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    Hi! Basically I'm an international student from Latvia, and I've just received a confirmation of my place to read PPE in Somerville. (YAY!) Frankly, I'm very, very unseasy about this all, because I feel I'm too stupid to succeed in any university at all, not to speak of Oxford. I don't even feel that I know Englsih well enough to understand everything I'm supposed to study.

    Basically, I'm absoulutely clueless in the application process, so I have no idea what am I expected to do now. Wait for another letter? Just show up in Oxford in October, looking all lost and confused? I probably need to get a final letter from UCAS, but since my results were sent directly to my college, I don't know how will UCAS even know that I'm accepted. Will Somerville notify them, or is this my own responsibility?

    Also many people have been taliking about the reading lists. Was I supposed to receive one already, or will it be sent to me some time later? Does anyone know whether there is a reading list for PPE at Somerville at all?

    And all general information about Someriville would be very helpful. Many people on this board seem to have rather negative opinions about it, and it seems from the discussions that it's not the richest or the most academic college in Oxford (which is fine with me). And it has been yo-yoing in the Norrington table over the past years, so I can't even judge from that. (Not that you can ever judge a college by that table, but at least it offers some information).
    So what is the atmosphere in Somerville? What is it known for, what are the advantages/disadvantages of being there, et cetera.

    I know that I have asked a lot of questions, but this really reflects how confused I am. So help me, please.
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    Oxford should send you a confirmation pack with loads of lovely form for you to fill in; I imagine because you're abroad it will take a bit longer to get to you than if you were a based here. UCAS will be contacted to tell them they have accepted you, it's their responsibility. Relax.

    Reading lists differ greatly for different college, both in term of content and when they are released. You'll probable get one, some colleges send them out after all the exams are over, so sometimes it's quite late. If you're really desperate contact Sommerville and get them to hurry thing up. For PPE the reading list isn't important anyway.
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    Hey If I get in, I'll be coming to Somerville too. It's not one of the most famous colleges in Oxford, but it's generally known for being very laid back and friendly. When I went for my interview, I loved it.. it just felt so natural and unpretentious. The students there all seemed really nice, and keen to help us get around. I am hoping and praying I get my grades because I loved it there! Don't worry about negative opinions- apart from the fact that it has a really ugly accomodation block, I personally saw nothing that put me off!!
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    (Original post by BazTheMoney)
    ]Oxford should send you a confirmation pack with loads of lovely form for you to fill in; I imagine because you're abroad it will take a bit longer to get to you than if you were a based here. UCAS will be contacted to tell them they have accepted you, it's their responsibility. Relax.
    Thanks for your reply about the procedures and the reading list. It really made me feel much better. I probably look like a total idiot with all my worries, and for that I'm very very sorry.
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    (Original post by F. Poste)
    Hey If I get in, I'll be coming to Somerville too. It's not one of the most famous colleges in Oxford, but it's generally known for being very laid back and friendly. When I went for my interview, I loved it.. it just felt so natural and unpretentious. The students there all seemed really nice, and keen to help us get around. I am hoping and praying I get my grades because I loved it there! Don't worry about negative opinions- apart from the fact that it has a really ugly accomodation block, I personally saw nothing that put me off!!
    First of all I wish you the best of luck with all your exam results and getting in. I'm sure I'll see you there in October.

    Just wondering, was Somerville your first choice college and if it was, why did you chose it? When I was looking at the prospectus and the websites, the colleges all seemed rather similar to me. But I'm v. glad to hear that Somerville is rather relaxed, friendly and so on. However, I don't think that all other colleges are full of arrogant and hostile students.

    As for the accomodation block, where is it located? I might have seen it when I was visiting.
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    (Original post by Aster)
    First of all I wish you the best of luck with all your exam results and getting in. I'm sure I'll see you there in October.

    Just wondering, was Somerville your first choice college and if it was, why did you chose it? When I was looking at the prospectus and the websites, the colleges all seemed rather similar to me. But I'm v. glad to hear that Somerville is rather relaxed, friendly and so on. However, I don't think that all other colleges are full of arrogant and hostile students.

