In light of the current high rates of COVID-19 infection in many parts of the UK, this year's conference is now taking place virtually, for the first time in our history. It is free to attend and open to all international students currently studying in the UK, as well as to our Emerging International Leaders alumni around the world, and Cumberland Lodge Scholars past and present.
Our 73rd Christmas conference for Commonwealth and international students takes place online, from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 December 2020, via Zoom.
This year, we explore ‘Decolonising British History’, focusing on how museums, universities, schools and other public bodies are grappling with conflicting ideas about Britain’s colonial past.
This sell-out annual conference gives participants from all over the world the chance to meet fellow international students from all over the world, in a festive virtual atmosphere, and to experience a carol service at the Royal Chapel via live-stream.
The Commonwealth and International Student Christmas is our longest-standing tradition. The first gathering of international students at Cumberland Lodge took place in 1947, just a few weeks after King George VI granted us 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 societal and ethical issues.
In December 2019, we were joined at Cumberland Lodge by 63 students from 31 countries, representing 32 UK universities.
This year we are joined by guest speakers including:
- Dr Gus Casely-Hayford OBE - Director of Victoria & Albert Museum East
- Lynda-Louise Burrell - Creative Director - Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum
- Beki Martin - Executive Director, Facing History and Ourselves CIO
- Lavinya Stennett – Founder of The Black Curriculum
- Marenka Thompson-Odlum - Research Assistant, Labelling Matters Project, Pitt Rivers Museum
As part of the programme, you will also have the chance to experience festive activities including a virtual talent show and an international quiz. You will also be invited to watch the live-streamed carol service at the Royal Chapel.
What did previous participants say?
Some of our recent conference participants share their experiences of Cumberland Lodge at Christmas in the video and feedback quotes below.
'Fabulous fun! The atmosphere was wonderful, really warm, inclusive and very inspiring. Even though I came by myself, it did not matter as the entire programme was brilliantly planned. There was even a visit from Father Christmas during our delicious Christmas dinner! Thank you, Cumberland Lodge!' - 2019 participant
‘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.’ – 2018 participant
‘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.’ – 2018 participant
'I massively enjoyed meeting people from different backgrounds and perspectives with such diverse talents! Sharing and discussing with them during the conference was useful indeed.' – 2019 participant
Tickets are available for all international students currently based at UK universities, as well as Emerging International Leaders Alumni and Cumberland Lodge Scholars. This event is free to attend.
Places at this conference are limited. Tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
If you haven’t already got a confirmed place on this conference, or joined our waiting list, please contact us via the ‘Make an enquiry’ button on this webpage or email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about taking part.
Can my ticket be refunded?
If you purchased a ticket for this event when it was due to take place at Cumberland Lodge, you will receive a full refund.
How can I contact the organiser?
If you have any questions about his conference, please email Emily Gow, Programme Officer, at email@example.com