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Student Housing Oxford

Mathew Said:

How can I advertise ,on the internet, my 3 spare rooms for students whom like to study in oxford ?

We Answered:

www.gumtree.com. When you get to the site select Oxford from the list of cities on the right.

Christine Said:

hubby starts univ at Oxford in Oct and we can't find housing.What's the best way to find a flat from the US?

We Answered:

Doesnt Oxford have a list of available flats or similar?

Assuming you are using a reputable international mover, often they have contacts with property agents overseas.

However, having lived in London for a long time, I can tell you first hand that properties are let very quickly in the UK. Moreover, they dont like to let to people who just entered the country. Ideally, someone should be walking you through the steps necessary for a foreigner to let a property in the UK. You will need a bank account which can be somewhat of a pain to get unless you have some supporting documentation from either your employer or in your case the University. Plus, the letting agency will want to see some proof that you are going to stay in the country for a while as well.

Any deposit/rents will need to be paid on the spot too so you will need to have the cash in hand to deposit right away. The whole process is quick. Once you select a flat, you give a deposit, your papers etc are checked, and a lease is signed. It's very difficult to do from afar. It might be one of those things you will just have to settle when you get there.

Again, check with Oxford.

Marcus Said:

Help with book research please...?

We Answered:

Alright, a few things you might find useful:
1. Oxford Assasins - a student group who go about... well... assasinating each other. Not in literally, obviously, but by cunning and skill and so for, e.g. members finding notes under the dinner plate informing them they've just been poisoned etc. You'd have to look into it for more detail as I was never a member.
2. Intra college politics - Each college has a Junior Common Room. This is a mini version of the student union. In most colleges the JCR is responsible for organising entertaiment events (entz) within college, doing the college ball, and more serious buisness such as the allocation of rooms (the room ballot) and trying to stop the college form increasing rent every year. JCRs range from proper democratic student bodies to cliques and despotisms (JCRs can amend their own constitutions so....) They're also very vulnerable to block voting (e.g. JCR meetings are often not very well attended... so... if the rugby team want a measure passed... they just have to turn up on mass...)

3. Inter College Politics
Although the JCRs don't do much interacting on a serious level (all that sort of thing happens at "our zoo" (OUSU) the university students' union), they do occassionally declare war on each other (once Magdelen declared war on my college as a result of a misguided attempt by a student to steal one of Magdelen's deer......). There's also block voting on a university level for OUSU positions, Oxford Union positions, popularity contests in the Cherwell (student newspaper) - students tend to vote for candidate from their own college, even if they are not particularly concerned who wins (think of it a bit like the internet culture thing of "harpooning")

4. Housing
Students will generally be in housing on the site of their college for at least one year out of their course. Some will be housed on site for all of it, if they so choose. Most colleges have, somewhere (often hidden) at least one accomodation building which was constructed in the hey day of concrete. Even inner-city ones like St John's and Balliol have them, they're just well hidden. These are often first year housing (first years get the worst by traddition), often rooms are cramped and facilities shared. Some colleges have "annexes" located away from the main site (Balliol has a load of housing near the law faculty on St Cross road). Students are also plagued by locking up times and other security measures. The students of St Hugh's College can sometimes be seen climbing over their back gate after midnight (when it's locked, and the only access is by key via the porter's lodge). Various colleges have key fobs or pass cards to open building doors. The porters of Magdelen will watch like a hawk for people entering and demand to see student ID...

5. Classes.
Oxford uses (generally) the tutorial system. That means that students are taught in groups usually 1-3 per tutor. They only have an hour or two contact time in tutorials per week, but have a lot of work do for the rest of the time, and lectures to attend. This varies depending on subject- science students have labs for example, and sometimes tutors will hold classes instead of, or in addition to tutorials.
Although tutorial groups are tiny, students are, for the purposes of organising tutorials, organised by college and subject. e.g. there were 7 law students at my college, in my year. For compulosry subjects we were always together - taught at the same college, by the same tutor, just split up into different tutorial groups and given different times to attend.

6. university wide rituals you should be aware of:
Matriculation - this happens to all students starting a course. It involves wearing formal academic dress gown & sub fusc (white bow tie & suit), going down to whatever venue is availible (mine was in exam schools...)listening to the vice chancellor make a speech, then back to college for the obligatory photo shoot.
Public Examinations - (ones which count towards degree classification) are sat in formal acadmeic dress, mostly at Exam Schools (on the high street). Students wear carnations which denote how far they are through the current round of exams. White = first exam, pink = middle exam, red = last exam. Students with red carnations can often be seen in the early summer covered in glitter getting extremely drunk in one of the many pubs...
Collections - Students are typically examined at the begining of each term on what they were supposed to have learnt the previous term...

I would write more but it's rather late - you can always email with specific questions.

Barbara Said:

Places to Rent in Oxford??

We Answered:

my advice is try gumtree.com or even try the loot.com
gumtree would be better though!

Toni Said:

I'm going to be living in Oxford, England for 3 months, Any advice on fun things to do in and outside the city

We Answered:

when you get there ask some of the students on how to get fun.

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