    As for the accomodation block, where is it located? I might have seen it when I was visiting.
    Thank you Somerville was my first choice I picked it because it's sympathetic to state schoolers, emphasises a friendly attitude, has a good library, a relatively large number of English students.. on paper it looked like it'd suit me, and then when I went there, I realised that it really did

    The accomodation block was the one on the left side near the back, it was really ugly and looked a bit like a waffle!
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    (Original post by F. Poste)
    Thank you Somerville was my first choice I picked it because it's sympathetic to state schoolers, emphasises a friendly attitude, has a good library, a relatively large number of English students.. on paper it looked like it'd suit me, and then when I went there, I realised that it really did

    The accomodation block was the one on the left side near the back, it was really ugly and looked a bit like a waffle!
    Somerville's tolerance towards state schoolrs and the like is probably made me accepted there. Seriously, I feel so unworthy, especially since I messed up my interviews and couldn't even remember what Marx's theory was, which is pathetic since I was applying for Economics. I was so ashamed of myself after this experience was over. So I really don't know why they decided to offer me a place.

    But whaver. I remember the accomodation block now, and I also found it rather shocking when I was visiting, especially after all those Medieval buildings in Magdalen. But it's the interrior that counts, after all.
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    (Original post by F. Poste)
    Thank you Somerville was my first choice I picked it because it's sympathetic to state schoolers, emphasises a friendly attitude, has a good library, a relatively large number of English students.. on paper it looked like it'd suit me, and then when I went there, I realised that it really did

    The accomodation block was the one on the left side near the back, it was really ugly and looked a bit like a waffle!
    Haha, i had to stay in that concrete waffle for my summer school -at least its nicer on the inside than out. An advantage is that the JCR (Junior Common Room) is in there, so every1 goes over to that block - which means if your there you dont have to walk through the scarey dark at night!
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    I got my PPE reading list thru from st hildas - ill try and remember most of the books!

    Economics:

    Paul Krugman - the return of depression economics
    Christopher Huhne - real world economics:essays on infallible markets (i think)
    Will Hutton - The State We're In
    Anthony&Biggs - Mathematics for Business and Economics
    Jacques - Mathematics for Economics

    Textbooks are: Economics - Begg,Fischer, Dornbusch
    Positive Economics - Lipsey & Chrystal (9th ed)
    Intermediate Microeconomics - Varian

    Politics - cant remember their names but 2 by J. Dunn

    Also the struggle for black equality by Sitkoff
    And another one.... :confused:

    Philosophy

    Utilitarianism by Mill
    Meditations by Descartes (these last 2 apparently essential)
    Logic Hodges
    Concept of Mind - Ryle
    Problems of philosophy - russell

    There were some others as well which i cant remember off the top of my head

    *******

    Some people have got reading lists but it does depend on the college. I think most send them out before A-Level results. I wouldnt worry if you havent got one, its up to the college and not your problem.
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    (Original post by Jessie)
    I got my PPE reading list thru from st hildas - ill try and remember most of the books!
    (some books).
    Wow, yours is really different to mine. I think it suggests that it's mostly stuff that we should have a go at reading, rather than stuff which we'll need for the first term.

    (Except Begg Economics, apparently that's pretty much vital)
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    (Original post by RxB)
    Wow, yours is really different to mine. I think it suggests that it's mostly stuff that we should have a go at reading, rather than stuff which we'll need for the first term.

    (Except Begg Economics, apparently that's pretty much vital)
    As you may remember, I'm hopefully going to read Mod Hist & Eco, a course which I'm told includes as much Eco as do PPE and E&M in the first year. Therefore I assume my preparation for Economics should be the same as yours. I'm therefore very interested to hear Begg described as vital, because I have the book and have read a bit of it, but am currently undecided about going further because of the impression the likes of Baz have given that Eco is taught from scracth and prior knowledge isn't really necessary. This issue is particularly relevant to me as I didn't do Eco A2 or AS.

