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How to choose the college in Oxbridge

Correct Oxbridge college is more important than a nice Oxbridge tutor - though they are intervened

It is really important to do a correct choice when deciding in which college should your Oxbridge tutoring be taking place - not only because your direct Oxbridge tutors and, therefore, the quality and enjoyment of the study period will depend on it, but also because you are most likely having only one shot at it - after all, even one Oxbridge tuition is pretty hefty, not saying about more! In this article, we will help the future enrollees to choose their college using the consecutive suggesting questions.

The questions to think about when choosing an Oxbridge college

Can I study there - in general?

Not every college in Oxford and Cambridge is open to all applicants. Three of the colleges in Cambridge (Newnham, Murrey Edwards, and Lucy Cavendish) accept only female students, and a number of colleges such as Hughes Hall in Cambridge and Harris Manchester in Oxford accept only adult students. Moreover, not all colleges provide enrollees slots in all subjects: some of the smaller colleges offer a limited selection of subjects, so it is necessary to check if you meet the college's primary selection criteria before applying.

Where is it located? 

The choice of college also depends on your preferences. Do you want to be in the epicenter of the hustle and bustle of the city, or do you prefer to be in a measured and calm place surrounded by hills and open spaces? Is it more important for you to be within walking distance of educational buildings or a supermarket? For example, a student from Selwyn College, Cambridge is about a 5-minute walk from the college center to the Sidgwick academic buildings and a ten-minute walk from the city center.

At the same time, a student from Homerton College, in the south of Cambridge, will need about 20 minutes by bike to get to the same Sidgwick buildings (However, Homerton is known for its huge territory - it is equipped with a gym and modern accommodation with private bathrooms). So your choice is directly related to your preferences. Whenyou visit colleges, try to get a rough idea of what is aroundn the college, ask students how long it takes to get from the lecture halls on your subject to the surrounding area of the college.

What are your feelings?

The choice of college is also inextricably linked to your character and the feeling of being there. You may be comfortable in such old and large institutions as St John's in Cambridge or Christ Church in Oxford. Or, on the contrary, such establishments may seem a little intimidating, and you will prefer something more compact and cozy to them, like Sydney Sussex in Cambridge or Oriel in Oxford. Beyond that, do you need to imagine what it is like to study and work there? Do you like the library? Are you satisfied with living there? Try to communicate with as many students as possible there, students or graduates. Simply put, having made a choice, it is important to feel as comfortable as possible.

What is your college budget?

This question may sound strange, but it can actually be a very important factor for less well- off students. The higher the budget of the college, the more benefits it provides to students for accommodation and meals. Many colleges provide awards and scholarships to particularly successful students. Naturally, this is true for more "rich" colleges. Studying at such a college will save you a lot of money during your Oxbridge years.

How big is the competition? 

The colleges of both Cambridge and Oxford receive a huge number of applications, but of course, there are colleges and courses that are less in demand than the rest. For example, entering the English Linguistics Department at Trinity College Cambridge is much more difficult than entering the Old English, Scandinavian, and Celtic courses at Churchill College. Applicants will have a better chance of getting in if they consider colleges with a lesser- known names. You can get acquainted with the statistics of applications for admission to Cambridge here, to Oxford here.

Who will tutor me? 

After you narrow down the list of colleges you are interested in two or three, try to visit them again, and if possible, arrange a meeting with your course leader. You may have an instant understanding, or, conversely, you will not find a common language. In any case, it is very important to know who will teach you and whether you want this particular person to be your tutor.

What are the entry rules? 

Oxford and Cambridge have different entry requirements depending on the subject and the college. At the University of Oxford, all liberal arts and PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) applicants will be required to take the TSA (Assessment of Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills). All applicants entering the Department of English Linguistics will be required to pass the ELAT (English Language Admissions Test). There are a number of similar exams for other areas. At the University of Cambridge, the requirements are now also, for the first time in 30 years, requiring applicants to take entrance examinations. Before applying to Cambridge, you should collect all the necessary information for the interview, as each college may have its own requirements for candidates.

The choice of college is extremely important, but sometimes you can overestimate this importance. Much of what happens at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge involves students from other colleges. Lectures that are not specialized in colleges may be taught by representatives of other colleges. For example, hundreds of theatrical and musical productions attract students from all over the university. There is a pattern that about 1/5 of applicants end up choosing a completely different college from their original choice due to the selection process (more on that below) so be prepared to be more flexible when accepting an invitation from a college.

How to choose the college in Oxbridge



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