Situated in the heart of Woodstock, The Marlborough Arms is a beautiful fifteenth century coaching inn that overlooks the town’s historical streets. Log fires are lit in the winter and the courtyard garden is a summer sun trap.
Local attractions include Blenheim Palace, which is within walking distance, and Waddesdon Manor, which is a short drive away.
Exclusive use hire is available for private parties and dinners for up to 100 guests.
Offers for alumni:
- a 10% discount off the best available rate for accommodation
- discounted room hire when booking a function room for private parties
How to claim: Please quote your alumni card number at the time of booking and show your Oxford Alumni Card when you arrive. Discounts apply to Oxford Alumni Card-holders who pre-book their stay and are not available to on-the-day bookers. Please note that discounts are subject to availability.
After countless hours spent practising my lesson plans, and 24 hours of travelling, the moment had arrived. I was standing in a classroom in Tang King Po College, Hong Kong, waiting for my very first Cantonese-speaking pupils to arrive for their English lesson.
The next seven weeks were a whirlwind of lessons, cultural exchange, sightseeing and friendship. My stay in Hong Kong in July 2015 and my travels afterwards through Vietnam and Cambodia were certainly life-changing. The whole expedition was only possible because of a £350 travel bursary from OUS Dorset – one of the 220 groups in the worldwide Oxford alumni network.
I taught English at two different schools in Hong Kong as part of three one-week camps run by the charity Oxbridge Summer Camps Abroad. The children’s ages ranged from 11 to 14 at Tang King Po College to 16 to 18 at the Ko Lui Secondary School.
The first day of each camp was always tough. The students were, in general, shy and cautious about their new teacher from England, but this shyness soon gave way to their unique personalities and an exciting day of teaching. A typical day consisted of three one-hour lessons in the morning, an hour of drama, and an afternoon event (such as a Dragons’ Den-style activity or sports day). Each summer camp was run by volunteer students from Oxford and Cambridge, and teaching assistants from universities in Hong Kong.
As a medical student, I could not resist teaching about the human body. My favourite lesson involved asking the children to describe the physical features and characteristics of superheroes, and they then drew their own. I encouraged the children to only speak English to boost their confidence about speaking in a foreign language. Some of them were also interested in my experiences studying at Oxford.
We taught every weekday and spent the evenings planning the next day’s lessons based on how the children had responded to previous classes. This meant our weekends were free, and the teaching assistants acted as our comprehensive guides to Hong Kong. They showed us many amazing islands, including Lantau Island famous for the Po Lin monastery and its giant Buddha, and the best off-the-map attractions. One of my favourite evenings was eating dinner at a teaching assistant’s apartment.
I have no doubt that the skills I have learned from this experience will benefit me hugely during my remaining time at Oxford, as well as during my career as a doctor and in my life in general. In addition to public speaking, I feel my ability to communicate effectively with children and young adults has improved – an essential skill for my medical career. I am also determined to encourage other Oxford students to volunteer for OSCA.
As I come from Dorset, I look forward to becoming a member of OUS Dorset when I finish my studies.
Nicholas Turner (St Hilda’s, 2013)
3rd year medical student
In 1985, fewer than 700 people did it. In 2010, a record number, 272,703 people, completed it. Our speaker at the OUS Victoria lunch on Friday, 13 November at the Kelvin Club in Melbourne did it with his son in 2011, a year when nearly 180,000 other people completed it.
In case you haven’t guessed, our speaker - our own member Dr Sanjiva Wijesinha - was describing the pilgrimage known as the “Camino de Santiago de Compostela” or the “Way of St James” across northern Spain, from St Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrenes in France to Santiago in Galicia, Spain.
Dr Ben Goldacre, author of the bestsellers Bad Science and Bad Pharma, dissects what is wrong with modern medicine and argues for better evidence-based medicine in a 15-minute podcast.
The champion of evidence-based medicine describes his latest projects, including an Ebola trials tracker, to improve the transparency of clinical trials.
Dr Goldacre explains his research at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences' Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, part of Oxford University. He also refers to structural challenges facing medicine and highlights the lack of funding for evidence-based projects.
The self-confessed 'stats geek', who studied' medicine at Magdalen College at Oxford University, describes how he was inspired by his enthusiastic tutors during his studies. The doctor, academic, campaigner and writer also counsels against so-called miracle cures.
The interview is the latest in the monthly Alumni Voices podcast series.
On 10 October, we - The Oxford & Cambridge Society of Hong Kong - held our traditional Oxford & Cambridge Varsity Ball 2015.
The ball is a biennial fund-raising event which is organised to help provide scholarship grants in support of meaningful student projects in developing regions around the world for the benefit of needy communities.
Among the latest projects supported by the scheme in 2014/15 were an alumnus’s trip to Uganda to work with children affected by AIDS and an alumna’s six-week geology research project in Northern Italy.
The enriching and personal experiences of life at Oxford University were recounted by two friends as they read excerpts from their autobiographical book.
Dr Hammad Khan and Dr Shiva Amiri discussed the opportunities and challenges of being international graduate students during the launch of Oxformed: a journey through Oxford at Rhodes House.
They told friends, family and other Oxonians at the event on 9 November how their enduring friendship was forged when they were studying for their doctorates at Wolfson College from 2003 to 2006.
Dr Khan (DPhil, Engineering Science), a Rhodes Scholar from Pakistan, explained how the book was born from a shared desire to document their much-loved student days. He emphasised the importance of debate at Oxford by reading from the book about his experiences of matriculation – the formal ceremony at which students are admitted to Oxford University. Dr Khan recalled how Sir Colin Lucas, then Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, addressed the students and encouraged them to learn by meeting and debating with others holding opposing views.
Iranian-born Dr Amiri (DPhil, Computational Biochemistry) also read an excerpt regarding her early days in Oxford after leaving her home in Toronto, Canada. She stressed the significance of a talk by a representative from Oxford University’s Counselling Service. She said: 'After this presentation it became apparent everyone was feeling the same insecurities. It was a huge relief. ..Most people said they were sure that they were the only person there who had been admitted by mistake.'
Oxformed charts the psychological, social, political, and emotional events that influenced and formed both alumni authors. From tutorials to college bops, from college sport to work in the lab, and from cycling through Oxford’s medieval streets to overcoming loneliness, the book records the many aspects of student life from two different, but intertwined, perspectives.
Visit the University of Oxford shop today and browse a range of official gifts and clothing
Realising that there had not been any alumni events in Auckland for some time, I recently agreed to take on the role of Secretary of the OUS Auckland group, with a view to relaunching and reinvigorating the group.
On October 14, we - OUS Houston - held our annual Oktoberfest at Rudi Lechner’s Restaurant in Houston.
Rudi’s is a Houston institution and offers a selection of German foods from sauerkraut to schnitzel. Approximately 30 members and friends attended the dinner and we caught up with several members we hadn’t seen in a while, and opened the ranks to Cambridge alumni.