Starting University can be an anxious time. Luckily, here at Oxford there is a huge support network waiting for you: from your college, the University, and from your fellow students.
And it's not just about when things go pear-shaped - there are so many different communities at Oxford that you will find other people who share your interests, whatever motivates you, and whoever you want to be.
Support from your college
Your college is much more than a hall of residence. It's your home while you are studying at Oxford: you live, eat, socialise, and study here. Being part of a college means you get all the advantages of having a small and welcoming community around you, whilst at the same time you are part of the wider University. Oxford terms are exhilarating but also can be pretty intense. It’s important you know that there are lots of people who can help if times get tough or you find yourself running out of steam.
There are 35 colleges at the University which accept undergraduate students. Each college is different, but they all provide a warm and supportive base for your time here in Oxford. You can find out detailed information about each of them on our colleges pages.
A college is...
- a community of undergraduates, post-graduates, staff, and academics
- a collection of buildings with places to live, eat, study, play sport, and socialise
- a safe space with a team of helpful staff on site 24 hours a day
- somewhere to get personalised support from your tutor or other college staff
- part of the University of Oxford, but also an independent legal entity
A college is not...
- a hall of residence
- a university all by itself
- outside the city of Oxford
- Hogwarts (sorry)
How can a college support me?
In your college you are part of a close-knit community, and as well as your friends there are other people who are trained to give you friendly and professional help if you need it:
- Subject tutors
- Students in the year above who have been asked to look out for you (sometimes called 'college parents')
- Student welfare reps
- Staff welfare officers
- Chaplains (whether you have a religion, or not)
- College nurse
- College porters
- Peer mentors (trained by the Counselling Service)
Support from the University
Alongside your college support network, there are also lots of different ways that the University can help you. Your well being is important to us; we want you to enjoy your time studying with us.
Here are just some of the services that any student can use whilst they are here. They are all free, and open to everyone:
Health advice and guidance
The University can help you register with a GP, find a dentist or optician, or get your vaccinations. We also have advice on sexual health, information about keeping well, and dealing with medical emergencies.
Whether you're feeling stressed out, just want someone to talk to, or need some more in-depth support, then we have services that could help.
University Counselling Service
The Counselling Service offers free and confidential support to help students gain insight into any difficulties they may be experiencing.
Oxford SU Student Advice Service
Staffed by a trained team and offering independent advice and information, the Students' Union advice service can be reached on the phone, by email, by live chat (during term time) or in person.
Nightline is a confidential listening service run by trained students, for students. The service is confidential, and operates from 8pm to 8am every day of term.
Mind your head
Mind your head is a student-led organisation run to get people thinking and talking about mental health.
Useful information and guidance
Whether you need to know when terms start, need advice about your visa, or want to talk to someone about financial assistance, then there is guidance for you.
A support network around the world
Oxford has over 300,000 graduates and 230 alumni groups networking across the world in more than 90 countries. The groups are a fantastic resource to anyone moving to a different country or region; they can help you make friends, network and find new opportunities.
[Graphic from https://www.alumni.ox.ac.uk/alumni-groups] ?