Offer Holders FAQ

The following questions were submitted by Offer Holders and answered during our live Q&A sessions in June 2020. This page, however, will be kept updated regularly over the summer. As guidance changes we will update this page as well as emailing those updates. Additionally, we will be holding more live Q&As on Mondays in August (3,10,17,24) at 16:00 BST in order to answer any pre-arrival questions and concerns. If you have a question that is not answered here that is concerning you, please do not hesitate to email the Student Engagement Coordinator Allison D’Ambrosia.

College Accommodation

Q1: When is the earliest time to arrive in the Michaelmas (Autumn) term?
Q2: Do you think that those who do not live in college accommodation are at a disadvantage for being a part of the community?
Q3: Can I view the floorplan/kitchen of our rooms?
Q4: If I cannot arrive into my college accommodation by the start of the license agreement – 26th September 2020, will you refund me my rent until I can arrive?
Q5: If I cannot come into college accommodation until Hilary Term (January-March), can I reserve a room from Hilary and Trinity Term only?
Q6: If I have paid a £500 deposit to reserve my college accommodation, will you refund this if I change my mind about taking up accommodation at the college?
Q7: The current guidance advises that some people arriving in the UK should self-isolate for 14 days in their accommodation, will this be possible?
Q8: Can I arrive early to self-isolate or to familiarise myself with Oxford before term starts?
Q9: I am on a waiting list for Green Templeton Accommodation, when will I hear if I have been successful for a room?

Career and Professional Development

Q10: What career/professional development opportunities (i.e. relevant career fairs or talks, research conferences) does the college provide for students?

Welfare and Support and Student Advice

Q11: What do you wish you had known or done before you started your programme?
Q12: What was the thing you didn’t pack from home that you wished you’d brought with you?
Q13: What’s the best way to find support academically during your studies?
Q14: How do you cope with the pressure/expectations of being a student at Oxford?
Q15: Is there any time to settle in before courses start?

Oxford and Green Templeton Life

Q16: As a student on a distance-learning or part-time programme, I will only be in Oxford for short periods. Do you have any tips to how to stay connected to the College and other students?
Q17: Where can I find exact dates of the start of term?
Q18: The terms have a few weeks between each them – are they for exams or vacation (with expected self-study)?
Q19: How are announcements for different opportunities at Green Templeton made?
Q20: What is transport like in Oxford?
Q21: What is Green Templeton like? What makes it unique?
Q22: How did you find Oxford differed from your previous university (if different)?

Oxford in 2020: Covid-19 mitigations

Q23: How does the college and university plan to support its students, should aspects of the first term be conducted remotely?
Q24: How will COVID-19 impact international students due to relocate to Oxford?
Q25: What plans are in place for building community among students at Green Templeton?
Q26: From the college perspective, how is the pandemic going to affect students (matriculation, study, activities etc.)?
Q27: Does Oxford have any plans around protecting students and containing spread if there is another spike?


College Accommodation

Q1: When is the earliaest time to arrive in the Michaelmas (Autumn) term?

  • All college rooms have a license period which runs from 25 September 2020 until 30 June 2021.
  • If you need to arrive earlier than 25 September, please contact Green Templeton Accommodation  to see if the room is available earlier. If you need to arrive later, you are still liable to pay rent from the beginning of the license period.
  • If you are not living in college accommodation then arrive when you can according to your accommodation contracts. It is best to arrive at least a couple of days before things start (for early-arrivals this is dictated by your course start date, for others this would be before ‘0th week’ (i.e. October 4 2020)

Q2: Do you think that those who do not live in college accommodation are at a disadvantage for being a part of the community?

No – A lot of ‘college’ accommodation is not within the college walls to begin with. What is important is that you become part of the college community which normally happens through coming to its various activities or engaging in the virtual college community. Where you live does not inhibit your participation in the Green Templeton community.

Q3: Can I view the floorplan/kitchen of our rooms?

We do not have floorplans, but see the accommodation pages for more details on housing.

Q4: If I cannot arrive into my college accommodation by the start of the license agreement – 26th September 2020, will you refund me my rent until I can arrive?

Rent becomes payable from the 26th September 2020. If you are unable to arrive on this date, we will continue to keep the room available for you, if you continue to pay rent. If there are travel restrictions within your own country or within the UK which stops you from travelling, then we will agree on suspending the rent on a case by case basis.

Q5: If I cannot come into college accommodation until Hilary Term (January-March), can I reserve a room from Hilary and Trinity Term only?

All of our rooms are on a standard license agreement from Michaelmas Term, so we cannot accept reservations for Hilary Term and Trinity Term only. If we have availability after Michaelmas Term, we will consider the request on an individual basis.

