Oxford vs Cambridge, A Tale of Two Cities

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The universities of Oxford and Cambridge have been frenemies for over 800 years, ever since they were the only two universities in the UK. Today, the rivalry is a little tamer and tends to be reserved for the annual Oxford and Cambridge boat races and rugby clashes. And in all honesty, there’s not much in it.

So here’s the deal. They’re both great at punting (think venetian gondolas without the stripy shirts), they both have a chess set dedicated to them (it’ll set you back around £165 though), and they’re both around 60 miles from London. Well, we can’t call it. You should just visit both.

BEST OF OXFORD

Famous alumni: Oscar Wilde, Stephen Hawking and Aung San Suu Kyi

Food: Turl Street Kitchen. A menu of local produce that changes every sitting, depending on the weather and what’s in season.

Pub: The Bear Inn. Oxford’s oldest pub dating back to 1242, you’ll find it down cobblestoned Alfred Street.

Museum: The Pitt Rivers Museum. This anthropological museum is packed with the weird and the wonderful: canoes, fish hooks, flutes and shrunken heads.

Music: Catweazle Club. This is alternative Oxford at its best. Don’t miss Thursday’s open mic night. Or maybe do, if you’re stage shy.

Do: Visit Wolvercote Cemetery, the resting place of J.R.R Tolkien.

FACT: Oxford was the capital of England during the English Civil War (1642 – 1646).

4 Day English University Break

Oxford or Cambridge? See both. On this four-day round trip from London, get to know each town with walking tours, punting and Harry Potter film locations. Fr £295
Punting in Cambridge: As quintessential Cambridge as you can get, take a guided 45-minute punt along the River Cam past historic colleges, romantic parklands and over 800 years of history. Fr £12
Cambridge University Walking Tour: Visit Cambridge’s famous colleges, chapels and libraries with your graduate guide, seeing where the likes of Sir Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking and Prince Charles studies. Fr £18
Oxford University Walking Tour: Explore the Bodleian Library (the 2nd largest in Britain) and Oxford’s grand architectural landmarks, learning about past alumni and life on campus from your student guide. Fr £19

BEST OF CAMBRIDGE

Famous alumni: Charles Darwin, Emma Thompson and David Attenborough (everyone’s favourite celebrity grandpa).

Food: Cambridge is a food truck fanatic. Veggies try the Wandering Yak, not-so-veggies head to Steak and Honour.

Pub: Free Press Pub. A printshop-turned-drinking hole, with great craft beer and a log fire.

Museum: Kettle’s Yard. The former home of Tate Gallery curator Jim Ede, this is one of England’s best galleries Closed until late 2017, catch off-site exhibitions across Cambridge.

Music: Cambridge Junction. Cambridge’s most diverse performance venue, with big names and underground talent.

Do: Rent a bike and cycle to Granchester for tea at the Orchard Tea Garden.

Fact: The Ascension Burial Ground is the resting place of three Nobel Prize winners.

Set yourself apart in today’s job market by gaining a taste of work life and work experience to show employers you are driven, cultured and can work effectively in an overseas environment. The Intern in Britain program gives you the opportunity to boost your resume by interning in the UK for up to 6 months, and with so many AMAZING cities to discover, you'll be spoilt for choice. There's still time to sign up to be there this summer!