As a student at Saïd Business School, I can confidently say that this experience has been nothing short of amazing. From the stimulating lectures to the incredible events, every day at Oxford Saïd is a wonderful experience. However, there are some things outside the business school that have made my experience here even more amazing. Here are six things I didn’t know I was going to really enjoy at Oxford.
1. The Oxford Union
For those who don't know, the Oxford Union is a world-famous debating society that has been around since 1823. The debates that happen here are not only thought-provoking but also very exciting. For instance, some of the debates that happened in the last term were 'This House would prioritise economic equality over growth' and 'This House believes that China is an existential threat to our way of life'. Additionally, world-renowned speakers come to the Union every week. This year we have had Malala, Bernie Sanders and Peter Thiel among others share their world views. In the past, other incredible (and sometimes polarizing) speakers have come, such as Jordan Peterson, Eva Longoria, Mark Cuban, Mark Hamill, Bernard Arnault and Jordan Belfort.
2. Student societies
The University of Oxford has a diverse set of programs for people with a wide range of interests. There is a vast number of student societies that cater to this variety of interests. Some of the societies that I am particularly interested in and have been active in are the Effective Altruism Society, the Oxford Society of Aging and Longevity, and the Oxford AI Society. These groups not only give you the chance to meet people who share similar interests but also provide a platform for you to learn and grow.
3. Visiting other colleges and formal dinners
Oxford is made up of many different colleges, and students have the opportunity to visit other colleges and attend formal dinners. The food is amazing and it's a great way to meet people studying different fields. Plus, the architecture is simply breathtaking.
4. Learning about the University of Oxford's history
Each college, dining hall, painting and statue in Oxford has a story to tell. As someone who loves history, I have enjoyed learning everything from the university’s famous alumni to its importance in the world’s history. For example, C.S Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien, authors of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, respectively, used to meet for lunch at a famous pub near the city centre.
5. Playing sports
Sports is another thing that I am really enjoying about studying at Oxford. I have been able to come back to playing some team and individual sports after a while, such as tennis, padel, and football. But you can play almost anything. Some of my friends play basketball, polo, rugby, cricket and even go-karting. It’s a great way to stay active and meet new people.
Being a student means you're going to have to read a lot. Honestly, it can get exhausting but having access to such incredible libraries makes the process a lot more enjoyable. Some of my favorites are the Oxford Union library, the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library, the Taylorian library, and some hidden gems inside the colleges such as Jesus, St. Edmund Hall, and Lincoln.
Bonus: if this is not enough, Oxford is just a one-hour train ride away from one of the most vibrant cities in the world: London. Needless to say, London is full of sporting events, nightlife, great restaurants, and countless concerts and music events.
In conclusion, studying at Saïd Business School is an incredible experience where there’s not going to be a moment when you are not stimulated. However, taking some time to explore other things outside the business school will make your experience even more extraordinary.