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Embarking on the journey to university is an exciting and pivotal moment in a student's life. For those considering Oxford and Cambridge, the prospect is especially thrilling, but it's crucial to get a taste of what these prestigious institutions are really like. In this article, we'll explore ways for school students to gain insights into the unique academic and cultural atmospheres of Oxford and Cambridge, helping them make informed decisions about their university choices.


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Attending University Open Days:

Both Oxford and Cambridge host annual open days, providing a firsthand look at the campuses, facilities, and academic offerings. Attendees can engage with professors, current students, and explore the vibrant student life. These events offer a taste of the university's atmosphere and are invaluable for making informed decisions. These open days are held in July (two open days per university) and September (one day per university), and often on the same or similar dates, so keep an eye peeled on the university websites for their announcement and get them into your diary early!


Immerse Yourself in Virtual Tours:

In an era of technology, virtual tours have become increasingly sophisticated. Explore online platforms offering virtual campus tours, allowing you to navigate through the historic buildings, libraries, and lecture halls. This immersive experience provides a glimpse into the unique environments of Oxford and Cambridge.


Connect with Current and Former Students:

Reach out to current students through social media platforms, university forums, or networking events. Hearing about their experiences, challenges, and triumphs can offer valuable insights into daily life, academic rigour, and the distinctive culture of each university. Here at Oxbridge Applications, all of our mentors and tutors are former Oxbridge students, enabling them to give accurate, useful advice on your application.


Participate in Summer Schools:

Oxford and Cambridge offer various summer school programs designed to give prospective students a taste of university life, such as the Cambridge Summer Schools programmes, and Oxford UNIQ courses. These programs typically include academic sessions, social activities, and interactions with faculty. Participating in a summer school can be a transformative experience and help you envision yourself as a student there, whilst meeting and learning from other like-minded prospective applicants.


Engage with Online Webinars and Lectures:

Many Oxford and Cambridge lectures are available to the public either in person or on their websites. Watching these lectures allows you to experience the teaching styles, subject matter, and academic expectations of these prestigious institutions, offering a glimpse into the academic rigours you may encounter.


Read Student Blogs and Publications:

Dive into student blogs, magazines, and publications that offer a student's perspective on life at Oxford and Cambridge. Understanding the day-to-day experiences, extracurricular opportunities, and challenges faced by current students can provide valuable insights beyond official university materials.


Visit College Libraries and Museums:

The rich history and cultural heritage of Oxford and Cambridge are reflected in their libraries and museums. Take a trip to explore the vast collections and soak in the intellectual ambiance. Many college libraries allow visitors, offering a taste of the academic environment.

Choosing the right university is a significant decision, and gaining a taste of Oxford and Cambridge is essential for making an informed choice. Through open days, virtual tours, interactions with current students, and engagement with academic content, prospective students can get a feel for the distinctive atmospheres of these renowned institutions. Remember, the more you immerse yourself in the culture, the better you'll be able to determine if Oxford or Cambridge is the right fit for your academic journey. Explore, connect, and envision yourself thriving in the intellectually stimulating environments of these prestigious universities.

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