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Trinity College is located on Broad Street, bang in the middle of everywhere you might need to go. The college borders onto St. Giles and Park Road which leads up to the science areas for lectures, and no university facilities are particular far away. Many first year lectures are in the Exam Schools which take no more than 10 minutes to get too, if you're a slow walker. The town centre is about a 100m walk (if that), and there's a Sainsbury's and Tesco less than that away. However, you might think that it feels rougher because of its proximity to the town centre. Once you get past the Trinity gates, then you feel as though you're in a tiny bubble. It feels so secluded and you wouldn't imagine that the 'outside world' is less than 100m away.
Main site rooms are all £1,260 (plus ~$50 utilities charge) per term (information correct as of Dec 2012). First and second year undergraduates live in main college, third years and fourth years usually move up to (college owned) external accommodation, normally the Staverton Road annexe (no more than 5-10 minutes cycle ride away along demarcated cycle paths) so there's no hassle about finding a place to live. Around 20 first year postgrads live in college, with the rest of the first years and all the second and third years up in the Rawlinson Road annexe (apart from a few in Staverton Road, and the Junior Deans in college). Accommodation is guaranteed for all three years.
The main advantage of the accommodation is its age: the older rooms are irregular meaning they are often massive and full of character. Second years get first pick of the accommodation, and the order they may pick is decided by a ballot. They normally choose the nicer rooms such as the shared rooms and the large rooms in older buildings. This means the freshers are normally left with the best of the rest, but fear not: wherever you are, there will normally be loads of freshers with you and a really great atmosphere. Many of the first years are in the more modern rooms of staircase 18. They're not as nice, or as traditional, but they contain a bed, a large desk and loads of space. I don't think anybody really complains about the rooms they're in. Most of the rooms that are en-suite are taken by the second years in the ballot, so in the first year don't expect this. However, the toilet and shower facilities are hardly bad - at the worst it's 4 to a staircase of about 20 people, at the best in the modern rooms, it's 2 to a floor of 8 people.
Third Years live off-site in rooms which are a reasonable distance from the main college campus. However, these normally have a lot of people in similar situations, and more and better facilities.
You will not regret applying to Trinity after tasting the food. Lunch occurs 5 days a week, and is about £2.5-£4 for a proper meal, with a wide selection available (for example stir fry, fish and chips, sausage casserole, meatballs and soup; as well as a choice of about 4 or 5 desserts). Breakfast is early (8-9am) and not particular, but at about £1.50 for a fried breakfast it's not expensive at all. A similar selection of breakfasts is offered at Brunch (10-12am) is offered on a Saturday and Sunday. Dinner is the best thing about Trinity. Formal Hall happens 5 days a week (Sunday to Thursday), where you get a 3 course, waiter served meal for £4.13. It does take about an hour but is a great way to meet new people and have brilliant food. Many colleges make you were suits or whatever to formal hall. In Trinity, you have to wear a gown but can just throw it over whatever clothes you have on. On a Friday, is 'guest night' which is significantly more expensive (£18) but where our Michelin star quality food shines and is intended as a way to show off to any guests you may have at Trinity. Saturday is self service, and similar to normal lunch services but with a lesser choice. Thus this three course meal is cheaper than many of the options available at McDonalds, so remains relative popular; however, if you prefer not go to Formal Hall, you'll always be able to find people with whom to go to McDonalds, or order pizza or other similar things.
Sample Formal Hall Menu
- Choice of Bread
- PARMA HAM WITH MELON, CUCUMBER AND MINTED YOGURT RELISH
Veg :- ½ Melon with Port
- PIRI PIRI CHICKEN
Veg: PIRI PIRI BURGER
- LEMON CREAM TORT
- Choice of Bread
- MINESTONE VERDI SOUP
- BAKED MACKERAL WITH TOMATO PESTO
Veg: BUTTERBEAN KIEV
- RASPBERRY MOUSSE
- Choice of Bread
- DEEP FRIED BRIE WITH CRANBERRY SALAD
- CHAR GRILLED MINUTE STEAK WITH GRAIN MUSTARD SAUCE
- CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE
Sample Guest Night Menu
- Crayfish and Avocado Torte with Gazpacho
(Avocado Torte with Gazpacho)
- Guinea Fowl Supreme with Pea Risotto and Portabella Mushrooms, Asparagus and Pancetta
V = (Poached Leeks with Haloumi, Pea Risotto etc)
- Popping Vanilla Brulée
with Rhubarb Ice-Cream
- Cheese Board
The JCR is a little cosy, but has a pool table (50p/play) and a pub-style games machine. There is a projector which can be connected up to a laptop or DVDs are often watched through it. The JCR have recently bought a 52" LCD TV meaning there is little need to use the projector though, and you can watch Freeview, upscaled DVDs, recorded programmes on the hard disk recorder, watch BluRay or play on the PS3 through it, all with full surround sound. There's probably room to fit about 50 people in, but it can get crowded especially id specific things are planned.
