Aspiring students get out your calendars and diaries as Oxford and Cambridge have now released dates for their 2019 open days!

Open days are a great time to discover more about the subject(s) you are interested in and to get a feel for different colleges and what it feels like to be in the beautiful cities of Oxford and Cambridge. Open days have a wonderful way of bringing your Oxbridge dream to life and give you the chance to meet other applicants. Who knows – maybe it will be the start of life-long friendships? 

In this post, we’ll let you in on what events are going on, when they are happening and useful tips to help you get the most out 

Below, you will find Oxford’s open day calendar so be sure to note down all the ones that jump out at you!

Materials Science20th February
German23rd February
Spanish and Portuguese28th February

Russian and other Slavonic languages
2nd March
Italian9th March
Law and Materials Science11th March
Law and Materials Science12th March
Law13th March
Classics15th March
Mathematics27th April
Mathematics, Modern Languages, Oriental Studies4th May
Choral and Organ Awards Open Day11th May
Computer Science11th May
Geography17th June
Oxford University Open Day3rd July, 4th July, 20th September

And here’s Cambridge’s calendar: 

Archaeology21st February
Asian and Middle Eastern Studies15th March
Classics (Oxford and Cambridge Classics open day)15th March
History and Modern Languages (MML Faculty Open Day)15th March
Linguistics (MML Faculty Open Day) 15th March
Modern and Medieval Languages15th March
Archaeology19th March
Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion24th April
Mathematics27th April
Archaeology2nd May
Mathematics4th May
Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic26th June
Law3rd July
Cambridge Open Days: all departments 4th July
Veterinary Medicine4th July
Cambridge Open Days: all departments5th July
Land Economy5th July
Veterinary Medicine5th July

How to get the most out of your open day visit?

1. Make a list of colleges in advance. 

If you are attending a faculty or subject open day, make a list of colleges you are interested in so that you can see how far away your desired colleges are from where you will be studying every day. If it is a university-wide open day, get out a map of the the city and plan a feasible walking route or circuit from college to college! 


2. Get there as early as possible 

The cities will be brimming with applicants and their parents to the point where the limited amount of car park spaces are flooded. To avoid disappointment get there as soon as possible or alternative take the car or train! 


3. Ask how accommodation works 

You may fall in love with the 15th century architecture, the beautiful chapels and the Hogwarts-esque ambiance, but it’s important to remain shrewd amongst the stunning beauty of Oxford and Cambridge! When visiting specific colleges, make sure to enquire about where you will be living for all three years of your degree. You may find that first year students live in a 1960’s office-style building on the other side of the city! 


4. Ask current students lots of questions 

Academic staff and designated tour guides are definitely a fountain of knowledge from which to draw, but don’t forget to strike up conversations with any students you see.  They will be able to give you a more realistic sense of what is involved at a particular college or within the town itself which is information worth its weight in gold. 

Oxbridge Students

5. Visit colleges off the main tourist track 

It’s very easy to get caught up in the flow of the tourist trail, visiting St. Catherine’s,  King’s, Trinity and St. John’s, and these colleges are beautiful and deserve your time looking round them. Our advice is to think wider than the typical tourist trail and visit colleges that are off the beaten path. Going to Cambridge, give Girton, Fitzwilliam and Churchill a look? If it’s Oxford, St. Hugh’s, St.Catherine’s or St.Hilda’s are worth a shot. It can be really helpful to visit the less well known colleges and there’s always the chance you will fall in love with their spaciousness, rolling fields and thriving communities. 

Far Out Colleges

6. Visit on non-open days for a different perspective 

Not to take away from how helpful organised open days can be, but we think it’s important to couple this with visiting the universities on regular days – especially during term time. Seeing students hurrying around on their bikes and heading to their classes and lectures will offer you the most truthful picture of what life is really like at the universities. 


On a final note, we definitely encourage you to go on an open day or two! Making big decisions about which university and which college are made a lot easier when you take the time to explore in person. It’s also a great day out and with the elusive British sunny weather on your side, hopefully a lovely day or weekend trip in itself! 

All Souls