Should I enroll a PhD in Oxford without secured funding?

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owencheng111
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Hey guys, it feels extremely terrible with the money issue. long story short, I am an international student and got a Ph.D. position in social science at Oxford. After waiting for 5 months, I failed all scholarship applications this year. It seems that I could only either start self-funded or reject this offer at the current stage. I do appreciate the opportunity to study with a group of the best scholars in the world, and I've got enough money for the first year, but it's unaffordable for me to self-fund the whole Ph.D. My supervisor warned me that if I did not secure funding in the first year, it's unlikely to find other funding once enrolled, which is quite discouraging. He could help with some TA/RA opportunities, which are obviously not enough due to the 20h/week visa restriction). Plus, deferring is not an ideal option as well, since it does not guarantee any scholarships meanwhile wasting a year.

I am wondering how likely it is to find Ph.D. fundings as a second-year Ph.D.? Should I self-fund the first year and rely on next-year scholarship applications? Any advice would be extremely appreciated.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by owencheng111)
Hey guys, it feels extremely terrible with the money issue. long story short, I am an international student and got a Ph.D. position in social science at Oxford. After waiting for 5 months, I failed all scholarship applications this year. It seems that I could only either start self-funded or reject this offer at the current stage. I do appreciate the opportunity to study with a group of the best scholars in the world, and I've got enough money for the first year, but it's unaffordable for me to self-fund the whole Ph.D. My supervisor warned me that if I did not secure funding in the first year, it's unlikely to find other funding once enrolled, which is quite discouraging. He could help with some TA/RA opportunities, which are obviously not enough due to the 20h/week visa restriction). Plus, deferring is not an ideal option as well, since it does not guarantee any scholarships meanwhile wasting a year.

I am wondering how likely it is to find Ph.D. fundings as a second-year Ph.D.? Should I self-fund the first year and rely on next-year scholarship applications? Any advice would be extremely appreciated.
Funding once you have started is very rare, and I've never heard of any full/substantial funding. Things like travel grants are available, but not full funding.

The best bet is to wait a year and make sure the gap year isn't wasted.
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