After what feels like a decade away from academia, my mother and I ventured to the quaint city that is Oxford to have a noisy around the University and Colleges. As many may have read throughout my blogging, I am hoping to continue further study after my year in Paris and want to complete a Masters focusing on Medieval History of Art. As I will be away for the next year, I thought it was probably wise to get started in looking at potential universities so that I get a ‘proper’ feel for the place before applying.
I have only been to Oxford once, and that was when I was only a small child so my memories of the city are quite limited! The city is beautiful. It shares many similarities with York, which I love. One of the main advantages of the university is that it is spread out throughout the entire city. Oxford truly is the University’s city. I am not saying at all that I did not enjoy the centralised nature of York. In fact I found it great – everything is close together so there’s no worry about being late for Seminars/meetings! So this dispersed nature was very new to me!
Our trip to the university included meeting with members of staff in the History of Art and History departments. One thing that I definitely recommend for prospective students, whether that be Post-Graduate or Undergraduate, is to see the place that may become your future home from home and to meet the staff and explore the department. Both members of staff were incredibly friendly and helpful.
As well as meeting departmental staff, I had also arranged to explore a few of the colleges including Jesus, Christ, Trinity and Kellogg. Each are very different, and have all their own unique traits. Similar to York I guess is that there are separate colleges for Graduates only (Such as Kellogg), whereas others are intermixed with both undergraduate and graduates. The good thing about coming from York is that having a similar collegiate system, I wasn’t too confused or thrown off! I think having a look at the potential places that you may live in are imperative to any university visit. Despite the fact that you’re going to an institution to study and learn, the living environment and social side of your time at any university should also weigh in on the decision of where you would like to attend. By visiting potential colleges or halls of residences, this enables you to really in visage whether you could mentally picture yourself fitting in a particular place. If you are turned off by a place, for many reasons (not are all negative, sometimes you just don’t think you would personally suit a particular hall or college) then you know where not to apply etc. Overall, it makes your life a lot easier!
I had a wonderful day roaming around Oxford and getting to know the ins and outs of the university and their teaching. Even if you aren’t thinking about Academia at Oxford, it is definitely worth a visit – there are so many cute tea rooms. Check out some of the photos that I took on my trip there!