On behalf of the graduate community at Balliol, I’d like to welcome you to Oxford! You’re joining a social, supportive, and unique community, which provides a wonderful environment for graduate study, not just because of its reputation for institutional excellence, but also because of the opportunity to create lasting relationships with fellow students, who help to support, encourage, and challenge each other.
In order to welcome you to Oxford, the Balliol MCR (“Middle Common Room”, that is the community you’re joining!) organises a calendar of “Fresher’s Week” activities starting on 28 September. You’ll get a first chance to meet your fellow freshers, the “stalers” (anyone who isn’t a new student) and the committee during Freshers’ Week: take a look at the provisional timetable included in this guide and come along to as many events as you can. Your MCR Committee is working hard to organise a week that is one to remember, and we will be doing all we can to ensure that your year is socially stimulating, as well as academically rewarding.
Steeped in tradition and preceded by its reputation, Oxford can be a confusing place if you are a newcomer. In addition to Freshers’ Week, the College and MCR have compiled a number of useful resources to help you settle in, this E-Guide being one of the most important. Also check out the Balliol MCR website – especially the Holywell Manor guide that can be found there – and join our Facebook groups. Further, over the next few weeks a “mentor” will get in touch with you with further information about packing, moving in and much more. We all remember how it feels to transition to another place and I encourage you to email me or any other member of the committee (listed on the website), if you have any questions.
Balliol has given me some of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The MCR is an amazing community to be part of: you will learn so many new things, make friends for life and I hope you will, just like me and many others you will meet, enjoy one of the happiest periods of your life.
We are all looking forward to meeting you very soon!
Very best wishes,