By Ella Stadler
In place of being in Oxford with prospective students, numerous colleges and societies have attempted to recreate the experience through modern technology, yes that's us – the zoomers.
Exeter College has not missed a beat in this department. Before the open day, our amazing JCR Outreach Officer created a video with clips and pictures of our college and voice-overs from students explaining the collegiate system, what we love about Exeter, what the JCR is, etc.
In previous years, the next event in the Exeter College outreach calendar is a residential week for Yr 12 students who attend state schools in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. To recreate this, Exeter college hosted a 'virtual residential' on 29th June where students were able to hear from and ask college staff and students questions about their experiences at Exeter and the application process via Zoom. The student Q&A had great attendance from current Exonians studying a breadth of subjects; History, English, Modern Languages and Medicine! We were asked questions such as thoughts on a gap year? How to choose your college? Top tips for a personal statement? And how to prepare for an interview?
Next up is the University wide Open Day on the 30th June and 1st July. Exeter College joined many other Oxford societies and colleges in taking to social media in an attempt to recreate the Experience. Our platforms (@exeterjcr on Instagram and twitter) took off with virtual tours of our Turl Street site – objectively home to the best view in Oxford. Later in the day, prospective students were able to tailor the experience to their queries using the question feature on Instagram stories. Some of these questions included what our bar is like? Is our library 24/7? Many current students also took to the University's Slido platform where future students asked questions anonymously and received insightful responses to questions such as what drama events do you host? What is your favourite thing about Exeter? And do different years mix?
Despite the sadness of Open Days and Outreach opportunities being cancelled due to Covid-19, Exeter college, like many others, overcoming the barriers of meeting students in person and hosted amazing outreach events, hopefully, encouraging students to apply.