St. Hilda’s College
MCR Freshers Guide
Dear new Graduate,
Congratulations and welcome to St Hilda’s College, Oxford!
This booklet has been designed to give you an idea about what to expect when
you arrive in Oxford for the academic year 2010-11, as well as to give an
overview of the St. Hilda’s College Middle Common Room (MCR), of which you
are a now officially a member.
Amongst other snippets of information, this guide contains contact details of
people or things you might need in Oxford; a glossary to help translate some of
Oxford’s more obscure vocabulary; and some ideas about what is available out
and about in Oxford. You will also be receiving hard copies of this handbook
when you arrive in Oxford, which will contain the exciting line-up of events that
our social secretaries have prepared to ease your transition to Oxford in
Fresher’s or 0th (noughth) week. This is probably going to be one of the most
important weeks of your life here in Oxford and as orientation goes, the line-up
for this year is pretty amazing so please come along to as many events as you
can fit in. You will also find invitations to some of our events in your pigeon hole
at the Lodge (see glossary for clarification) so there is no excuse not to get
St. Hilda’s is a stimulating and supportive college community with a uniquely
interesting history. It was founded 1893 with the aim of introducing women into
higher education at a time when the idea was quite scandalous, and the college
fought until 1920 for Oxford to start awarding women the same academic
degrees as men. Since then St Hilda’s and Oxford have come a long way but the
college has retained its core principles of non-discrimination and academic
excellence and has over the years fostered a cosmopolitan environment with
students from over 30 different countries. Since 2008, St Hilda’s has also
accepted male students and this new co-ed environment has added a new
vibrancy to college life.
We in the MCR committee wish you everything of the best for your coming year
here at Oxford. As I said in your welcome letter, Oxford is what you make of it, so
get involved and embrace your inner Hildabeast or Hildaboy!
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or any of the committee.
We are aware that arriving in a new city, especially Oxford, can be daunting so if
at any point you feel like you would like a little extra support in getting settled you
can count on us: from tours of the town to tips on the best pubs, libraries and
university services, we are here to help!
We very much look forward to meeting you at the beginning of term - let’s make
this year fabulous!
Laura Pereira Kojo Minta
MCR President MCR Vice President
What is the MCR?
St. Hilda’s college is composed of three main bodies:
● Senior Common Room (SCR-the tutors and fellows),
● Middle Common Room (MCR-those taking graduate degrees)
● Junior Common Room (JCR-the undergraduates).
As with its Senior and Junior counterparts, the term MCR can have a number of
● The collective body of all graduates and mature students in the College.
● The committee which this body elects to represent it on College and
University committees; its full name is the MCR committee but is often known
as the MCR for short.
● The executive committee are the representatives who chair the different
meetings of the MCR (see diagram)
● The actual room we use for our meetings and events (i.e. the graduate living
Throughout the term the MCR will host numerous social events. The MCR room
can be found above a set of garages between the Porters’ Lodge and Hall
Building, feel free to drop in when you arrive and make yourself at home.
Essentially the MCR is all about you; it’s the group in college to which you now
belong, it’s the committee which represents you, and it’s your college living room
where you can drink some tea, read a newspaper, watch a movie, have a party,
study, and meet fellow MCR members.
There are regular MCR meetings that everyone is welcome to attend and all new
members are encouraged to take an active part in college life. Keep an eye out
for social events and make the most of what’s out there. If you have any
questions just ask.
The MCR is your community. It can be as important a part of your Oxford
experience as you would like, but there are lots of opportunities to get involved.
Running for a vacant committee position is just one of these. This year we have
several vacant positions on the committee, including International Officer,
Ecology Officer and OUSU Committees officer. Please contact Laura Pereira
(email@example.com) if you are interested in joining. Taking part in
the MCR committee is a great way to meet people, have fun and have a say in
what goes on in college.
MCR Committee Positions
Laura is our current MCR president. She heads up the MCR Executive
Committee and MCR meetings. She is the main contact point for anything you
may need as she can point to the right committee member or help you in person.
Laura sits on Governing Body and raises issues pertinent to St. Hilda’s MCR
members. If you want to get hold of her e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kojo is our current MCR Vice-President. The MCR Vice-President is the person
who notes down what’s going on in meetings and as the President’s right-hand
man is the second in command! If you want to get a hold of him, email:
The Treasurer (chief purse strings holder so be nice!) sits on the MCR committee
and ensures that the MCR accounts are in order. Mark Stevenson is our
superstar treasurer this year. If you need some financial advice then drop him an
The Welfare Officer sits on the MCR committee, and provides welfare support
and resources for the members of the MCR. This officer acts as a contact point
for MCR members who are experiencing welfare difficulties. This person can also
help you liaise with college if you have any welfare concerns such as finances,
illness or personal problems that might affect your work. Moizza Sarwar and
Amol Verma are our respective female and male welfare officers for this year so
please feel free to e-mail them with any questions or concerns that you may
have: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Dagmar Wernitznig is our current MCR Domestic Officer. The Domestic Officer
sits on the MCR executive committee and liaises between College Officers and
students to represent MCR students over accommodation issues and college
facilities. The most important aspect of this role is ensuring that the MCR is
stocked with biscuits. If you want to get a hold of her email:
This officer is responsible for hosting and organizing social events alongside our
VP and President. Our social secs this year are Jennifer Booth and Jess Lee.
You can reach them at email@example.com or jessica.lee@st-
hildas.ox.ac.uk. Feel free to contact them with any suggestions for events you’d
like to see at Hilda’s!
The international Officer is the person who has information regarding your
transition into living and studying in the UK. Currently this position is vacant
although Moizza Sarwar is holding down the fort. If you are interested in running
for this position, please email Laura.
Jojo Singh is primarily responsible for maintaining St. Hilda’s MCR commitment
to improvement and access to support and advocacy for women in the university.
