Dina is a 1st year student

  • Home    London, England
  • Degree  German and Arabic
  • A levels German, Philosophy, Maths (AS Classical Civilisation)

Dina Khadum

What made you choose to study here?
My priority in choosing a college was what the tutors were like, so going on open days helped me to be sure that I was picking the right place – I tried to meet the tutors for my subjects wherever possible. Other factors which reinforced my decision included the number of people doing my course, location in the city centre, and cool perks like free printing (more handy than you might think!) and two gyms in College.

Is life here different from how you expected it to be?
I was surprised at how much time I have to go and do things that don’t relate to my degree. People always talk about how Oxford is about spending your whole time working in a library and having no fun, but it has been so different in reality. That’s not to say that students here don’t spend a lot of time working, but I’ve found there to be a really good work-life balance.

What do you like about studying at St John’s?
The College library is such a nice space to work in and it has most of the books I need for my degree – but if not, both of my faculties are just across the road. Socially, St John’s is a medium-sized college in terms of student numbers and since everyone lives onsite there are always people around who are up for doing something.

Are there aspects of  your degree you particularly like?
Studying as uncommon a combination as mine has been really good, since it means that all my tutorials and seminars are quite small and we all get to know each other well. I enjoy having small classes because it means I feel more comfortable to express my opinions and I also feel challenged, without anyone else to hide behind.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
There are always events going on in the week so I tend to spend a couple of evenings a week attending talks run by various societies around Oxford. When I’m feeling more like relaxing, there’s always a great pub nearby to go to with some friends and just hang out.

What advice would you give someone looking to study at Oxford?
I would say that being able to work independently is really important because it’s very different from school, in that you’re expected to take the initiative and go that bit further for all your classes. It’s about really making the effort to make all your work as good as it can be.