Q6: If I have paid a £500 deposit to reserve my college accommodation, will you refund this if I change my mind about taking up accommodation at the college?

If you change your mind and decide to live elsewhere, we will not be able to return the deposit, unless we find a replacement tenant for the room before the beginning of Michaelmas Term. If you are unable to travel to the accommodation due to restrictions in the UK or overseas, we will consider a refund on a case by case basis.

Q7: The current guidance advises that some people arriving in the UK should self-isolate for 14 days in their accommodation, will this be possible?

The college Accommodation Office will send you details before arrival of how many people will be sharing facilities in your chosen accommodation. You may be sharing with other students from other countries, so it is important that all arrivals follow the current guidance and information sent by the Accommodation Office. The college is currently working on a plan to support students who need to self-isolate and information will be given before you arrive.
You can find more information from the Government guidance on travel and self-isolation.

Q8: Can I arrive early to self-isolate or to familiarise myself with Oxford before term starts?

Only if your room is available. Therefore, please check with the Accommodation Office before you organise travel arrangements, as some rooms will be occupied until the middle of September.

Q9: I am on a waiting list for Green Templeton Accommodation, when will I hear if I have been successful for a room?

The Accommodation Office will contact you if a room becomes available in college. Please contact the Oxford University Graduate Accommodation Office, as they may have a room suitable for you. Otherwise it is either trying private local rental agencies or waiting for a room to become available. We are not sure how many rooms will become available but it is likely during August/September that some rooms will become available.


Career and Professional Development

Q10: What career/professional development opportunities (i.e. relevant career fairs or talks, research conferences) does the college provide for students?

There are a lot of different opportunities for exploring or adding to your career and professional development! Green Templeton is a great college for personal and professional development as there is a whole programme open to Green Templeton students that focuses on additional development outside of your academic pursuits. This includes lectures, workshops, a coaching programme (with 1:1 and group coaching) and many more. Check out the website here for more details


Welfare and Support and Student Advice

Q11: What do you wish you had known or done before you started your programme?

Here are some answers from current students:

  • I wish I’d known more about Impostor syndrome and that I was not the only one having those thoughts.
  • I wish I’d known how busy term time is. I had these grand plans to travel places during term over the weekends, but there is so much going on you really do not have time to travel out of Oxford – nor will you want to really. Take advantage of the green spaces in Oxford if you’re feeling a bit cramped, and make sure to look into all the incredible lectures and events happening every day!
  • Make sure to check your prescriptions and medication with your doctor at home to ensure you can access it in the UK. If not, make sure to bring enough with you. This can also go for medicine you like when you have a cold or allergies that may not be the same in the UK – so you might want to bring it with you!
  • Don’t hesitate to email the administrator form your programme to ask to speak to a student if you have any questions about the experience in your course!

Q12: What was the thing you didn’t pack from home that you wished you’d brought with you?

  • When thinking about transferring medication to the UK or bringing enough to last with you, make sure to check the Border Force website to see what you need to have with you if you are bringing larger quantities of prescription medication with you to the UK.
  • Check with the accommodation team about bedding to see if you need to bring your own or if you can purchase some from college.
  • If you are able to, purchase some roaming cell coverage so you have a grace period where your phone will still work before you can either get a UK sim card, or you can get on the University Wi-Fi.
  • Make sure to bring a dark suit and a white button down (for both men and women). We will update you later in the summer this year about what you will need for ‘academic dress’ called ‘Sub Fusc’ when we know more about if you will need to wear it.
  • Make sure to bring durable shoes – you’ll be doing a lot of walking on uneven surfaces and you can go through shoes very quickly.

Q13: What’s the best way to find support academically during your studies?

  • Your programme will allocate an academic adviser or supervisor who is your first source of academic support
  • There is an incredible amount of support available to you at Oxford, and especially at Green Templeton. The Senior Tutor is the college officer responsible for academic support and is available to discuss your studies with you by appointment.
  • The University has a Counselling service as well as a Careers Service if you’re looking for career support. There is also the Disability Support Service who are there to help with any disability and will work with you to make your Oxford experience the best it can be. Additionally, Green Templeton offers 1:1 and group Coaching.
  • You will be allocated a college advisor who can provide some general support for your college life and academic journey. If you are in need of support, contact a member of the college welfare team and they will be able to signpost you to the best person to support you.

Q14: How do you cope with the pressure/expectations of being a student at Oxford?

