Freshers' Week 2017

*- Denotes a mandatory event.
**- Denotes a joint MCR and JCR event.

A printable pdf of the timetable can be found here:

Sunday 24 September–Thursday 28 September

Megaron, Holywell Manor
From 9pm, every night
If you are arriving in the week before Freshers’ Week, come down to the Megaron to hang out with members of the MCR committee and to get to know the other early-birds.

Thursday 28 September

European and International Student Orientation (Social Sciences ONLY)
9.30am, Exam School
A series of talks on issues specific to the needs of non-UK students like the Oxford academic framework, visa requirements and advice on working and more. There is also an information fair to get advice on UK banks, wifi set up, visas, careers,
libraries, sport and more. Register at: with registration code OP2017.

Friday 29 September

European and International Student Orientation (Humanities, MPLS and Medical Sciences ONLY)
9.30am, Exam School
A series of talks on issues specific to the needs of non-UK students like the Oxford academic framework, visa requirements and advice on working and more. There is also an information fair to get advice on UK banks, wifi set up, visas, careers,
libraries, sport and more. Register at: with registration code OP2017.

President’s Welcome
8pm, MCR, Holywell Manor
Here’s when you meet your MCR Committee, the Graduate Officers, and Peer Supporters, as well as all your fellow Freshers! There will be refreshments, so make sure you come down to meet your year and kick off Freshers’ Week in style!

Saturday 30 September

Mentor/Mentee Meet and Greet
11:30am, MCR, Holywell Manor
Mentors and mentees meet together to chat and get to know each other. Your mentors will be able to answer many of the questions you have about life in Balliol, and in Oxford more generally. There will be tea and some sweet things for your delectation.

Picnic Lunch
12.30pm, meet in the Megaron, Holywell Manor
Cross your fingers for sunshine, as - weather permitting - we’ll head off to University Parks for a picnic! Mentors and mentees are particularly encouraged to come along after the morning event, but everyone is welcome. There will be a bunch of snacks, but feel free to bring your own additions.

Meet-your-floor dinners
7pm, Wing Kitchens, Holywell Manor
Free pizza! Meet in your nearest kitchen, and get to know the people you’ll be cooking beside this year. After dinner, come for dessert in the Cockpit, and following dinner with some social entertainment. Livers-Out are also invited – your pizza will be waiting in the Cockpit!

Sunday 1 October

3pm, Master’s Field
Fun and games on the Master’s Field, with no skill or athletic ability necessary. Try your luck with egg and spoon races, sack races, cracker eating contests, and other light-hearted games. There will be Freshers vs Stalers events, so stalers come and represent the old people too!

7pm,Garden, Holywell Manor
We’ll be putting the Manor’s BBQ to good use and providing a feast fit for freshers! With an Aussie at the helm, you can trust that everything is going to be cooked to perfection. There will be plenty of yummy vegetarian/vegan food served too, and everyone is welcome! Please note, there is no Hall on Sunday Night.

Game Show Night
9pm,Cockpit, Holywell Manor
Come down and get to know each other better with some light-hearted games. Would I Lie to You?, Blind Date and Newlyweds, revamped and starring you! Freshers and Stalers are all welcome. Don’t worry - participation is not mandatory, so let the committee be the object of your entertainment!

Monday 2 October

9am, Cockpit, Holywell Manor
We’ll be providing breakfast Monday – Friday all week. What better way can there be to start your day than some free food?

Collect Balliol Freshers’ Packs
10am–4pm, Old Common Room, Balliol Main Site
If you haven’t already, Your welcome packs, including your Bod cards, can be collected all day today. In addition, make sure you fill out and return your medical registration form if you haven’t already.

Welfare Tea
3pm, Cockpit, Holywell Manor
Still stiff from those crazy feats at the Manorlympics or tired from exploring Oxford? Come and enjoy an afternoon break with your welfare officers, Sarah and Jess, in the Cockpit where tea and a range of sweet and savoury snacks will be waiting for you! We will move to the garden to enjoy some autumnal sunshine if the weather permits.

Mentor/Mentee Normal Hall
5:30pm, Buttery, Balliol Main Site Hall
Mentors and Mentees take a trip in to the main site to enjoy a dinner in the Hall. You can put money on your Bod card in advance here or you can pay cash at the Hall. Remember your Bod cards anyway, as food prices are heavily discounted for college members.

Pub Quiz
7.30pm, Cockpit, Holywell Manor
Come down to the Cockpit, grab yourself a team, and prepare to reveal your embarrassingly anorak-level knowledge of Star Wars or other subjects to your fellow freshers. Stalers are encouraged to come show the new people who’s boss.

Tuesday 3 October (Faculty Day)

There are no compulsory events today as most students will spend time involved with inductions at their department or faculty

Emotional Resilience
11.00am-12.30pm, Hall, Balliol Main Site
If you don’t have faculty commitments, consider attending this special session, by the ‘Positive Group’, in association with the Oxford University Counselling Service. Biscuits and other refreshments will be provided

Wednesday 4 October (College Day)

Introduction from GP and Counselling Service*
9.30am–10am, Hall, Balliol Main Site

Medical Registration and Immunisation*
10am –11am, Buttery and Old Archive Room, Balliol Main Site
There will be tea and coffee available for those waiting; please make sure you’ve completed your medical registration paperwork in advance of this session.

Praefectus’ Welcome and Introduction to Manor Staff*
11.30am–12:30pm, MCR, Holywell Manor
This is an important opportunity to meet the Praefectus and the other faces of the Manor who will become very familiar to you.

