The Role of Student Helpers, by Marit Schillinger


Date of Publication: 09 March 2020

One of our alumni students, Marit explains the role of student helpers at Oxford Summer Courses.


They organise everything from the allocation of rooms to attendance controls and day trips, and yet their role contains so much more than that and is not often talked about: student helpers.

Many of them were or still are enrolled at Oxford or Cambridge University and chose to work for Oxford Summer Courses for a couple of weeks to share their university experience with the students on the course. Having been a part of a law course myself, I am still very grateful for the impact the student helpers I met had on me. Therefore, I am going to dedicate the following text to them while outlining their important role.

First of all, if anyone reading this will take part in a course with Oxford Summer Courses (which will no doubt be a great time!), I would like to encourage you to seize every opportunity you get during these two weeks. Student helpers play an essential part in this plan as most of them will know Oxford like the back of their hand and can thus give you loads of tips. Moreover, they will most probably offer activities to participate in voluntarily, for example tours of the colleges they studied or still study at. Now, especially if you play with the thought of applying to Oxford or Cambridge University, this is your chance to ask them as many questions as you can think of to find out more about how the university works and how it is like to live there. The student helpers I met were always very happy to answer them all, and I am sure that they will do the same for you, too. 

Personally, I loved to visit colleges at Oxford because each one of them is unique. Of course, student helpers can tell you all about the quirks of their own college and show you places you cannot normally access as a normal visitor. Still, you can always quickly pop into a college during a break and have a look at the grounds and the architecture. I recommend to read a bit about the colleges beforehand to pick a few you definitely want to see, as you won’t be able to visit them all. It is also a good idea to check if and when the college you want to look at is open to visitors. If you target Oxford, you can already think about if you could envisage yourself studying there.

Furthermore, the student helpers responsible for my summer course sometimes offered talks about the application process for universities in the UK. I took part in one of these talks and found it incredibly useful as it opened a whole new perspective of the big decision of what and where to study. If your student helpers offer something similar, don`t hesitate to attend the talk and ask for guidance if you would like to. The whole application process can be overwhelming, and the student helpers know that as they had to go through the exact same phase of life. This is also what makes their tips invaluable.

To put it in a nutshell: The student helpers add a lot to the experience of an academic course with Oxford Summer Courses. Without them, my time on the law course wouldn’t have been as exciting and enriching as it was. I can only repeat what I have already mentioned: Use every chance you get during the two weeks you will spend at Oxford. If you start your course with the right attitude and if you are open for new ideas, you will take away so much more than you originally thought you would.

Not applied to study with us yet? Take a look at our available subjects here and see what could you could be studying with us this summer!

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