  • Many people experience ‘impostor syndrome’ when arriving in Oxford. Firstly, to acknowledge those feelings is crucial. Sharing these experiences with trusted peers or friends can be relieving, even if you’re just arriving in Oxford, having the ability to discuss this openly with others who may feel the same or can reassure you of the hard work you’ve put in to be where you are! There is also a very well-trained welfare team for you to access at any point.
  • Some tips from current students are to perhaps separate your Oxford identity from yourself as an individual can help to recognize your achievements outside of academia. Additionally, trying to have a good ‘work-life balance’ while studying is crucial to ensuring you feel you are accomplishing what you want and still growing as a person.
  • The college Senior Tutor and welfare team are available to you to discuss any concerns you may have about your academic progress and/or wellbeing.

Q15: Is there any time to settle in before courses start?

  • This will depend on your course start date – some start sooner than others and may not allow you as much ‘settling’ time. However, there will be induction week for college, where we give tours and answer questions etc., that will usually take place a week before most courses start (but does depend on your course start date) and when you get to Oxford.
  • If you are struggling to adjust, or feel you need some more time, this is normal! Don’t hesitate to speak to a welfare team member in college about what you’re going through, or if you are comfortable, you can speak to your course director or supervisor.


Oxford and Green Templeton Life

Q16: As a student on a distance-learning or part-time programme, I will only be in Oxford for short periods. Do you have any tips to how to stay connected to the College and other students?

  • Join the Facebook group to stay up to date on what is happening in college and community. This is a student run page which includes informal social information, ad hoc events, and other opportunities. It’s also a great way to check in with your peers at Green Templeton as well.
  • When you are in Oxford try your best to join events offered by the College, this will help you establish people you can keep in touch with when you’re outside of Oxford but will give you a good place to start to build relationships.

Q17: Where can I find exact dates of the start of term?

You can check the term dates on the university website here. However, your particular course may follow a slightly different timeline for deadlines. You will receive this information in your course handbook once you begin your course.

Q18: The terms have a few weeks between each them – are they for exams or vacation (with expected self-study)?

This depends on which course and degree you are studying for. For research degrees, the vacation periods are often used to study and write. However, for taught courses, this time is a little more free due to there being no teaching during the ‘vacation’ period. While we always encourage students to take time to rest and recuperate, it is important that you do what is best for you!

Q19: How are announcements for different opportunities at Green Templeton made?

There are various ways that Green Templeton communicates with its students, depending on the formality of the information. For formal announcements and information you will receive an email. Additionally, there is a ‘Senior Tutor Bulletin’ which will highlight college and university opportunities. Additionally, the Graduate Common Room have an email chain called the ‘Grapevine’ which includes social events and student information. There is also the Personal and Professional Development officer from the common room who will send out a bulletin for any university, college, or city career or volunteer opportunities.

Q20: What is transport like in Oxford?

  • Oxford Tube coach (Oxford to London); £13 for roundtrip (no expiration).
  • Accessible taxis and buses.
  • Buses to and from the major London airports (if you will be travelling a lot, make sure to get a Saver Ticket of 10 rides).
  • Oxford is small city and very walkable.
  • Easy travel via bus and train to London, or to the Cotswolds and surrounding Oxfordshire countryside.
  • On one of the signs into Oxford, it reads, ‘Oxford: A Cycling City.’ There is an incredible amount of cycling around Oxford as it is quick and easy! If you are looking to purchase a bike when you arrive, ask around your fellow Green Templeton peers to see if they have any recommendations on purchasing a bike – there may even be someone wanting to hand their bike down to the next Green Templeton generation.
  • Information for disabled students and visitors is available in the Accessible Oxford Guide.

Q21: What is Green Templeton like? What makes it unique?

  • Green Templeton is a postgraduate only college (one of 44 Oxford colleges, and one of 6 postgraduate only colleges). The community prides itself on its friendly, authentic, and international community of students, staff, and fellows. Some unique aspects of Green Templeton are:
    • Artist in Residence – Weimin He.
    • Musician in Residence – Maki Sekiya.
    • A local area full of pubs, cafes, bakeries, and lots of green space. It is family-friendly and open, and has a large green space nearby at Port Meadow.
    • A mature and family-friendly atmosphere including associate membership for couples and families.

Q22: How did you find Oxford differed from your previous university (if different)?

