Hohoho! 4 universities around the world that make Christmas celebrations extra magical

christmas celebrations
It's beginning to look like Christmas at these campus grounds . Source: Daniel Leal/AFP

‘Tis the season to be jolly! Most would consider Christmas celebrations magical – with twinkling Christmas lights, elaborately decorated trees, gifts and of course, a time when everyone gathers together for a well-deserved break.

While Christmas experiences may differ for international students abroad, it doesn’t mean that it’s less festive. Although your family and friends may not be with you, there is still plenty to look forward to. 

Many universities understand this is an important time of the year — which is why they often go all out with their Christmas decorations, traditions and events to help international students get into the holiday spirit. 

Here are four universities around the world making Christmas celebrations on campus extra magical: 

christmas celebrations

Every year, universities from UK and US make it a point to host wonderful Christmas celebrations to share in the festive spirit. Source: Justin Tallis/AFP

Bournemouth University 

This UK university is home to more than 19,000 students and is ranked as one of the top 77 young universities in the world under The Higher Education Young University Rankings 2021.

Every year, Bournemouth University organises Christmas activities for students who are on campus over the holidays. In previous years, the campus organised a mini Christmas celebration themed around The Christmas Story. 

Its location in the bustling town centre of Bournemouth transforms into a Winter Wonderland during the winter.

This year, the university is doing their bit in fuelling the festive spirits for those in the town too with the Bournemouth Christmas Market and Christmas Tree Wonderland. Take a look! 

Oxford University

As one of the most prestigious universities in the world, expect nothing less than grand Christmas celebrations at Oxford University.

Given their shorter yet more intense semester terms, students at Oxford enjoy much longer holidays (42 days or a full 6 weeks!) too compared to other UK universities.  

The campus’s rich history with its 800-year-old architectural design makes Christmas seem even dreamier. Students here enjoy Oxmas – referring to Christmas at Oxford, across the campuses.

If you’re lucky, some colleges and departments provide an Oxmas dinner with a carol service — complete with mince pies and mulled wine.

Columbia University 

Founded in 1754, Columbia University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the US.

As of 2021, there are over 12,500 international students representing 150 countries on campus, making them one of the largest international student populations in the US. 

In keeping with holiday tradition and the yearly Christmas celebrations, students at Columbia will gather on “The Plaza” for a festive evening of music, treats, and counting down to the moment of tree-lighting illumination on College Walk.  


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The University of Worcester

The University of Worcester is a public research university and the only higher education institution in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

This UK university empathises with international students and makes it a point to be inclusive of them when planning events on campus, especially over the holidays. 

During the pandemic in 2020, the university organised a socially distanced Christmas event for those who remained on campus to bring up Christmas spirits. This year as part of their Christmas celebrations, a Christmas Tree Festival will be held at the Cathedral. 

Are you travelling to London this Christmas and need ideas on how to enjoy your trip without spending a single cent? Check out these free things to do while you’re exploring the city!

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