The Commonwealth and International Student Christmas is our longest-standing tradition and we would love you join us in December 2017 for our 70th annual gathering.
The first gathering of international students at Cumberland Lodge took place in 1947, just a few weeks after King George VI had granted us the use of the Lodge for our educational work, to provide a safe space for people of all backgrounds and perspectives to exchange views and think creatively about pressing social and ethical issues facing society.
For 70 years we have extended a warm welcome to students from all over the world who are currently studying in the UK, to join us in December and experience a traditional British Christmas.
Participants engage in a programme of thought-provoking and inspiring seminars and workshops, and get to meet others who are studying away from home.
In December 2016, we were joined by 62 students from 32 countries, representing 17 universities across the UK.
This relaxed and informal annual conference takes place at Cumberland Lodge, a 17th century, former royal residence in the heart of Windsor Great Park. As part of the programme you will have the chance to experience a traditional British Christmas, including:
- A Christmas carol service in the Royal Chapel
- A guided winter trail through Windsor Great Park
- A traditional Christmas dinner, with a visit from Father Christmas
- Festive evening games and entertainment.
The programme also features seminars and workshops led by guest speakers and organisations, and this year these will draw on our annual theme for 2017/18: 'Freedom'.
Cumberland Lodge is close to attractions such as The Savill Garden, Virginia Water, and The Long Walk, which offers a spectacular view of Windsor Castle. There is ample opportunity for walking, running, cycling or wildlife spotting in the Great Park.
Find out more
An album of photos from our 2016 conference is available on our Facebook page, and students share their thoughts on the retreat in the video below.
'It was an amazing experience; I felt like I was inside of a movie - when a big family gets together to celebrate Christmas eating, drinking, singing around the piano in a joyful environment.' - 2016 participant
'Learning about and enjoying the Christmas in UK with people from all over the world while exchanging thoughts on and debating about the pressing issues of the society.' - 2016 participant
'This was the best Christmas outside my own country.' - 2015 participant