Hi! I’m Marina, a first-year student studying English and French at Queen’s. I’m from London and attended a state secondary school and sixth form. My passion is studying literature and I chose my joint honours degree as it allows me to study many books in both languages. Like the English course, the French course at Oxford is literature-heavy and I have found this rewarding and enjoyable. I am also looking forward to my year abroad in the third year as part of my French degree.
I might be biased, but I think that Queen’s is one of the most beautiful colleges in Oxford. I enjoy walking through Front Quad to my tutorials and lectures every day which is my favourite part of the college. Also, Queen’s Library is stunning, and I find that studying in such a lovely atmosphere motivates me in my studies.
My academic timetable at Oxford is balanced between my English and French courses, and a typical day in my life can consist of a lecture, tutorial or French language or conversation class. I find that around half of my day consists of these contact hours and the rest of my working day will be spent in the college’s New Library or the Radcliffe Camera Library (a favourite of mine!) working on essays or translations. Mealtimes are a fun way to put aside academic work and I enjoy catching up with friends over the delicious food in the Queen’s dinner Hall. Outside of work, I like rowing or playing netball on the college’s teams and Women’s Society is an interesting place to discuss current issues.
Advice for applicants
Interviews can be a stressful part of the application process, and I remember feeling nervous about mine. It’s helpful to view them in a different light, more as a conversation with people who are passionate about the same subjects as you. Also, you can remember that the tutors are not trying to catch you out and they want you to do your best!