University of Oxford

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Oxford University

Location

Oxford is a small ‘University town’ with its own good mix of modern and ancient. Based on a collegiate system, the University comprises of 38 independent, self-governing colleges (analogous to mini university communities) which have marvelous antique infrastructures, interspersed among modern shops and buildings. The weather in Oxford is unpredictable with long snowy winter periods dragging way too far into spring in the recent years. Regardless, summer is usually eagerly embraced in the third and last term, where having barbeques and Frisbee bonding sessions in the parks are widely popular.

School Life

The highlight of studying in the Oxford University would be its unique tutorial system, which allows close academic supervision and support for every student. For example, the typical tutor to student ratio for a tutorial session is 1:3. Libraries in this University also contain an extensive range of selection, which is crucial for allowing self-disciplinary studies by its students.

Non-academic wise, the city itself is interesting to live in and at times, amusing when you become part of the tourist attraction. With its odd traditions such as wearing gowns to formal occasions and a special standardized dress code during exams, called the ‘sub fusc’ completed with a mortar board, it is not surprising when your photos are being taken against the city’s quaint landscape. Apart from this, the city also contains various media of entertainment, such as theatres, cinemas, museums, pubs, clubs, parks and a high street shopping area. If you are bored of this limited selection, getting to central London is just an hour’s train ride away. Alternatively, Bicester is a mere 20-minutes bus ride from city centre, where it is a shopping paradise for heavily discounted branded goods.

Settling In

Rough financial cost breakdown:

  • Accommodation – depending on how rich your college is. Average, you spend around 1500 per term (8 weeks)
  • College – Fixed amount of college fees is required annually for general administration procedures. On average, they are around 5000 pounds.
  • Meals – Eating in college is probably the cheapest way to get a decent amount of choices. The best thing about Oxford is that you can ask your friends from different colleges to invite you to their formal hall dinners and enjoy a three-course meal at a fairly decent price. (Price ranges from 2 to 10 pounds per meal)
  • Transport – If you get a bike, price varying from 30 pounds (second-hand) to 150 pounds, you can probably get around the city pretty quickly. Alternatively, you can always choose to walk to anywhere in Oxford. Taxi services are available for moving, which is a procedure that you will get used to (around 10 pounds per ride if distance is around 10 min away).
  • Miscellaneous – The most common entertainment engaged by Oxford students is probably going to clubs to enjoy a ‘chilling and relax night-out’. On average, entrance is 5 pounds but on student nights, free entries are usually accompanied with discounted drink prices.

Kayla Wu Yue
Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology (First Year Undergraduate)