  • The college system is new to many students! You will belong to a programme, a department and a college. The extra layer of support that being a college member provides ensures that you always have access to additional and alternative sources of guidance and community. If you choose to live in college, then this support is also your home. If you do feel you want to seek additional support from your college, people know who you are and are always willing to help in any way they can.
  • College therefore plays a big role in Oxford experiences for students, that is why we try to make it as homely as possible!
  • The UK system may be different in terms of grading. Make sure to familiarize yourself with your programme and assessment handbooks (issued by your department) and get to know your Graduate Studies Administration team.
  • Postgraduate study requires independence and self-motivation. Getting to know other students on your programme and within your college is an excellent way to share experiences and support each other as you adjust to the Oxford environment. Interdisciplinarity is at the heart of the Oxford experience and colleges like Green Templeton provide a great opportunity to meet students and fellows outside from over a hundred different courses across the university.
  • There is also a lot of Oxford specific terminology, check out the Oxford Glossary if you get confused by the terms and phrases


Oxford in 2020: COVID-19 mitigations

Q23: How does the college and university plan to support its students, should aspects of the first term be conducted remotely?

  • The University is planning to deliver teaching and learning in person as far as is reasonably possible next term, and all colleges will be open. All use of university and college space will be subject to what is possible at the time according to the UK’s social-distancing regulations. Larger classes and lectures will be conducted via online teaching until it is possible for larger groups to gather safely indoors
  • College inductions will be interactive, virtual events conducted online. We are currently planning our welcome events in line with current government guidelines on social distancing. This is likely to be a mixture of online and smaller in-person activities. However, things are changing, so stay up to date by following the student page.
  • College welcomes and inductions will introduce you to key members of staff and other students and will explain how the college will support you during your studies. They will be available ‘live’ and also to catch up with in your own time.
  • We hope to welcome as many new students to Oxford as possible in September and October. However, if you are unable to travel to Oxford for the beginning of Michaelmas Term, you will still be able to start your studies by enrolling remotely and using the virtual learning environment available to all students and staff – Canvas@oxford.
  • Research students who are unable to start the year in Oxford, will be able to meet with their supervisors and departments remotely.
  • TIP! Bookmark the University Offer Holders page for regular updates.

Q24: How will COVID-19 impact international students due to relocate to Oxford?

  • Current government guidelines (30 June 2020) mean that some students arriving from overseas will have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. These guidelines may change by September/October. Our accommodation and college office teams are putting together practical and welfare measures to support and welcome international students who may need to self-isolate on arrival and we will advise you of this before you arrive.
  • If you want to book your travel now, and have booked college accommodation, please check with our Accommodation Manager if it is possible to move into your room two weeks earlier than the standard Accommodation contract start date (25 September).
  • Check the support and information for students needing to apply for a Tier 4 visa, as well as the visa/immigration pages.
  • If you need to fulfil an English Language requirement and you’re concerned because test centres are still closed in your area, there have been some adaptations to help you meet this condition – check the University Offer Holders page.
  • The university has been planning carefully for the new term and will soon announce its plans for supporting your health and wellbeing in Oxford during the next academic year.

Q25: What plans are in place for building community among students at Green Templeton?

  • We’ll be continuing to hold live Q&A sessions with college staff and students in August prior to your arrival. Some of these will be focused on specific preparations you may need for the beginning of term, many of them will be informal for you just to ask any questions. Check with our Student Engagement Officer Allison.
  • Over the summer, we’ll encourage you to add a personal profile to our website by completing the form available on our college Offer Holders page. You don’t have to add your email but it is a way of helping other students (current and offer holders) contact you if you want to do this in advance of enrolment. You can also add your contact details in the ‘chat’ section of the live Q&As run via Zoom for other participants if you wish to connect with other Offer Holders
  • This term we have been running many of our previous in-person events via Zoom. Examples of this include Welfare Teas, Film Nights, Zumba and Yoga. Hopefully as restrictions start to lift further, we’ll be able to start delivering these in small, in-person groups again. Our college and GCR website has lots of useful information on managing periods of social distancing and self isolation, and a calendar of events.
  • This term we have continued to deliver and run a mix of engaging online weekly talks, clubs and lectures by our college community of Fellows, staff and students. Once you have enrolled, you’ll be notified of next term’s events via the Senior Tutor’s Bulletin, and Grapevine – you will be automatically added to these mailing lists. Additionally, join the college student Facebook Group under ‘Green Templeton College’ to connect with your peers and keep informed. Look at our Events web page for examples of what we’re running this term.

Q26: From the college perspective, how is the pandemic going to affect students (matriculation, study, activities etc.)?

Q27: Does Oxford have any plans around protecting students and containing spread if there is another spike?

Oxford University is working on detailed plans for measures for the new academic year. This includes:

  • A dedicated University testing service that will be open to all staff and students.
  • Support for students who need to self-isolate.
  • Effective and consistent use of face coverings and other hygiene measures.
  • Arrangements to maintain social distancing in teaching and research spaces.
  • Additional support for vulnerable students.

The health and safety plans are informed by an expert advisory group made of Oxford clinical academics, as well as government guidance.