By Astrid Franciszka
Oxbridge really like to see that you have read around your subject and have a passion for the course that you want to study. As well as doing well in your exams, here are some things you can use and write about in your personal statements!
FutureLearn is a website that provides some really good online courses that you can complete over the course of a few weeks. You can organise the courses by subject so if there’s something on there that appeals to you, give it a go! I did a course on Country House Poetry and really enjoyed it. I didn’t write about it on my personal statement in the end because it didn’t fit with the rest of what I was writing about, but I really enjoyed it!
Oxford Lectures Online (https://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/)
There are some wonderful podcast episodes here. I listened to the Approaching Shakespeare series during my A Levels (and even during my degree!). They are at a University level too, so it gives you a good taste for what lectures might be like!
In Our Time https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qykl
I am a huge In Our Time fan, and listen to these podcasts regularly for fun. The website has an enormous back catalogue of episodes so you can find something that’s really niche and specific to the course you’re applying to. The guests are academics from top universities so you’re getting a really good insight. I actually used an episode of In Our Time as the starting point of my personal statement!
And for those of you still struggling, you can see my video on my personal statement tips here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NScGhotjX0)
Astrid is a third year English student at Jesus College, Cambridge. She has a YouTube channel with over 10k subscribers (Astrid Franciszka) and regularly posts about Cambridge on her Instagram account (@astridfranciszka) .