EmekaIt was over eight years ago since I visited Oxford for the first time during an Open Day, yet two vivid memories have stuck with me ever since. The first was realizing how amazing it would be to live and study in a place as beautiful and as lively as Oxford, which also ranked as the top medical school in the world! The second was of how friendly and inviting the students at Brasenose were. At the time, I didn’t even know of the other awesome reasons to study at Brasenose but I had seen enough to make it my first choice, and had six wonderful years here.

Living at Brasenose puts you right in the heart of Oxford, so you’re only a short walk away from pretty much anywhere in town, and you get to experience the splendour of Radcliffe Square by simply stepping through the front door. It’s also one of few colleges to guarantee three years of living in college-owned accommodation, which keeps you situated at the centre of Oxford and also saves the hassle of finding potentially exorbitant private housing. Since Brasenose is not a large college, it fosters a small but close-knit community, so you’ll often bump into several familiar faces when walking along the quads. From the very start (i.e. Fresher’s Week) there are plenty of socials to get everyone settled in and you’re assigned ‘College Parents’ – one of whom is a second-year student in your subject – who are a very helpful source of wisdom, especially at the start of your course.

There are a few myths about Oxford; including that it’s only for posh people and that it’s an expensive place for students to live. Fortunately, these are just myths and are simply not true. During my time here, I’ve met so many interesting people from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom I hope will remain life-long friends. Secondly, Oxford is an affordable place for students to live, especially given the winning combo of college subsidies, sizeable financial assistance and terms which are several weeks shorter than those of most other universities. It is true that Oxford has some unusual traditions, but these quirks only add to its character and are really about having fun and bringing the student community together. For example, the annual ‘Ale Verses’ at Brasenose involves over 100 students belting out hilarious songs which are written and submitted by students, and is much-loved event in the college calendar.

There are a boatload of extra-curricular and academic opportunities to get involved with at Oxford. I first tried my hand at acting in a college play, and later at singing in the medical school’s Pantomime. I continued playing football at Oxford, and have many happy memories of flying down the left wing on a Sunday afternoon for the Brasenose or MedSoc team, powered by fried goodness from Brasenose brunch. Two great aspects of college sport are that the sports grounds are nearby and that there is something for everyone. Whether you prefer the serious competition of the first team or the epic 10 - 9 thrillers of the third team is up to you.

Oxford is renowned for its tutorial system, which really is a great academic experience and allows you to explore your subject in great depth through discussion with world-class academics. With regards to medicine, Brasenose has an excellent mix of tutors and the structure of the Oxford medical course focuses on building a solid scientific knowledge base in the pre-clinical phase to equip students for the following clinical phase. Furthermore, the opportunity to undertake a research project during your third year is brilliant for developing your skills as a scientist and for learning about a new area of interest.

All in all, being at Oxford has been an amazing experience, which was made even better by having done it at Brasenose, and I couldn’t recommend a better place to live and study.