Jesus boasts one of the top positions in Oxford for student satisfaction, and it’s also famed for being one of the friendliest. Everyone is willing to stop for a chat – although that may just be an excuse to procrastinate… Jesus has strong Welsh connections and you’ll be sure to meet a few ‘Welshies’. There is definitely a distinct Welsh flavour to many college activities such as the Welsh language carol service and the annual St David’s Day dinner.
In first year, food is provided in hall (that big wood-panelled room with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, basically a cafeteria). Dinner costs about £3.50, more if you're hungry or want pudding. In second and third year, you live in flats with kitchens. If cooking isn’t your forte, hall is still an option.
Accommodation is offered for every year of your course at Jesus, meaning there’s one less thing to worry about! Year groups live separately but there remains a strong level of inter-year solidarity within college. First years live in college, while second and third years live in flats at either "Stevens" or "Barts" that are a short bike ride from college.
There are lots of sports teams at the college with varying levels of seriousness; from rowing, football, and rugby to lacrosse, squash, and pool. Enthusiasm really is all that matters about getting involved in sport at Jesus! Other societies include the English Society and the History Society which regularly host talks. A new addition to the term card is the Poetry Open Mic night.
Welfare here basically means making sure that everyone feels valued, taken care of and generally looked after. This is executed by a network of student welfare reps, welfare fellows and welfare staff. This involves practical things such as the college doctor who visits twice a week, or the college nurse who is here every day, should you need medical advice of any sort. General well-being is also taken seriously via the peer-support network. The title may sound scary, but it’s just a shortened version of ‘specially-trained-students-who-you-can-have-a-confidential-chat-with-about-anything’. However, most students come into contact with welfare at Jesus at the weekly events run by the JCR welfare reps. We have yoga, drop-in sessions, and our famous welfare tea every Sunday afternoon (read: free food!). This, along with one-off events like meditation workshops, walks, art therapy, zumba and jigsaw evenings help remind people that there’s much more to Oxford than work!
The common room is a large, communal space with a television, pool table, and table tennis table. The hatch also provides snacks and hot drinks during the day. The JCR committee represents the undergraduates in college, holding meetings every fortnight where any student can submit, debate, and vote on motions (from welfare Pikachu outfits to funding scholarships). They tend to be popular, especially when there’s free pizza. Aside from two bops a term, Jesus also hosts social events for all students, such as Dinner Dance at the end of Michaelmas (Autumn) term or the cocktail party at the end of Hilary (Spring) term. Consistent with our Welsh heritage, if you head on down to the bar (renamed ‘The Baa’ in a JCR motion) you will find the college’s signature drink - the ‘Sheep-Bite’ - very sweet but also very cheap!
My favourite thing about Jesus is how laid back it feels in comparison to how I anticipated Oxford to be, and how easy it was to feel instantly at home.
When you visit Jesus College, you experience a friendly and welcoming environment, but when you study here, it truly feels like home. Jesus is both small enough for you to get to know everyone, but large enough to find your own space.
A sense of community and college spirit unmatched by any other college. Being an international student, it’s everything I could have wished for and more!