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Oxford University Open Day(53 Posts)
DS and I are going to go to the University of Oxford open day on Thursday. There’s also one tomororw.
We’re arriving by rail as I’ve heard parking is a nightmare.
How much space should I give him? Shall I go off to waterstones and find a new book and leave him to it?
He’s drawn up a list for what he wants to do.
He’ll be going to the subject talks for his course which include his chosen course and also one he’s interested in.
He wants to visit 3 different “types” of college, a modern ex-womens, one of the ‘big boys’ and a town centre oldie.
He’s got down to visit LMH, St John’s and then Lincoln.
Does fitting all this in sound feasible?
When we went with DS we found that the colleges scooped up the kids anyway so they would be separated from their parents, and arranged different things for the parents to do.
I think your DS would probably like you with him at lunchtime - the colleges all lay on sandwiches etc, and to tour the accommodation with him (and it's worth it - I was stunned at how lovely the Worcester college gardens are).
We visited DS's subject department & went to 2 of the subject talks (really interesting), had tours of 2 colleges & DS went to a meet the tutor event at one of them while we went to a separate talk on pastoral care laid on for parents. That was plenty - and it was not as hot as it will be today.
Definitely don't drive into the City. We did Park & Ride. Enjoy.
It sounds perfectly feasible. All my DC have been to the Open Days but they go with their school, I've never been with them. School just encourages them to go off and do whatever they feel like, so there's no direction or supervision. I'd tend to absent yourself completely and regroup at the end of the day, or perhaps check in with each other and then diverge. Although actually I'd probably tend to do my own nosey around into other colleges which your DS won't have time to get to, rather than Blackwells or Waterstones - why not think about going to St Anne's (major building programme just completed), Magdalen and Oriel, to mirror your DS's choices.
I type too fast - I meant perhaps check in with him at lunchtime as extinctspecies suggests.
DD went round some of it alone as did many others but wanted company at some points
Christ's (or Christchurch?) had to book for talks and students only
Did others unis with a friend except St. Andrews where I left her to it but after 2 hours or so she called to say she was the only one with no parent so I joined her
I'd do whatever your DC prefers and prepare to be flexible
Yes 3 colleges would be easy enough. I think DD did 5 and not stressful.
We're also going on Thursday, with DS2. He has ASD and is a bit less independent than some of his peers.
He wants to visit the subject department first, so we're planning to drop him off at the relevant building, explain his additional needs to a volunteer if possible, then leave him there for tour & admissions talk.
Then pick him up, take him to a college and repeat the process.
I read that Oxford can offer one to one sessions for prospective students with special learning difficulties.
Thanks LARLARLAND I would feel a bit cheeky asking with two days notice though.
I think whether you accompany your DC or not has more to do with your relationship than any other factor. 2 out of 3 of our DC are serious oversharers by nature and always want to talk everything through with us many times, so they tend to want us to have the same experiences/information they do to enable overanalysis!
explain his additional needs to a volunteer if possible, then leave him there for tour & admissions talk.
Don’t third. He’ll be okay honest. He’s free to stroll off if he needs. Just emphasise that to him and keep your mobile on. Oxford is awash with aspies, don’t be that parent though. I know it’s hard. Have a squish.
Thanks Battleax I think he should be OK, there's a timetable which helps. I'll drop him off and keep my mobile on.
Also to warn you; If you drop him (assuming you mean by car) at the college gate, you’ll be fully occupied with circling for a parking space for the entire time he’s in there. Probably a good thing in terms of keeping you occupied.
There’s a big push to use park and ride, especially on open days, but we always have to ignore that due to aspie issues with public transport.
We were planning to park & ride, so will be bussing / walking around.
He can use the tube alone and is comfortable enough on buses if with someone. Buses unaccompanied are still difficult due to the unpredictability of the timetable.
At least P&R isn’t like that.
Thanks folks. Good luck to those with AN, I’d never even thought how much extra hassle an open day could cause.
DS went on a study day to St Anne’s once but said that’s a definite no. He wasn’f fussed on how “un-oxford” it was, or the buildings. I’ve heard good things about LMH, so suggested he see that. I think he likes the older ones.
Great idea for me to actually make the most of the time. - - I can have a nosy around some usually off limits places to - -
Magdalen and Oriel sound like good options. Any suggestions on some other ‘prestigious’ Colleges I could have a gander at?
Completely subjective but I'd also go to Wadham, Queen's, Teddy Hall and Corpus Christi. Maybe Start at Wadham, turn second left to Teddy Hall and Queens, over the road to Oriel and Corpus and then along Merton St and the High St to Magdalen where it's possible to wander around for ages and escape the City and heat.
Subject might well make a difference but you may well not want to say. Some colleges have an unusual number of fellows in a subject, or take a particularly high number of students for a subject.
Also, more generally, some colleges have a large footprint with a relatively low number of students and some are on a smallish patch but with a large student population. And of course some are inbetween!
DS2 is looking at Physics.
He's much more interested in the subject than which college, and has not expressed a preference of big/small, central/peripheral, historic/newer.
DS1 chose his college not only because it was old and beautiful as well as central but because it also had an unusual number of fellows in his subject, so to that extent college and subject can co-incide - more tutors with more specialisms can only be good.
Don’t visit colleges that don’t do your subject. There’s always something to look at in Oxford for parents at a loose end. The Pitt Rivers is a great diversion or the botanical gardens. Trinity has great gardens! Also visit Christ Church cathedral if you can, adjacent to Christ Church College.
You can always go back on any day colleges are open during the holidays to have a nose around. Less rushed but obviously no staff around.
pinkloo, goodbye has some pretty good suggestions, the only one missing there is Christ Church - worth a visit to the main quad if only for the ‘holy fuck this place is ridiculous’ experience. It’s big. Also it’s next to Christ Church Meadows, which are lovely to stroll around, and take you down to the river.
Bubbles and Hingle I omitted Trinity and ChristChurch on the basis that pinkloo's DS is not likely to be an Etonian
Well, they can't all be Etonians at Christ Church or Trinity, can they, as nearly half of them are women?