The Commonwealth and International Student Christmas is our longest-standing tradition, and we would love you to join us in 2018.
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 an inclusive space for people of all backgrounds and perspectives to exchange views and think creatively about pressing social and ethical issues.
For over 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.
In December 2017, we were joined by 58 students from 29 countries, representing 25 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 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 workshops led by guest speakers and facilitators. This year, we are pleased to announce that we’ll be joined by Debbie Danon, Co-founder and Joint CEO of TrustLab, who will draw on our theme for this event: ‘Identities and Cosmopolitanism’.
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, 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.
‘The environment is very much peaceful and inclusive. A very welcoming place.’ – 2017 participant
‘I met so many beautiful people from all around, and really connected well with all of them. The board game night was an amazing social event, I loved the whole experience.’ – 2017 participant
‘[…] everyone was so easy to talk to. Even if I didn’t know anyone, it was easy to approach people […] It was so far the best thing that I´ve experienced so far within my exchange semester in the UK.’ – 2017 participant
'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
If you attended this event in 2017, please consider giving others the opportunity to participate in 2018. As you know, spaces for this event are limited and, as such, we like to give as many students as possible the chance to experience this.
Tickets are £85 for the whole event, which includes shared accommodation in our historic rooms, all meals, and the full programme of events and activities.
To register online via Eventbrite, please follow the green 'Register Now' button on this page.
I'm not a student, can I still attend?
This event is only open to international students currently studying in a UK university.
Are student bursaries available for this event?
This event is heavily subsidised by Cumberland Lodge, so we are unable to offer free places.
Is my registration transferrable?
Purchased tickets can be transferred to another student if necessary. Please contact us if you wish to do this.
Can my ticket be refunded?
We are able to offer a refund up to 2 weeks (Sunday 2nd December 2018) before the event. After this time, we will not be able to offer refunds, but are able to transfer the ticket to another student.
What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
There is ample free parking on site at Cumberland Lodge. The nearest mainline train station is Egham, which is on the London Waterloo - Reading trainline.
Full travel directions for Cumberland Lodge can be found here.
How can I contact the organiser?
If you have any questions about his conference, please email Alice Wigley, Assistant to the Education Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.