MJ1148
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Hi!

I'm considering applying to Oxford and doing a degree in English Language and Literature. Just wondering what life is like there, what the accommodation is like, whether you are happy there/happy with your course, and whether the workload is manageable.

Also, did you always want to go to Oxford? Did you think you were going to get in, or were you surprised? What do you think was the most valuable preparation you did? And how did your ELAT/interview go? (You don't need to answer all of these XD)

It would really help me if you could specify what course you do and what year you're in etc. Even better if you're doing English.

Thank you!
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Sinnoh
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Can you not go to an open day?
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MJ1148
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
Can you not go to an open day?
Hi there. I will probably be able to but would like to get some feedback on here, if that's ok.
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dreksupport
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>"Just wondering what life is like there, what the accommodation is like, whether you are happy there/happy with your course, and whether the workload is manageable."

Life is quite nice, the general atmosphere depends (a bit) on the college but overall it's a beautiful and very inviting town. Something more less for everyone, whether it be going out 2-3 times a week, chill movie nights or something in between.

Accommodation depends almost entirely on the college, overall it's certainly reasonable but some are definitely better than others. For specific info on accommodation you would need to ask someone familiar with that college.

As for the workload, I do PPE, I would say it is manageable but there's a lot of it, if that makes sense. If you're not on top it's easy to fall behind, but you have the first term to figure all of that out. The rather unique 2 months on/6 weeks off term schedule on top of the scarce contact hours (especially in smth like Lit) leads to an overall lack of structure that you either love or hate.

>"Also, did you always want to go to Oxford? Did you think you were going to get in, or were you surprised? What do you think was the most valuable preparation you did? And how did your ELAT/interview go?"

Nope, my English teacher convinced me to apply 2 weeks before the deadline. I thought that I had a shot, but since it was so far out of my frame of reference (American/French student) I really had no idea. Eh it's hard to really prepare, outside of doing the reading they recommend and not freaking out too much if you get something wrong, be prepared to justify your position etc. Can't speak for ELAT but interview generally went well but not exactly spectacular or anything.
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MJ1148
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(Original post by dreksupport)
>"Just wondering what life is like there, what the accommodation is like, whether you are happy there/happy with your course, and whether the workload is manageable."

Life is quite nice, the general atmosphere depends (a bit) on the college but overall it's a beautiful and very inviting town. Something more less for everyone, whether it be going out 2-3 times a week, chill movie nights or something in between.

Accommodation depends almost entirely on the college, overall it's certainly reasonable but some are definitely better than others. For specific info on accommodation you would need to ask someone familiar with that college.

As for the workload, I do PPE, I would say it is manageable but there's a lot of it, if that makes sense. If you're not on top it's easy to fall behind, but you have the first term to figure all of that out. The rather unique 2 months on/6 weeks off term schedule on top of the scarce contact hours (especially in smth like Lit) leads to an overall lack of structure that you either love or hate.

>"Also, did you always want to go to Oxford? Did you think you were going to get in, or were you surprised? What do you think was the most valuable preparation you did? And how did your ELAT/interview go?"

Nope, my English teacher convinced me to apply 2 weeks before the deadline. I thought that I had a shot, but since it was so far out of my frame of reference (American/French student) I really had no idea. Eh it's hard to really prepare, outside of doing the reading they recommend and not freaking out too much if you get something wrong, be prepared to justify your position etc. Can't speak for ELAT but interview generally went well but not exactly spectacular or anything.
Thanks, that's really helpful. Did not know about the term schedule at all. Is it true that they ask you weird questions like (quote) how you would describe a cucumber to an alien, because honestly I wouldn't know where to start with that lol.
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nexttime
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(Original post by MJ1148)
Just wondering what life is like there,
I found that people were far more similar to me than previous and I had a great time.

what the accommodation is like,
Depends on college and yeargroup. There are modern accommodation blocks, through sets of rooms in 14th century quads. As a general rule its better quality than most unis, except perhaps from a heating perspective! (old buildings).

whether you are happy there/happy with your course, and whether the workload is manageable.
I don't think any student would claim it wasn't hard work, but the student satisfaction rates are better than average and the drop out rates are the very lowest in the country. You certainly get opportunities you would never get elsewhere, both academic and otherwise.

Also, did you always want to go to Oxford?
Didn't really think about it until it was time to apply, but I think others would have predicted it.

Did you think you were going to get in, or were you surprised?
I had no idea.
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dreksupport
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(Original post by MJ1148)
Thanks, that's really helpful. Did not know about the term schedule at all. Is it true that they ask you weird questions like (quote) how you would describe a cucumber to an alien, because honestly I wouldn't know where to start with that lol.
Er they can, it depends a lot on the tutor, college and subject. They will in general try to throw you a curve ball, even if it's not just a clearly silly question like that definitely something that makes you do a doubletake.

That said, with the right approach those questions aren't very hard-they're testing your thought process, adaptability and communication skills more than your actual knowledge, which I really respect.

Off the top of my head: ask yourself what the question is really asking. Ie this isn't really about aliens and cucumbers-it's about describing what to you is a completely mundane everyday object to someone who has a completely different frame of reference to you.

The obvious starting point is-does the alien have anything you could compare the cucumber to, perhaps on their ship, a part of their body that's cucumberesque, or anything that you have on hand.

Props aside you get into harder methods. Assuming you can communicate with the alien, you need to instead of describing the whole object as smth they understand, individual properties as smth they understand. This would include 'long' 'cylindrical' 'green' 'edible' etc.

As long as you can break down this sort of thought process and bring it somewhere, you can be almost entirely wrong and do fine. That said, I don't think you'd have a question quite like that for an English interview.
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(Original post by dreksupport)
This would include 'long' 'cylindrical' 'green' 'edible'...
I didn't know that aliens definitively could detect colour (or even light) and ate food!

:p:
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MJ1148
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(Original post by dreksupport)
Er they can, it depends a lot on the tutor, college and subject. They will in general try to throw you a curve ball, even if it's not just a clearly silly question like that definitely something that makes you do a doubletake.

That said, with the right approach those questions aren't very hard-they're testing your thought process, adaptability and communication skills more than your actual knowledge, which I really respect.

Off the top of my head: ask yourself what the question is really asking. Ie this isn't really about aliens and cucumbers-it's about describing what to you is a completely mundane everyday object to someone who has a completely different frame of reference to you.

The obvious starting point is-does the alien have anything you could compare the cucumber to, perhaps on their ship, a part of their body that's cucumberesque, or anything that you have on hand.

Props aside you get into harder methods. Assuming you can communicate with the alien, you need to instead of describing the whole object as smth they understand, individual properties as smth they understand. This would include 'long' 'cylindrical' 'green' 'edible' etc.

As long as you can break down this sort of thought process and bring it somewhere, you can be almost entirely wrong and do fine. That said, I don't think you'd have a question quite like that for an English interview.
I can see how you got into Oxford. Thanks very much
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