Courtney is a 1st year student

  • Home    Hull, England
  • Degree  Geography
  • A levels Geography, Sociology, Biology, Classical Civilisation (AS General Studies, Product Design) + EPQ 

Courtney InchWhat made you choose to study here?
I chose to apply to Oxford for the unique opportunities it could offer me in later life. St John’s appealed to me because it’s in the city centre, close to my department, and offers a huge range of support both in terms of welfare and financially.

Is life here different from how you expected it to be?
I didn’t expect to have as much of as social life as I do! The workload is relatively high but it is manageable and you are usually encouraged by the College to take part in extracurricular activities. I’ve found that I have had enough time to do my work, join a couple of societies, go on nights out as well as just hang out with friends.

What do you like about studying at St John’s?
I like the fact that we become fairly close to the tutors so that we don’t feel nervous or silly asking them questions about work (even simple ones) and are able to get lots of feedback on progress.

St John's is a medium sized college, so there are plenty of different people with loads of different interests which is exciting, but it’s also small enough that it feels like a close-knit community.

Are there aspects of  your degree you particularly like?
Geography gives students the chance to do fieldwork in a few locations (the last couple of years were Tenerife and Copenhagen) which is a fantastic opportunity to test out your research skills as well as bond with people on your course. Many geographers also have the unique opportunity to conduct their dissertation almost anywhere in the world (St John’s is particularly good at providing funding) and on almost any topic possible, due to the broad nature of a Geography degree.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
There’s lots to do in Oxford – I like to spend my spare time split between sports, societies, volunteering and exploring Oxford. There are lots of opportunities to get involved both in College and around the university without worrying about your level of experience – I now do gymnastics (a complete beginner), Zumba, work on committees and volunteer at a charity for children. Oxford also has so many fantastic sights that you have to set aside time to wander around and see other colleges etc.

What advice would you give someone looking to study at Oxford?
Academic self-confidence is a characteristic of many Oxford students – the University will challenge you intellectually and help you develop assurance in your own opinions and ability in making arguments. You should prove in your application that you’ll be able to learn independently.