D.Phil., Life Science Interface Doctoral Training Centre
When I applied to study for my D.Phil. at the Life Science Interface Doctoral Training Centre, I didn't know very much about the characters and reputations of the different colleges. I was attracted to Lincoln because of its central location and because graduates make up about 40 % of the student population. I wanted the diversity, energy and cohesion that I thought undergraduates would bring, but still to meet lots of people at a similar point in their studies to me. The third reason was that Lincoln seemed an archetypal Oxford college. It offers battlements, quads with pristine lawns and a medieval hall which serves a 3 course meal every evening (during term-time) that can be enjoyed in gowns by candlelight. Throw in a few archaic traditions and you have the perfect setting in which to appreciate the atmosphere, history and general quirks of Oxford University life.
Four years later, I would say that all of the above holds true. I have also come to value other aspects of Lincoln life. The college is able to offer accommodation to most of its graduate students at two centrally located sites. Being unfamiliar with Oxford, I really appreciated being able to move in with other Lincoln students and soon felt at home. I was immediately welcomed into a very active graduate community (the MCR) which continues to organise numerous social events every term. I have also been struck by the diversity of the graduates that I've met. People from all over the world are drawn to Lincoln to continue their studies in a wide range of subject areas. I have made close friends with students from North America, China and elsewhere in Europe and learnt more about research in fields very different to my own. These opportunities arise readily within the college environment but seem to be less common outside of it. For me, the Lincoln community has been an extra social and support network. Its helped me settle into university life and to make friends with the people that have encouraged and supported me when things have got tough. In the end, college life offers many opportunities and it will be a matter of how much you decide to take advantage of them.