Social Life

University Culture

High Table Dinners

The weekly High Table Dinners hosted in the Trinity dining hall have proved one of the most consistent highlights of the Seminar. Typically, a High Table Dinner features a lecture taught by a guest speaker on a subject relating to British and Oxfordian culture, history, or art, followed by a dinner in formal attire. The three-course meals are as delicious as they are filling. This dinner often includes Seminar faculty, and provides an occasion for professors and students to open themselves up to friendly, casual conversation outside of the classroom environment. Many past seminar participants have emphasized that this time spent bonding with their peers and the faculty was instrumental in furthering their own confidence and speaking skills. It also serves as an opportunity for one to learn about some of the finer things – participants receive instruction in formal dinner etiquette, and learn to become comfortable in a new cultural environment. Each dinner provides fantastic new memories!

Balcony Dinner

Balcony Dinners are held each Monday night in the oldest room in the college, the Old Bursary. Students are invited to attend one Balcony dinner during the program where they will have the opportunity to spend time with their tutors outside of the traditional classroom setting. These dinners are supplemented with tours of the Trinity Tower and a reception in the Fellows Garden. If you’re lucky, you may even get to visit the Old Library.

Places to Hang Out in College

In college, there are many places where you can meet up with your peers to do homework so simply relax after a day of classes. Many students chose to do homework or eat lunch in the Garden Quad where there are tables for student use. In the evenings, students can opt to hang out in the JCR or Junior Common Room where they can watch movies or play video games. Alternatively, students can spend their evening in the Beer Cellar where they can mingle with students from other colleges and play foosball or darts.


Within Trinity itself, students will take advantage of social opportunities like evening lectures, films, and meals with fellow students and tutors, all of which are already built into the Seminar. The charming College beer cellar offers Seminar participants a place to congregate and enjoy one another's company. Oxford Seminar College Life Informal social life also centers on student rooms, since many traditional suites include spacious sitting rooms.

As if this were not enough, Oxford's social and intellectual life also extends beyond the College walls, and Oxford itself has all the cultural vibrancy expected of one of the world's great university towns. Streets rich in literary and historical significance meander among the University's thirty-nine colleges. Coffee shops, pubs, bookstores, churches, and gardens all lie just outside the College gates.

Broad Street

Students may go to concerts in the Holywell Music Room, the Sheldonian Theatre (designed by Sir Christopher Wren), and various college settings, such as Merton College's twelfth-century chapel. Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral provides wonderful examples of English church music. More modern music is available in dance clubs and pubs, some situated on the banks of the Thames, others in the heart of the city. During any summer week, students will find so many concerts in college chapels, and plays in college gardens, that they will not be able to attend them all (although some try!).

Oxford is also home to many a fine pub, that ubiquitous, unique and charming mainstay of British social life, and some are famous for their storied associations with well-known Oxfordians of the past.

Situated about ninety minutes northwest of London, Oxford is a pleasant, inviting city of 165,000 inhabitants. It has cinemas, stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and bookshops, all within easy reach of Trinity College. Frequent trains and buses conveniently link it with London, the west of England, and Wales.

Explore Oxford here!

While many seminar participants use their spare time to travel freely, the program also features several field trips. Past destinations have included London, Blenheim Palace, Stonehenge, and Bath. Each field trip provides its own unique experience, but all produce many great memories for seminar participants. This past year, the trip to London gave students the opportunity to explore the city and see some of its best sites–the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the British Museum, and other exciting spots. The city of Bath provides a contrast in cultures, with second-century Roman remains lying close to a famous Victorian tearoom, the Regency, featured in Jane Austen’s novel Emma. We are still planning excursions for the upcoming summer, but we can promise they will be just as exciting.