On 29th March 2021, over 400 people from 150 schools joined a virtual open day to discover more about studying Classics and related courses at Oxford and Cambridge. Potential applicants and their teachers enjoyed the opportunity to meet tutors and students, experience taster lectures and ask hundreds of questions!
While nothing can replace the experience of visiting Oxford in person, there were definite advantages to going online.
Access was the most obvious as guests were able to join from all over the world.
Others appreciated that there was no need to travel or get up early, and even latecomers could still enjoy events on catch up.
Most of all, feedback reveals that many attendees felt more confident and comfortable asking questions online than they ever would in person. It appears that prospective applicants left with more information via the virtual format than they expected they would have gained at a face-to-face event.
Welcome and introduction to studying Classics at Oxford and Cambridge
The day started with a warm welcome from Dr Neil McLynn (Head of Classics at Oxford), Professor Llewelyn Morgan (Oxford), and Dr Frisbee Sheffield (Cambridge).
“I loved the introductory talks…” Oxbridge Open Day attendee
Being a Classics Undergraduate at Oxford and Cambridge
Next up, five current Classics undergraduates from Oxford and Cambridge shared their experiences of choosing a course, workload, friendships, extra-curricular opportunities and what Oxford and Cambridge are really like.
“I liked getting the perspectives of the current students.” Oxbridge Open Day attendee
A really popular part of the day was the taster lectures. At the end of each lecture, the chat was flooded with hundreds of fantastic questions, demonstrating the extent of the audience’s interest and engagement.
“I loved the taster lectures: they were very informative and gave me a real essence of the broad topics that a course in Classics would cover.” Oxbridge Open Day attendee
Dr Roel Konijnendijk - Stick them with the pointy end: amateurism in Greek warfare
Dr Sarah Cullinan Herring - Adonis and masculinity in Greek literature
“The Q&A sessions were incredibly informative, and helped to clarify my thoughts about the Classics courses.” Oxbridge Open Day attendee
“I enjoyed being able to help people with their questions about applications as I know the nitty gritty and the details can be very confusing.” Current Oxford Undergraduate
There was a breakout room for each of the seven undergraduate courses at Oxford where attendees were free to ask anything at all about applying and studying at Oxford.
The day concluded with a Q&A session for teachers.
We very much hope to return to an in-person event next year. However, the advantages and accessibility of the virtual event have inspired us to ponder an accompanying online version for future events. Watch this space!