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Year 12 students attend Oriel College for four overnight residential programmes

Purpose built to encourage students to apply to competitive universities including Oxford and Cambridge, each overnight residential programme covered one of four subject areas and gave a taste of what it is like to study at an Oxford college.

The four programmes were Modern Languages and Linguistics, History, English and a STEM programme for female and non-binary students. The residentials also encompassed social and cultural activities designed to show life as a student at Oriel College. They are funded by the generosity of Orielensis.

Bulqays, a student in the History programme, was recommended by her teacher. “My mum didn’t go to university and my older sister also hasn’t yet, so I didn’t know what to expect,” she said.

“My teacher told me that, because I really like history, this will help me understand what uni will be like.”

Bulqays enjoyed the residential and found lecture style teaching very useful and different to learning in a smaller classroom.

Megan from the Modern Languages and Linguistics programme appreciated the academic taster sessions as well. She said: “Being able to immerse myself in the college for a day was great. I particularly enjoyed the academic taster sessions — they were informative and a good example of what tutorials are like if I am lucky enough to study here.”

Bulqays said she appreciated the help of the student ambassadors. “I liked having an insight into what university is going to be like here at Oriel College. It was really nice to have the students here because we could relate more to them,” she said.

Olivia, a student in the English programme, agreed. “I loved my time on the programme. Everyone from Oriel was extremely welcoming and open to questions, and it was very cool to see behind the doors of a real college.”

Other students in the programme appreciated that at University of Oxford the “classics department is one of the best,” “it has a more urban scene,” “it is pretty,” and “the selection of books was very good”. Tom added: “I think the working environment does incentivise you to want to study here and the culture here is very nice.”

Most of the students surveyed said that they found the programme “very helpful.” Nola, a student in the Modern Languages and Linguistics programme, said: “I really enjoyed the day. Arron [Oriel College’s Outreach Officer] was brilliant and so accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting new, like-minded people who share an interest in languages too. It was such a beautiful setting for a brilliant experience!”