I got an e-mail from my Oxford program director, Dr. Jacobs, about arriving at Oxford. Here it is:
"Dear Oxford students,So, so, SO EXCITED!
Mark and I really look forward to seeing you on July 4. We'll gather all of you together at some point that day--perhaps during the reception before the (relatively formal) first dinner. Last year, the males wore ties and jackets, the females either pants suits, or dresses. Basically--you just have to look somewhat dressed up. They will serve you wine (one of only two times Exeter will do that) and some really good food. You will think you've wandered into a time warp orchestrated by J.K. Rowling.
Bring required books--or at least read them so you can review them from the library--and xerox pages from optional books on topics that might apply to your paper. Look carefully at paper topics, because that will be uppermost on your mind starting week 2.
It will be cold and rainy sometimes--so be prepared. Almost no one wears shorts, but casual shirts and pants are typical for classes and just hanging out. You can buy a sweatshirt when you get there (an Oxford one!) to keep you warm.
You'll need all your own toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, medicine etc. There are drug stores nearby, if you forget anything. And you can buy a cell phone (quite reasonably) as soon as you get there. That will be less expensive than bringing your own phone and paying the extra charges for England.
Let me know if you have questions. This is going to be fun!
Erica (normally Dr. Jacobs, but in Oxford we're pretty informal!)"