She attends the OUSU Women’s Committee with women’s officers from other
colleges and passes relevant information about events and resources to the
MCR. If you want to contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Library and IT Officers
This person or persons liaise with college offices about the facilities and
resources for graduate students. They also sit on college library and I.T.
committees. For this year our IT officer is Quentin Cregan (email:
email@example.com) and our library officer is Cole Paulson (e-
OUSU and Graduate Committee Officer.
This person advocates for St. Hilda’s graduate students and networks with the
wider university through the Oxford University Student Union meetings and
Graduate Committee. Currently this position is vacant and is being covered by
the committee; if you are interested please email Laura.
Ecology and Gardens Officer
Both St. Hilda’s College undergraduates and postgraduates are very pro-active
about their recycling. The MCR Ecology Officer takes care of environmental
concerns and recycling and sits on the college gardens committee. Currently this
position is also vacant and is being covered by the committee; if you are
interested please email Laura.
Admirals of the Fleet
Alvar Closas and Laura Pereira. As the most senior members, we are here to
provide a direct link between the MCR and the best club in college - the Boat
Club. Rowing is one of the must-do activities at Oxford and it is perfect for
everyone- there is even a regatta in Christchurch term especially for novice
crews so please come find us during 0th week and sign up- you’ll regret it if you
don’t! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or laura.pereira@st-
hildas.ox.ac.uk. Check out the website too: http://www.shcbc.co.uk/
Map to the boathouse (we share it with Mansfield College):
The College and University relationship at Oxford is unique. Oxford University is
composed of individual colleges spread throughout the city. For undergraduates,
the college is the centre of residential, academic and social life. Graduates on
the other hand, usually have their academic work supervised at a university level.
However, college can offer many things to make your life and work run a little
more smoothly, as well as being your community within the University. A few of
the major resources of the college are listed below:
Upon your arrival to St Hilda’s if you are in college accommodation you should
find clean and functionally appointed houses. If, however, you have any
problems with your accommodation there are two good people to contact. First
your house should have or have quickly elected a house rep whose job it is to
take any housing problems or concerns to the MCR house rep forum and the
college administration for resolution. If your house rep is not available yet you
can also take problems directly to the Buildings Manager, José Castillo-Bernaus
Most graduates find that their department takes responsibility for all academic
issues. The college will also provide you with a college advisor to act as a
source of support and advice. They should contact you early in your first term; if
they do not, do not hesitate to email them. Also, the Tutor for Graduates Dr.
Georgina Paul (email@example.com) is a resource for any
academic concerns or interactions with the college that your department or
college advisor cannot handle, as well as being a source of general advice.
The college library is an oasis of calm if the larger university libraries get too
much for you. You’ll be invited to an induction during your first week to learn how
to use the online catalogue. They also have computing and photocopying
facilities. Additionally, the library is home to the MCR DVD vault, a small but
growing free lending library of DVDs available to MCR members. As graduate
students, you are also eligible to use the library after hours. If you would like to
make use of this facility, please sign out a key from the librarian. There are only a
limited number of keys available, however, so please only sign one out if you
know you are really going to use it!
All students are issued with a login and password which will allow you to access
computers across the college, including the MCR computer room in South
Building. Graduate houses are connected to the university network, and the
college intranet is a good source of college information, including the library
catalogue and various handbooks and funding information. Printing in college is
free up to 600 sheets a year, which is the MCR printing allowance–After this
there is a charge at 2 pence per sheet. A colour printer is available in the library.
You will be given an email address and login when you register. Anne Wilson,
the IT manager, will be your contact for questions about computing in college and
registering your computer for use on the college network (anne.wilson@st-
In order to access the internet you will need to register your computer with the
college, which will involve a virus scan and a simple online registration process
first. To register your computer, you should contact Anne Wilson at the email
address above, or stop by her office in South Building. If you have a laptop, she
will probably request that you bring it to her office, as that will make the process
Common Room Facilities
The common room (MCR) has a colour TV, VCR, DVD player, kitchen
(refrigerator, cooker/oven, microwave, kettles, various coffee makers, tea, coffee,
and biscuits along with other random goodies), a soon-to-be updated computer
room, and newspapers/magazines, comfy sofas and good company. The MCR is
your home away from home so please make use of it- just also be considerate to
others who are also using it with you. Quite often MCR social events are held in
our common room, most notably Second desserts which takes place after some
The MCR have around twenty storage lockers in college for graduates, which are
located in the bathroom opposite the Common Room. The keys from these may
be signed for in the Porter’s Lodge so that whilst in college you can lock up your
possessions and not carry lots of books about etc.
The Bar and Buttery
Located in the Hall Building JCR, the college bar is staffed by the junior
members of college and is open every evening. It is one of the cheapest bars in
Oxford and very easy-going. The buttery is adjacent to the bar and open
throughout the day. It sells a variety of hot and cold snacks, sandwiches, milk,
stationary and other essentials.
There are plenty of sports and activities available both in college and in the
university. College sports are particularly welcoming to the novice or casual
participant. Details are available at the college Fresher’s Fair in 0th week. For
broader university activities for all walks of life, go to the OUSU Fresher’s Fair in
All Hilda’s members also have access to the gym and swimming facilities at the
Iffley Road Gym. £50 per year are automatically taken off you battels and so all
you need to do is go to the front desk and register for the facilities. Many of the
Oxford sports also take place in this building and since it is a stone’s throw away
from college we highly recommend that you make use of these facilities. See
their website for more information: http://www.sport.ox.ac.uk/oxford-university-
JDP and Music at Hilda’s
St Hilda’s is home to the Jacqueline du Pré music building. This state-of-the-art
music facility hosts a variety of concerts and speakers all year round. Members
of the college can often get cheap tickets and can also use the practice rooms
free of charge, sign the key out at the lodge and use the booking sheet on the
During Trinity term you can really appreciate St Hilda’s position on the River
Cherwell when you can use on of the eight punts moored in college and go
punting for a leisurely two hours.
