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13 February 2023

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#HumansofStHughs: Jakub Senesi

Our feature series, #HumansofStHughs continues with undergraduate, Jakub Senesi who offers some invaluable advice for potential students who wish to study at Oxford but are struggling financially.

Heya, my name is Jakub and I am in my third year reading Archaeology and Anthropology. I am Slovak, and as someone coming from Eastern Europe with working-class family background, I felt financially deeply insecure about starting my studies at a place like Oxford. Fortunately, both college and university can be of great help when you are struggling financially. Anyone with Home fee status, coming from a low-income household, is eligible for bursaries that Oxford offers. These should be assigned automatically to UK students, but internationals will need to prove the annual income of their household. Although it can be quite a lot of paperwork for internationals, you will have to do it only once, and the university will send you resources on termly bases to help you with your living costs. Furthermore, our college has a Student Support Committee that can provide assistance in financial hardship. After losing unexpectedly a major source of income I relied on earlier this year, (once I explained my situation) the Committee did not hesitate to grant me the full amount of money I asked them for. On top of that, many clubs and societies have hardship funds, meaning that membership fees are negotiable or significantly reduced for those in need, so there is always a chance for everyone to get involved. Lastly, many of us manage to do little side jobs (taking part in experiments, working in a college bar…) to earn some extra money. The bottom line is, that Oxford students are coming from lots of different backgrounds and, especially in a place like this, ways around financial difficulties can be found.

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