More Visiting Student Experiences and Advice

More Visiting Student Experiences and Advice

Kevin Weiss,  George Washington University, full year 2012-2013

You are attending the best college at Oxford.  Catz has a unique culture that is fun and sporty without sacrificing academic stimulation.  The most important piece of advice I have for your time at Oxford is, assimilate. 

The easiest way to do this is through sport e.g. dodgeball .  Get on a team or join a club and dive into the culture.  Go to all the crew dates, eat in hall, get to know the non-Americans in your staircases...

Ditch the Americans.  You're abroad to learn about other cultures.  The British are funny, interesting, and sarcastic.  You can spend your entire term trying to figure out where you stand with them, and still you may not know.  

Get involved in things that are unique to Oxford/England. Rugby is terrifying.  The culture is fantastic.

Study in Turl St. Kitchen (and other similar places).  There are brilliant people around Oxford, find them, listen to them.  They're not in your room (though, they may be in your staircase).

 Do more than you need to in your tutorials.  In some subjects, it is possible to do fine by cranking out an essay the night before the tutorial.  However, you can have some of the most fascinating conversations and really learn a lot about something interesting if you read a lot and are thoughtful.

Customize your tutorials.  (Naomi may kill me for this one).  Depending on your University at home, you may need to take some specific courses during your time at Catz, especially if you're there for the year as I was.  Think about things you're interested in and take tutorials in that.  Most tutors will be flexible to make sure you cover what you need to get credit at home university, while doing something more interesting at Oxford

Use the breaks to travel to interesting places as opposed to going home.  This is a tough one, especially for your mum.  However, recognize how unique a time in your life it is to be living in Europe with effectively no obligations and excessively long breaks.  If you can convince some Catz students or your family to come with you, all the better. 

Become friends with the staff in the hall, Monica and Paulina.  They're both great.  (Working in hall can also be a great way to earn some extra pub money). 

 Sit with different people in hall.  Also, don't stand up on the tables and start singing. There are better ways to woo British girls. 

 Bring a Tuxedo!  The balls are worth it.   Varsity ski trip is a blast. 

Get a bike early so you make it worth it.  Catz is wonderful, but it's out in the boonies.  A bike will solve this. It will also allow you to explore Cowley road, which is fun.

Awesome libraries all over the place.  I liked Vere Harmsworth (something very productive about it). 

Try Edamame,   Georgina's,   Alpha Bar,  Primark.

 Stay as long as you can.  Each term gets better and one is not enough. 

Please click here for Chris Dowd's experience  as a full year visiting student in 2015-2016