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    Hopefully, one or more of you are studying/have applied for/are considering to apply for this course, and are able to give me a few answers.

    Subject-specific questions
    I will probably be applying for the modern history and economics course at Oxford this autumn. Admittedly, I'm rather concerned about the fact that only 15% of applicants have been accepted in the past. Are there only geniuses being accepted? I'm doing the IB now, and will be able to score top marks in pretty much every subject without doing much work, but that hardly qualifies me as a genius. I know it sounds very pretentious, but I personally feel (and my grades and diplomas for academic achievements should hopefully reflect) that I am doing both history and economics extremely well - at least at my current level. I know, university will of course be a totally different experience, and workload will be on a totally different scale, but working a lot is ok, as long as one doesn't have to be an absolute genius to cope with it.

    I am confident that both the staff and facilities (mainly considering libraries) of Oxford are absolutely brilliant, however, are these easily accesible to students in a dire need? The presence of a world-class library doesn't help me too much if I for one reason or another (eg. being undergraduate, not student in the right college) am not able to access it.

    Is there a culture for discussing subject-material with other students? Thus far in my education, 'cooperation' have been synonymous with 'I do the work, you take the credit,' not really much of the learning experience. Basically, I'm tired of being good, and want to start learning instead. Monologues are a waste of time (yes, I'm making a big generalisation here, but...), discussions can be very rewarding.

    General questions on the university etc.
    As I am an international student, the university recommends that I leave the college application field open, which supposedly increases my chances of entry. I've read quite a bit around this, both in this forum and elsewhere, without being able to reach any solid conclusions, the other recommendation being to apply to a college in a bad financial situation, where they desperately want international students. The latter plan sounds a bit too cynical on the surface, and by my guessing it is very naive (describing the same plan as both cynical and naive is a contradiction in terms - a solid proof of me reaching the outer boundaries of utter hopelessness! :rolleyes: ) and will not do me any good. However, my experience in the field of making Oxford applications is naturally limited, and I may very well be wrong, and some of you may perhaps have additional ideas that should be taken into account?

    Do you get to keep your rooms when out of term, or will I have to to transport my stuff back to Norway or rent a space for it every 8th week?

    Will I be able to get reasonable accomodation for about £150 a week? With 'reasonable', I'm not meaning a huge flat or anything else fancy, I'd just prefer not having to share bathrooms etc. with many others (I guess sharing it with one or two other students should be quite ok though). I can get more money if I really need it, but then I'd have to ask my parents, and there's really no culture for supporting your kids when they're at university in Norway, and I'd prefer not to be the exception.

    Pointless philosophical waste of time and space
    Sorry for writing an irritatingly long post, I'm very grateful if anyone reads it, and even more grateful if you take the time to answer some of my questions. Despite what might seem like an excessively long post, I feel that I can't remove any major parts without removing my thoughts - I've been doing quite a bit of reading and thinking about my university choice, it is after all an incredibly important choice. I also tend to think way to much about way too little (ie. how to divide a pizza into slices (the sad result of having to live away from home...), university choice and things like that), and way to little about way too much (ie. the IB subjects, not spending more than I have to, doing physical exercise...).

    Also, English is not my mother tongue (as you will have discovered by now), and I have probably made quite a few mistakes in writing this post. However, I am hopefully continually improving, and I'm very happy to learn from my mistakes, so feel free to point them out (although it must be said that my essays in school are probably written quite a bit better than this post).

    (phew! )
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    I'm not at Uni yet, so I can only really answer the first part about the 15 % success rate. If you apply for History and Economics remember that you can be accepted for that or for straight history. Therefore many 'unsuccessful' applicants may have actually got a place for History. Therefore my advice would be to focus on History and treat the Economics as an extra. Thats what I did and I got a place for History.
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    (Original post by noctivaga)
    General questions on the university etc.
    As I am an international student, the university recommends that I leave the college application field open, which supposedly increases my chances of entry. I've read quite a bit around this, both in this forum and elsewhere, without being able to reach any solid conclusions, the other recommendation being to apply to a college in a bad financial situation, where they desperately want international students. The latter plan sounds a bit too cynical on the surface, and by my guessing it is very naive (describing the same plan as both cynical and naive is a contradiction in terms - a solid proof of me reaching the outer boundaries of utter hopelessness! :rolleyes: ) and will not do me any good. However, my experience in the field of making Oxford applications is naturally limited, and I may very well be wrong, and some of you may perhaps have additional ideas that should be taken into account?
    The best thing to do, if you can't make it down to Oxford to have a look yourself, is just look at the college websites. It won't be brilliant, but it should give you an idea of what they're like. Also try to read the Alternative Prospectus (which I think you can get from somewhere on www.ousu.org). If you don't have a preference, do an open application.

    Do you get to keep your rooms when out of term, or will I have to to transport my stuff back to Norway or rent a space for it every 8th week?
    I think this depends on your college, but you'll probably have to move out every term.

