Books and other resources

Adjusting to a new culture

You can read about the experiences of Oxford University staff from around the world in this article produced for World Cultural Diversity Day, and reflections of a Spanish student in Oxford on living in two different cultures, or in his words, "between here and there".

You might also talk to friends and colleagues and ask them about their experiences of living and working in Oxford, or visit websites such as DailyInfo to find events or groups in the city.

You can browse ex-pat websites for information and guidance on common issues experienced during relocation.

For specific resources on adjusting to a new culture, you might like to look at:

You might find it interesting to use Geert Hofstede's cultural comparison tool to compare the UK with your home country or with other countries where you have lived and worked. For a more humorous look at contrasting cultures, try David Lodge's novel Changing Places: A Tale of Two Campuses about a fictional transatlantic academic exchange.

Oxford and British culture

You can make your transition to Oxford smoother by reading about local culture and traditions. The following books all provide insights into life in the UK:

  • The Silent Traveller in Oxford (Chiang Yee)
  • Zuleika Dobson, or An Oxford Love Story (Max Beerbohm)
  • Watching the English (Kate Fox)
  • Notes From a Small Island and The Road to Little Dribbling (Bill Bryson)
  • The English: A Field Guide (Matt Rudd)
  • Welcome to Everytown, A Journey into the English Mind (Julian Baggini)

You may like to read about some unusual local ceremonies and customs, or follow Curiouser and Curiouser, a blog about exploring Oxford and Englishness.

"Curiouser and curiouser!" cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).


from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, aka Charles Dodgson, mathematics lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford