emilythegirl
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Dear Oxford Students,
I have a question.
I am an international student applying to UK unis to study PPE this fall.
For a long time my top choice was Edinburgh, as I loved the city and I like the flexibility of the scottish uni system.
Now with my application nearing, I have decided to apply to Oxford, something I originally was put off because I was scared tbh.
I do think I might have the potential and the grades to get in (not meaning to sound arrogant) and i really am passionate about politics and economics, but as I mentioned I am a bit intimated by Oxford. One the one hand I am prone to stress myself. LIke i used to not be able to before exams sometimes and I am a bit scared that with tutors stressing me as well as Oxford beeing such a little town, its hard to get away from uni. Can you, as a student, confirm this to be true? Do you think its just a matter of the college? Do you know a college with maybe a fairly friendly, relaxed attitude? It is not that I cant handle a lot of work, it is just that I am a bit worried about the learning enviroment. Also: i have no problem with working hard, but i also like partying and socialising. Is this any less than at a "normal" uni? Do you think you have less time to be a normal teenager / young adult at Oxford?
I hope i don't sound like a brat - i think anyone is lucky to study at Oxford- it's just that I want to make sure I am doing the right thing for me and my life! thankyou all for helping and understanding!
xx Emily
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Muttley79
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(Original post by emilythegirl)
Dear Oxford Students,
I have a question.
I am an international student applying to UK unis to study PPE this fall.
One the one hand I am prone to stress myself. LIke i used to not be able to before exams sometimes and I am a bit scared that with tutors stressing me as well as Oxford beeing such a little town, its hard to get away from uni.
Oxford is not a little town - it's a city with two universities! Oxford terms are short so if you are prone to stress you might be better looking elsewhere. What other unis are you considering?
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emilythegirl
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Oxford is not a little town - it's a city with two universities! Oxford terms are short so if you are prone to stress you might be better looking elsewhere. What other unis are you considering?
ok so that is reassuring! I have not visited the town yet sorry
I am also considering Edinburgh and KCL as my other main choices and Glasgow and Manchester as "safer" ones
thankyou!
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Muttley79
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(Original post by emilythegirl)
ok so that is reassuring! I have not visited the town yet sorry
I am also considering Edinburgh and KCL as my other main choices and Glasgow and Manchester as "safer" ones
thankyou!
They are very different places! Are you going to be able to visit any of them before applying? You might want to look at other unis - unis in big cities are not always the best option.
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CycloneChilli
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(Original post by emilythegirl)
Dear Oxford Students,
I have a question.
I am an international student applying to UK unis to study PPE this fall.
For a long time my top choice was Edinburgh, as I loved the city and I like the flexibility of the scottish uni system.
Now with my application nearing, I have decided to apply to Oxford, something I originally was put off because I was scared tbh.
I do think I might have the potential and the grades to get in (not meaning to sound arrogant) and i really am passionate about politics and economics, but as I mentioned I am a bit intimated by Oxford. One the one hand I am prone to stress myself. LIke i used to not be able to before exams sometimes and I am a bit scared that with tutors stressing me as well as Oxford beeing such a little town, its hard to get away from uni. Can you, as a student, confirm this to be true? Do you think its just a matter of the college? Do you know a college with maybe a fairly friendly, relaxed attitude? It is not that I cant handle a lot of work, it is just that I am a bit worried about the learning enviroment. Also: i have no problem with working hard, but i also like partying and socialising. Is this any less than at a "normal" uni? Do you think you have less time to be a normal teenager / young adult at Oxford?
I hope i don't sound like a brat - i think anyone is lucky to study at Oxford- it's just that I want to make sure I am doing the right thing for me and my life! thankyou all for helping and understanding!
xx Emily
Firstly, good on you for deciding to apply to Oxford! I am a current student and have loved my time so far.

College choice has negligible bearing on how difficult your work is. Everyone doing PPE will have the same lectures, work on the same coursework, sit the same exams and get the same degree, regardless of college. Now, some tutors are stricter than others so there is some variation. One of my tutors didn't even notice if I failed to submit my work on time, which was very useful if I had a particularly busy week and needed a bit of extra time. However another tutor at my college will send you an email if your work is handed in 5 mins late. Tutors are different at different colleges, so you may end up at a college with a high proportion of strict tutors, but this is unlikely. Apply for the one you like.

