Curious about the food, how accessible the internet is, and if you’re going to get to tie a rubber rope around your ankles and jump off a bridge while you’re here? Have a look through some of our most frequently asked questions below and get some helpful answers (not to mention a few bits of information you probably hadn’t even thought to ask about yet). If you have a question that we haven’t answered below please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
The DTS at YWAM Oxford is 6 months long, split into two phases:
Lecture Phase: 12 weeks at the YWAM Oxford Base
Outreach Phase: 8 -12 weeks in NZ and in the nations.
Those that have completed a DTS (at YWAM Oxford or elsewhere) can apply for a Second Level school. Second Level schools provide an opportunity to take your growth to a whole new level. There are a number of different focuses of Second Level schools such as the Bible, Worship, Missions, Earthcare and more.
The Lecture Phase for all of our DTS’ is $3,950 NZD (our Early Bird Special when room deposit of $500 is paid 3 months prior to DTS start date). For applications arriving less than 3 months before the school start date the cost is $4,200 NZD. This includes all meals, internet use, room, electricity, speakers, special events and resources used during the lecture phase. All lecture phases are 12 weeks which include a debrief/graduation week at the end.
Outreach is $5000-$7000 for all DTS outreaches. Occasionally the cost may be more or less than this but this would be communicated through your outreach leaders and discussed.
Activity and Transport Fee is $500 which includes all school related travel, airport pick ups and drop offs, travel for church serve week and four exciting weekend trips. There may be other optional weekend trips priced at between $10 and $50 each.
YWAM Oxford has a strong family feel. We love that students and staff form genuine relationships with one another and that everyone has a place here. Most DTS schools range from 10 to 25 students but have gone as high as 45.
YWAM Oxford welcomes students from all around the world. Predominantly, students come from western nations such as those in North America, Europe and the Pacific. We welcome students from all nations. Proficiency in speaking, writing and understanding English is required as all lectures will be in English.
Speakers for the lecture phase come from all over the world—ranging from local New Zealanders (kiwis), to the greater Pacific region, North America, Europe and Asia. Speakers also come from a range of backgrounds and experience such as Church pastors, House of Prayer, Frontier Missions, Bible College, and YWAM Global/Regional Leaders. We choose the best speakers for each week’s topic to bring quality teaching and ministry.
We have sent teams to all regions of the world such as the Pacific, Southeast Asia, Far-East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Central and South America. With each DTS, the leadership seeks God as to which country(ies) to send teams to.
The Backpacker DTS outreach has a focus on reaching backpackers in New Zealand.
The primary focus of outreach is to share the gospel and move people towards a commitment to following Jesus. Other elements of outreach are children’s ministry, prayer walking, preaching in churches and home groups, prison ministry, street ministry, teaching English, connecting with local churches and ministries and practical mercy ministry.
New Zealand is a breathtakingly beautiful country. With the mountains, ocean and filming locations for Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Alien: Covenant, and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, there is much to see and do. As a student there will be opportunities for weekend activities such as: surfing, rock climbing, caving, hiking, camping, and mountain biking. If students desire to tour New Zealand and do additional activities, they are welcome to do so before or after DTS.
There are four exciting weekend trips included in the activity fee to beautiful and adventurous places around the South Island.
New Zealand immigration allows a person to be in the country for up to 3 months on a Visitor Visa. If you are on the Visa-waiver countries list you will receive a 3 month Visitor Visa automatically upon arrival in New Zealand. UK Passport holders can be granted a Visitor Visa for up to 6 months. Evidence of onward (outbound) travel is required to receive a Visitor visa. If you are not from a Visa-waiver country, you will need to apply for a Visitor Visa before coming to New Zealand.
DTS students who are doing an overseas outreach can receive back-to-back 3 month Visitor Visas as they will be leaving New Zealand during the outreach phase and will receive a fresh Visitor Visa upon return.
Alternately, if you plan to stay in New Zealand longer than 3 months and you are under the age of 30 you may qualify for a Work Holiday Visa. Please consult your school leader or the registrar before applying for a Work Holiday Visa.
The type of flight you purchase will be dependent upon your circumstances and preference. If you are entering New Zealand on a Visitor Visa (3 month visa) you will be required to show proof that you are departing New Zealand (an outgoing flight) before you will be allowed to enter the country. We recommend that international students purchase round-trip tickets as they will be returning to New Zealand after outreach for graduation before flying back home. Upon acceptance, applicants will receive additional detailed information regarding purchasing flights.
Students are asked to limit all their belongings to one backpack (80L for guys and 60L for girls) and a small daypack (used as a carry-on). The reason for limited luggage is for mobility on outreach. Small exceptions are for those wishing to bring a skateboard or musical instrument.
As we stated above, we ask that all of your things fit into your backpack and daypack, so if it doesn’t fit best not to bring it. We also ask students not to bring or have the following items: Alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco products, music with explicit lyrics, clothing with inappropriate writing or markings, firearms, fireworks, and string bikinis.