    nb Thinking about it, I'm going to have a huge amount of work. MHE takes 75% of the Hist course and then add 33% of the famously intensive PPE course, or alternatively 50% of the famously lethargic E&M course. This suggests a lot of work. Oh dear.
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    (Original post by H&E)
    As you may remember, I'm hopefully going to read Mod Hist & Eco, a course which I'm told includes as much Eco as do PPE and E&M in the first year. Therefore I assume my preparation for Economics should be the same as yours. I'm therefore very interested to hear Begg described as vital, because I have the book and have read a bit of it, but am currently undecided about going further because of the impression the likes of Baz have given that Eco is taught from scracth and prior knowledge isn't really necessary. This issue is particularly relevant to me as I didn't do Eco A2 or AS.
    You paid for it? I've been working at a chapter a day in Borders, although I've only bothered to try this five times.

    It seems that, while Economics is basically taught from scratch, you're in classes with people who've done A-level, and they'll be able to go through things incredibly quickly. So while they'll go over the stuff you've read in Begg, you won't be spending long on it. You might be able to get away without it (and realistically, the more complicated maths will be covered in tutorials) but it's probably worth reading so you don't get horribly lost.
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    (Original post by RxB)
    You paid for it? I've been working at a chapter a day in Borders, although I've only bothered to try this five times.

    It seems that, while Economics is basically taught from scratch, you're in classes with people who've done A-level, and they'll be able to go through things incredibly quickly. So while they'll go over the stuff you've read in Begg, you won't be spending long on it. You might be able to get away without it (and realistically, the more complicated maths will be covered in tutorials) but it's probably worth reading so you don't get horribly lost.
    Hmmm. Of course it's helpful to have some prior knowledge of Economics, but I wouldn't say it's vital, or even very important in any sense. Being completely honest, A-Level Econ is very easy, it's really quite basic due to maths restrictions; thus it's very easy to catch up. Most of the A-Level is common sense anyway, the relationship between unemployment and inflation for example. As for the classes, yes you are taught with students with experience of the subject, but I have never known for it to be a major problem for student who are new to the subjects; tutors are quite accommodating.

    In conclusion, I have always said that if you struggle with the A-Level, how the hell are you going to cope with undergrad! :rolleyes: You'll be fine.
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    Wow.. I'll be an international student too, PPE Somerville this October... have been facing lots of problems with the package too.

    Basically, the whole fees thing is confusing the hell out of me, can some kind soul explain it all to me?

    The problem is that my college + university fees will be sponsored; the rest is paid by me. The bigger problem is that I have not received any bills for either college or univ fees, so how will I go about arranging payment before I arrive (in 1 month time!!)

    As I live eight time zones away, the mail system is very iffy, which compounds the problem somewhat.

    Aster: Looking forward to meeting you in Oct! I'm reading of the horribly designed accommodation block, and is it called 'Penrose'? Cos that's where I've been assigned to..

    (Original post by Aster)
    Hi! Basically I'm an international student from Latvia, and I've just received a confirmation of my place to read PPE in Somerville. (YAY!) Frankly, I'm very, very unseasy about this all, because I feel I'm too stupid to succeed in any university at all, not to speak of Oxford. I don't even feel that I know Englsih well enough to understand everything I'm supposed to study.

    Basically, I'm absoulutely clueless in the application process, so I have no idea what am I expected to do now. Wait for another letter? Just show up in Oxford in October, looking all lost and confused? I probably need to get a final letter from UCAS, but since my results were sent directly to my college, I don't know how will UCAS even know that I'm accepted. Will Somerville notify them, or is this my own responsibility?

    Also many people have been taliking about the reading lists. Was I supposed to receive one already, or will it be sent to me some time later? Does anyone know whether there is a reading list for PPE at Somerville at all?

    And all general information about Someriville would be very helpful. Many people on this board seem to have rather negative opinions about it, and it seems from the discussions that it's not the richest or the most academic college in Oxford (which is fine with me). And it has been yo-yoing in the Norrington table over the past years, so I can't even judge from that. (Not that you can ever judge a college by that table, but at least it offers some information).
    So what is the atmosphere in Somerville? What is it known for, what are the advantages/disadvantages of being there, et cetera.

    I know that I have asked a lot of questions, but this really reflects how confused I am. So help me, please.
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    Cool! It's nice to hear that there will be someone in the similar position? Where are you from, by the way? Is English your first language?