Information on facilities from the Buildings Manager
On-site – College has the facility to recycle cardboard, glass, tins and cans and
paper. Suitable receptacles are located around the main campus. These are
Off-site –all accommodation is classed as a ‘private dwelling’ and therefore
follows the City Council recycling scheme (www.oxford.gov.uk). Green boxes are
provided by the Council and are collected weekly (see the website above for
more details). The exception to the above is Fulford House, 85/87 Iffley Road,
Stockmore House and 32 Jack Straw’s Lane and these properties have the
wheelie recycling bins all labelled respectively.
College is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and everyone is
encouraged to “reduce, re-use, recycle” wherever possible. A few simple ways
you can help:
● Turn off equipment after use (and not leave it on standby), lights and other
switches, turn off plug sockets
● Turn off computers, printers, scanners after use and switch off plug sockets
● Reduce the time spent in the shower/bath
● Do not run the tap whilst cleaning teeth
● Add another layer of clothing instead of turning up the temperature
● Re-cycle wherever possible (see above)
● Report dripping taps and other faults promptly (the different ways of reporting
faults can be found in the College intranet student handbook)
● Keep furniture away from radiators and make sure windows and doors are
closed when the room is being heated.
● Only wash full loads in the washing machine, at a high spin cycle and lower
Fire Safety Checks
College requests the assistance of all its members to ensure that its properties
remain a safe place for all. In order to achieve this there are certain things you
can do to help:
● Do not prop or wedge open fire doors
● Complete a final safety sweep of your room before you leave checking all
electrical equipment is off including lights and plug sockets
● Ensure other electrical appliances are off after use such as the cooker or the
● Do not use multi-plug adaptors – only use 4 or 6 gang extension leads
● Ensure cooker equipment is only used in the kitchens and not in your
● No smoking is allowed in any of the College buildings, including all
study/bedrooms and communal areas. Penalties/fines for smoking will be in
accordance with the national standard.
For more information about College resources and for College rules and regulations,
please consult the college handbook. If you do not have/have lost your College handbook,
please pop in and see the Academic Registrar to collect a copy or e-mail her
(firstname.lastname@example.org) and she can pidge you one.
Oxford is a city full of bikes, and you may well find that having a bicycle
makes getting around and out of the city considerably easier. There are a
number of bike shops around the city, and it may be worth shopping around. At
the beginning of the year, bikes are in high demand, so act quickly if you find
something you like.
It is also important to note that you are required by law to have bike lights
after dark: white on the front and red on the back, just like a car. You can
be stopped and fined if you are caught riding without them after dark. You
should also remember to buy a good lock, as bikes will be stolen without one.
Cycling whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs is also illegal and you are
likely to be prosecuted if caught. You should invest in a helmet and wear it;
most drivers are used to the many bikes in Oxford and are careful, but accidents
do sometimes occur.
Second-hand bikes are good. However, they tend to be bought up quickly year-
round. For second-hand bikes visit:
Oxford Union Bike Sale
Wednesday mornings, term time *come early - good bikes may be gone by 9am*
The Oxford Union, St Michael’s Street.
Oxford Cycle Workshop
39 Magdalen Road, Oxford
“a non-profit community project that recycles abandoned bikes in Oxford for
resale at low cost”
Daily Info listings
What’s available out and about in Oxford?
These are just a few assembled delights that can be found in Oxford. The list of
recommendations have been lovingly compiled by your dearest social secretaries
based on our favourites and those loved by previous MCR members. Have any
questions? Need directions? Feel free to ask either of us: Jen Booth
(email@example.com) & Jess Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bars and Pubs
The Bear Blue Boar Street
Quaint and cosy pub featuring a room full of tie snippets! Be sure to get there
early to get your spot, this place is very popular and space goes quickly.
Eagle and Child Woodstock Road
Pub of Inklings fame (CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien) and top pub grub.
Hi-Lo Cowley Road
Jamaican Eating House with goat curry, jerk chicken and Red-Stripe lager. It has
become something of an Oxford rite of passage. If you have a craving for some
late-night beer, you can always count on Hi-Lo. A favourite past hang out of
Prime Minister David Cameron.
The Trout Port Meadow
An amazing upscale pub found in North Oxford over Port Meadow. Long walk
there but worth the effort. Definitely a must-visit if you have a bike! Has a lovely
garden and barbeque in summer.
Turf Tavern Bath Place/Holywell Street
One of the best in Oxford, down a small alley. A favourite among students and
locals with ample seating space (indoor and outdoor).
Clubs and Live Music
Baby Love King Edward Street
Easily Oxford's most eclectic music venue with Pop, House, Drum and Bass,
Indie and Electro and more! With regulars including some of Oxford's serial party-
goers, no Oxford experience is complete without a little Baby Love!
Clems St. Clements Road
Cheap and close to St Hilda’s on St. Clements near the roundabout. Beware of
teeny boppers and dodgy dark corners. You never know which JCR member is
going to try and pull you!
Kukui Park End Street
Escape to the other end of Oxford for a refreshing and exotic tiki club, that is on
the classier side of clubs in Oxfordshire. Good selection of cocktails at
reasonable prices. Definitely one to check out for a good night out.
O2 Academy Cowley Road
Popular music venue for a mixture of concerts, DJ sessions, and Club Nights. Be
sure to check out the website in advance to see who is coming! Tickets for shows
sell out fast, so be sure to get them well in advance.
Park End (Lava & Ignite) Park End Street
Nightclub with 3 rooms of music to suit all tastes, 4 bars and a chillout lounge,
Lava Ignite (popularly called Park End) is the largest venue in Oxford. Some
evenings just end in Park End!
Purple Turtle Frewin Court (off Cornmarket)
Nightclub underneath the Oxford Union. Popular venue and easy option for a
cheap night out.
Atomic Burger Cowley Road
Friendly service, quirky interior and even quirkier menu with burgers named after
film stars. Try the Chilli fries and Go Atomic if you dare! Features strong
Margaritas as well as select beers and sodas in glass bottles. New to the menu:
breakfast items on weekends.
Aziz Cowley Road
Nationally and internationally acclaimed Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant.
Service is on the slow side, but the cosy interior and warm blend of mixed spices
definitely make up for it.