    Will I be able to get reasonable accomodation for about £150 a week? With 'reasonable', I'm not meaning a huge flat or anything else fancy, I'd just prefer not having to share bathrooms etc. with many others (I guess sharing it with one or two other students should be quite ok though). I can get more money if I really need it, but then I'd have to ask my parents, and there's really no culture for supporting your kids when they're at university in Norway, and I'd prefer not to be the exception.
    You won't have to pay anything like £150 a week (I think about £90 is the most you're likely to pay) but you'll be hard-pressed to get your own bathroom or shared between hardly anyone.

    I think...
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    (Original post by RxB)
    You won't have to pay anything like £150 a week (I think about £90 is the most you're likely to pay) but you'll be hard-pressed to get your own bathroom or shared between hardly anyone.

    I think...
    Yes, usually it's about £60-80 per week, less in the richer colleges. However, you are unlikely to get a ensuite bathroom in your first year. In most colleges the 3rd years have first choice of accommodation so the first years don't get the best rooms. If you have to live out in your second year rent will be £70-£100 a week (less if you share with lots of people - but that's not very nice! 10 people sharing one kitchen is grim) and this works out a LOT more expensive than living in college because you have to rent a house for an entire year, including holidays.

    You won't have to share a bathroom with more than 5 other people. I don't know if it applies to colleges (I expect it does.) but I was told that rented accommodation in the UK must have 1 bathroom between 6 by law. Sharing a bathroom is really no big deal.

    Some colleges allow international students to keep their stuff in their rooms over the holidays. Some would charge rent though! Others have storage space for your stuff. Just beg.

    People always say Pembroke is so broke they will accept anyone who pays full fees. However, they don't seem to have a greater number of international students compared to other colleges as far as I can tell.

    Edited to add that I do not study history or economics so I cannot comment on these courses.
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    (Original post by noctivaga)
    History and Econ...et cetera
    Heylo, send a private message to H&E - he holds an offer to read History and Economics at Corpus Christi. However, he's currently on holiday so he might be slow replying but he's lovely and friendly and will surely help
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    (Original post by noctivaga)
    General questions on the university etc.
    As I am an international student, the university recommends that I leave the college application field open, which supposedly increases my chances of entry. I've read quite a bit around this, both in this forum and elsewhere, without being able to reach any solid conclusions, the other recommendation being to apply to a college in a bad financial situation, where they desperately want international students. The latter plan sounds a bit too cynical on the surface, and by my guessing it is very naive (describing the same plan as both cynical and naive is a contradiction in terms - a solid proof of me reaching the outer boundaries of utter hopelessness! :rolleyes: ) and will not do me any good. However, my experience in the field of making Oxford applications is naturally limited, and I may very well be wrong, and some of you may perhaps have additional ideas that should be taken into account?
    It's is worth doing an open application, the university does advice it to international students because each college has its often requirement for the maximum number of places available; they don't do it to make life easier for themselves or anything, it is for your own good. Statically open applicants will be less successful, but that is because in general international students are less successful; partly because the courses are designed to carry on from the A-Level, and often the students don't have that great an understanding of Oxford or the UCAS system, which can be a disadvantage. And it dosen't matter about the colleges financial situation, as said above college only allow a certain number of internationals in every year, and after the Pembroke affair the spotlight is still on Oxford applicants, so every college will be straight down the line.
    Do you get to keep your rooms when out of term, or will I have to to transport my stuff back to Norway or rent a space for it every 8th week?
    In the majotity of cases you have to move out after the end of every term; in the winter because they are used by interviewees, and in the Easter and summer because they are used for conference guests. Some college do have some storage space avalible for internations, sometimes a charge will be attached, other times not.
    Will I be able to get reasonable accomodation for about £150 a week? With 'reasonable', I'm not meaning a huge flat or anything else fancy, I'd just prefer not having to share bathrooms etc. with many others (I guess sharing it with one or two other students should be quite ok though). I can get more money if I really need it, but then I'd have to ask my parents, and there's really no culture for supporting your kids when they're at university in Norway, and I'd prefer not to be the exception.
    £150 a week is more than enough, college accommodation normally costs between £60-90 per week, the bigger (and often richer) colleges being the cheapest. It's likely you'll have to share a bathroom, esoecially in your first and second year.
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    (Original post by noctivaga)
    Hopefully, one or more of you are studying/have applied for/are considering to apply for this course, and are able to give me a few answers.
    As Deianra said, I'm holding a AAB offer to read Modern History & Economics at Corpus Christi College for 2004. Having said that, don't expect too many others; only around a dozen students a year study the subject, and relatively few colleges actually offer it (for example, Corpus Christi will not be offering it from next year).

