Living up to its reputation of academic rigour, Oxford can be a challenging place to study at times, as much of the work is done independently. As a history student, I do not receive a lot of contact hours. I knew this would be the case before I attended, but it still took me a while to adjust to doing all my work myself and then attending weekly tutorials in order to discuss completed work.
Nevertheless, it goes without saying that having access to experts in your field makes studying here worth the money and the time, and the hard workload really helps you develop to the best of your potential. My experience with several tutors has almost always been positive, and they genuinely want to help you learn.
The beautiful libraries and other buildings also make the city a motivational and comfortable place to work. One of the most unique things about Oxford is its collegiate system, which means you live in smaller, tight-knit communities, but also have better access to academic and financial resources right where you live.
The most important thing to do when considering applying to Oxford is to research colleges, as your choice truly does shape your time there. Some colleges have poor kitchen facilities, which forces you to buy meals in the hall, which, despite being subsidised, can be expensive. Some colleges also have less accommodation, meaning that they may not be able to provide a room for you for the duration of your degree. This can be important since private housing in Oxford is sometimes expensive.
All in all, college life is exciting and much of the social activity revolves around these communities. The small size of these colleges means it is easy to get involved in all sorts of societies, as well as drive change within these institutions. Although attending a university with a reputation for being steeped in tradition and elitism can seem daunting, there genuinely is a welcoming atmosphere for everyone and an ability to make your college or university what you want to make it.View more
My Oxford education has enabled me to meet many challenges in my professional life, key among them the need to process information quickly and present convincing arguments in all situations. The personalized attention at the heart of the tutorial system really fostered a sense of personal responsibility for my education. I carry the best of what Oxford offered to this day.View more
Studying at the University of Oxford can be a very stimulating and eye-opening experience, with a supportive network of brilliant people that encourage innovation and exchanges. There is always a place to try out new things or learn about cutting edge research, and the international diversity of the student body at a graduate level provides a unique human experience – in addition to the opportunity of living in a small, gorgeous town with lots of surrounding green areas. On the other hand, the competitivity and the imposteur syndrome can be crushing, and it is important to indulge in self care and to take a step back from Oxford, since it has a very powerful ‘bubble’ effect. As anywhere, there is some good and some bad, but because of the intense rhythm of the Oxford life and academic calendar, these kind be felt more powerfully than in other places.
The University of Oxford helps you achieve high personal and academic standards, and benefits from centuries of scholarship, the proximity of London, and one of the best library network in the world – yet it is also a place that is demanding and in which the sense of realities can sometimes be a little be erased.