On the 3rd July, we travelled up to Oxford University to attend both open days, as well as spend the night sleeping in the student accommodation. As part as the Oxbridge enrichment, the visit was to help us learn more about what life would be like living at the university, as well as speaking to students and tutors about the courses we wish to study.
After our safe arrival to sunny Oxford, we made our way through the energetic city and saw the amazing architecture that Oxford had to offer. We stayed at Keble College, one of the largest colleges at Oxford that is easily distinguishable for its unique aesthetics of red, white and blue bricks. We collected our room keys and found that the accommodation exceeded all of our expectations, with all rooms equipped with a mini-fridge, kettle with choices of different coffees and teas, and gingersnap biscuits.
Once unpacking our things, we were able to freely look around the many different colleges at Oxford and see which ones appealed to us most. I looked at colleges such as Christ Church, Balliol, St Peters and many more. Each one looking like its very own palace with phenomenal architecture and impressively well-kept lawn was quite overwhelming at first, but seeing the study and social facilities within them made me feel more comfortable at the possibility of learning in such a prestigious environment. Each college made it hard to choose a favourite, with friendly students offering tours, handing out bags and one college playing a jazz rendition of ‘fly me to the moon’ outside.
We then attended a mock interview between a real Oxford student and tutor. Although the interview was about chemistry (not a subject I study and therefore found very perplexing), I learnt a lot about the interview process and how they aim to judge your ability to process the information they give you in order to explore the question; similar to how the tutorial system works.
After the mock interview, we went punting. The thought of this unnerved me at first, and there were moments during the experience that definitely confirmed my distress. After seeing Mr Lose swiftly and gracefully punt away, I think the members of our boat were a little petrified at Miss Whiteside’s first attempt. Once we got going, our nerves settled and we found a sense of peace going down the river and seeing Oxford in a way that would be impossible by foot. This was until the strait of the river ended and we started bumping into the banks, as well as making some new Dutch friends while bumping into their boats. Despite this, the experience of punting and racing the other boat of the Highcliffe cohort (which we lost), was something we would definitely not forget. Afterwards, Mr Lose showed us an astounding bookshop that surpassed our expectations due to its staggering size, not something you would expect from the quaint store-front. Our earlier efforts were not forgotten since we then treated ourselves to pasta, pizza and ice cream.
The next day, we were able to eat breakfast in the Keble college dining hall (the longest dining hall in Oxford) and taste the great abundance of food that was on offer. Our second day was dedicated to learning more about our chosen courses and visiting the faculty buildings to listen to subject-specific talks. After listening to a general admissions talk, we dispersed out into the city of Oxford to find the location of the talks, all of which were very informative and interesting. Finding my way there with the company of Miss Whiteside was very easy (although I can’t say the same for finding our way back). As well as this, we attended talks held at Keble College by the tutors. I found this extremely helpful since the attendance of the PPE talk was very small and therefore, the help offered was very personal to the questions that I had.
Our residential trip to Oxford was very helpful, giving us invaluable information that we wouldn’t have been able to have otherwise. It was an introspective experience that taught us a lot about what student life at Oxford would be like, as well as being and fun and inspiring trip to motivate and excite us for the future.
Owned by: HWH | Last Published: 10/10/2019 07:53:43 | Next Update: N/A