Oxford presented me with an intellectually challenging environment where I felt encouraged to be an independent scholar and writer.
What made you decide to study at Oxford?
“Working with the best tutors in my field gave me the knowledge, confidence and resources to continue my academic pursuits.”
I had the privilege of studying abroad at Oxford in the junior year of my undergraduate degree at Columbia University. In that year, Oxford presented me with an intellectually challenging environment where I felt encouraged to be an independent scholar and writer. Working with the best tutors in my field gave me the knowledge, confidence and resources to continue my academic pursuits. Oxford is simply the best university to delve deeper into study and scholarship. I cherished every moment of that year abroad and returned to Oxford in 2019 for the MPhil, and now I am beginning the second year of the DPhil at Oriel.
How did you find the application process, and do you have any advice for others preparing to apply?
The application process can be somewhat daunting for those who are not used to it, and especially for foreigners who are unfamiliar with all the particulars of the various Oxford degree courses. I would advise applicants to email the postgraduate admissions officers of your department or prospective college, as well as other students, with any questions that you may have about the application process. I would also take advantage of emailing professors whom you may wish to work with; you can ask advice from them about degree courses and also engage a potential supervisor before applying. You will be surprised as to how helpful staff, students and professors are with answering your questions and assisting you in pursuing an Oxford degree.
Did you specify a college on your application?
“There is a lively community of philosophers and theologians here.”
Yes, I specifically applied to Oriel. The chair of Philosophical Theology is at Oriel, so there is a lively community of philosophers and theologians here, including professors and students. I also applied here because I found it to be a small yet welcoming community, set in a beautiful, old college, which would provide me with a classic and personal Oxford experience.
What do you think the benefits of the collegiate system are for postgraduate students?
The collegiate system is wonderful for postgraduate students because it ensures that you always belong to a small community outside of your department. Being a member of a college means that you will meet postgraduates from a wide range of disciplines, which fosters a healthy balance of learning and friendship beyond the boundaries of your own academic focus. Whether you dine every night in Hall or only attend a few MCR functions per term, you will be happy to have the opportunity to meet other postgraduates who come from different backgrounds and are making different contributions to their respective fields.
What do you enjoy about being a member of Oriel’s MCR community?
“It is no secret that Oriel has the best MCR of any college!”
It is no secret that Oriel has the best MCR of any college! The Oriel MCR is a vibrant and welcoming community which always has something on for postgraduate students to attend. Whether it is a lowkey night at the bar, or a 1920s themed party with live jazz, you will find that the Oriel MCR is a truly special community, thanks largely to the dedicated members who love to make a relaxing and joyful environment for all students.
What do you like the most about being an Orielensis?
“You will always feel that you are part of a wider community of academics.”
I love that Oriel is a tight-knit community where you almost immediately come to know many members of college. Oriel also has a wonderful range of traditions for students to participate in, which gives you the sense of truly being immersed in Oxford and its history. The professors at Oriel care very much for their students, even if they are not their supervisors, and so you will always feel that you are part of a wider community of academics.