Big Bang Walton Street, Jericho
Best way to experience quintessentially Oxford, British cuisine. All things
sausage (vegetarian friendly too), you’ll be surprised by the extensive menu!
Door 74 Cowley Road
Contemporary British cuisine. Featuring chalk-board menus with locally sourced
and in-season free-range, organic produce. Be sure to check out their lunch
menu for 2-3 course meals (all dinner portions!) at cheap prices.
Edamame Holywell Street
Japanese home-cooking and sushi. Rotates three menus throughout the week to
maintain variety. Has odd opening hours so be sure to check the time in advance
to make sure it’s open.
Pierre Victoire Little Clarendon Street
Authentically-cooked traditional French dishes in an informal-yet-cosy
environment at reasonable prices. Perfect if you want to practice your French, as
the friendly wait staff are fluent!
The Pink Giraffe St. Clements Road
Cosy Chinese restaurant famous for its vegetarian duck as well as real crispy
duck pancakes. They do takeaway too!
Quod High Street
Stylish venue featuring contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with a terrace that is
particularly lovely in the sunshine. Set lunch menu is really worth checking out on
weekdays as well as the live jazz every Sunday night in the bar.
Crème Café High Street (just after Rose Lane)
Crepes, gelato, plus the usual sandwiches, baguettes, etc. Ample sitting space,
friendly staff, and probably the closest to Hilda’s. Perfect if you fancy a good
The Grand Café High Street
Tea Rooms, just past the Exam Schools. Good for a luxury cup of tea or coffee
during the day; check out their half price cocktails in the evening.
The Rose High Street
Really good place to experience the British classic Afternoon Tea with amazing
warm scones the size of your fist! Limited seating so expect to share a table with
Alpha Bar Covered Market
Delicious fresh salads to take away; always has vegetarian and vegan options.
Ben’s Cookies Covered Market
Worth a mention on their own although housed in the covered market. Fresh
baked daily in a variety of flavours, and priced by weight of cookie.
G & D’s Ice Cream
Local favourite with bagels, sandwiches and delicious ice cream flavours. One on
Little Clarendon Street, one across from Christ Church College on St. Aldates
and one on Cowley Road near Stockmore Street. Open until midnight every day.
Definitely THE Oxford experience, as it is Oxford’s own!
Georgina’s Covered Market
Hidden treasure in the covered market (actually the only place upstairs via a
small staircase next to ‘Brothers’). Bohemian feel and amazing salad platters.
Very popular among locals and students so this is another place you may have to
share a table.
Oxford’s very own burrito place at several locations scattered throughout Oxford.
This may be your only chance to experience Mexican food in Oxford. Be sure to
try their burritos!
Moo Moo’s Covered Market
OH MY GOODNESS, where to start?! Every possible combination in smoothies
and milkshakes including soya products for those vegan or lactose intolerant
among you. MUST GO MUST GO MUST GO !!
Olives High Street
Paradise in a small shop. Real authentic Italian and French products. Freshly-
baked yummy baguettes and ciabatta with amazing fillings prepared specially for
you by very friendly and cute French people. You won’t miss the queue that
extends out the door!
Theatres and Cinemas
Major cinemas in Oxford: one on George Street and one on Magdalen Street.
Oxford Playhouse Beaumont Street
Theatre hosting a variety of musicals, plays, ballets, etc.
Phoenix Picture House Walton Street, Jericho
Popular cinema with art, foreign, and well-reviewed films.
The Ultimate Picture Palace Cowley Road
Small, old-style cinema (bar in the theatre!) that shows a mixture of popular,
foreign and art films at a very reasonable price. Special student prices for
Tuesdays. Movie listings vary by day of the week so be sure to pick up the
In the city centre; cafes, shops, trinkets, flowers...and Ben’s Cookies. Yummy.
One of the varieties of supermarkets in Oxford. Stocks lots of British produce.
Marks and Spencers Queen Street
Looks like a clothing store but actually has THE BEST supermarket hidden in the
back. Amazing quality foods, especially the fresh produce, but be prepared to
pay for what you get.
In Gloucester Green, near the bus station. Every Wednesday from 9am to 5pm.
Fresh foods, produce, and quality services for cheap! Features some antiques
too. Definitely worth checking out.
Westgate Centre and Magdalen Street. Another of the different British
Supermarkets, slightly larger than Tesco’s. Open later than most shops in
Probably the cheapest of the supermarkets in Oxford. Fairly good value for
money. One handily located on the Cowley Road and open until midnight on
The best quality supermarket, unless you are willing to pay for Marks and
Spencers. Good range of organic foods. Located up in Headington so close for
those living on Jack Straws Lane.
Aspire High Street
Independent retailer selling everything a woman could dream of. Indulge and be
inspired without breaking the bank. Clothes, jewelry, and lots of gift ideas. Pretty
dresses that are not too expensive, ideal for formal events.
Coast End of High Street
Women’s boutique for formal gowns and dresses. More versatile than Karen
Millen or Reiss. Be sure to check them out over the holiday sales events!
Ede and Ravenscroft High Street
High quality sub-fusc and gown suppliers (be prepared to pay a bit more, but
worth it if you are here for more than one year). Also holds formal wear/suits for
men with a large range of ties and matching cufflinks.
Fresh Covered Market
Great independent store with lots of lovely dresses from individual designers,
especially from Spain. Also has lots of accessories, all sold at reasonable prices.
Primark Westgate Centre
VERY cheap clothing ideal for the student life. Good for basic items and is a mine
for all-things-needed to create the perfect fancy dress outfit. Is especially good
for all of those college bops and parties you will be going to whilst at Oxford!
Sheppard and Woodward High Street
Features sub-fusc and outdoor gear. Connected to ‘The Varsity Shop’, which is
great for all those Hilda-branded items you will be keen to buy (pins are
especially good for attaching to your gown, and don’t forget those striped Hilda’s
scarves for the colder weather!).
