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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:59 pm 

Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 571
2childmum wrote:
DS found the physics department at Oxford rather arrogant (for want of a better word). When we looked around the department there was no-one showing us around. There was one lecturer in the electronics lab, and a couple of very bored looking students who were supposed to be demonstrating an experiment but couldn't really be bothered and didn't talk to any of us looking around. The parents couldn't go into the talk, which is usually about why physics is a good thing to study, the course content, why you should choose them, where their students end up going etc. At Oxford the whole thing centred around what they had to do to get in. Nothing else. The admin lady guarding the doors commented to a colleague walking past that she had 'drawn the short straw' having to be there - in front of all the parents waiting outside. We did think that maybe all the staff were in the colleges, but the College DS had booked into see only had one (out of several) physics tutors there, who was totally lacklustre and once again only talked about what to do to get in. The physics department wasn't open for the visit day on October.

DS had dreamed of Oxbridge since he was 14. I could feel the disappointment wash off of him as we went home.

We went to Southampton two days later. It couldn't have been more different, with enthusiastic students who couldn't stop talking about what they were learning, and a professor who gave DS a half hour tutorial on particle physics because he saw him looking at a display about it. There were staff members everywhere, and the talk was taken by a professor who was so excited about physics he was almost bouncing and who kept going off topic to start teaching about something really exciting that one of his slides had reminded him about. DS decided not to apply to Oxford in the end.

He visited Durham in the summer holidays - not as part of an open day, but they seem to be happy to show prospective students around, mainly on Wednesdays I think. There was one other family there, and the 5 of us got the complete powerpoint presentation and tour of the department. DS also contacted a few colleges who also showed us around - usually a student

DS loves being at Durham, He is trying to decide now (at the end of his 2nd year) whether to transfer from straight physics to physics and astronomy, having loved the astronomy module he took this year.

He also loves the collegiate system, and has had opportunities to take part in a wealth of extra curricula stuff which is college based - he has taken up rowing and will be college captain for men's boat next year. He wouldn't have had this opportunity as he wouldn't be good enough for the university team. He also sings in the chapel choir, and last year played rugby, and his trumpet in the college jazz band.

Do feel free to ask any more questions!

I have sent you a pm 2childmum

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 2119
So... we visited Oxford today... DS is hooked... asked lots of questions about the new biology course. Have to say EVERYONE was hugely helpful and massively enthusiastic. Brand new labs also helped :D
He had wanted to look at 4 colleges, and each one had a quite unique feel about it.
Personal thoughts,
magdalen- huge... but so nice everyone was really friendly and down to earth.
Merton - immaculate grounds.. certainly seemed to be the most friendly and endearing.
Christ church - lovely and grand but although everyone was helpful and friendly DW and I certainly detected an elitist feeling that the other three didn't have.
St. John's - lovely and friendly, slightly smaller - but not as well kept as others. Felt just a little shabby.

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