    Speaking of the fees and bills, have you received a huge stack of forms from Somerville? The application for the library card, IT form etc? There should have been two red sheets of paper, called the Form of Undertaking (or something like that). It's the closest thing to a bill that you will ever get, and you should pay all the fees according to the instructions on that form.
    If your university and college fees will be paid by some organization, you only have to pay for accomodation for the first term (something in the range of £800), key deposits etc. There should be a list of those payments on the back of the red form.

    If you haven't received those forms yet, you should call the office NOW, and tell them that. Also they seem to be super-nice, so they should help you with any questions about the fees too. Good luck with filling in those stacks of papers!

    No, no. The ugly accomodation block is called "Vaughan", and that's where I will be staying.

    Buy the way, did you hear that all electronic equipment you bring to your room should be PAT tested? I wonder, what I do, because it's just impossible to do those tests in my country. Or at least it seems so.

    Have you received your reading lists, by the way? I haven't heard from the Politics tutor, but I can help you with other subjects, should you need it.

    See you in October!

    (Original post by tanncmi)
    Wow.. I'll be an international student too, PPE Somerville this October... have been facing lots of problems with the package too.

    Basically, the whole fees thing is confusing the hell out of me, can some kind soul explain it all to me?

    The problem is that my college + university fees will be sponsored; the rest is paid by me. The bigger problem is that I have not received any bills for either college or univ fees, so how will I go about arranging payment before I arrive (in 1 month time!!)

    As I live eight time zones away, the mail system is very iffy, which compounds the problem somewhat.

    Aster: Looking forward to meeting you in Oct! I'm reading of the horribly designed accommodation block, and is it called 'Penrose'? Cos that's where I've been assigned to..
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    I'll PM you the addresses of some Somerville PPEists I know.
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    Thanks! By the way, I think, somewhere on this forum you mentioned that Somerville finalists had disaterous (by Oxbridge standards) exam results this year. It this true or am I confusing something? (As usual.) As if that's true do you know why that happened?

    (Original post by Jools)
    I'll PM you the addresses of some Somerville PPEists I know.
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    (Original post by Aster)
    Thanks! By the way, I think, somewhere on this forum you mentioned that Somerville finalists had disaterous (by Oxbridge standards) exam results this year. It this true or am I confusing something? (As usual.) As if that's true do you know why that happened?
    No I never said that. Somerville usually hover around the bottom of the table but this year jumped from 28th to 15th - 23 1sts, 59 2.1s and 10 2.2s (out of the 85% or so who declared their results).
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    (Original post by Aster)
    Thanks! By the way, I think, somewhere on this forum you mentioned that Somerville finalists had disaterous (by Oxbridge standards) exam results this year. It this true or am I confusing something? (As usual.) As if that's true do you know why that happened?
    Apparently in 2003, 5 of the 12 2:2s in the University in PPE came from Somerville.

    I couldn't tell you why, though.
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    I suppose if you want a first, Merton seems to be the place to be...

    Anyway Aster, I'm from Singapore, and we speak a mangled form of English here, so I don't think I'll be much good at the language too!

    Yeah I got the huge stack of forms, which confused me further, as they said I had to pay everything before I got to Oxford, while the fees information sheet gave a deadline of 5th October.

    I'm not sure we are in the same situation; do you have to pay full fees as well -- 8,000 pounds for university, and 4,000 to the college? It's not a small sum, but it seems to be really difficult to arrange.. I'd have thought a not-so-wealthy college be more proactive about collecting their money.

    Oh well I guess I'll sort it out somehow...

    So y ou're in the ugly block? Not so nice =(... do they charge you 770 pounds per term too? They should give a discount.. I'm hoping I can stay in college during the holidays, or at least part of it, because a return flight home is 500 pounds!

    Here in Singapore we do have our own electrical safety marks, I hope it's OK, because it's an expensive bother to get all those little appliances tested. I'm hoping to wriggle through somehow, and at the very least claim ignorance of the matter

    Looking forward to seeing you there in October, I can't wait!
 
 
 
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