University College - usually referred to as ‘Univ’ - is the oldest college and one of the friendliest! It’s medium-sized, with a close-knit community, which means you quickly get to know loads of people. Perfectly located on High Street, it is a short walk from pretty much everywhere in Oxford. The buildings are beautiful without being imposing, so it’ll quickly feel like home! In the summer the college tortoise Percy (named after Percy Shelley) can often be seen wandering the quad.
Univ usually offers 3 meals a day in hall during term time, except at the weekend when there is brunch instead of breakfast and lunch. Meals cost £3-4, and the portions tend to be huge so you get pretty good value for money! There’s always a vegetarian option and at least two meat/fish choices. In case you fancy cooking for yourself, facilities for self-catering are available! Formal Hall is three times a week, and Sunday Formal is always busy because it’s free for the choir.
Undergrads get accommodation for every year of their course. Accommodation for undergraduates in 1st and final year is normally on the main site whilst 2nd and 4th years will be offered accommodation at the annexe in North Oxford, or at another College-managed property within Oxford. After first year, students ballot for rooms, and so can choose who to live with. There’s a variety of room sizes but all of them have WiFi, a sink, desk and mini-fridge, and the rent stays the same. Most rooms have shared bathroom and kitchen facilities, but the brand new rooms in the Goodhart building have en-suite bathrooms. As a postgraduate student, you are guaranteed accommodation for your first year of study.
Univ has plenty of active societies and sports clubs so there definitely is something for everyone. There’s also a thriving arts culture, showcased in events like Arts Week and the summer Garden Play. The JCR is really active, with meetings every other Sunday where loads of people get involved. The JCR room was recently refurbished, so it’s an open, relaxed space to spend time in.
Alongside the College's senior welfare team, the JCR elects male and female welfare reps, who run welfare teas a few times a term and send regular emails throughout first year for undergrads to address a range of welfare-related issues that may be encountered when making transition to the university. There are also ‘Sponge Cake Saturdays’ and Pizza and Film nights, allowing informal discussion of any issues (and of course the free food doesn’t hurt either ). Another initiative includes the annual Student Wellbeing Week in Hilary Term which is organised by JCR and MCR members. The Student Welfare Booklet available through the college intranet provides advice on taking care of wellbeing and sources of support available to all students. Furthermore, the library maintains a collection of books about dealing with stress, managing mental health issues, budgeting, bereavement, and similar practical health-related themes.
There’s usually three bops a term, and the first of the year is always the famous toga bop... Bring a spare sheet! Bops are held in Univ’s spacious bar, which was also redone recently so is stylish and has a really relaxed atmosphere. Univ also hosts a phenomenal summer ball every other year.
Univ is one of the friendliest colleges and that's one of the reasons I love it. Everyone gets along and people are always up for a bit of fun.
Univ is a place full of support – everyone is incredibly welcoming and down to earth, while perks like all rooms having a fridge make it a great place to live.
I love our chapel choir! The standard is great without being exclusive or competitive and some of my closest friends and best memories come from being part of it.
Univ is quite a fun place to be, it has a good balance between work and fun as we hold loads of social events each term. These range from themed bops, to crafts sessions and even yoga. Our multiple libraries are open 24hours which is super convenient for when you’re having an essay crisis or working on a problem sheet! On site accommodation can vary in size but generally I’d say Univ has some of the best rooms!