Part of the Dukes Family, Summer Boarding Courses guest blog
Your journey to becoming an Oxbridge student has begun. You have done everything you can to secure your place at Oxford or Cambridge, but what more can you do to help ensure that by the time your new life as an international student has started, you’re ready?
To prepare for life as an Oxbridge international student it is worth finding the best places online where you can gain insight from undergraduates past and present. This will help you to learn from people with first-hand experiences with everything from Oxbridge applications, living in Oxford & Cambridge, to making the transition to student life from sixth form. Our friends at Oxbridge Applications, the industry leader in preparing applicants to win an offer from Oxford and Cambridge, offer bespoke application support delivered by Oxbridge graduates. Another useful resource is The Student Room, here you can reach out for support from like-minded students and learn about life as a student at your particular university. In fact, Oxbridge Applications even wrote an article for the Student Room on making your application stand out, which you can read here.
Studying abroad, possibly for the first time, is different to the highly structured experience of living at home and attending school; the reality is, you’re growing up – so finding ways to become more independent each day is going to put you in great shape. By keeping on top of tidying your room, doing your own laundry, and even learning to cook for yourself, you will feel much less overwhelmed when the time comes to live on your own properly!
To help prepare you for your Oxbridge interview, and to help build confidence in taking part in seminars and lectures, all successful Oxbridge applicants share the capacity for independent study. By using a variety of informational sources, such as podcasts, seminars, books, and museums, you’ll be engaging with the wider context of your specialism and gaining up to date background knowledge.
In widening your subject knowledge, podcasts are a terrific method of deepening your understanding of a certain subject and make for ideal listening when you’re on the go and might not have time for serious study.
Attending the numerous events and seminars that are held regularly in places like London (and cities all over the world) is a great alternative to more traditional study. Fantastic science talks are held at the Royal Institute, and London's museums and galleries, including the British Library, featuring exciting events schedules. It is also worth checking what online lectures and talks are available on university websites.
By reading journals and online newspaper articles you will be keeping up to speed with current events., which can be a real asset in your interviews regardless of your subject. To help you to practise taking in and critically engaging with the news, you should also try to read opinion articles as well as more concise information. To gain a wider range of viewpoints and approaches on the subject, try reading multiple articles.
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In helping yourself feel comfortable with the British way of life and culture, it is certainly worth watching tv shows, reading novels and even following British slang pages on social media to further familiarise yourself with common phrases and expressions. Having worked this hard to achieve all you have with this language; it can feel demoralising to feel like you don’t fully understand your new friends once you are here.
As well as being a benchmark in academia, Oxford and Cambridge also present undergraduates with a unique possibility to network and create essential contacts for future careers. Although the final result of university undoubtedly being about gaining a high-level degree, it is also worth researching beforehand as to how and where you can network with other like-minded students with whom you can have the bonus of forming long-term professional relationships.
If you can, why not take time to explore the city you’re (hopefully) going to be calling home; perhaps take a trip with your friends for a weekend! Better yet, why not join an organised trip by a summer school to ensure that you’re visiting only the most interesting and beautiful sites. Sometimes it’s good to take a break from your usual studying routine and to expand your knowledge about the place in which you would like to live and study.
The most significant advantages to living in Oxford or Cambridge is that these cities are among the most outstanding and knowledgeable places around. Both universities are known everywhere, and you’ll have access to most of the lectures and events available across the university. Visiting in person could be the perfect opportunity to revise that assignment you’re writing in class, a chance to explore possibilities to expand your interests, and to gain new experiences that will look fantastic on your university application. If you can, do it!
Getting a real-life experience of what your end goal actually feels like can be incredibly motivating, reminding you even more why you’re putting in all this effort.
Since 2008, Summer Boarding Courses have delivered award-winning, future-focused courses that strike the perfect balance between academic and social enrichment. Their courses unlock potential and ignite a spark to drive students to long-term success. Their residential summer courses take place at some of the UK’s top boarding schools and university college campuses, including Canford School, University of Oxford Colleges and Eton College.
They carefully select their campuses to ensure that they provide the perfect environment for students to live and study. SBC are proud to have welcomed over 14,000 students from 152 countries to study with them to date. They offer one of the most multinational learning environments in the UK, providing a truly immersive and diverse setting for our students to meet like minded peers from all over the world.
Whether it’s preparing for future studies, developing 21st–century skills or building confidence, the experience that SBC provide enables students to go forward and apply what they’ve learnt to other areas of their education and beyond, giving them the necessary skills to achieve their future goals.
For more information visit:
Phone Number: +44 (0)1943 878518
Our Oxbridge-graduate consultants are available between 9.00 am – 5.00 pm from Monday to Friday, with additional evening availability when requested.
Oxbridge Applications, 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR