Oxford vs Cambridge Clash of the Titans


Two universities have been at the forefront of academic rivalries for decades: Oxford and Cambridge. Both universities are known for their outstanding, ancient architecture, Venice-like rivers, and world-class universities. It seems like they have a lot in common. Wrong! This is a handy guide that will help you decide which side to take in this battle of university titans.

Do you want to remain neutral? Speak ‘Oxbridge

The collective term for both universities is “the peacemaker’s weapon” It’s not really a weapon, but more of a shield. This will make you a fan of both cities. Or you can be a lover of both. That one will be up to you.

Do your research It’s the best way to learn about both cities and help you choose which one you love. You can’t go wrong with a trip to one of the popular student hang-outs for a traditional lunch at a pub (try The Eagle in Cambridge or The King’s Arms Oxford).

Remember your rivers

A river literally runs through both of these universities towns when it comes to freshwater fun. The River Isis is Oxford’s liquid landmark. It later became the River Thames. And the River that runs through Cambridge is known (unimaginatively) as the Cam. The gondola can be driven down both rivers, a practice known as “punting” in the local language. This gives the cities an authentic Venetian vibe. The sunshine and Italian food are the only downsides.

Do your homework: Go straight to the river and start – you guessed right – punting You have the option to hire your own boat and take off on an adventure, or hire a “chauffeur” to help you. There are plenty of places that advertise tours and rentals in both cities.

Understanding the system

Actually, Oxford University and Cambridge University are made up of many smaller colleges. Each college is actually a rival to another, so even within each city there’s enough competition to make the most important sporting events seem like playground scuffles.

Start your research. Visit the Bodleian library in Oxford, to see the vast amount of knowledge in this oldest and largest research library in Europe. Visit the Wren Library at Trinity College, which is smaller than the Bodleian but still beautiful and historic.

Find your colleges

Christchurch? Trinity? New College? If you don’t know the names of these colleges, then you are cruising for a bruising. Before you can strike up a conversation about Oxbridge students, it is essential that you are familiar with the names of the colleges in each city. We could list them all but it would bore us. Google it.

Do your research. Take a stroll around New College or Trinity College, and sit down on one of the vast lawns to absorb all of that history and knowledge. Have you ever wished to study here?

Join the boat race


The annual boat race on London’s River Thames is the height of Oxbridge rivalry. It was held in April this past year so next spring. In a race that sets pulses racing, the rowing teams of each university face off in a rowing battle. The boat race is a great way to witness the fiery tempers of Oxbridge students.

Do your research. Get a drink at one the riverside bars – get there early to secure a spot!

This is my guide to the greatest rivalry between universities. It may help you to find your favorite, or just make you feel like you belong in the “Oxbridge” camp.

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