016, SBC welcomed students from 103 different nationalities to their courses−in practice, this means that SBC are able to expose their students to a setting truly representative of University life.

2) What important skills/experiences might a student gain while studying at a SBC school/college?

Outside of the cultural benefits of coming to the UK before applying to University, SBC colleges really prepare students for what University will be like. Programmes of academic activity combined with social interaction means that students are more likely to find the transition to UK universities easier.

3) Why would you recommend studying in the UK?

The UK is a very special place to study, the historic home of global western education, the activities and studies that the experience it can provide sets students up for some of the most successful careers. Particularly with the difficult political climate in much of Europe and America, the UK is becoming a safe haven for students looking to be a driving force in the great industries of tomorrow. The other advantages of the UK systems is that they allow students to become real experts in their subjects. Unlike many places, they get the opportunity to delve deep into what they are truly passionate about, and can see where that takes them. The UK is a unique environment for study, in that even in a small geographical area, the variety of different learning options available to a student are vast.  This is also what is captured so uniquely in an SBC summer course, they allow students to grow in their own ways whilst encouraging a fun and social atmosphere at the same time.

4) Why you might encourage someone to study at Oxford?

Oxford University is a life-changing and incredible place to study, and the history behind the University and the quality of the teaching professionals mean that it is as world class as its reputation. However, what makes Oxford and Cambridge really special is the one-to-one teaching environment that they provide. The opportunity to sit opposite a real expert in your subject and discuss your ideas on a weekly basis is what sets the Universities apart from other Universities in the world.

5) Is it beneficial/useful to experience studying in the UK before considering to study in the UK on a longer term basis?

Unquestionably yes! It is often the case that SBC students fall in love with the UK while they are studying with SBC. Had they not have studied with SBC, they might have otherwise been less inclined to return to the UK in the future. In fact, SBC students enjoy SBC courses/the UK so much that, more often that not, they tend to return the following summer!


Do you want SBC to help you prepare for studying in the UK? If so, book on to one our courses now: https://www.summerboardingcourses.co.uk/make-booking/.

For more information about Oxbridge Applications, visit: http://www.oxbridgeapplications.com/.

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