Academically peerless, outside of that, and even occasionally within that, it too often feels that the students are not the priority. Mental health services are overwhelmed. Colleges are trying to force overseas students to pay for (expensive) vacation residence for their quarantine periods. In my personal experience, teaching has been invariably of the highest quality in all areas.View more
Oxford University has an international reputation for academic excellence, and I can confirm this to be the case.
My course comprises seminars of around 10 students and even smaller tutorials – intense discussions normally based on written work submitted in advance. These professors are some of the world-leading experts in my subject – 19th century France.
One thing you can expect is intensity. With such small classes, there is nowhere to hide if you have not done the requisite reading, and on a more positive note, there are unbeatable opportunities to ask academics specific questions about an essay.
Oxford, like Cambridge and Durham, has a collegiate structure. Whether this suits you or not depends on personal preference, and of which college you decide to apply to. Most people think all colleges are the same – however, some have a tendency to attract certain ‘types’ of students. It really pays to do your research beforehand.
Living in college makes it very easy to make friends, but can feel a little insular. Most students decide to live out after their first year, but some colleges are large enough to allow students to live in college for the duration of their degree. One the whole, Cambridge colleges are much larger and fewer students live out.
This decentralised system means it is important to research each college specifically. Does it have new accommodation? Do you have to pay for laundry? What are the scholarships and bursaries like?
That said, all students at Oxford have worked hard to get there and many colleges share fun traditions, such as formal dinners. Oxford itself is a beautiful city and large enough to provide a sufficient range of shops, cinemas, sports facilities.
One note of caution: please choose your course wisely! Last term, I chose a module that had no lectures, seminars, or tutorials, and I was the only student enrolled on the course! I had to do all my own research and create my own bibliography, with almost no support.
This term, however, I have chosen a more popular module with a regular structure of contact hours, which I am really enjoying.
In short, it really pays to do your research beforehand.View more
Wonderful professors. Intellectually stimulating. Courses outdated, however, and should be altered – more modern texts, female intellectuals etc. The term length of 8 weeks is unnecessarily short at the expense of student welfare (work load too high for short period of time).View more
Oxford is obviously a very high pressure university. The highly personal tutorial system at this university allowed me to go very deep into the subjects that interest me. It also created a level of focus that forced me to push myself intellectually in a way that I never had before. I have also met so many interesting, unique, and likeminded people here, and learned as much from them as from the (great) tutorial system. Despite the difficulties of studying here, I wouldn’t trade it for anywhere else!View more