Honest Stationery Cowley Road
Great place for office supplies, stationery, cards, and postcards. Larger range
and cheaper prices than the chain stores that you will find in town.
Rymans End of High Street
Stationery and office supplies, including printers. Features a student discount, so
be sure to take along you bod card! Also does binding for dissertations/projects.
WH Smiths Cornmarket
Newsagents/stationers/booksellers etc. Can be found in almost every British
town and station.
Cornmarket (larger store with opticians, photography, and cosmetics--including
perfume) and Cowley Road (smaller store for more basic necessities). Your basic
drugstore/pharmacy. Good for toiletries and prescriptions.
Located on the corner of Cornmarket and Broad Street. Hidden on the ground
floor, and is a very well-stocked pharmacy with a large range of first aid items.
Fresh handmade cosmetics, great for gifts. Smells great but the mix of perfumes
can become overwhelming in-store. Ask one of the very friendly staff for advice.
Just off Cornmarket. Cheaper version of Boots for all your basic needs.
Cycle King Cowley Road
Biggest bike supplier in Oxford. Probably the cheapest bikes from a store but
beware of quality; test-ride before you buy!
Cyclo-Analyst Cowley Road
Friendly and helpful staff along with good quality bikes. Go here if you are looking
for an investment, rather than just a cheap way to get around Oxford. Also offers
servicing of bikes, including regular tune-ups.
Beeline Bicycles Cowley Road
Offers a more expensive range, but with speciality bikes; go here if you are
serious about cycling.
Christ Church Meadow
Visible from Hilda’s, it is the classic meadow to take a walk on or to go for a run.
Highlights include the river, Boat House Island, and cows. A popular place to
relax and soak up some sun, especially during early Michaelmas and Trinity
Magdalen Deer Park
Free to go in with your student card. Have a walk around a more typical Oxford
college and get lost in the beautiful and very extensive grounds whilst trying to
spot the deer.
On the other side of Oxford, but well-worth the trip if you own a bike. Experience
the beautiful British countryside without actually having to leave Oxford. See all
types of wild life (or not-so-wild) including cows and horses. Great to walk
through to get to The Perch or The Trout pubs.
An essential Oxford experience. Take advantage of the Hilda’s punts which are
free to use in Trinity Term and over the summer. A favourite post-exam activity
(be sure to book early to guarantee your punt!). Pimm’s and punting is a must.
Debate whether Oxford or Cambridge punting style is the best.
Little groves, riverside walks, and sports grounds provide a nice site for a picnic,
an impromptu game of football, or a run. Also forms one end of the handy cycle
path to Marston Road and Jack Straw’s Lane.
Ashmolean Beaumont Street
Newly-renovated and prize-nominated art and archaeological museum.
Natural History Museum/Pitt Rivers Museum Parks Road
Shrunken heads and dinosaur skeletons all featured within a beautiful building.
Museum of the History of Science Broad Street
Go and see the chalkboard that Einstein used to explain his theories, with all of
his equations still written on there, plus the actual Petri dishes that penicillin was
Despite the media’s propensity to paint Oxford as a den of snobs and
chauvinistic twits, the town and the university are remarkably liberal in their social
attitudes and provisions. Whatever your position on the sexual spectrum, you’ll
find Oxford, and St Hilda’s in particular, a welcoming and accommodating place
to study and socialise.
There is a gay night in one of the Oxford clubs/bars most nights of the week, and
Paradise Street has a smattering of gay pubs open every day. The university’s
LGBT Society has a weekly drinks event, and a loose coalition of gay graduates
also holds regular drinks and dining events. The first will be on Tuesday of 0th
week (Oct 5th) upstairs at House Bar, and a group of Hilda’s grads will be
heading towards the happy hour cocktails there if anyone wishes to join. There
are plenty of non-drinking events throughout the year, from film nights and
brunches to a queer studies group and political activism.
While the MCR doesn’t have an LGBT officer, this is largely because the relaxed
attitudes and general bonhomie amongst the grad students has negated the
need for one. However, Mark Stevenson (aka Mr Moneybags) will be more than
happy to act as a buffer between you and the sometimes daunting scene,
provided he isn’t busy siphoning funds into a Swiss bank account. Whether its
advice or a chaperone that you need, drop him an email or grab him around
college (recognisable by unruly hair and a yellow bike).
For those living in Jack Straw’s Lane Accommodation (Dorothea
Transport: In the long run the best thing is to get a bike. There are bike shops
on Cowley Road and dailyinfo.co.uk also posts ads on second hand bikes. The
Oxford Union holds a sale every in the beginning of Michaelmas Term for bikes
as well. Other than that the buses X13 and 13 run from the various stops in the
city centre to the bottom of Jack Straw’s Lane and back. The stop closest to St.
Hilda’s is the one on St. Clement’s. For after hours the OUSU runs a safety bus
(details of which you will find at the Fresher’s Fair) which you can call and access
for free. Other than that taxi services (Royal Cars: 01865 77733 or ABC taxis:
1865 775 577 or Radio Taxis: 1865 242424 001 Taxis: 01865 240000) are
available 24 hours a day.
Shops: The nearest shops to JSL are in Headington (go up the road, turn
right on Headley Way, go down to the end and then turn left at the White
Horse pub). Here you will find a Sainsbury (next to the petrol pump) and
further down Waitrose as well as a Co-op Shop for groceries. You also get
stationery here and there is a post office as well. Even closer is a
cooperative shop at the bottom of the lane. Go down JSL, turn right and
then turn left on Old Marston Road; you will find two shops there.
For a trip to London your closest stop for the Oxford Tube is either in
Headington Shops (turn left from the White Horse) or in Gypsy Lane (turn
right at the White Horse turning). Buses to airports such as Heathrow and
Gatwick also leave from the Headington Shops stop.
