Catz is Oxford’s youngest (and biggest) undergraduate college. All three years live together on site, creating a communal, fun-loving atmosphere. It’s incredibly unique – the original college was designed by the minimalist architect Arne Jacobsen, whose designs went right down to the cutlery (which, rumour has it, featured in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey).
There are four meals a day available Monday-Friday, three meals on Saturdays, and Sunday lunch. Breakfast, lunch, and ‘scaf’ (self-service dinner) are very reasonable - 9 breakfast items cost £2.39. Catz has one ‘formal’ a term, and normal hall (~£4) is available every weekday. This is a served three-course meal, with plenty of provision for specific dietary requirements. Meals are pay-as-you-go, with no obligation to sign up in advance.
Most students at Catz live on-site for three years. First and third years live in the Jacobsen-designed ‘Old Quad’, and second years in ‘New Quad’, built between 1994-2005. There’s a kitchen in every corridor (shared between eight to ten people). Bathrooms containing 4 showers and 2 toilets are shared between groups of ten people in Old Quad, and every bedroom in New Quad is en-suite. Rooms are randomly allocated in first year, then in second and third year, groups of four to six ballot together for rooms. Everyone pays the same rent, and there’s no significant difference between rooms.
There are multiple teams for most sports, with both men and women well-represented. There's also a free gym. Catz has music societies, a drama club, a choir, yoga, Zumba, whisky tasting, open mic nights, and more… The JCR is the hub of Catz. Connected to both bar and games room, it provides a well-integrated atmosphere where anyone is welcome. It’s busy day and night, and with bean bags a-plenty it’s a great space to relax and socialise. There are several options for entertainment – Sky TV, pool tables, game consoles, and an ever-growing collection of board games.
There are male and female welfare reps for MCR and JCR. Catz has weekly ‘Sunday Munch’ in the JCR (cake/Capri Suns/Fruit Winders/Pom Bears and more), and there’s a team of student peer supporters, providing confidential support to those in need.
Catz holds fortnightly social events. There’s loads of space available, as the bar is the biggest in Oxford (and it's cheap, a pint can cost as little as £1.86). The games room becomes a dance floor, while the JCR hosts some expertly curated entertainment – think Blind Date, karaoke and Take Me Out. There’s a college ball every three years, and one big formal dinner every term - but plenty of opportunities to attend more; there’s no shortage of chances to get drunk with your tutors!
Arriving at Catz, I never expected it to feel like home so quickly. I think anyone could find their place in life around Catz.
I never thought I'd be here, and I'm so glad that I am. Oxford is giving me the opportunity, experiences, and friendships of a lifetime. Work hard play hard!
Catz is unique in a modern way. Its minimalist design has really grown on me, and it helps to make my life simpler. The library is my favourite point of the college - it just has everything I need.