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The Queen's College
|University:||University of Oxford|
|Address:|| High Street
Oxford, OX1 4AW
|Student Union/JCR website:||www.queens.ox.ac.uk/jcr|
|Admittance:||Men and women|
The College is handily located on the high street opposite the Exam Schools and a short walk to the city centre.
First years live in one of the college's annexes near St. Clements roundabout. About 75 freshers live in the Florey Building which is about 5-10 minutes walk (or a quick cycle!) from the main college site, and a small number live in the Cardo Building which is 5 minutes further, situated on Iffley Road. Florey is certainly bold in its design and has seen better days, but: in the next few years it will be fully refurbished to combine luxury with unique architecture (it's in the list of top 10 student accommodation buildings in the UK!) and, regardless, thanks to the semi-circle shape, where all rooms face each other on the inside of the curve, it's an incredibly social place to live - thanks to the long corridors of rooms and open spaces, it's easy to find people to go and chat to. Cardo is admittedly nicer in its decor and has a more cosy feel not just because there is a more intimate group which lives there, but also because the building is like one big house shared between first and second years.
From second year onwards rooms are allocated by a random ballot and, you're either in college or just across the road in the newly renovated (and very nice) Carrodus Quad. Most college rooms are en suite - even if not they've got beautiful views of the High Street, Queen's Lane, quads or gardens - and all in Carrodus Quad have their own bathrooms.
There are no kitchens in any college accomodation except in the St. Aldates annex, which is usually reserved for international students, fourth years and graduate students, but anyone can apply to be accommodated there if they'd like access to a kitchen (shared between no more than nine people). All other accommodation buildings have microwaves, but everyone tends to eat in Hall, which makes meal times really social occasions!
A great thing about Queen's accommodation is that regardless of what year you are, what building you live in and what size/quality room you live in, your rent stays the same, so nobody feels left out because they're unable to fund a more expensive room. Alternatively, you can apply for a small room or to be in a set (two rooms for two people), in which case you pay 20% less. Queen's offers accommodation throughout your course.
As in all colleges, there is a JCR (Junior Common Room) which has very comfy sofas and a TV with Sky and lots of DVDs. This is also where you can come for JCR tea every day at 4pm (or JCR brunch from 9-11 on Sundays) with free drinks and really cheap food, including the very popular cheese on toast. Besides the JCR there is also the OTR (Old Taberdars' Room) where there are really cosy armchairs and sofas - a relaxing place to have some peace and quiet. Every accommodation building also has a common room (often with a TV) to chill out in. Another quiet space is the chapel, which outside of service times is open for anyone and everyone to sit and have some down time.
The bar, the Beer Cellar, is open Mon-Sat until 11pm, though stays open later for the fortnightly 'bops' (college parties) which are fancy dress and perfect opportunities to get together with everyone in college. According to one of the student magazines, the Queen's bar is the best in Oxford!
The Queen's Library is excellent for its provisions and its looks. The Upper Library is in the list of top 10 libraries to see before you die, according to BuzzFeed, and is open during staffed hours (weekdays 9-5 and Saturday mornings, or 9am-10pm daily during Trinity term), while the Lower Library is open 24 hours and stocks the books you'd need on a daily basis, for which the loans last an entire term. The basement houses the Law Library and periodicals, though work is ongoing for a new library underneath the Provost's Garden, which will provide many more reader spaces and space for books (especially the antiquarian collection which is much larger than the post 1850 collection!).
There is WiFi in and around every Queen's building as well as ethernet cables in every room, though the Moffat Room has computers and printers in which anyone can use.
For sports activities, Queen's has a boathouse and, across over the river, sports grounds with a clubhouse which are available whenever you want to use them. The Cardo Building contains the college squash sports which were recently refurbished, and Carrodus Quad houses the new college gym.
In both Carrodus Quad and Back Quad there are music practice rooms for anyone to book out. The Shulman auditorium has a Steinway grand piano which pianists can use for practice with permission from the college.
Welfare is fairly standard with various welfare events such as daily JCR tea and occasional welfare brunches. The welfare team always run a lot of stuff in 5th week and trinity term. Like all other colleges you can obtain sexual health supplies discreetly off the welfare reps who are excellent.
Founded in 1341, Queen's has foundations in the North of England, where the founder, Robert de Eglesfield, owned a lot of land - in fact, the town of Eaglesfield in Cumbria can be linked to him. However nowadays Queen's welcomes students from every and any background, and thanks to the small size of the college (fifth smallest in terms of student numbers) but beautiful surroundings, there is a genuine and unavoidable sense of community. Each year has between 90 and 100 students, meaning you can get to know everyone in your year and others, creating an intimate but thriving atmosphere.
Queen's students are involved in any and all activities outside of study, be it debating, sports, music or anything. There are multiple teams in almost every sport, many of which are very successful in competitions, and the music society (Eglesfield Musical Society) runs an orchestra, jazz band, choir, a capella group and yearly musical, all of which are open to students from every college. The society is the oldest music society in Oxford (more information: ). Naturally most students are members of uni-wide societies, which are a great way to get to know people from other colleges.
There are two dedicated Welfare reps who are students and available at any time if anyone has any worries during term time. The college also has welfare provision through the dean, college nurse and chaplain. There is also a team of Equalities reps who strive to make Queen's remain an environment where anyone, regardless of who they are and what their background is, can thrive in the college.
Pros and Cons
- Centrally located
- Friendly, community atmosphere
- Accommodation guaranteed for all years of undergraduate study
- Closed to tourists because of the small size of the college site
- Beautiful and well-stocked library
- Plenty of societies and clubs to get involved in
- Meals are served three times a day, seven days a week
- Small student body may feel too intimate
- Not all accommodation is based on the main college site
- Relatively small college site
- Fairly small bar
- Formal dinners are only once a week