So You’re Going to Oxford University?

So you’ve done it, you’ve got your results and you’re off to Oxford University, congratulations! Ahead of you lie probably the best 3/4 years of your life. Get excited, spend time with family, enjoy the summer.

Once the celebrations are over and you’re starting to plan your arrival in Oxford, there are some things you should take a look at:

Fresher’s Packing Guide: created by Anna, one of our lovely Features Editors this will give you a good template to make sure you’ve got everything, and we mean EVERYTHING you need for your arrival.

Oxford’s Covid-19 changes and guidelines: These pages outline the University’s dedicated resources for keeping up-to-date with all the measures they’ve put in place to keep us all safe. Your college will have its own guidelines too, so make sure to check their website. You’ll also be sent a super detailed welcome pack by your college in due course, which will answer most of your questions.

Oxford’s Financial Assistance: Going to University can be expensive for many people, and while it’s a little late to apply for any scholarships if you’re going this year, the University and Colleges have lots of resources on budgeting and managing your money efficiently, and your College will also have what’s called a ‘hardship fund’ which can give you a little monetary boost if you are struggling with the cost of living. Specifics for these vary per College so make sure to check their website, but conversations about this are always sensitive and personal.

College Parents: Move over Legal Guardians, because as an incoming student, you’ll soon be allocated College Parents! These are current Oxford students (at least one will also study your subject) in their second year who are your point of contact for all the burning questions you have, they’ll know who to contact for what, they’ll have their own bits of advice and all in all will be a friendly half-visible under a mask face for you to get to know. If you’re someone who identifies as LGBTQIA+, are an international student, or are someone who is (for lack of a better term) BAME, then you may also be allocated another parent from these groups who can help you navigate the university transition.

If you haven’t already, we recommend getting a Facebook account. Pretty much everything in the Oxford sphere goes through Facebook, whether we like it or not, and you’ll be given links to join all the Groups for your college.

Some wonderful Facebook pages to follow are:

The Oxford Student (that’s us!): We’re Oxford’s largest student newspaper, and in a normal term we produce a print run of 8 weekly editions and we have our website too. For stories about student life, breaking news, comment hot-takes, or food and drink recipes, we’ve got you covered.

Oxford University LGBTQ Society: They are a student-run society that hosts a multitude of social and welfare events throughout the term, and provides welfare support and advice to LGBTQ+ students at Oxford.

Oxford ACS: The Oxford University African and Caribbean Society hosts a huge range of events all terms from socials to external speakers to careers advice, and also works on access initiatives.

Oxford SU Disabilities Campaign: Run as part of the Student Union, their core aims are “1. Campaigning for better understanding and treatment of disabilities. 2. Supporting and advocating for disabled students at Oxford. 3. Bringing together disabled students for social events and solidarity.”

Oxford SU International Students’ Campaign: This is another campaign run by the SU, designed to help International Students navigate their time at the University.

Oxford First Gen: This a society for students who are among the first generation in their family to go to university. In recent years, a growing number of students from low-income or disadvantaged backgrounds have matriculated (fancy term for started) at the university over the past few years, and for many of them they are the first in their family to attend a university. They’ll connect you with other people with a similar experience and put on lots of social events, as well as offering general guidance.

Oxford University Sport: Oxford runs over 80 sports, so there’s something for everyone, whether your into casual fitness or top of the game competition. You can find a centralised list of all sports on the website with links to individual sports pages.

We can’t possibly list everything here, so if there’s something, in particular, you want to get involved in, search “Oxford University…” followed by the topic of interest to see if there’s a society or Facebook group for it!