Our 73rd Christmas conference for Commonwealth and international students takes place from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 December 2020, at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor.
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 in a festive atmosphere, and to experience Christmas traditions in Windsor Great Park, including Christmas dinner with a visit from Father Christmas.
Participation is open to university students from overseas who are currently studying in the UK.
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 by 63 students from 31 countries, representing 32 UK universities.
This relaxed and informal conference takes place in a stunning 17th-century, former royal residence in the heart of Windsor Great Park.
We will be joined by guest speakers including:
- Dr Gus Casely-Hayford OBE - Founding Director of Victoria & Albert East Museum and Collection Centre
- Lynda-Louise Burrell - Creative Director - Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum
- Beki Martin - Executive Director, Facing History and Ourselves CIO
- Alice Purkiss - National Trust Partnership Lead, University of Oxford
- Lavinya Stennett – Founder of The Black Curriculum
Further guests will be announced shortly.
As part of the programme, you will also have the chance to experience a traditional British Christmas, with activities including: a winter trail through Windsor Great Park, and a festive evening of 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. There is ample opportunity for walking, running and wildlife-spotting in the Great Park.
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 sold on a first-come, first-served basis, to students currently based at UK universities. This year, full social distancing measures will be in place, in line with our COVID-secure policies and risk assessments, and participation is limited to 30 spaces, some of which will be allocated in advance to Cumberland Lodge Scholars. Early booking is strongly advised.
Tickets cost £125 per person.
Participants will be allocated single accommodation in one of our historic en-suite guest rooms.
The full programme of events and activities is included in your ticket price, and all meals are provided during your stay.
If you would like to attend, please use the ‘Make Enquiry’ button at the top of this webpage to register your interest, and a member of staff will be in touch to let you know how to book.
Is my registration transferable?
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 will not be able to offer refunds, but you are able to transfer the ticket to another student if you can no longer attend.
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 train line.
Full travel directions for Cumberland Lodge can be found here.
Is this event COVID-19 secure?
We have a comprehensive plan of action in place for welcoming visitors whilst COVID-19 remains a risk. You can download a copy here, and further details about our new procedures and preventative measures taken are also available from request.
How can I contact the organiser?
If you have any questions about his conference, please email Emily Gow, Programme Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org