On the weekend of Friday the 20th of April I went to stay with my friend at his university for the weekend.
He is studying Medicine at Oxford University and lives in the world famous Christchurch College, which includes breath-taking architecture and a dining hall which was used to film the Harry Potter films.
I am a Journalism student studying at Bournemouth University, so thought it would be interesting to document my visit and compare the lives of a Journalism student at Bournemouth University and a Medicine student studying at Oxford University.
Once arriving at the Christchurch college the contrast was instantly recognisable. After walking through the archway and past the porter the spectacular Christchurch quad stood in front of me.
This was the view that my friend woke up to every morning. I have a Ferrari that parks outside of my house sometimes, but I don’t think many tourists travel half way across the world to see that.
Tourists from all over the world travel to see the amazing architecture of the Christchurch College, and after being shown around the grounds and seeing all the hotspots it was into the “great hall” for breakfast.
Students at Christchurch College have the option to eat a cooked breakfast in the “great hall” every morning and are not allowed cooking appliances in their room. I have the option to eat breakfast as long as I have the food and have the effort to cook it.
After an amazing cooked breakfast there is no washing up, that is left up to the kitchen staff. We go back to my friends room, but our day is interrupted. He must rush to the hospital to see a patient with a rare condition. I am left to wander around the huge campus and pass the time. The whole campus is full of tourists taking pictures and being shown around. The only ever visitors we get in my house at University are people handing out leaflets and the occasional house viewing. Not quite as glamarous.
When my friend arrives back we kill some time walking around Oxfordand doing nothing, something he states is a rare occasion” due to all the work he has to do.
Eventually we shower and begin to get into our tuxedo’s in preperation for dinner in the dining hall. Tonight it is the “guest meal”, a twice termly event where students are allowed to bring guests to a 5-course black tie dinner, all with champagne in the lobby before hand and free wine throughout.
Entering the lobby is surreal, with Black suits and elegant dresses everywhere and free champagne coming from every direction.
Entering the “great hall”, there are lots of waiters and kitchen staff all waiting to serve the students.
The meal is worlds away from how I eat at University. I’m used to beans on toast, eaten at the table not the sofa if I’m feeling a bit elegant, but here I was eating the most delicious 5 course meal, accompanied by unlimited wine and conversations with shareholders and posh parents about things that I knew or cared very little about. And I loved every second.
Despite all the “elitism”, the being waited on and the fancy tuxedos, the students at Christchurch are all so friendly and down to earth. They still enjoy all the things every other student in the UK enjoys, and after heading back to my friends room to play on the Xbox and have a few more drinks with a couple of his course mates it was out to the clubs to get drunk and act like students.
My weekend in Oxford was eye opening. Yes my university experience is a bit different from what my friend is experiencing at Oxford University, but in many ways it’s the same. We still enjoy our course, what we’re doing, the company we have and the things we have experienced, but where as he loves to get dressed up and have a sit down dinner, I’m much more inclined to a take-away and a few beers, But he’s still one of my best friends.
As I leave Christchurch college it waves a spectacular goodbye to me.