Room 'parties' are often held, and although permission is needed to have more than 10 people in your room, as long as you keep the noise down at particular times nobody really cares. If you want to plan events, then it is possible to book the Danson Room or the Sutro Room, which is basically a room where you can fit a lot more people, although this is normally for official and society events rather than for student gatherings.
There is also the Beer Cellar, the college bar. The drinks are relatively cheap compared to for-profit pubs and more or less the same as other college bars. You'd be paying about £2.20 for a pint of beer/cider; and about £1.50 for shots. The Beer Cellar is very well kept, with comfortable sofas, juke box, quiz machine and free table football table. There is a large selection of food and drinks (and sometimes offers) including (dubiously) the cheapest protein shakes you can find in Oxford and Ben and Jerry's ice cream. so it is also used as somewhere where people just go and talk in the evenings. It also plays host to the twice-termly bop (fancy dress parties) that occur, and termly Open Mic (music) and Comedy nights, often for charity.
Library and Computing
The college library is small but will almost certainly contain the books that you need in the first couple of years, and a place without distractions to work. If not, then the college is a short walk away from the Radcliffe Science library or Bodleian library. The librarian is very nice and helpful, but rarely there, but requests for books can be fulfilled within the same day. Fortunately, there is a self-service machine and people on hand to help out if need be. There are many workstations in the library, where you can 'camp out' and also leave your things overnight; however, if you arrive early in the morning, then you will always find a desk as there are a small number of 'hot desks' which you can't use overnight. There is a wireless internet connection and ethernet points in the library, as well as computers with internet connection.
The computing situation in the college is pretty good. There is an ethernet port in every room and wireless in virtually all the rooms on side. The only condition is having suitable virus software. The computer guy (Alastair) is brilliant with everything from modding to fixing computers and internet connections. He is essentially always on call if you need him, and will do his best to sort out your problems.
Printing and photocopying is free in college, with a colour printer in the computer room. This is a massive bonus to the college - paying per page really adds up!
There is always someone to speak to about your problems. The chaplain, also the welfare dean, is ridiculously friendly and is always interested in talking to you, whether to talk about problems or just to have a chat. The two junior deans also double as assistant welfare deans and will always be willing to talk about anything. There's a peer support team run by second and third years who have been trained to help you talk through things but if you talk to anyone they will be willing to help you. For those of you who are interested in gay welfare, there's also an active and lovely LGBT*Q Soc which will either help you find your feet about coming out, or guide you around the gay scene in Oxford. Nobody will judge you based on your lifestyle choices.
The atmosphere is definitely not as academic as other colleges, but varies based on your subject. If you want to do something, then invariably you will be able to find someone who wants to do it, especially in the evenings/early mornings. I've found that nobody will judge you based on what you choose to do/be, so if you want to work then everyone will support you; but if you want to get drunk every night then you'll always find someone willing to be there for you. The college is small enough to be friendly with everyone, but is also large enough so you don't bump into everyone all the time.
The gym is orientated towards rowers, hosting mainly ergs, but can be used by anyone who cares. Trinity share a boathouse on the Isis, here our flourishing boat club practice far too often, waking up far too early. Trinity is also one of the few boat clubs to have boats on another section of river, this means we can practice where there is little river traffic. The college also has a squash court that doubles up, with the aid of a basketball hoop, as a practice court. It is in almost constant use, but as long as you book a few days in advance you should be able to find a spot, with squash taking priority over basketball. Trinity has some sports grounds on Marston Road (about 10-15 minutes cycle ride); given that they are, as one would expect for a college in the centre of Oxford, relatively far away in Oxford terms, using University Parks (5 mins walk away) is also popular.
The college has a range of facilities on site (outside properties for 3rd years have their own kitchens). There is a kitchen if you choose not to eat in hall. However, with only 4 ovens for the whole college it can get somewhat busy. There are also smaller preparation rooms littered around the various staircases, mainly with just a toaster, grill or microwave. Then there is the chapel that doubles as a music practice room. There is also a second music practice room that regrettably has little to no sound proofing.