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What's Hidden Behind the Door?

You may have already looked around other unis this summer and many of them will have had one large campus where students live, socialise etc. So, when you come to Oxford the whole setup may seem a little confusing.

Oxford Uni is spread all around the city. You'll walk past numerous large, arched doors on your way around but what's hidden behind them?

Well, these doors are the entrances to the colleges and halls which are self-contained mini campuses where students often live, eat and socialise. Students are allocated a college or hall and this becomes their home and their own little community throughout their university journey.

Here's an example of what you might find:

You walk through the large door and enter the lodge, the entrance to the college where the porter (gatekeeper) is situated.

You then walk into a walled garden, known as a 'quad' with manicured lawns and beautiful flowers. You'll walk down a pathway which will lead you to the chapel where you'll admire its ornate ceiling and intricate stain glassed windows.

We'll then head towards hall, a long room filled with oak tables and bench seats and historical portraits filling the walls. This is where students eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We'll wander through to the next quad (yes its hard to imagine from the street but beyond the walls is vast areas of land). This will be similar to the first quad but perhaps a bit larger and in one corner we'll spot the 'JCR' (Junior Common Room) which is a common room where undergrads socialise. It won't be as grand or luxurious as the other areas we've seen but it will be home to fun activities such as a pool table, table football and a TV.

As we look around the walls of the quad, we'll spot lots of windows looking down at us. These will often be rooms where undergrads live during their first year at uni.

So, there you have it, a little college tour. Now, whilst the colleges/halls do have their similarities, each one is unique and has its own charm or character, so this is just an example but it should give you an idea of what you might expect to see behind the door at the open days.

I hope you have a great day exploring!

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