Oxford: an Inside Look

Square caps, spires, gardens, multi-kilometer shelves of books and manuscripts in the library paved with cobblestone pavement, the colleges erected 700 years ago… But what does this semi-closed world of dreaming spikes have to do with real life Do not they come out of these ancient walls as storytellers, dreamers

No, they do not. And the life of a student of Oxford is not exactly like a fairy tale. Any Western employer knows that a graduate of Oxbridge (a common name for the Oxford and Cambridge universities) spent three to four years in a unique system of struggle for survival. That every week he independently studied the whole department of science, read and thought, in order to write his thoughts in writing to the exact date and present them to his scientific supervisor (usually a major scientist) on a weekly tutorial. And sometimes such face-to-face rates happened and two a week, not counting lectures, classes, exercises. Moreover, right after such tutorial, which was preceded by a couple of sleepless nights, he had to switch to a new topic, start from scratch. It is no accident that on the offer to go to a party, the answer is often a heavy sigh and the words essay crisis and deadline, which speak for themselves. The result of three years of such training is a series of examinations, during which the student must write about thirty essays in a week on a variety of topics.

School of Life

It is worth adding that the unspoken motto of Oxford is the hackneyed phrase Work hard and play hard. In other words, the vast majority of students have a hobby or seriously engaged in some kind of sport. And the very atmosphere of this place is such that even, it would seem, an innocent hobby becomes a matter of life, a competition and a unique opportunity to prove oneself. Thus, any person, hardened in this system, perfectly understood the art of juggling (as the English say) various aspects of his life in conditions of constant stress. If he also came out of it with high results (which is confirmed by his non-trivial mental abilities, in addition to his versatile development, his ability to concentrate on the task at hand and easy to switch), the potential employer simply has nothing more to wish for. Oxbridge is not only an education, but also a school of life.

That’s why graduates of the same Oxford fall into two categories. About a third goes into science to get at least a master’s degree – constant communication with outstanding scientists is contagious. Moreover, many of the teachers are very young, as the university constantly replenishes the staff. Of the rest, relatively few people go to work on their specialty. I know a mathematician and a linguist who left after Oxford ended up in law enforcement agencies (which are viewed much more favorably in the West than we do!), A historian now working in the oil industry, an engineer who has received a consultancy on management issues, and a theologian who has become the TV star. I also know that regardless of the specialty, I always get my piece of bread in almost any Western company, and that’s why I’m not in a hurry to do it. Still, the opportunity to do what you love, even if it is not very paid, is a great luxury. Now I understand how good it is that I did not go to the monetary specialty with an economic education I would never have managed to become a philologist, but I always have time to get to the bank if necessary. This confidence (no less than the education received) I owe the Oxford diploma.

How to proceed

The practical question remains – how to get to Oxford In general, the selection consists of three stages after reviewing the applicant’s dossier (school certificate, resume, several best works), he can be invited for an interview. The form of the interview itself depends solely on the college. As a result of the interview, the entrant can be offered a place, but, as a rule, conditional – usually the interview takes place in the winter, until the final exams, so that the place is assigned to him only until he passes all the tests. A graduate of a foreign school enrolled in a British university will be considered an overseas student (a foreign student) and pay seven to ten times more than a local student.

For those who have studied for the past three years in a UK school or in one of the EU countries (home students), and also with a green card, the system of selection and payment of training does not differ from the standard set for the English about $ 2500 in year.

In exchange

For foreign universities’ students there are exchange programs and scholarships, allowing to study at a foreign university for one year as a visiting student. Despite the fact that you will not get a diploma, such an experience in the CV looks very good both for domestic and for Western employers. Of course, in order to enter the Humanities Department, one must have an excellent command of English. However, it is the exchange option that makes it possible to raise your level of English so that – who knows? – return to Oxford as a graduate student.

By grant

The easiest way to do it is to go to Oxford, already having a native country’s diploma in your hands: for a master’s degree (for example, MSt or MPhil) for a year or two, or for postgraduate study (DPhil) for three years. For this, there are grants that cover the payment of tuition and other expenses: for housing (which is not cheap in Oxford), food and tickets.

The most popular scholarships are the Hill Foundation and Oxford University Clarendon Fund, but there are also other programs, such as Shell Centenary Scholarships or Overseas Research Student (ORS) Awards Scheme. Each has its own rules of selection and admission. Competition, of course, is high, but nothing is impossible! Details can be found on the official website of Oxford.

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