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Affectionally abbreviated to ‘Oxbridge’, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge are known around the world to millions, or even billions, as the place where academic dreams come true. Commonly ranked among the top educational institutions in the world, they conjure up images of gothic spires and stately quads, vast dining halls and marble statues—not to mention Harry Potter. Though speaking as someone who has studied at both, I can tell you that the Hogwarts comparison is a lie. Oxford and Cambridge are even better.

Every year thousands of students across the world—from Shanghai and Soho to New Delhi and New York—apply to study at either Oxford or Cambridge (or to both if they are applying for masters or doctoral degrees). For many they will be blazing a new trail, attempting to be the first in their family, school, or community to gain admission to one of the coveted Oxbridge colleges. For others it may be a long-held tradition to take a place at colleges like Trinity or St. Johns (and funnily enough, both Oxford and Cambridge have colleges with those names); but that does not necessarily make it any easier for such students in this day and age.

Simply put, it does not matter who you are or where you come from, admissions to Oxford and Cambridge are academically demanding and highly competitive. In fact, just getting to grips with all the medieval and mind-boggling traditions and structures at these two universities can be hard to get your head around—and that’s coming from a tutor who has done an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History at Cambridge and is completing his DPhil in History at Oxford! But as demanding as it may be, the experience of applying (let alone gaining admittance) is more than worth it. That’s because there’s nowhere else quite like Oxford and Cambridge.

This is also where Think Tutors can help. This series of blogs is intended to provide a sampling of sorts for those interested in studying at Oxbridge. In my ‘Elite Tutor’s Guide to Oxford and Cambridge’ I will explore various aspects about what it’s like to live and study at both institutions. Here is a preview of the topics that I’ll cover in the following weeks and months:

Oxford or Cambridge?

Studying at Cambridge

Studying at Oxford

How to approach your application

Study skills

Undergraduate life

Graduate life

Postgraduate life

If at first you don't succeed, should you try again?

In the meantime, feel free to talk to us at Think Tutors if Oxbridge applications are something that you are considering. While this blog series will answer some of your questions, our experienced team has even more to offer: ranging from one-on-one consultations to application assistance and mock-interview training.