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July 27, 2021, 02:14:23 am

Author Topic: Australian in Oxford - Ask Me Anything  (Read 1204 times)  Share 

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Balfe

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Australian in Oxford - Ask Me Anything
« on: June 25, 2021, 12:33:44 am »
+6
    Hey everyone, I graduated with the Victorian Certificate of Education (Baccalaureate) in 2019 and have gone on to read Jurisprudence (Law) at The University of Oxford. Iíve noticed that there arenít too many posts related to this pathway and so I thought Iíd reach out and offer to answer any questions you might have about:

    • Oxbridge Applications (Personal Statements, Interviews, Admissions Tests)
    • Law (Iíve just finished my first year)
    • University Life (Covid and non-Covid times)

    Just drop a comment below!
2017 - Present: Admin @ VCE DiscussionSpace on Facebook
2018: Psychology [50]
2019: English Language [50], Legal Studies [50], Mathematical Methods [49], Economics [48], French [48]
ATAR 99.95
2020 - 2023: Bachelor of Law (Jurisprudence) @ The University of Oxford

Joseph41

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Re: Australian in Oxford - Ask Me Anything
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2021, 09:38:08 am »
0
Nice one - thanks for this. :)

I'm pretty interested in this. I guess my first question is just a vague "how have you found it?" Has your experience met expectations? What sort of impact is COVID having on you and your studies?

Oxford comma, Garamond, Avett Brothers, Orla Gartland enthusiast.

Stormbreaker-X

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Re: Australian in Oxford - Ask Me Anything
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2021, 09:54:33 am »
0
    Hey everyone, I graduated with the Victorian Certificate of Education (Baccalaureate) in 2019 and have gone on to read Jurisprudence (Law) at The University of Oxford. Iíve noticed that there arenít too many posts related to this pathway and so I thought Iíd reach out and offer to answer any questions you might have about:

    • Oxbridge Applications (Personal Statements, Interviews, Admissions Tests)
    • Law (Iíve just finished my first year)
    • University Life (Covid and non-Covid times)

    Just drop a comment below!
I got no questions about Oxford but I want to know how you did so well in VCE? Please tell me  :)
VCE 2021.
Goals:
Economics 50 RAW (Fingers crossed)
Also check out:
https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=193174.msg1182903#msg1182903

sweetcheeks

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Re: Australian in Oxford - Ask Me Anything
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2021, 09:57:39 am »
0
How have you found the process of making friends? I'm considering the possibility of further study (likely PhD) overseas but I am concerned about making friends as I have always found it difficult.

Did you meet most of your friends because they are studying the same course?

mabajas76

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Re: Australian in Oxford - Ask Me Anything
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2021, 12:24:32 pm »
0
What was the process for applying and getting accepted? Like what time did u have to submit an application, where did u get recourses to find out how to apply, passports, support for living over seas etc.

Balfe

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Re: Australian in Oxford - Ask Me Anything
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2021, 10:10:59 pm »
+2
Nice one - thanks for this. :)

I'm pretty interested in this. I guess my first question is just a vague "how have you found it?" Has your experience met expectations? What sort of impact is COVID having on you and your studies?

Thanks for the question!

In regards to my course itself - I've found everything incredibly interesting, even if the law can be dull at points. At Oxford you tend to study 1.5 papers each term (we have three 8-week terms each academic year) and so I have studied Criminal Law, Roman Law, Constitutional Law, Tort Law and half of Contract Law so far. Criminal Law was by far the most interesting as the cases tend to be about fights, murders, thefts, etc ... (comparing that to contract law which might simply be about someone not delivering a package *yawn*). This term I had a Torts tutorial each week and a Contract tutorial every other week (with an essay due for each of these). Much of the study at Oxford is very self-directed so this was about the extent of my contact hours (1-2 one and half hour tutorials each week). The rest of my time is spent reading for these classes (textbooks, case law, journals) and writing up my essays! All of my tutorials were online for the first two terms but returned to being in-person this term which is a much more interactive and enjoyable experience (although much more challenging at times when you're thrown on the spot!).

In terms of general life - Oxford is set up in colleges and so you become part of a very welcoming and supportive community immediately upon arrival. All the Freshers are thrown in together for Freshers' Week and you come out with at least a few new friends. Usually I think there would be more mixing between colleges, but that obviously hasn't been possible with all the covid outbreaks in the UK - so, most of my friends are from my college (although I also know quite a few people from society connections). The University is very welcoming to international students and, tbh, the Aussie-UK culture difference is very slight - out to the pub and drinking every other night is certainly the common vibe.

There are loads of societies to get involved in - the Law Society, Commercial Awareness Society, Australia & New Zealand Society, Dr Who Society - just to name a few. Most events have been online for the past year, but they should be returning to in-person very soon!

That's all I can really think about for the moment ... Whilst Covid has been an annoyance and has limited opportunities for socialising and going to the famous Oxford Balls, there have been plenty of opportunities for formal dinners in a socially distanced manner and the University has tried their best to offer a nice experience.

