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“You don't realise it until you see other colleges, but being able to say hello to people across the quad is important.”
Amy Bleasdale, one of the student helpers welcoming visitors to our College open days this week, was talking about one of the less obvious reasons why students place such a high value on the friendly community spirit of the Hall.
“In some of the larger colleges, with the larger quads, it’s just not possible.” She added. “But the smaller physical size of our college is perfect for encouraging the family atmosphere here.”
Amy, who’s in the second year of her English degree, has other good reasons for talking to the young people that toured the College this week. She came to Oxford from a small school in Newcastle, where the distance from Oxford made it difficult to get a clear and accurate picture of life at the University.
“It’s why I’m keen to demystify the preconceptions surrounding Oxford and give an unbiased view of what it means to be a student at the Hall,” she explained.
Amy praised the spirit of teamworking between people with different life experiences who are studying the same subject. “It’s invaluable,” she said, “and we also benefit from the open support and encouragement from students in the years above us.”
It’s a view shared by Henry Richardson Banks, a first year Biomedical Science student who’s joined the student open day team for the first time.
“There's a great mix of people at the Hall,” he agreed, “but above all it’s the friendliness and the sense of College spirit that stands out. People tend to think that’s a shallow term, but at Teddy Hall it’s very real.”
With over 120 visitors booked for the two open days, plus the many that dropped in, the student helper team had their hands full conducting tours of the College and answering a barrage of questions.
But judging by the passion for their subjects and their College, the visitors left in no doubt that St Edmund Hall has a remarkably vibrant body of students to complement its academic reputation.
Below: Amy at the open day reception desk with Adam Wozniak (Fine Art, 2010).
Below: Student helpers welcome visitors during the first open day