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Oxford University

On Saturday 11th March, Ms Ali and Edie Ryan-Law (Year 12), Olivia Garrett (Year 12) and Bethan Adams (Year 11) woke up very early to make their way to the Faculty of English Language and Literature at Oxford University. The day offered the students an opportunity to have a taste of student life at one of the most prestigious universities: we sat through a lecture on American Renaissances, had a tour of the dormitories and watched a mock English Literature interview. All the girls had a great day which they would like to share with you:

Oxford University

EDIE RYAN-LAW

‘During the trip we were fortunate enough to attend a lecture on the Renaissance in American literature and the themes of ‘self-reliance’ that emerged during this era. This focused specifically on the writing of Douglass and Emerson as well as the developments of the American psyche with the abolition of slavery. This is very useful in the studying of several of our A level texts. The play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Williams explores the changing mind-set of capitalism and survival through the characters of Stanley and Blanche which is supported by the idea of ‘self-reliance’ and its underlying cruelty. The trip was also a great opportunity to experience the atmosphere of Oxford first hand and we received excellent advice for applying which was incredibly useful.’

 

OLIVIA GARRETT

‘I was very lucky to go to Oxford and gain an insight into what doing an undergraduate course in English Language and Literature would be like. The English department started off by conveying to us the outline and expectations of the BA Hons. English course. It was extremely interesting to see the way the compulsory modules were straightforward and traditional, concerning the evolution of literature from the 1500s onwards, but with a diverse range of extra options. One thing that struck me was that the degree was changed to Literature in English, rather than English Literature, so as to encompass Literature from other countries. We then had a lecture on American Renaissances concerning the especially controversial and debated topic of self-reliance. At lunch we walked through the beautiful town with its ornate buildings and had a tour around the relatively new St. Peter's college. It was very accommodating and welcoming and the students emphasised on numerous occasions the great atmosphere and facilities of the place. Afterwards we had a talk on personal statements and interviews, with a mock interview being demonstrated by a second year. I was pleased to see how surprisingly patient and gentle the interviewing Professor was. Overall the day was so useful and a great look forward into the next 4 years.’

 

BETHAN ADAMS

‘A tour of the college gave us a real view of university life: we saw one of the rooms in the student halls, as well as the library and junior common room, and asked questions to the students, finding out about events like the parties organised at the colleges, roles within them and the jobs you could do out of term time. After walking back through the city to the English Faculty, we had a talk from one of the Professors about the application process, and the qualities necessary to study English Literature at Oxford, including a mock interview with a second year student. I have taken so much from this opportunity; both tips and encouragement for if I were to apply to Oxford, as well as a real insight into student life. I fell in love with the whole city and the experience has made me so excited for University!’


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