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    Hi everyone.. I'm new here so please be nice?
    I'm currently thinking about applying to Oxford and Cambridge to do either English or History and I was wondering if any current students could give me the low down on what life at either university is like?

    Firstly, is it as scary/intimidating as the reputation suggests?

    Also I'm from the North.. will I be outnumbered by Southerners and find it difficult to fit in?

    And, for either uni, can people suggest nice, friendly colleges that I should consider? What's the accommodation, food, social life like? I'm also really into drama and kayaking so do I need to look for a college that has those societies or are there things that are Uni wide?

    Sorry for the horrendous amount of questions!!!
    Thank you!!
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    When I say 'outnumbered by southerners' I mean is the reputation true that Oxbridge doesn't have very many people from the north? I got to a state school so I was wondering if that would hurt my chances of getting in/fitting in
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    (Original post by TheatreVoice)
    When I say 'outnumbered by southerners' I mean is the reputation true that Oxbridge doesn't have very many people from the north? I got to a state school so I was wondering if that would hurt my chances of getting in/fitting in
    Hi! I have an offer from Cambridge and at interview there was a pretty wide variety of people. I'm from a state school in Northern Ireland and there were lots of other state school people there. But from what I have heard it really doesn't matter what school you are from or where you live. My college (Trinity) seemed really friendly despite its formidable reputation and hopefully I'll be able to give you more info in October - fingers crossed!
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    (Original post by TheatreVoice)
    Hi everyone.. I'm new here so please be nice?
    I'm currently thinking about applying to Oxford and Cambridge to do either English or History and I was wondering if any current students could give me the low down on what life at either university is like?

    Firstly, is it as scary/intimidating as the reputation suggests?

    Also I'm from the North.. will I be outnumbered by Southerners and find it difficult to fit in?

    And, for either uni, can people suggest nice, friendly colleges that I should consider? What's the accommodation, food, social life like? I'm also really into drama and kayaking so do I need to look for a college that has those societies or are there things that are Uni wide?

    Sorry for the horrendous amount of questions!!!
    Thank you!!
    when I went to interview, there were people from boarding schools and people like me who have been to state school their whole lives so the state school thing shouldn't worry you.

    Southerners are as nice as anyone else :P
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    Oh Brilliant thank you!!! Was just a bit nervous about thinking of applying because of the reputation!
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    You are aware that you can only apply to one of the two, aren't you? It sounds like you want to apply to both in the OP so I'd recommend choosing one and then asking these questions
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    :ditto:

    Also I would not be concerned about being a state school applicant - they really do not care and truly just want the cleverest people to go. You will find a lot of public school educated students there, but they really do not tend to be snobby. In fact on my interview day (Medicine - Jesus, Cambridge) we were all milling around asking each other random questions trying to pass the time, you actually struggled to work out who was publicly educated and who was state educated
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    (Original post by TheatreVoice)
    Hi everyone.. I'm new here so please be nice?
    I'm currently thinking about applying to Oxford and Cambridge to do either English or History and I was wondering if any current students could give me the low down on what life at either university is like?

    Firstly, is it as scary/intimidating as the reputation suggests?

    Also I'm from the North.. will I be outnumbered by Southerners and find it difficult to fit in?

    And, for either uni, can people suggest nice, friendly colleges that I should consider? What's the accommodation, food, social life like? I'm also really into drama and kayaking so do I need to look for a college that has those societies or are there things that are Uni wide?

    Sorry for the horrendous amount of questions!!!
    Thank you!!
    Tbh you probably will be outnumbered by Southerners in terms of numbers. That's not to say that you won't fit in though - you almost certainly will! As others have said, Oxford students come from a range of backgrounds and for the most part, you can't even really guess what type of school someone went to :nah:

    Both unis should have uni-wide societies. That said, some colleges within the two universities (e.g. Worcester College at Oxford) are noted for their own drama productions/societies.

    If I were you, I'd do this, in the following order:

    - Decide upon a subject, or if you want to do joint honours
    - Decide upon either Oxford or Cambridge, based on open day visits to both and by comparing things like course content
    - Use your own personal criteria to narrow down the colleges you are interested in :yes:

    Hopefully this will be moved to the right subforum soon and then more Oxonians and (filthy :ninja: ) Tabs can answer your questions and give you more details!
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    (Original post by cant_think_of_name)
    You are aware that you can only apply to one of the two, aren't you? It sounds like you want to apply to both in the OP so I'd recommend choosing one and then asking these questions
    Hi Yeah I'm aware I meant to put 'or' not 'and'
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    Thanks for all the advice everyone... I really do need to narrow it down to one of the two... you've been really helpful!!
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    (Original post by TheatreVoice)
    Hi everyone.. I'm new here so please be nice?
    I'm currently thinking about applying to Oxford and Cambridge to do either English or History and I was wondering if any current students could give me the low down on what life at either university is like?

    Firstly, is it as scary/intimidating as the reputation suggests?

    Also I'm from the North.. will I be outnumbered by Southerners and find it difficult to fit in?

    And, for either uni, can people suggest nice, friendly colleges that I should consider? What's the accommodation, food, social life like? I'm also really into drama and kayaking so do I need to look for a college that has those societies or are there things that are Uni wide?

    Sorry for the horrendous amount of questions!!!
    Thank you!!
    Deciding subject is the most important thing atm. I'd start tackling the other issues after you know that!

    For the meantime though... kayaking would be primarily university-based, whichever type you mean tbh. However, i can say that Merton Oxford owns 4 kayaks for student use on the maze of winding rivers around Oxford. Great facility. The drama society is also very active, putting on regular productions. Drama is well represented at Oxford generally i'd say.
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    (Original post by TheatreVoice)
    Thanks for all the advice everyone... I really do need to narrow it down to one of the two... you've been really helpful!!
    You probably need to think about subjects a lot at this stage - what kind of course you really, really want to do, what do you have a passion for? That will then help shape your choice of college/university.

    The Lack of Northerners thing is a little exaggerated at Oxford at any rate, there is a bigger percentage of people from S. of a line across the country drawn across Birmingham, but I doubt that it's a really big differential.
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    Oxford and Cambridge are quite similar, though there are some differences between the setting as Oxford is a bigger town than Cambirdge. When my friends from Cambridge have visited me at Oxford, they have commented that there seems to be more going on here, so you might want to take that into account. Also, Cambridge focuses more on module scores at AS while Oxford places more ephasis on GCSE grades and spends more time on interviews.

    You would also need to look more in detail at the course once you've decided whether you'd prefer English or History because they are not the same between the universities. For example, English at Oxford requires that you do Old English in the first year of your degree while at Cambridge I think it is an option for second or third years. Both courses at either university are of course accademically rigerous and stretching and are taught throught the tutorial system.

    Oxford is not scary or intimidating once you get here and all the colleges make a huge effort to make you feel at home with plenty of welfare services and people for you to talk to if you have any problems. The courses you're looking at are some of the biggest in Oxford, I believe that English and History are second and third, with only PPE having more students, so you should naturally mix with a number of people through your course.

    People come from all backgrounds in Oxford, I would say that are probably more people from the south, but it doesn't lead to people from the North being left out. There are plenty of people from the North and from countries across the world and at least to me it doesn't seem that there is a 'North/South divide'.

    Everyone is likely to propose their own college when you ask for nice friendly colleges :P so I will put in a shout for the lovely Exeter College, Oxford. If you're looking for someone friendly the smaller colleges (like Exeter) might suit you better than somewhere larger like New or St. Johns but being honest I wouldn't say any college is going to be unfriendly and people tend to fall in love with the college they end up at. Accommodation and food vary between the colleges. All students across the university live in their college in first year, in later years some colleges have their students live out of college in Oxford, while a few provide accomodation for all three years. Some accomodation comes with kitchens while at other colleges you have to eat communally.

    Things like kayaking would be University wide generally so not something that you really need to consider when making a college choice (and societies like this are a great way to meet people from other colleges).
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    (Original post by TheatreVoice)
    Hi everyone.. I'm new here so please be nice?
    I'm currently thinking about applying to Oxford and Cambridge to do either English or History and I was wondering if any current students could give me the low down on what life at either university is like?

    Firstly, is it as scary/intimidating as the reputation suggests?

    Also I'm from the North.. will I be outnumbered by Southerners and find it difficult to fit in?

    And, for either uni, can people suggest nice, friendly colleges that I should consider? What's the accommodation, food, social life like? I'm also really into drama and kayaking so do I need to look for a college that has those societies or are there things that are Uni wide?

    Sorry for the horrendous amount of questions!!!
    Thank you!!
    I'll be nice

    It's pretty awesome

    The amount of northerners depends on the college, I myself am at Queen's Oxford which has a reputation for being a bit of a northern college and there are probably more northeners there than southeners.

