The Oxford Trip by Humd Qazi

Blog Header Image School News - 14th Sep 2023

Oxford university. The end goal, a dream for thousands of optimistic students across the country. Where alumni have grown from humble roots to changing the world. Truly remarkable! Of course it’s only fitting that our school’s trip be no less exhilarating.

A number of Mill Hill County High School students recently visited Christ Church, College of Oxford, on the 6th of June 2023. One of 30+ colleges, A beautiful home for its 600+ students, with majestic 16th century architecture overlooking a meadow and various picturesque meadows, gardens, the Tom quad among others and accommodations; while doubling as a cathedral!

The students were led in by Dr Ana Hastoy, an Admissions manager who graciously organised the tour. After a quick walk around the grounds intaking the Rustic charm, they were shown to a lecture theatre where they promptly received an explanation of the day's activities. Which included a seminar on the Oxford Admissions’ process and campus life, Lunch at the historic Great hall, A student Q and A and in-depth tour of the campus and city, to be concluded with a trip to the Weston Library, One of 26 Bodleian Libraries at Oxford, excluding on campus libraries!


The first major portion of the day was dedicated to an expertly conducted Seminar. This was to provide students with information on making a competitive application to Oxford, including advice on: Personal statement structure, Extracurriculars and how the help an application, Outside reading and current studies, as well as a brief but valuable recap of admissions tests for various subjects. The second half of the presentation delved into career Paths once finished with your course, displaying Oxford’s ability of launching all types of successful future careers.


Following on from this, at noon Students were taken for lunch in The Hall, by ascending up stairs with their own historic significance! Being housed in Bodley Tower, as a nineteenth century addition, it served as Hogwarts’ staircase throughout the Harry Potter movies, so in addition to the legendary alumni, students can now say they walked in the footsteps of ‘The Boy Who Lived’ himself. Of course nothing compares to the Hall, elegantly displayed Renaissance magnificence combined with Tudor Architecture and beams, this splendour was also the inspiration for Hogwarts hall! The food was simply divine as well, with students enjoying a range of desserts and main courses, while gazing at the finer details of the hall, as well as beautiful portraits of celebrating famous members of the college. At the far end, the founder of Christ Church, Henry VIII, is portrayed next to various stained glass windows, which are said to have inspired the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland.


After a brief walk they were taken again to the lecture theatre where they were allowed to ask questions to current Oxford students, this was extremely informative and gave many students an insight into University Life as well as the perks of some of Oxford’s unique features such as their Tutorial system between a subject tutor and 1-3 students. This allowed for a nice segue into a tour of the campus, where students saw Accommodations and beautiful Gardens next to a river with a picturesque view of the surrounding area, fun fact, One of the Gardens was said to have been won by the head of the college, through a card game with the other. Students also received a unique peek into Oxford traditions, as upon passing many Oxford students taking exams they noticed many if not all wearing a combination of a Sub-fusc, worn beneath a student’s academic gown and used in all exams, as well as a carnation (flower) which signifies which exam a student is undertaking. White carnations mean the first Exam, pink an intermediate and Red being the final exam.

After cheering for those with Red, Our sixth form students made their way to the final destination of the Day, the Weston Bodleian Library. The Weston is one of the newer libraries in Oxford’s history with rooms for restoration of old texts, sometimes up to a thousand years old written on various animal skins, as well as looking at more modern texts. Comprising various floors of valuable knowledge and Home of special collections, it also hosts 3 Magna Cartas and a photography exhibition, showing the progress of photography with the archives of William Henry Fox Talbot. The exhibition and tour of the library was a fitting end to an amazing Trip to one of the world’s top universities.


Some student opinions on the trip can be found below, thank you for reading:


  1. Really good and I loved the different scenery, It felt  surreal!


  1. Extremely informative and made me want to apply, hopefully I will.


  1. I really want to apply now, this trip just made me want it more!


  1. Truly amazing, there’s so much history everywhere you go!


  1. Good opportunity for insight into University and student life and to see the historic sights..