Date range
18 December 2019, 2:00pm to 20 December 2019, 12:30pm
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Please note that this event is sold out and our waiting list is also full.

The Commonwealth and International Student Christmas is our longest-standing tradition, and international students in the UK are invited to join us for this year's festive celebrations, with workshops and panel discussions on the theme of 'Digital Society'.

Our first gathering of international students at Cumberland Lodge took place over 70 years ago, in December 1947, shortly after King George VI had granted us use of the Lodge to provide an inclusive space for people of all backgrounds and perspectives to exchange views on the pressing societal and ethical issues of the day.

In December 2018, 43 students from 21 countries took part in this annual event. Participants joined us from 19 UK universities.

Delegates at the Commonwealth & International Student Christmas Conference held in December 2018

Programme highlights

This relaxed and informal conference takes place at Cumberland Lodge, a stunning 17th-century, former royal residence in the heart of Windsor Great Park. It is within easy reach of London's major railway stations and airports.

This year’s programme features workshops led by guest speakers and facilitators on the theme of ‘Digital Society’, exploring our relationship with emerging technologies at both a societal and individual level. 

We are pleased to announce that we will be joined by:

  • Professor Lionel Tarassenko CBE, President, Parks College, University of Oxford
  • Inna Thalmann, DPhil student, University of Oxford, Cumberland Lodge Fellow
  • Kal Turnbull, CEO and Co-Founder,
  • Dr Neil Sadler, Lecturer, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen’s University of Belfast
  • Marceline Bresson, Undergraduate student, University of Oxford

As part of the programme you will also have the chance to experience a traditional British Christmas, including:

  • A Christmas carol service in the Royal Chapel of All Saints
  • A winter trail through Windsor Great Park
  • A traditional Christmas dinner, with a visit from Father Christmas
  • Festive evening games and entertainment

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), and there is ample opportunity for walking, running and wildlife-spotting in the Great Park.

Find out more

An album of photos from our 2016 conference is available on our Facebook page, and some of our recent conference participants have shared their experiences of Cumberland Lodge at Christmas in the video below. 

What people are saying

2018 participants:

‘The Commonwealth and International Student Christmas at Cumberland Lodge was a superb opportunity to mix with vibrant, engaging students from a myriad of nations across the globe, where discussion flowed freely in an atmosphere of openness and mutual interest.’

‘I have attended several international conferences and retreats before but I can safely say that this is the best one ever! Christmas at Cumberland Lodge is an event that celebrates the spirit of Christmas, nurtures friendship and allows you to introspect on several critical issues.’ 

‘I arrived alone and left with many incredible friends from around the world.’ 

2017 participants:

‘The environment is very much peaceful and inclusive. A very welcoming place.’

‘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.’

‘[…] 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.’ 


There are two ticket options this year, both of which include accommodation in one of our individually designed, historic rooms, plus all meals and the full programme of events and activities:

  • £85 – single accommodation
  • £65 – shared accommodation


We are pleased to be able to provide six travel bursaries, each worth up to £60, to help students with limited financial means to attend.

To apply for a bursary, please download the application from the 'Downloads' box on this webpage, and email it to us at:

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible to attend?

If you are a student from a Commonwealth or overseas country, currently enrolled at a university in the UK, at undergraduate or postgraduate/PhD level, you are most welcome to attend this conference. We are unable to accept bookings from students based at universities outside of the UK.

Can my ticket be refunded?

If you are unable to attend the confernece due to unforeseen circumstances, we can offer a refund up to two weeks before the event (Wednesday 4 December 2018). After that date we will not be able to offer refunds, but you are welcome to transfer the ticket to another student. Please let us know if you would like to try that.

What are my transport/parking options for 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 train line.

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 Ethan Coombridge, Programme Assistant, at


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