Hi, my name’s Kwabena, and I study History and Politics at Corpus.
I’d always been curious about the world, and I loved learning growing up, but I had to face a lot of difficult challenges in both my home life and my life at school that meant going to school wasn’t always easy. Although I left my secondary school with much higher grades than I was predicted, coming from a working-class, non-traditional background in North London meant it was really rare for many people to aspire to top universities, let alone Oxford.
Despite not originally applying to Corpus, I was made to feel so welcome during the interview period and eventually during my first term that I couldn’t have imagined being anywhere else. The college itself is a really special place to live; the buildings are old and historical, yet welcoming too. Everything about the college, even the student community, has a really cosy vibe.
Studying History, along with its Joint Schools, at Corpus is a really rewarding experience. We’re so lucky to have access to the original college library that’s been in use since 1517, and as well as that the History tutors do a great job of making sure all of us are doing well as students, not just academically but in all aspects of university life, including mental health and wellbeing. Corpus, being a central college, is also close to other useful University facilities, such as the Radcliffe Camera, home to the History Faculty Library, as well as the department buildings for history and other subjects too. Oxford is incredibly compact, meaning that it will never take you more than around 15 minutes to get from A to B.
History students benefit from a great amount of choice when it comes to the course itself. You can choose from a wide range of time periods, and every week you get to discuss the topics you’re most interested in with tutors who are experts in them. Although it does sound intimidating at first (and it was for me!), the tutors here are very good at helping you find your feet as time passes, meaning you build confidence over time and you really start to believe in your own ability.
The “small and friendly” vibe of Corpus makes studying here all the more worthwhile. We have a History Society that organises events such as talks, socials and dinners, and beyond that there are loads of academic and extra-curricular activities that the JCR1 organises, as well as even more throughout Oxford as a whole.
Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions about studying History or life at Corpus/Oxford in general, and I will answer them as best as I can.
1 JCR stands for Junior Common Room, meaning the undergraduate student body at Corpus.
Resources categorised by subject and by Key Stage, as well as materials for applying to Oxford and finding out more about Corpus, can be found here.