All of us Oxbridgers have compiled lists in our head of tips we wish people had told us. So, this is going to be the periodically updated, group-sourced list of tips.

Tips for Living in and Studying at Oxford

1. Bring athletic clothes if you think there’s a possibility of participating in sports. If you don’t, Primark is a pretty cheap place to get clothes.

2. Buy an open-return bus ticket when you get a ticket from Heathrow. it’s only four pounds more and is a whole ‘nother ticket.

3. When English people ask you, “Are you alright?” all the time when you first get there, it’s not because you look like death (although you probably do), it’s just that “are you alright?” really just means “How are you?” in a really casual, let’s not have a deep conversation about this kind of way.

4. If you’re going to be living on the house where I live, and you are a bit sensitive about mattress quality, you should consider packing over (or, more realistically: budgeting for) a mattress topper. These guys do the job, yes, but I’ve also named my least favorite springs, and know them pretty well. I’m exaggerating a bit, but not much. Consider it.

5. You will learn this as you go, but still I”ll tell you: if your tutor is the kind that has you read your essay out loud when you go to tutorial, you will want to use shorter sentences than usual. And, you should probably be doing this anyways, but read your essay out loud before you get there, in addition to your normal proofreading and editing. you don’t want to realize you don’t actually know how to pronounce a word, or that you’ve left in a random word as you read it to your tutor. Best discover that before.


7 Comments on “Tips”

  1. Hannah De Priest says:

    If you’re a musician, be fully prepared to audition, audition, audition, as soon as you step off the plane. And if you’re at Homerton, ignore what your DOS says and be sure to audition outside the college itself if you want more performance opportunities. You have to self-promote.

    Great idea, Karen! 🙂 I’d like to post a repeat copy on my blog. Would that be okay?

  2. Nic says:

    Tip #1: make it to England.

  3. Stephanie Hull says:

    1. It’s very likely that Jewell is not talking to your college or your DOS directly about the classes you’re taking. You get to self-report those at the end of each term/the year… so you might be able to do a little fudging with regards to what’s a “major” and what’s a “minor”.
    1a. Cambridge doesn’t use the terminology major/minor tutorials. Jewell still has not figured this out. So lots of fudging can be done.
    2. There is a Chipotle in London on Charring Cross Road. At any given time, there are more Americans in this Chipotle than anywhere else in England.
    3. If you plan on using the trains or National Express buses more than three times or so, investigate a 16-25 travelcard. You can get sweet fare discounts!
    4. Buy your fares between Oxford and Cambridge on the X5 from Cheap fares!
    5. Don’t eat before boarding the X5. There’s something about that bus that creates motion sickness in even the most strong-stomached of people.
    6. You get free admission to (almost) all museums in the UK.
    7. Your student visa can get you free admission to many museums in Paris, including the Louvre.
    8. However, you won’t get anything for free at all in Italy.
    8a. The gelato that comes in a paper cup costs twice as much as getting it in a cone.

  4. […] so Karen had a great idea and started a page on her blog where Oxbridgers could share tips they pick up […]

  5. Your sis (and sometimes you mom logged in as your sis) says:

    Also, include things you thought you would need…..but don’t.

  6. Your sis (and sometimes you mom logged in as your sis) says:

    Bring own whiteboard.

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