    All the colleges will have artsy societies and there are uni wide societies for pretty much anything you can name :P

    Accomodation and food is really variable depending on the college and social life can be great if you can find the right work-life balance
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    (Original post by RowanL)
    Oxford and Cambridge are quite similar, though there are some differences between the setting as Oxford is a bigger town than Cambirdge. When my friends from Cambridge have visited me at Oxford, they have commented that there seems to be more going on here, so you might want to take that into account. Also, Cambridge focuses more on module scores at AS while Oxford places more ephasis on GCSE grades and spends more time on interviews.

    You would also need to look more in detail at the course once you've decided whether you'd prefer English or History because they are not the same between the universities. For example, English at Oxford requires that you do Old English in the first year of your degree while at Cambridge I think it is an option for second or third years. Both courses at either university are of course accademically rigerous and stretching and are taught throught the tutorial system.

    Oxford is not scary or intimidating once you get here and all the colleges make a huge effort to make you feel at home with plenty of welfare services and people for you to talk to if you have any problems. The courses you're looking at are some of the biggest in Oxford, I believe that English and History are second and third, with only PPE having more students, so you should naturally mix with a number of people through your course.

    People come from all backgrounds in Oxford, I would say that are probably more people from the south, but it doesn't lead to people from the North being left out. There are plenty of people from the North and from countries across the world and at least to me it doesn't seem that there is a 'North/South divide'.

    Everyone is likely to propose their own college when you ask for nice friendly colleges :P so I will put in a shout for the lovely Exeter College, Oxford. If you're looking for someone friendly the smaller colleges (like Exeter) might suit you better than somewhere larger like New or St. Johns but being honest I wouldn't say any college is going to be unfriendly and people tend to fall in love with the college they end up at. Accommodation and food vary between the colleges. All students across the university live in their college in first year, in later years some colleges have their students live out of college in Oxford, while a few provide accomodation for all three years. Some accomodation comes with kitchens while at other colleges you have to eat communally.

    Things like kayaking would be University wide generally so not something that you really need to consider when making a college choice (and societies like this are a great way to meet people from other colleges).
    Hi Thank you that's been a massive help!! It's really nice to hear people who go there give their own accounts and you've really helped! Thank you!
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    (Original post by natninja)
    I'll be nice

    It's pretty awesome

    The amount of northerners depends on the college, I myself am at Queen's Oxford which has a reputation for being a bit of a northern college and there are probably more northeners there than southeners.

    All the colleges will have artsy societies and there are uni wide societies for pretty much anything you can name :P

    Accomodation and food is really variable depending on the college and social life can be great if you can find the right work-life balance
    Hi hahaa thank you for being nice!! Everyone else has been too, it's great!! It's good to know that there are colleges that have more northerners in, and yeah I think you're right, it'll be about the work-life balance when it comes to societies.. Thanks!!
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    (Original post by TheatreVoice)
    Hi hahaa thank you for being nice!! Everyone else has been too, it's great!! It's good to know that there are colleges that have more northerners in, and yeah I think you're right, it'll be about the work-life balance when it comes to societies.. Thanks!!
    You do realise that southerners are actually the same species as you, yes? And mixing with them is allowed?
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    You do realise that southerners are actually the same species as you, yes? And mixing with them is allowed?
    Hi yeah I am aware of that, of course, I want to make new friends when I go to university and many of those will be form the south I am sure. What I mean when I talk of southerners and northerners is that some people I have spoken to feel that living in certain areas of the north can put you at a disadvantage in comparison to some people who live, say, in more privileged areas. I wanted to check to see if this was a case and to see whether or not there are a lot of people from the north at Oxbridge. But, as you can see, people who have replied to me have helped to ease those worries
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    You do realise that southerners are actually the same species as you, yes? And mixing with them is allowed?
    Let's not pretend there's no stigma attached to being from the north. I completely understand why OP might have some concerns
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    (Original post by tooambitious)
    Let's not pretend there's no stigma attached to being from the north. I completely understand why OP might have some concerns
    In my experience (as a neutral Midlands-er), northerners spend far more time and effort worrying about being stigmatised and judging "posh" southerners, than southerners do in return. Apart from a few jokes about polar bears and so on (which are easily outweighed by all the posh/unfriendly/wimpy southerner stereotype jokes) it's really not something to be too concerned about. If I'd been worried about which colleges had more Shropshire people, I'd probably never have gone!

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