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




How to apply as a Registered Visiting Student 2019-2020

St Catherine's College welcomes applications from students who will have completed at least two years of college or university who wish to study in Oxford as non-degree students.  Michaelmas term runs from early October to mid-December;  Hilary term from early January to mid-March;  and Trinity term from mid-April to late June.  Applications are accepted for one, two or three terms although maximum benefit from study at St Catherine's clearly accrues to those able to come for the whole year.  Successful applicants will receive detailed instructions about dates of arrival in Oxford.

Applicants should include in their application their full name,  address, date of birth, and the number of years they have attended at university/college.  US candidates should include their GPA rating (it is unlikely that a place will be offered to anyone with a current GPA less than 3.7) and,  where appropriate,  SAT/ACT scores.  Candidates from other countries should send an equivalent evaluation.  Candidates should also include their current college transcript,  two letters of acadmic recommendation,  two samples of written work (not more than 20 pages) and a statement,  not exceeding 200 words,  of their academic goals and reasons for wishing to study at St Catherine's College, Oxford,  a passport photo and a copy of the applicant's passport details page.   In addition,  applicants should fill in a tutorial preference form on which they can indicate their proposed tutorial choices of study.

English Language Proficiency - please note that all teaching at Oxford University is carried out in English (with the exception of some language-specific teaching) and tutors must be convinced that you have sufficient fluency in written and spoken English to cope with your course from the start.  Therefore,  all non-native English-speaking applicants must satisfy Oxford University requirements.  Please look at the following link   to find out if you have the appropriate requirements. We will not make an offer until we have sufficient proof of your English language proficiency.

We welcome applications for the Registered Visiting Student Programme for 2019-2020.  Please use the application form listed below to apply,  and if you are interested in Computer Science,  please use the other application form shown below.  The deadline for Full Year, Michaelmas Term only 2018 and Hilary and Trinity Terms only 2019 is Friday, 1st February 2019 and should be sent to  We welcome early applications. 

Additional fees are applicable for those taking laboratory-based courses.  This includes Computing Science, Chemistry,  Biochemistry and Physics. This will enable Registered Visiting Students to participate in laboratory/practical sessions run by the University.. 

Registered Visiting Student Fees 2019-2020

Accommodation and Residence 2019-2020
Registered Visiting Student Application Form 2019-2020

Registered Visiting Student Application Form 2019-2020 (Computing Science)

If you have any academic questions please contact,  Fellow and Director of Studies for Visiting Students and if you have any other questions please contact, Administrator for Visiting Students.


Barry Murnane

BA Dub, PhD Göttingen

Teaching Interests

I am responsible for German in St. John’s College and St. Catherine’s College where I teach German literature and culture (post-1730) and translation. I also teach lectures and seminars in the German Sub-Faculty on literature, theory and cultural studies.

Research Interests

My main areas of research are the literature and culture of the ‘threshold period’ between 1780 and 1830, modernism, contemporary drama and popular culture. I am especially interested in modernization theory, the medical humanities and the figures of the ghost and the monstrous. My first book was a monograph on Franz Kafka (2008) and I co-edited two volumes on the German Schauerroman, or gothic novel (2011 and 2012) with Andrew Cusack. I am currently working on a monograph exploring the relationship between literature and pharmacy and preparing two edited volumes on 18th-century nationalism and popular literature around 1900 respectively.


College Lecturer in German
Associate Professor in German


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