YWAM Oxford believes in health for the entire person. This means we strongly value providing healthy, quality food. We do our best to provide meals of fresh veggies, good protein and healthy carbs. We also make fruit available at all times for snacking. Our cook does a fantastic job at accommodating those with food allergies and preferences (Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Lactose-intolerant, etc.)
Yes, YWAM Oxford schools are fully accredited through the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii. Students graduating DTS will receive 20-24 credits. Students completing Second Level schools will receive one credit per week. These credits can be used toward a degree at the U of N or transferred to other universities around the world (check with specific institutions for credit transfer requirements).
Each student needs to bring a compact, mummy style, sleeping bag both for use during lecture phase and outreach. The more compact the sleeping bag, the more room students will have for other items in their backpacks (1-3lbs) For most hot climate regions, a lightweight bag (rated 55 Fahrenheit +) is suitable. Some outreaches are in colder climates so a warmer bag is required.
The climate in New Zealand is quite moderate with relatively small changes in temperature between summer and winter. Annual temperatures range from 10 °C (50 °F) in the south to 16 °C (61 °F) in the north. The coldest month is usually July and the warmest month is usually January or February. As Oxford is located in the foothills of the Southern Alps, temperatures have a slightly wider range from as low as 0°C (32 °F) in the winter all the way up to 30°C (86 °F) in the summer. Snow is likely in Oxford during winter months (June-August) but usually only a few times and not in particularly large quantities.
It can get very cold in the mornings and evenings in New Zealand and the temperature can fluctuate dramatically throughout the day. We recommend bringing a range of clothing, particularly items that will be suitable for layering. What you’ll need: a pair of shorts, pants, skirt, a couple short sleeve t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, a fleece, rain jacket, swimsuit, and a dressy outfit for graduation.
We really want to honor one another with modesty. For guys, board shorts or loose fitting trunks are acceptable over “speedo” type. For girls, a one piece or two piece that covers the stomach are acceptable.
Students are welcome to bring their own laptop computers, netbooks, and iPads. However, keep in mind that you will have to carry these on outreach with you, so consider whether that is something you want to do. The base has a number of computers available for student use.
Students will have access to the internet from the YWAM Oxford network on base. The student network gives students access from any wifi capable device or computer. The student computers on base also have internet access for email, Facebook and Skype.
If you care deeply about a specific brand of deodorant or toothpaste, you may want to bring a supply large enough to cover your entire time away. However, most items you could want should be available here at the local shop or in the city. You will find similar brands for similar prices as back home. (Some things do cost substantially more here such as: contact solution, razors, sunscreen and ibuprofen) That said, it would be wise to bring at least some of each of the items you need…soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, stuff to shave with, contact solution and any other necessary items, and replenish as needed once you get to DTS. Please remember that all items brought must fit inside your backpack.
Student fees cover all room and board. Student fees do not cover personal items such as toiletries, going out to eat, non-school activities, and similar personal expenses. Some students bring very little for personal expenses and some bring more as each student will have different spending preferences. $200-300 should be sufficient for most student’s basic needs. An additional $100 should cover all optional weekend excursions. ATM’s are available in the city to obtain cash and our treasurer is also available for money exchange.
Yes, students are very welcome to bring personal digital devices. Our policy as a base is that all media played publicly (out loud in your room, lounge areas, kitchen, etc.) has been paid for and personally owned (i.e. not downloaded or copied from someone else). Also, music and movies with explicit lyrics, violent, or sexual content should be left at home.
If your phone is unlocked (functions with more than one mobile carrier) you can purchase and use a local SIM card here in New Zealand. Mobile service is strong in Oxford and mobile text/talk/data plans are generally affordable.
New Zealand has flat, “skew” plug points, and 230v 50 Hz sockets. If the voltage in your country is the same, all you need is a New Zealand power plug adapter. If you are from North America (where power is 120v 60 Hz), it is important for you to have a voltage converter for certain high-consumption electronics such as hairdryers. You can usually locate voltage/wattage capacity for your electronic devices printed or embossed somewhere on the power cord.
Yes, our base has a great library containing a wide range of titles that can be used for book reports, personal study or other reading.
We strongly encourage students to attend a church service on Sunday morning but it is not a requirement. We as a base want to connect with the larger body of Christ, to sow into the community here and to receive from them as well! Most regularly attended are the Anglican church and the Baptist church but there are others in the community as well.
Oxford is a small rural community of about 2000 people. You’ll see heaps of sheep as there’s many farmers in the area. Although small, there is a dairy, supermarket, post shop, bank, pharmacy, gym, and several cafes. You will be able to find essential toiletries and food items in Oxford. If not, we regularly make trips to Christchurch where there are shopping malls, larger supermarkets and specialty stores.