The key to enjoying Oxford is not letting the work consume you. As sad as it sounds, rarely will you ever feel completely on top of work. But as long as you do a reasonable amount each week, you will be absolutely fine academically and can still enjoy a social life. It is very important to make time for fun and activities, rather than waiting for all the work to be completed before you leave your room.

As for people / social life, it is pretty much identical to any other uni. There are loads of people at my college who go out clubbing 2/3 times a week and still maintain work. Some people hide in their rooms and work, but pretty much everyone else wants to have fun and there are many opportunities to find like-minded people. Oxford is not a little town: to me it feels like a bit of a "little London"! There is a decent choice of clubs, more pubs than you can count, plenty of shops, two cinemas, loads of restaurants and a fantastic recently-new shopping centre. I haven't tired of it yet.

Lastly, while the academic side is harder, generally the rest of life is easier at Oxford. Your college has a hall so you rarely need to cook, and some colleges even offer accommodation for the whole course.

I hope this helps.
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igotohaggerston
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Oxford is sh*t, apply to Cambridge!
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emilythegirl
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(Original post by Muttley79)
They are very different places! Are you going to be able to visit any of them before applying? You might want to look at other unis - unis in big cities are not always the best option.
actually I already visited the other cities and liked them! but that was a couple of months ago and I did not consider Oxford then. since I have looked at my grades and realized that they're more than good enough to apply and other things about the course have convinced me i have the potential. unfortunately i don't have the opportunity to visit Oxford and get the vibe before I apply anymore, but i liked the pictures of the city and the university and I know their website by heart now
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I'm God
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(Original post by igotohaggerston)
Oxford is sh*t, apply to Cambridge!
That's not what the rankings say
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emilythegirl
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(Original post by CycloneChilli)
Firstly, good on you for deciding to apply to Oxford! I am a current student and have loved my time so far.

College choice has negligible bearing on how difficult your work is. Everyone doing PPE will have the same lectures, work on the same coursework, sit the same exams and get the same degree, regardless of college. Now, some tutors are stricter than others so there is some variation. One of my tutors didn't even notice if I failed to submit my work on time, which was very useful if I had a particularly busy week and needed a bit of extra time. However another tutor at my college will send you an email if your work is handed in 5 mins late. Tutors are different at different colleges, so you may end up at a college with a high proportion of strict tutors, but this is unlikely. Apply for the one you like.

The key to enjoying Oxford is not letting the work consume you. As sad as it sounds, rarely will you ever feel completely on top of work. But as long as you do a reasonable amount each week, you will be absolutely fine academically and can still enjoy a social life. It is very important to make time for fun and activities, rather than waiting for all the work to be completed before you leave your room.

As for people / social life, it is pretty much identical to any other uni. There are loads of people at my college who go out clubbing 2/3 times a week and still maintain work. Some people hide in their rooms and work, but pretty much everyone else wants to have fun and there are many opportunities to find like-minded people. Oxford is not a little town: to me it feels like a bit of a "little London"! There is a decent choice of clubs, more pubs than you can count, plenty of shops, two cinemas, loads of restaurants and a fantastic recently-new shopping centre. I haven't tired of it yet.

Lastly, while the academic side is harder, generally the rest of life is easier at Oxford. Your college has a hall so you rarely need to cook, and some colleges even offer accommodation for the whole course.

I hope this helps.
first off: thankyou very much for you kind and understanding reply!

I think I really needed to hear all of that
And thankyou for your advice, it sounds managable to me now.
and "Little London" sounds good ha! (also i knew Oxford is not a town, I just always confuse the words city and town in English, sorry about that!)

thankyou you successfully cleared my mind! so this helped very much indeed
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emilythegirl
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(Original post by I'm God)
That's not what the rankings say
hahaha Oxford/Cambridge rivalry I see
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I'm God
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(Original post by emilythegirl)
hahaha Oxford/Cambridge rivalry I see
I don't go to either.

Cambridge rejected me, so I am on #TeamOxford now

But my uni is better than Oxford and Cambridge for my course (in my opinion + a league table or two) so it all worked out
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igotohaggerston
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(Original post by I'm God)
That's not what the rankings say
The complete university guide disagrees with you my friend.
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CycloneChilli
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(Original post by emilythegirl)
first off: thankyou very much for you kind and understanding reply!

I think I really needed to hear all of that
And thankyou for your advice, it sounds managable to me now.
and "Little London" sounds good ha! (also i knew Oxford is not a town, I just always confuse the words city and town in English, sorry about that!)

thankyou you successfully cleared my mind! so this helped very much indeed
You’re welcome, glad it’s helped! Best of luck with your application.
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I'm God
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(Original post by igotohaggerston)
The complete university guide disagrees with you my friend.
But Times Higher agrees
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mishieru07
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(Original post by emilythegirl)
Dear Oxford Students,
I have a question.
I am an international student applying to UK unis to study PPE this fall.
For a long time my top choice was Edinburgh, as I loved the city and I like the flexibility of the scottish uni system.
Now with my application nearing, I have decided to apply to Oxford, something I originally was put off because I was scared tbh.
I do think I might have the potential and the grades to get in (not meaning to sound arrogant) and i really am passionate about politics and economics, but as I mentioned I am a bit intimated by Oxford. One the one hand I am prone to stress myself. LIke i used to not be able to before exams sometimes and I am a bit scared that with tutors stressing me as well as Oxford beeing such a little town, its hard to get away from uni. Can you, as a student, confirm this to be true? Do you think its just a matter of the college? Do you know a college with maybe a fairly friendly, relaxed attitude? It is not that I cant handle a lot of work, it is just that I am a bit worried about the learning enviroment. Also: i have no problem with working hard, but i also like partying and socialising. Is this any less than at a "normal" uni? Do you think you have less time to be a normal teenager / young adult at Oxford?
I hope i don't sound like a brat - i think anyone is lucky to study at Oxford- it's just that I want to make sure I am doing the right thing for me and my life! thankyou all for helping and understanding!
xx Emily
My concern is if you are VERY prone to stress (as in, you're the kind who really doesn't cope well under pressure at all), Oxford may not be the most suitable place for you. That's not to say you definitely aren't suited for Oxford, but I would advise you to give it some thought.

The work is interesting and I really enjoyed the tutorial system, but it is extremely fast-paced and intense (and it's roughly the same across all colleges because they all follow the same syllabus). Some tutors are more intense/ stricter than others, but mostly they're there to help you learn. The small tutorial groups mean that you can't get away with not doing your work, which you might be able to in other unis with larger tutorial groups. Tutorials can also be stressful in the sense that you can expect to be challenged/ probed on your views and you need to think and articulate your views on the spot.

It also really doesn't help that for Arts subjects like PPE, your entire degree classification rests on a single set of exams taken right at the end of your last year (aka Finals). All the work you do prior to that doesn't count to your classification at all. I did Law (2011-2014) and I can honestly say Finals was quite possibly the most stressful 2 weeks of my life.

That said, Oxford people tend to go by the mantra of "work hard, play hard(er)". You have to make time to do things outside of work (more incentive to be productive and efficient!), but it's definitely possible. I got involved in lots of stuff and people definitely do party and socialize.

Oxford is about 1.5 hours away from London by bus/ train, so if you do feel like it's too overwhelming at times, you can always escape to London.
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emilythegirl
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(Original post by mishieru07)
My concern is if you are VERY prone to stress (as in, you're the kind who really doesn't cope well under pressure at all), Oxford may not be the most suitable place for you. That's not to say you definitely aren't suited for Oxford, but I would advise you to give it some thought.

The work is interesting and I really enjoyed the tutorial system, but it is extremely fast-paced and intense (and it's roughly the same across all colleges because they all follow the same syllabus). Some tutors are more intense/ stricter than others, but mostly they're there to help you learn. The small tutorial groups mean that you can't get away with not doing your work, which you might be able to in other unis with larger tutorial groups. Tutorials can also be stressful in the sense that you can expect to be challenged/ probed on your views and you need to think and articulate your views on the spot.

It also really doesn't help that for Arts subjects like PPE, your entire degree classification rests on a single set of exams taken right at the end of your last year (aka Finals). All the work you do prior to that doesn't count to your classification at all. I did Law (2011-2014) and I can honestly say Finals was quite possibly the most stressful 2 weeks of my life.

That said, Oxford people tend to go by the mantra of "work hard, play hard(er)". You have to make time to do things outside of work (more incentive to be productive and efficient!), but it's definitely possible. I got involved in lots of stuff and people definitely do party and socialize.

Oxford is about 1.5 hours away from London by bus/ train, so if you do feel like it's too overwhelming at times, you can always escape to London.
sorry, I am really late with applying, but i wanted to thank you for your advice!
the thing with the stress is i can cope with it and pressure fine if there is opportunity to get away from it, which was my main worry and I now know is not the case in Oxford (as you have said).

thankyou for your help
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