St Hilda’s MCR takes the welfare of its members seriously, and we work to
provide a number of resources to help ensure that all members are getting the
most out of their time in Oxford. While supervisors, friends, and family may be
your first resource when you have a problem or are just feeling a bit
overwhelmed, as a community St Hilda’s has a number of structures in place to
provide support when it’s needed. The first of these community resources are
the MCR Welfare Officers. The Welfare Officers and President are here to listen
to you if you want to talk, give you tea if you prefer tea, provide information and
connections to other welfare resources in College and in the University, and
generally work to help resolve any problems or just minor stresses that may
come up along the way.
We also keep the MCR stocked with welfare supplies, including university
handbooks and advice, free condoms, dental dams etc., as well as cold rescue
packs for when you find yourself feeling suddenly surprisingly stricken with a bit
of the flu. You can find all such supplies in the cabinet in the MCR kitchen
The college also has several senior members who are responsible for student
welfare and will do what they can to help and student needing support. These
people may be contacted directly if you would prefer not to approach a peer with
a specific concern. The Tutor for Graduates, Georgina Paul (georgina.paul@st-
hildas.ox.ac.uk), is available and helpful for pastoral and academic concerns.
The Dean, Dr Margaret Kean (email@example.com) can be
contacted by leaving a note in her pidge, or by e-mail. The Dean traditionally
handles disputes and disciplinary issues. The Disability Officer is Dr Lorna Smith,
and she can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If an issue
arises out of hours, there are male and female Junior Deans available who can
be contacted through the Porter’s Lodge.
There are two Junior Deans at St. Hilda’s who work closely with the Dean and
other College officers to assist in the smooth running of the College. Their roles
are identical and encompass both welfare and disciplinary aspects of college life.
They are good people to talk to about any concerns or problems that you may
have, be they academic, financial, health, or whatever. They can act as
intermediaries with tutors and other officers of the College if need be. The
jurisdiction of both Junior Deans covers all members of the Junior and Middle
They are Simon Hackett (email@example.com) and Shreya Sarawgi
(firstname.lastname@example.org), with Shany Mor (shany.mor@st-
hildas.ox.ac.uk) as Assistant Junior Dean.
A swift change of environment and a new culture can be unsettling. Having said
that, Oxford University embraces a very diverse community from all over the
world and St. Hilda’s is one of the most international colleges in the University.
You are not alone! As part of the MCR’s welfare responsibilities (and international
students themselves) Moizza and Amol are also concerned with making sure that
international students settle in well. They are contactable by e-mail:
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
and eager to provide any information you need.
A few things you may need advice on before coming to Oxford from overseas:
New regulations require you to apply for a student visa prior to your arrival.
Check with the UK embassy or British Council in your home country. Information
about student visas can be found at:
Opening a British bank account is notoriously difficult for international students.
Here are some hints for you:
○ Try to apply for a UK account in your home country, or online
before you come. Some banks, like HSBC, provide this service.
○ Check whether your bank in your home country has branches in
○ Ask for the information and documents needed for the application
○ It usually takes at least 3 weeks for the application process to be
completed. You can get your card at your home country by post or
get it when you arrive.
○ Be prepared. Bring all the forms of identification you can think of,
e.g. passport, proof of home address and college address, bank
statement from your bank in your home country etc.
○ Be first in line. Make a trip to the bank your priority in the first few
○ Be patient. It will take time, so bring enough cash to keep you
Staying in touch
● Local line
○ Most graduate houses have a pay phone which you can purchase
phone cards for.
● Mobile - recommended!
○ A mobile phone contract can be obtained if you pay a deposit and
have a UK bank account; alternatively a ‘pay-as-you-go’ mobile
service is also available. There are many different service providers
with different service plans. Check the different deals in shops and
on the internet before deciding on one.
○ Every students has a pigeon hole in the Lodge where post and
parcels from home can be collected. The address is St Hilda’s
College, Cowley Place, OX4 1DY, Oxford.
○ Email access is free to all students. All college accommodation
provides internet access. MSN and SKYPE may be used on the
network. Please note that you will need to buy your own ethernet
cable to connect to the internet in your room!
● UK weather can be lovely but can also be daunting! Snow can appear in
the winter, and it can get up to 37°C in summer! One thing you will need in
Oxford for Michaelmas term is an umbrella! Check this website to see how
the climate in the UK compares to your own:
● If you’re staying in college accommodation, bed linen will be provided as
will a limited number of kitchen utensils etc.
● Most daily necessities and electronic appliances can be got in shops in
town. We are close to a large supermarket called Tescos!
● There is a specific set of clothes you will need: sub-fusc, which is a
traditional outfit worn for Matriculation ceremony and examinations. For
women it consists of a black skirt or trousers, dark tights, stockings, or
socks, black shoes (not trainers), a white blouse and a black ribbon, and a
black cardigan or jacket if it’s cold. Any smart skirt, trousers or will be fine,
as long as they are black, and any white blouse will also be fine, as long
as it has a collar. You can buy your ribbon here. For men it consists of a
dark suit, black socks and shoes, white shirt and collar and a white bow
tie. You will also need your gown, which you can buy here in Oxford. You
can also buy your other sub-fusc items here if you haven’t brought any
Arrival and transport
- The Oxford bus company provides a bus service from major UK airports to
the St. Clement’s stop which is very close to college:
- There are also 24-hour bus services between Oxford and London:
Oxford express: http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/espress2.shtml
Oxford tube: http://www.oxfordtube.com/tube_times.php
Once you’ve settled in, it’s time to explore the city with your new housemates
and pop into MCR! We have prepared a series of activities for new graduate
students in 0th week which will provide more information about the college,
medical system (college doctors and nurses), college library and IT facilities
etc., and, no less important, meeting new friends in Hilda’s!
The graduate student body is relatively active and there are more than a
hundred student societies here! Meet them in the freshers’ fair and get ready
for your exciting life at Oxford!
Still have questions?
● Information available on internet:
● Feel free to contact the MCR!
Is not at all painful and although it sounds bizarre it is actually really fun.
Matriculation is the ceremony held in the Sheldonian which makes you official
member of the University of Oxford. All you have to do is wear sub-fusc, listen
to the speech of Vice-Chancellor and enjoy the day with all your new friends.
