How is the German course at Oxford University?

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cardinal_7
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Hi,

I would like to know how studying at Oxford University has been for you (so far), especially the language classes?

I know (from some of my friends) that in other universities they are often studying in small groups; e.g. at the University of Kent they also talk about Austria during language classes but there is not too much reading.

So my questions are, how did you like the language classes at Oxford? What did the teachers do to inspire you? Do you have to read a lot in those classes? Did you like them? Any positive and negative experiences?

Would be happy about some feedback. Also about other universities and why you liked your language classes.
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penguingirl18
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Oxford Mum has a son who studied German at Oxford. Maybe she would be able to help?
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cardinal_7
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Hi thanks, unfortunately, I cannot directly contact Oxford Mum as I have not posted enough yet.

(Original post by penguingirl18)
Oxford Mum has a son who studied German at Oxford. Maybe she would be able to help?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by cardinal_7)
Hi thanks, unfortunately, I cannot directly contact Oxford Mum as I have not posted enough yet.
She has been tagged into the thread so will get a notification and be able to respond on her own time
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cardinal_7
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
She has been tagged into the thread so will get a notification and be able to respond on her own time
thanks a lot !
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by cardinal_7)
Hi,

I would like to know how studying at Oxford University has been for you (so far), especially the language classes?

I know (from some of my friends) that in other universities they are often studying in small groups; e.g. at the University of Kent they also talk about Austria during language classes but there is not too much reading.

So my questions are, how did you like the language classes at Oxford? What did the teachers do to inspire you? Do you have to read a lot in those classes? Did you like them? Any positive and negative experiences?

Would be happy about some feedback. Also about other universities and why you liked your language classes.
Good morning cardinal, how are you?

I am very pleased to have been tagged onto this thread.

My son studied German at Oxford. He loved his time there so much and misses it every day (he is going for a friend’s graduation next week). The only bit of his degree he didn’t like was the year abroad because he missed his friends).

I can remember visiting his future college and bumping into the rector. She asked what my son wanted to study. I replied “German “ and she said “that’s a good one”. What she meant was it was one of the easiest courses to get in for, especially as people tend to prefer Spanish to German nowadays at school. The rector then went on to say one German graduate went on to become a director at a well known high street bank.

if you want a very practical course like business german with no literature, this is not the course for you ( try Oxford brookes, you will get your Oxford fix with a lot less work).

Because of the tutorial system you will be taught in a very small group (3 at most). Some specialist subjects are taught at other colleges because they have a world expert. For example german film was taught by a tutor at Pembroke college who is also an excellent lute player).

The question is, how keen on literature are you? I say this because the course is about 85% literature. It’s a bit like doing a degree in literature with a bit of language thrown in. There will also be a lot of grammar to make sure you get your german right. There is a lot of reading ( after classes and for the essays). However if you are a German literature buff you will love this. They will not be wasting all their time talking about Austria in the tutorial. There will probably be many fascinating talks and academic visitors that make the subject come alive. You may also meet a lot of German students as my son did.

I can recall my son going for a job interview. The manager ( who studied German at Southampton) was speaking to him in German. His questions were full of grammatical errors and when he repeated the answers he subconsciously corrected the errors. The manager didn’t like this and he didn’t get the job.

There is a great German club that had a Stammtisch at a local pub. During your year abroad there are internships you can go for ( I believe there was one at the deutsche bank in Frankfurt).

Certainly there is time for a social life. My son managed to be secretary of the Gilbert and Sullivan and the tea society and write for the Cherwell ( university magazine).

Before he went up to Oxford he was very shy. Oxford taught him how to be sociable and mix with people from all different backgrounds.

Today he is going down to London for a drinks meeting with other people in his industry. He probably won’t know anyone, but he will have the confidence to walk into the room and come out knowing most of the people and, moreover charming them and making them laugh.

My son wrote two chapters for Oxford Demystified- German and If you get in. Hopefully this will answer most of your questions. If not, I can always ask him.

Stand by for the two chapters later in the day. They will make for very entertaining reading, and I hear they have inspired many a TSRian to apply for German, and get in!
Last edited by Oxford Mum; 1 month ago
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cardinal_7
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thanks a lot for your detailed answer Oxford Mum! I was also wondering what about the length of the seminars in Oxford? I only know at German universities seminars are 1.5 hours each; is it similar at Oxford or are they shorter?
About literature I would say it depends on the topic. I am not too keen on poems but prefer historic texts.
Will look up the book you recommended!
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by cardinal_7)
thanks a lot for your detailed answer Oxford Mum! I was also wondering what about the length of the seminars in Oxford? I only know at German universities seminars are 1.5 hours each; is it similar at Oxford or are they shorter?
About literature I would say it depends on the topic. I am not too keen on poems but prefer historic texts.
Will look up the book you recommended!
Tutorials are normally 1 hour at Oxford I believe, however you will also have language classes and lectures, and may have other classes aside from this.

If you're so-so about literature Oxford may not be the best choice for you since as above it's very literature heavy. Cambridge is a little more broad ranging in its coverage of texts by comparison and has the same tutorial (or rather, supervision) system that sets it and Oxford apart from other universities.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by cardinal_7)
thanks a lot for your detailed answer Oxford Mum! I was also wondering what about the length of the seminars in Oxford? I only know at German universities seminars are 1.5 hours each; is it similar at Oxford or are they shorter?
About literature I would say it depends on the topic. I am not too keen on poems but prefer historic texts.
Will look up the book you recommended!
I am not sure how long the seminars are. The book I am referring to is called Oxford demystified and I, and several TSR students wrote it ourselves. I am not at home but will send you a copy soon ( it’s online and free)
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by cardinal_7)
thanks a lot for your detailed answer Oxford Mum! I was also wondering what about the length of the seminars in Oxford? I only know at German universities seminars are 1.5 hours each; is it similar at Oxford or are they shorter?
About literature I would say it depends on the topic. I am not too keen on poems but prefer historic texts.
Will look up the book you recommended!
cardinal_7

This is the German chapter of Oxford Demystified

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6054206

and the If you get in chapter

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...%20Demystified
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cardinal_7
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Tutorials are normally 1 hour at Oxford I believe, however you will also have language classes and lectures, and may have other classes aside from this.

If you're so-so about literature Oxford may not be the best choice for you since as above it's very literature heavy. Cambridge is a little more broad ranging in its coverage of texts by comparison and has the same tutorial (or rather, supervision) system that sets it and Oxford apart from other universities.
thanks
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