My mind is a bit all over the place because its currently Summer Vacation, but hope that is sort of helpful  :)
2017 - Present: Admin @ VCE DiscussionSpace on Facebook
2018: Psychology [50]
2019: English Language [50], Legal Studies [50], Mathematical Methods [49], Economics [48], French [48]
ATAR 99.95
2020 - 2023: Bachelor of Law (Jurisprudence) @ The University of Oxford

Balfe

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Re: Australian in Oxford - Ask Me Anything
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2021, 10:25:11 pm »
+2
I got no questions about Oxford but I want to know how you did so well in VCE? Please tell me  :)

Oh god! Tricky question! It has been a while since I've spoken all things VCE-related. I might just dot-point some general tips:

  • Do VCAA exam questions ASAP (like use them to prepare for SACs if you can - whilst still saving maybe the most recent 3-4 years to do at the end of the year) - VCAA tends to be very different to SAC questions in terms of both what they ask and what they want as an answer - it's best to learn their answer style ASAP!
  • Choose subjects you like - weird that I said this second, but it is my number ONE tip. Don't choose subjects on scaling. I chose subjects that I really enjoyed and went well in them at the end of the day!
  • Work when it best suits you - some people wake up early and study from like 5am, others (like me) work 4-7pm then that's it, and then others again won't start working until midnight - find what works for you, but try not to sacrifice your sleep :(
  • Go here for other tips: https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=183307.msg1096719#msg1096719
  • Remember to take time for yourself - exam results matter, sure, but mental health matters too. If you feel like you can't work any more then don't (to some extent) - take a 20 minute break; eat some food, have a nap; watch YouTube or Netflix or TikTok or whatever the youths watch these days. Look after yourself! Oooh and also adding to that - enjoy yourself (in moderation) - go to that party, visit that friend (COVID PERMITTING - dunno what the situation is in Australia but yeah ... be safe) - it's your final year(s) of secondary school and you should enjoy them
2017 - Present: Admin @ VCE DiscussionSpace on Facebook
2018: Psychology [50]
2019: English Language [50], Legal Studies [50], Mathematical Methods [49], Economics [48], French [48]
ATAR 99.95
2020 - 2023: Bachelor of Law (Jurisprudence) @ The University of Oxford

Balfe

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Re: Australian in Oxford - Ask Me Anything
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2021, 10:30:24 pm »
+2
How have you found the process of making friends? I'm considering the possibility of further study (likely PhD) overseas but I am concerned about making friends as I have always found it difficult.

Did you meet most of your friends because they are studying the same course?

Hmmm. For me, most of my friends are from my college, but they aren't necessarily studying the same course as me. I think postgrads also have colleges and so you'll definitely meet people at college events, dinners or simply just out in the quad. I think this is also somewhat because of Covid and I think I would have met more people on my course specifically if lectures, etc. were in-person (alas they have not been  :( ).

Also, it's very easy to find a group of friends or (at least) individuals with similar interests to you - there are so many societies and clubs that you're bound to find one to suit you: https://www.oxfordsu.org/activities/clubs-and-societies/

And just one final point on that - be as outgoing as possible in the first week or two of being in Oxford (even if you aren't usually an outgoing person and don't want to go out all the time after that). Being a 'yes-man' at this time is great because you'll end up at so man different events and places and you're bound to meet people. It's all about taking that first step and once you know a few people you can step back and focus on studies a bit more!
2017 - Present: Admin @ VCE DiscussionSpace on Facebook
2018: Psychology [50]
2019: English Language [50], Legal Studies [50], Mathematical Methods [49], Economics [48], French [48]
ATAR 99.95
2020 - 2023: Bachelor of Law (Jurisprudence) @ The University of Oxford

Balfe

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Re: Australian in Oxford - Ask Me Anything
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2021, 10:37:25 pm »
+3
What was the process for applying and getting accepted? Like what time did u have to submit an application, where did u get recourses to find out how to apply, passports, support for living over seas etc.

Process:
You apply through the standard UK application service - UCAS. You will need to write a personal statement regardless as to the particular course you apply for. Certain courses may then have additional requirements of admissions tests or written work which will be listed on the university course sites. Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge) also have interviews if you pass these stages which are likely to be online in the future (though perhaps they will return to being in-person at some stage). In those interviews, you simply discuss your interest in the subject and they will have a conversation with you about a particular article, ideology, theory ...

Applications are usually due in the latter half of the year (though Oxbridge has an earlier deadline than other universities). I think maybe September for Oxbridge and December for others (though don't quote me on that). Your admissions test would then be a few weeks after that and interviews in early December.

Resources:
Can be found all over the internet and your school careers officers should be able to provide at least some support. Some people also opt for commercial organisations like Crimson Education which help you to write your personal statements and boast quite high admission rates - perhaps worth considering but it is quite expensive.

Travel Issues:
Usually, you would just need to apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa after you get your offer and then you could travel. Currently, you have to do that and then also apply to the government to 'escape' Australia - if you apply under urgent and unavoidable personal business with proof of your offer and visa then they will let you leave.

Hope that helps!

Also sorry if I'm rushing any of this - I have a job application due in approximately 2 hours which I am yet to commence!
2017 - Present: Admin @ VCE DiscussionSpace on Facebook
2018: Psychology [50]
2019: English Language [50], Legal Studies [50], Mathematical Methods [49], Economics [48], French [48]
ATAR 99.95
2020 - 2023: Bachelor of Law (Jurisprudence) @ The University of Oxford