Bar: Every College has one. Ours is one of the cheapest in Oxford and you can
use money so anyone with cash can come in, unlike at some colleges which
operate a members only policy. Check out the Oxford Handbook for information
on individual bars. Ours is in Hall JCR (see college map).
Ball: An entertainment extravaganza for which Oxford is well known. Balls are
most frequent at Christmas time, May Day and at the end of Trinity term and
range from dressed up parties to very expensive and lavish white-tie affairs. The
larger colleges each have a ball every couple of years with bands, DJs,
fairground rides, comedians, orchestras, massage parlours, food, drink and
Battels: All bills paid to college for rent, food, library fines, printing etc. You will
receive your battels in your pidge when you get here and you pay them at the
accounts office in South Building.
Blades: What you get if you’re a boatie in an eight and you bump four times in
Torpids or Eights. Also the name of the oar used for rowing, sculling etc.
Blue: Can be awarded for winning at your sport in a varsity match. Only some
sports can give out ‘blues' and they are highly sought after. Derived from the
longstanding rivalry with Cambridge University. They are the light blues and we
are the darks, which is why they sometimes refer to us as ‘the dark side’.
Boatie: person who enjoys quintessential Oxford sport and getting up early.
The Bod / A Bod card: Name given to the Bodleian Library, the University’s
central reference library. The Bod is comprised of several buildings (e.g. New
Bod, Old Bod, Radcliffe Camera – or ‘Rad Cam’), most of which are found in or
around Radcliffe Square in the centre of town. Your Bod card is the university
card you are issued with by College which you need to gain entrance to the Bod.
Bop: College party. Big Old Party.
Bumping: The way to win in Torpids and Eights, occurs when an eight
catches up and crashes against the boat in front.
Buttery: Located in Hall JCR (see college map), this mini shop service is open
from 9.30am-12.30pm and 3.30-5.30pm Monday to Friday. It supplies toast, tea,
coffee, chocolate, crisps, milk, stationery, etc, (oddly, not butter).
Cherwell: The river that runs through the college grounds and later joins the
Isis. It is pronounced Char-well to confuse outsiders, see also Magdalen.
Collections: A brief interview with the Principal (and Tutor for Graduates) to
talk about your progress.
College Adviser: A member of St Hilda’s SCR allocated to you to act as your
point of contact between you and the college for academic matters and advice.
College Officer: These are the members of St Hilda’s College staff who
manage specific areas of the college’s daily running. To locate the college officer
you need please see the St. Hilda’s Handbook or ask an MCR Committee
member of someone at the Porters Lodge.
Coming Up: Arriving in Oxford, everywhere else is “down” from the city.
Cox: The little person with the big voice steering and motivating the crew of an
Eight: The names of a rowing crew, most Oxford boats sit eight people and a
cox. The boat is also called an eight.
Eights: A week of bumps races for rowing held in Trinity term. Saturday of
Eights is THE day to watch rowing and drink Pimms
Fellows: Members of the academic staff (SCR) who sit on the Governing
Body of a college. In our case all Fellows are female, although this will change
as the college goes mixed.
Finals: Exams taken at the end of the degree course. Finals papers are sat in
Formal Hall: A served dinner in Hall which takes place once a week
(Wednesdays). Most colleges serve these dinners on a weekly or daily basis
although some have abolished them (shame for them). Gowns should be worn,
gentlemen should wear jackets and ties and guests are always welcome. It is
always a good time in the mid of a stressful week and surprisingly cheap for a
three course meal with wine and Second Desserts in MCR. Overall a weekly
good time! The Principal sometimes presides from High Table and says grace.
Going Down: Leaving Oxford
Governing Body (GB): The committee of Fellows that makes all the major
decisions about running the college. Every college has one. Ours meets three
times a term. The MCR President attends GB meetings to raise issues pertinent
Gown: Piece of loose black academic clothing worn as a jacket or waistcoat,
often as part of sub-fusc, worn for formal occasions. Differs for different
qualifications; graduates wear “graduate gowns”
Hall: The college dinning room. However St Hilda’s also has a building called
Hall Building which is helpfully not where the dining room is located.
High Table: Table at which the SCR eat; at most colleges it is raised above the
other tables in Hall.
Hilary: Spring term, January-March
Isis: The stretch of the Thames running through Oxford, south of the High Street
and up by the train station. The college boathouses are located on the Isis on
Christ Church meadow.
JCR: Junior Common Room. (As in students, committee and rooms). At Hilda’s
the JCR has two common rooms, one in Hall with the buttery and bar and a
smaller one in South building with sofas and a television.
(Porter’s) Lodge: The first port of call, where you will pick up your keys and
mail. The lodge contains notice boards, pigeon holes and is staffed by a Porter.
Loo News: Weekly college newsletter produced by the JCR and put on the
back of every toilet door in college. Keeping you updated on news, events and
Magdalen: Like many words in Oxford the pronunciation does not match the
spelling, ah what fun! It is pronounced “Maudlin” not like the Mary of the same
name. Magdalen is the name of the closest college to Hilda’s, the bridge leading
to St Clements’s, the boys’ school opposite Hilda’s, a street etc.
Matriculation: The formal ceremony held in the Sheldonian that makes you a
member of the University of Oxford. It is a short, private ceremony but you do
need to wear sub-fusc. After matriculation you MUST return to college for the
official photograph that is kept in college records and champagne breakfast in the
May Day: A traditionally English celebration day that is still kept in Oxford. The
night before is marked with balls and other parties that are there to entice you to
stay up all night and watch Magdalen Boys’ Choir singing from the top of
Magdalen College tower at 6am before heading off for your champagne
MCR: Middle Common Room. Both the collective body of post-graduate
students (and 4th year undergraduates), and the common room reserved for
graduate use (located upstairs to the left of the Porter’s Lodge).
MCR Committee: The elected body which ensures smooth management of
resources, welfare, and the social life of the MCR.
Michaelmas: Autumn term, October-December, pronounced “Mickel-mas”.
