WHO EXACTLY WILL I BE Translating for?

It is highly likely that you will be teaching a young refugee. Our students are all seeking asylum in Bulgaria and living in one of the country's 7 reception centres, having come from many different parts of the world such as Afghanistan and Iraq. The average stay for an individual in the camp is around 3-6 months, so everyone that signs up to OXPAND has the time available to complete the courses. All of our students are highly motivated, talented young people who are incredibly keen to begin studying again. 


You will be assigned a student who had been studying at university and also a volunteer tutor. They will be paired based on their similar academic interests.

WHAT language speakers are you looking for?

We honestly need as many translators as we can find in Oxford! So please just get in contact if you're interested at all about translating.

Because of the current conflicts affecting so many people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the majority of students we are currently reaching out to speak either Arabic, Kurdish or Persian. These are the languages we really need translators for!


We only ask that you mentor your paired student for one hour a week, for one of our 6 week courses.

Beforehand you will have various additional opportunities to meet up with members of the OXPAND team to ask questions and receive a welcome pack. We also recommend you receive one of our short optional training sessions, in which you can meet your assigned tutor, as well as hearing about the situation your paired student will be learning in, such as the conditions of the camp and the history behind their migration. 

There will also be an opportunity for you to Skype your student ahead of beginning the course, to introduce yourself, arrange a convenient class time for yourselves and to check that the technology is working! 

Additionally you will have to think briefly about the content of the course, ahead of the sessions, so you feel fully prepared to translate potentially advanced academic vocabulary. It depends how much energy you want to devote to the programme, but overall we estimate you will spend a maximum of 2 hours a week translating the classes and preparing beforehand.

do i need previous experience?

Definitely not. We just need engaged motivated people who are willing to do something amazing by facilitating our lessons. The lessons themselves will be like casual Oxford tutorials, so you'll more or less be translating a fairly relaxed-paced conversation.

We are more than happy to provide ongoing assistance throughout the 6 weeks and you will receive a range of example lesson plans and videos in one of our welcome packs.


When you sit down to give the class over Skype (or other medium), you will be joined by one of our volunteer tutors. They will sit with you for the duration of the class and you will be translating between them and their student. The online classes will either happen in the tutor's office space, or our provided office space available in Oxford.

Whilst it is optional, we recommend that you meet with your assigned tutor ahead of your classes, so they can brief you about what sort of things you might be expected to translate for the student.

All the OXPAND team have communicated this way with refugees during our work in Bulgaria, translating directly between English and Arabic, Kurdish or Persian and it works extremely well.


Please do not hesitate to e-mail us at team.oxpand@gmail.com, so if you'd prefer to chat over the phone you can reach Anna on (+44) 07887861824.

Form for Volunteer Tutors

Name *
We facilitate a huge range of courses for our students. If you have any preference of course to translate, please let us know and we can do our best to accommodate your interests.
It is very useful for us to know basic information about your connection with Oxford. Year of study, undergraduate, graduate, course type and college are all desired details.