In late June and early July a group of CRGS Sixth Form students were given the opportunity to visit Oxford and Cambridge Universities for their open days. For both trips we stayed overnight in college accommodation and beyond a few pre-arranged meet-ups, talks and recommended events, the days were largely our own to spend as we liked, attending subject talks and lectures and looking around the two universities.
One of the main quirks of Oxford and Cambridge is the college system that they both employ. Each college has its own unique atmosphere and all are perfectly well equipped for living in.
Getting the chance to go on tours and look around each of the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge was very useful as it shed some light on what may have previously been an arbitrary decision. Actually staying in college accommodation was also very interesting as it gave us a snapshot into what life at university is really like.
Both trips were very well organised and we were each given a booklet of events that were taking place over the course of the open days. I am interested in Physics and was booked on to a Physics mock tutorial at Oxford which provided an enjoyable, if head-scratching, glimpse into the academic daily life of an Oxbridge student.
I also attended a taster lecture at Cambridge and at both universities, I was given a tour around the Physics departments. All of this was very useful in discovering what sort of things to expect from studying Physics at Oxbridge, the differences between the two universities and also in simply broadening my horizon of interest in the field.
As the open days drew to a close, we had the chance to see both cities and enjoy some relaxation time. The combination of lovely weather in both Oxford and Cambridge, a fabulous group of people and the beauty of the two universities made for two delightful trips. Most importantly, however, they were very useful in helping us decide whether or not we want to apply to either university; which one we preferred and which course we should apply for.
As such, I would happily recommend these trips to anyone considering applying to Oxford or Cambridge.