Residential – Information for Parents
Below you’ll find answers to lots of frequently asked questions to offer you peace of mind and make sure you and your child are both prepared for camp. If you have any other questions, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be very happy to help.
The information below is for our Oxford residential centre.
About the Programmes
How many children of each nationality will you have on Camp?
How long does a Specialist Academy last?
How does the integration work?
On our Oxford Multi-Activity programme, students are mixed with local English Buddies, who participate in sports, art and adventure sessions and join us on excursions. This is the perfect way for students to practise their English with native speakers their own age and build friendships.
Whilst on one of our Specialist Academies, international children will be in pairs and small groups with local English children, engaging in our structured sports sessions.
How do Excursions work?
The minimum ratio of adults to pupils is 1:12 for excursions & trips
Here’s how we will ensure your child has a great (safe) time:
- We will be split into smaller sub-groups and a leader assigned to them for that excursion. The leader will make sure they get access to everything they need to and enjoy their experience is a safe manner
- We will also assign your child a buddy – together they will look out for each other
- We will give your child a ‘Contact Card’ which will have information on regarding contacting staff in event that they get separated from their group. Your child will be able to carry their mobile phones (if they have one) in order for them to be able to contact a member of staff in the event that they get separated from their group
- We will provide your child with unique piece of clothing (e.g. lanyard, bag) which they must wear when out on excursion. This is to make sure they are easily recognisable to leaders whilst in public places.
Students will go on three excursions in a two week stay. During a two week stay everyone usually will visit London plus two from the below list depending on which week the attend:
- Windsor Castle
- Thorpe Park
- The Making of Harry Potter
Accommodation & Food
Where will my child sleep?
Some children will be staying nearby at our sister school (Chandlings) which is just 10 minutes away. Children will travel there in our mini-bus at bed time (around 9pm and return for their activities each morning at 8am). Children will be surpervised 24/7 with a a full staff team staying on-site.
All bedding is provided in the rooms, students only need to remember to bring a towel. Showers, washing and lavatory facilities are provided.
Our staff team live on site to supervise and provide a point of contact for your child 24/7. They will be on hand to assist throughout the night as well as take charge in the event of an emergency.
What will my child eat?
All children have a cooked breakfast, a hot or packed lunch and a three-course dinner. The food may be different to what children are used to at home but meals are varied, balanced and healthy. We will also make sure that meal times are an enjoyable, social experience.
What if my child has allergies or specific dietary requirements?
At the time of booking you will have informed us if your child has any known allergies, and if they will require any medication, or an epi-pen. We will make sure the Epi-pen travels with your child (either held by them or the group instructor).
How often can they wash their clothes?
Does my child need a visa?
All information regarding the type of Visa can be found at:
OSC will help you with the visa application, providing a Visa Support Letter, if needed, containing the following information.
- Full name and date of birth of the child
- Passport number, date of issue and date of expiry
- The start and finish dates of the course and the full address of the school at which the child will be staying
- Confirmation that the course is residential with all meals included, confirmation that all English lessons and activities are included and confirmation of our accreditation details
How can we get a Visa Support Letter?
Does the course include insurance?
Will you meet my child at the airport?
A staff member will be clearly visible and will have a big board with ‘VARSITY INTERNATIONAL’ on it and your child’s name. If your child is travelling as an ‘unaccompanied minor’ then you will need to speak with the airline to arrange this.
On the way home, we will assist your child with check in and accompany them to the security gate where we can hand them over to the airline if they are travelling as an unaccompanied minor. A staff member will remain in the airport until the flight has taken off.
Can I drop off and pick up my child directly to/from the school?
If you’d like to drop off and collect yourself, we recommend arriving at around 2pm to allow your child to settle in with all our other new arrivals, and join in with our welcome dinner at 6pm and evening activities. On the final morning, we suggest you pick your child up mid-morning, about 11am.
Health & Wellbeing
What if my child has an accident?
Following a minor incident, an accident form will be completed – we will give you a copy at the end of the child’s stay at Camp if requested.
If your child arrives with a pre-existing injury, we may contact you to confirm that it is an existing injury. This allows us to fully understand the situation, and to offer the best care possible for your child during their stay.
What if my child is ill or homesick?
As a team, all staff take on the pastoral responsibility for the students in their care and create an environment where students are able to feel comfortable asking for advice of any kind and feel supported by their peers and OSC staff.
We’re aware that this may be your child’s first time away from home, experiencing a different culture without their normal network of people around them. We will create a friendly, welcoming environment where your child can adjust.
What if my child takes regular medication?
“Situation Medication” – (e.g. Inhalers, Epi-pens) are generally to follow your child around – these can be held by a staff member or your child – whichever is most practical.
“Routine Medication” – (e.g. Tablets), are stored safely by the Camp Manager who will administer them as your instructions.
Who do you hire to teach and instruct at Varsity International?
Our English teachers are full-qualified professionals with experience working with students aged 8 – 14, both in the UK and internationally. Our activity instructors are employed for their experience of working with children and delivering sports, art and activity sessions.
Our staff are fully-trained in welfare and safeguarding to support the pastoral side of their role. All staff are DBS checked prior to the summer.