LGBTQ+ Lunch**
1.00pm–2pm, JCR, Balliol Main Site
This event is organised by the JCR at main site. Adam, our LGBTQ+ officer, will have further details for you to arrange going together.

Fire Awareness Session*
2pm–3pm, Hall, Balliol Main Site

Sexual Consent Workshop*
3–4pm, Hall, Balliol Main Site

Balliol College Library Induction for Graduates
4.15–5pm, Library, Balliol Main Site

Mandatory Balliol Graduate Induction (Introduction to College Officers)*
5–6pm, Lecture Room 23, Balliol Main Site

Pub Crawl
8pm, Megaron, Holywell Manor
A chance to socialise and to see some of the best of the (many) local pubs Oxford has to offer. We’ll meet in the Megaron and then head off in groups before all meeting up back at the Manor.


Movie Night
9pm, Cockpit, Holywell Manor
Pub crawl doesn’t take your fancy? Come down to the Cockpit for movies and popcorn instead!

Thursday 5 October

OUSU Freshers’ Fair
11am-12pm, Exam Schools
Find the society or club to suit you: there’s something for everyone! Make sure to take your Bod card.

Guided Tour of Oxford
2pm, meet at Manor lodge, Holywell Manor
We’ll go for a wander round town and be tourists for a while, taking in the sights with a specialised tour for Balliolites by veteran MCR and Committee Members Eloïse and Maria.

Women’s Welcome**
6pm, Massey Room, Balliol Main Site
Balliol College has a long history of remarkable women starting with the co-founder of the college, Lady Dervorguilla, a Scottish princess and the wife of John Balliol. Come and meet some of the more recent remarkable women of the college over a glass of wine. All genders welcome!

Pick and Mix: G&D’s, Cinema, Turf Tavern
8pm, meet in the Lodge, Holywell Manor
We’ll split in to three different groups depending on differing desires and either head off to a nearby historic pub, ice cream followed by games in the Manor, or to go and see a film at a local cinema. Choose whatever you’re in the mood for!

Friday 6 October

Please note that Hall lunch will start at 12.45pm on Friday and Saturday, due to Collections taking place.

Balliol Freshers’ Fair
11am–1pm, JCR, Balliol Main Site
Balliol College has a large number of societies, from sports clubs to arts. The Fair offers you the opportunity to take a look and sign up for taster sessions.

ReFreshers’ Fair
10am–3pm, Exam Schools
Returning students are welcome to pop in to sign up for societies and sports clubs today. You’ll need your Bod Card to get in.

International Students’ Lunch**
1pm, Hall, Balliol Main Site
Both JCR and MCR are very diverse communities – this lunch is an opportunity to meet up and exchange first impressions. And there’s free food!

Gym Inductions**
10am–3pm, Gym, Balliol Main Site
If you want to use the gym, either at the Manor or Main Site, you’ll need to do a gym induction. Doesn’t take long and slots run regularly, but make sure you go otherwise you’ll not be able to use the facilities!

Chapel Choir Rehearsal**
5.30–6.30pm, Chapel, Balliol Main Site
The Balliol Chapel Choir sings, on average, once a week and is always looking for new voices to join, so pop in if you're interested! The choir is open to all – no audition necessary!

Graduate Freshers’ Pre-Dinner Drinks with College Advisors*
7.15–7.45pm, SCR, Balliol Main Site
Meet your advisors and faculty members before the dinner with a reception in the SCR.

Graduate Freshers’ Dinner*
7.45pm Hall, Balliol Main Site
Shine those shoes and dress smartly to meet faculty and fellow faculty freshers for a delicious three-course meal in our grand hall. One of the highlights of the week.

N.B.: ALL Graduate Freshers are invited to attend Freshers’ Dinner for free. All ‘staler’ attendees (i.e those starting a new course who have already completed a graduate degree in Balliol) must inform the College Office IN ADVANCE if they intend to attend the dinner. Email

Graduate Stalers’ Dinner
7.45pm,Cockpit, Holywell Manor

Port and Chocolate
10pm, MCR, Holywell Manor
After-dinner drinks and even more food is an Oxford tradition. There will be port, soft drinks, and other goodies on offer to round out the evening.

Saturday 7 October

High Tea and Bop Costume Making
4pm, TV room, Holywell Manor
Need an idea for your costume? Need a hand to staple it all together? Come to the TV room and find others who are similarly stuck. There’ll be scones and tea to feed the creative fires! We’ll transform the Manor for the bop, and we need your helping hands!

Freshers’ Week Bop
9pm until late, Holywell Manor
Balliol MC-Arrr Bop: Fresher Island! We will throw open the doors of the Manor and have a big pirate-themed party to celebrate your Freshers’ Week! Dress up a little or a lot, meet new people, and have the opportunity to dance your socks off.

Sunday 8 October

Welfare Brunch
11am, MCR, Holywell Manor
It’s been a long week. Come and take it easy and share your experiences of the week with each other over some brunch. Be on time if you want the choiciest morsels!

Sunday Movies
8pm, Cockpit, Holywell Manor
End the week with a fun film – in good company and with popcorn.

Saturday 14 October

8.15am, Hall, Balliol Main Site
Matriculation is the ceremony that marks your formal admission to the University. Come to College in your sub fusc for your official entry into the University. This event is mandatory for those new to Oxford. Graduates of Cambridge or Trinity College Dublin are permitted to incorporate and should contact the Graduate Administrator if they cannot attend the ceremony. The ceremony will take place at the Sheldonian and will be followed by the group Freshers’ photo and brunch. All graduate freshers, whether matriculating or not, should plan to be in the photo in sub fusc, which will be taken around 10am. If you are not matriculating but would like to be in the photo, please inform the Graduate Administrator.