Nougth (0th) Week: See Terms and Weeks
OUCS: The Oxford University Computing Services. Located at 13, Banbury
Road it sells all manner of equipment, gives advice and runs many courses.
Check out the website for more info: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk
OUSU: Oxford University Students Union, campaigning for things on your
Pigeon Holes/Pidge: Boxes in alphabetical order, located in the Lodge, it is
the place from where mail is collected.
Pigeon Post: University internal post. They will take any internal mail for you
(to other colleges or departments) for free; the collection point is in the Lodge.
Plain: The roundabout over Magdalen Bridge that is the meeting point of
Cowley Road, St. Clement’s, Cowley Place is known locally as the Plain.
Porters: The reception staff in any college Lodge. Since they are around 24
hours a day you should definitely make use of this invaluable reference point.
Punts: The other kind of water-sport Oxford is famous for. A punt is a flat-
bottomed boat propelled by pushing a pole. You can hire punts from Magdalen
Bridge but in Trinity term and over the summer the MCR can use the JCR punts
moored by Milham Ford (see college map). Highly recommended for warm
Rustication: Being sent down from Oxford for a specified period as a
disciplinary measure. Not good. Don’t do it.
Schools: Three things: The groups of subjects available for study at Oxford,
the exams (also called Finals) taken at the end of a degree and the huge
building on the High where those exams are held (the full name is Examination
Scout: A person employed by the college to clean college, including student,
rooms. Most Scouts are a mine of information and very friendly but do not abuse
them - they are not employed to tidy up unnecessary mess, wash dishes etc.
Second Desserts: Chocolates, Port wine and cheeses served in the MCR
after Formal Hall.
SCR: Senior Common Room. Refers to the collective body of Fellows, tutors
and college officers (Bursar, College Secretary, Junior Dean etc). They have a
common room in South Building.
Sent Down: Being officially asked to leave the university.
Sub-fusc: The Oxford academic dress, also beloved of penguins and waiters.
Supervisor: The tutor responsible for overseeing the progress of an allocated
student academically. Appointed within your department and may not be a
member of college.
Terms: Oxford has three terms; Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity. Full term lasts
eight weeks, numbered 1 to 8. Week 0 is for arrival, paper-work and collections.
Weeks continue to be numbered after the end of term until about week 12.
Trinity: Summer term, April-June. Characterized by the juxtaposition of exam
revision and punting.
Tutorials: In Oxford these tend to be one-on-one meetings with a tutor, they
can also be called supervisions.
The Union: The Oxford University debating society. You can join as a life
member at the Freshers’ Fair. As well as top class debates on a wide range of
topical and political issues the Union hosts many speakers throughout term. Not
to be confused with OUSU, which advocates on student issues within the
University Offices: Administrative centre of university. Located in Wellington
Varsity: Refers to sport matches, debates, etc between Oxford and Cambridge
University. The most famous varsity events are the Boat Race held on the
Thames in London around Easter time and the Rugby held at Twickenham in
Hilary. Winning at your sport can, in certain cases, lead to a Blue being
awarded. Varsity Tiddlywinks is in the pipelines.
Viva: A spoken exam which you may have to take at the end of your degree.
Less likely for Masters, compulsory for D. Phils.
Weeks: More important than calendar dates while in Oxford. They start on
Sundays. Full term is weeks one to eight.
8 www.ox.ac.uk Oxford University homepage
8 www.admin.ox.ac.uk/gsp Graduate studies prospectus
8 www.ousu.org Oxford University Student's Union
8 www.ousu.org/main/graduates Student's Union info for graduates
8 www.st-hildas.ox.ac.uk St.Hilda's College homepage
8 www.sthildasmcr.org.uk St.Hilda's MCR homepage
Living in Oxford
8 www.britinfo.net/index_Oxford.htm Oxford information online
8 www.oxford-info.com Scholars guide to Oxford
8 www.oxfordcitylife.co.uk Entertainment in Oxford
8 www.oxford.gov.uk Oxford City Council
8 www.bbc.co.uk/oxford BBC Oxford homepage
8 www.dailyinfo.co.uk Oxford Information
8 www.educationuk.org International Students
8 www.nusonline.co.uk National Union of Students
8 www.oxfordtube.com/index.php Coaches to and from London
8 www.oxfordbus.co.uk Local buses
8 www.stagecoachbus.com/oxfordshire `Buses in and around Oxford
8 www.studenthealth.co.uk Student Health Information
8 www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk National Health Help Website
These numbers are broken down into useful groups and then appear in
alphabetic order of person or division.
For all Oxford numbers add 01865 if dialling from outside Oxford. If dialling from
overseas, dial 44 (UK country code) and then leave off the zero (1865…). The
initial (2) indicates a number on the university network and can be omitted if
dialling from an internal phone.
In case of emergency dial 999 (or 112) and ask for the service required, e.g.
police, ambulance etc.
If you are unaware of the number you need within Oxford University then please
call the main switchboard on: (2)70000
For all contacts within the university see the college handbook available on the
If you are unaware of the number you need within St. Hilda’s College then please
call the Porters Lodge on: (2)76884
For all contact academic and non-academic contacts within the university see the
college handbook available on the Intranet.
Health and Helplines
Clinton Clinic (drugs/alcohol) 01865 226243 (24 hours)
Dentist 01865 337267/ 0845 3458995
DIAL UK (disability) 0845251251 /01302 310123
DrinkLine 0800 9178282
Family Planning Clinic 01865 456666
John Radcliffe Hospital 01865 741166
Lesbian and Gay Switchboard 02078 377324 (24 hours)
National Drugs Helpline 0800 776600
NHS direct 0845 4647 (yes, it's an odd number, but that's
all of it)
Nightline (listening service) (01865 )(2) 70270
Oxford Rape Crisis 01865 726295 Free phone: 0800 7836294
Terrence Higgins Trust 0865 243389
University Counselling (01865) (2)70300
Additional Useful Numbers
Thames Valley Police (Oxford Area Police 0845 8505505