“The world today needs young leaders capable of navigating complex geopolitical realities with a clear mind, a resolute will, and an ethic of diplomacy.”

The Oxford Summer Programme on International Affairs is a comprehensive, residential summer programme in Oxford, United Kingdom, providing a “master class” on the foreign policy and international security challenges of today’s geopolitical environment.

Offering seminars on today’s most pressing challenges and issues, as discerned by our global network of senior policymakers. Including daily tutorials by leading scholars from the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, King’s College London, and other elite institutions, as well as “practitioner’s seminars” by high-level policymakers from the UK Government, Her Majesty's Armed Forces, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), the Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom (ACUK), and other partners from the worlds of diplomacy and international security. 

Providing an enriching study and networking opportunity as well as a Completion Certificate. Registration includes lifelong membership in the ODGF Global Partners Network. 


The academic programme consists of:

  •  Seminars in small interactive groups with specialist policymakers; and 
  • World-class lectures by leading scholars and distinguished speakers. 

Participants can attend seminars about:

  • Counter-terrorism & Emerging Security Challenges
  • Middle Eastern Geopolitics: (Re)orientations & Calibrations
  • The Pacific Theatre: North Korea, China, and Japan
  • Cyber-Security: New Challenges and Opportunities
  • President Donald Trump and the New American Grand Strategy
  • The Resurgence of Populism: Threat or Opportunity?

Seminars meet for two hours, twice per day. Lectures meet for one two-hour session per day.

At the end of the programme, students receive the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present a “Marshall Brief” foreign policy briefing in front of world experts and receive constructive criticism on their presentation. Previously, senior officials from the UK Government, NATO, and the European Union (EU) have participated in the briefing exercise.

Every student joins an exclusive network of world class academics and foreign policy experts.

Contact hours

The programme provides a minimum of 36 contact hours with scholars and practitioners, plus an additional 10 hours of personalized tutorial and assistance (if required).

Social and networking programme

A range of optional social and networking events will be offered throughout the programme. These may include:

  • a networking seminar on careers in foreign policy;
  • walking tour of Oxford;
  • high-table dinners at historic Oxford colleges;
  • after-dinner receptions;
  • excursions to sites of historical interest (Blenheim Palace, “Winston Churchill & War” tour).

Beyond the programme, Oxford is a city both ancient and cosmopolitan, old and new, with a large cultural and social scene offering a wide variety of concerts, theatre and shows, films and exhibitions.

Accommodation and Meals

Students are housed in one of the historic Oxford colleges. In previous years, accommodation has been at the historic Brasenose College and St. Hilda's College. Founded in 1509, Brasenose is located in the very centre of Oxford, right next to the world-renowned Bodleian Library, just north of St. Mary's University Church and the famous "dreaming spires," and overlooking the famous Radcliffe Camera and Radcliffe square. Brasenose consists of three inter-connected quads, a 17th century chapel, library, and monastic-style cloisters. It has been described as the "quintessential Oxford college." 

Founded in 1893, St. Hilda's has been home to many renowned alumni and fellows, including the Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan, British politician Susan Kramer, and famous British cellist Jacqueline Du Pré. It is recognized as the college with the most beautiful grounds in Oxford. The grounds stretch along the banks of the River Cherwell, with many college rooms overlooking the river and the country fields beyond. The college has its own fleet of punts, which students may hire for free in summer months to cruise gently down the river. 

Students will have a single study bedroom. Breakfast and lunch will be provided every day, on site. A select few dinners at other historic Oxford colleges will be sponsored by the programme.

Wireless internet access is available in all bedrooms, as well as in classrooms and communal spaces of programme facilities, such as the dining hall and library.


Selection Criteria and Demands

The Oxford Summer Programme on International Affairs is a comprehensive and selective programme of study taught to an interested audience. The ideal candidates include promising university students and recent graduates, as well as professionals of all ages.

Participants are expected to

  • undertake some preparatory readings in advance of the programme;
  • attend all seminar sessions and lectures, be actively engaged with their seminar topics;
  • Present a “Marshall Brief” report. Students are provided instructions well in advance of the program. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present what students have learned in front of world experts in a creative but educational format. Experts will be on hand to provide instructions during the programme.