    (Original post by noctivaga)
    Subject-specific questions
    I will probably be applying for the modern history and economics course at Oxford this autumn. Admittedly, I'm rather concerned about the fact that only 15% of applicants have been accepted in the past. Are there only geniuses being accepted? I'm doing the IB now, and will be able to score top marks in pretty much every subject without doing much work, but that hardly qualifies me as a genius. I know it sounds very pretentious, but I personally feel (and my grades and diplomas for academic achievements should hopefully reflect) that I am doing both history and economics extremely well - at least at my current level. I know, university will of course be a totally different experience, and workload will be on a totally different scale, but working a lot is ok, as long as one doesn't have to be an absolute genius to cope with it.
    Don't worry about the 15% acceptance rate - in such a small subject, it is liable to flactuate hugely between years, and certainly will not be the same across colleges. Having said that, the course is difficult to get into because History and Economics use skills sets which are markedly different in some respects, and students need to posess both. You certainly don't need to be a genius, however; if you are finding you are coasting towards top grades in the IB, that should not worry you (nor should your English, by the way, which is amazing. Your post is easily amongst the best written in this forum, including those by native speakers). Finally, you may want to consider that the workload is considered above average for an Oxford degree.

    (Original post by noctivaga)
    Pointless philosophical waste of time and space
    Sorry for writing an irritatingly long post...
    Not at all, I've enjoyed reading it: in contrast to a huge amount of first posts in this forum, you've already done a great deal of research yourself and then taken the time to present your questions coherently. I'll be happy to answer any further questions you have, either through private message or email.

    Good luck with the remainder of your application.
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    First of all - thanks a lot for all the answers, I really appreciate it, and reading them relieves me of a huge amount of worrying.

    When a college states that i provides college acommodation for, say, all three years, does that imply that one has to live in college for the entire duration of one's degree, or is one free to choose to live outside college? I've already been living alone in a fairly large flat by myself for a year (as independent IB schools aren't exactly common in Norway, and three hours of travelling a day got pretty exhausting after a while), and three years confined to a small room sounds like a less than ideal situation (although, if its the only option available, I'll choose it over better acommodation in other universities).

    Does receiving awards for 'excellent academic achievements' from your school help in the application process? I got my school's awards in both History and Economics for the last academic year (and Norwegian literature, but the usefulness of that is of course severely limited), and I hope that this may be some 'evidence of academic potential', which will hopefully counter some of my past grades, that have not always been that fantastic (they aren't horrible, but some of them are definitely sub-standard when it comes to Oxford applicants). However, I have no idea if awards like that are valued at all or just viewed as a meaningless piece of paper in UK universities.

    I do of realise that none of you are Oxford admission tutors, and ultimately, either I'll get in or I won't get in. There's really not that much too it, and there's little to lose by trying. The process itself does not seem that difficult, the university does not seem that frightening and I am pretty sure that I would be able to the degree if I should get in. However, there's a huge build-up of tension, and I tend to get very concerned with minor details making no or only a little difference.

    H&E, thanks for your offer, I'll contact you if I have any specific questions on the course, I think I've got most of them answered though, through quite a bit of clever searching around the university websites.
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    (Original post by noctivaga)
    First of all - thanks a lot for all the answers, I really appreciate it, and reading them relieves me of a huge amount of worrying.
    It's a pleasure. It's actually quite refreshing to help someone who has actually looked on the website before they ask questions. Only if everyone could be like you! :rolleyes:
    When a college states that i provides college acommodation for, say, all three years, does that imply that one has to live in college for the entire duration of one's degree, or is one free to choose to live outside college? I've already been living alone in a fairly large flat by myself for a year (as independent IB schools aren't exactly common in Norway, and three hours of travelling a day got pretty exhausting after a while), and three years confined to a small room sounds like a less than ideal situation (although, if its the only option available, I'll choose it over better acommodation in other universities).
    It's completely optional, if you want to use private accommodation you're welcome too, but the provision is there just in case. It's very unlikely you'll be able to find a large flat though, private accommodation is fairly grim in Oxford at the best of times, and the rent would be unthinkable. If you do go private, the likelihood is that you'll have to share.
    Does receiving awards for 'excellent academic achievements' from your school help in the application process? I got my school's awards in both History and Economics for the last academic year (and Norwegian literature, but the usefulness of that is of course severely limited), and I hope that this may be some 'evidence of academic potential', which will hopefully counter some of my past grades, that have not always been that fantastic (they aren't horrible, but some of them are definitely sub-standard when it comes to Oxford applicants). However, I have no idea if awards like that are valued at all or just viewed as a meaningless piece of paper in UK universities.
    It's worth putting them down, but it probable won't hold any great strength, most Oxford candidates have won some form of school award at one time or another. Exam board ones hold slightly more weight, but they're still a secondary consideration. And they wouldn't get anywhere near to compensating for poor grades.
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    (Original post by noctivaga)
    General questions on the university etc.
    As I am an international student, the university recommends that I leave the college application field open, which supposedly increases my chances of entry.
    The point is that if you cannot come to Oxford for a comprehensive visit prior to applying, it would be better for you to submit an open application. As it appears at the moment, you are undecided about colleges and have no firm preference of one over others. Hence, so as to maximise your chances go for an open application and the computer will give you the most undersubscribed college for your course.
 
 
 
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