Humans of Clare Hall

An online exhibition organised by the 2019/2020 Graduate Student Body. College students, Fellows and staff were asked what they think is special about Clare Hall.

View all stories via this PDF.

Andy, Maintenance Manager, from the UK

I look forward to coming to work at Clare Hall, so things do feel very strange at the moment. I've been on my own, ticking over, for however many weeks it is now (10 weeks? 12 weeks? ) and really miss the banter in the staff room.



Timo, PhD in Economics, from Germany

Clare Hall has a completely different character to any undergraduate college, and it really embraces that. The fact that students are small in number, know each other well and are there for each other, is brilliant.



Ram, Visiting Fellow, from India and the US

Clare Hall is a lovely place to be. There’s a sense of community because of the way the buildings are built, the Visiting Fellows’ houses, the student houses, all connected in kind of a quad. Children can be outside, and it’s safe, peaceful and quiet.

Josh, Life Member (MPhil 2017-2018), from the UK

Having seen the other responses, pretty much everyone so far has said 'family', and I think that sums up all you need to know about Clare Hall. For me, it’s the perfect blend for a postgraduate, of informal, relaxed, social, but combined with some of the smartest and well-rounded people that I know.

 Clare Hall student band Simone’s Limones

I am always so astonished by the quality of events in college – we had a string orchestra this evening for £5! There is a lot of talent to appreciate - Lukas, guitarist and bassist

Every time we rehearse in the music room I feel uplifted, it gives me energy. I leave this place full of adrenaline and can’t sleep for 2 hours. I’m just hyped up. I love music and performing. It always has to be part of my life - Simone, vocalist

I think it’s great that the College has a music room. Without it this band would never have happened. It would be great if the College hosted more creative nights, showcasing the members’ own passions. That would be great - Elliot, percussionist and keyboardist

Simone, an MPhil in Sociology, from Germany.

I’ve met so many amazing, intelligent, funny, and thoughtful people at Clare Hall. We have a great community that feels like a family, with a supportive and welcoming atmosphere. I really appreciate our amazing boat club, the fantastic food, and that I get to interact with a lot of Fellows and staff members. Clare Hall really feels like home to me.

Brent, one of the Clare Hall Porters from the UK.

The best thing about working here is meeting the Visiting Fellows and students and learning about their subjects. Sometimes in the winter they can get a bit lonely and are quite happy to stop and have a chat. So I spend time finding out about their subjects, where they’ve been, where they come from. I travel quite a lot, so we often connect by talking about the places we’ve been to.


Mariana, a PhD student in Heritage from Macau, currently self-isolating in Portugal.

It’s the small daily rituals at Clare Hall that I think make the College what it is. It’s going to the pigeonholes, to the common room, to the dining hall, or just returning home to College each day. Even just parking your bike downstairs. All of them together make Clare Hall. I miss all these small details when I’m not there. They are a part of the College, and what you look forward to seeing again.


Patrick, a PhD student in Psychology, from the USA

I love Clare Hall because of how intimate it is – it feels like a co-op rather than student accommodation. You live in actual houses with other researchers and because we are all mature students, we tend to be able to have conversations and strike up friendships quite easily, and because the College is so great at organising events, you can meet up with people regularly. It’s a small college with a close-knit community that feels intimate on every level, from the GSB to the staff, students and Fellows. And because we do things on a smaller scale, we’re able to do it better. Everything is done to a little bit higher quality than other colleges, whether it’s food or entertainment. People take more time to do things well because they really care.



Debbie, a PhD student in Psychiatry, from Brazil.

Clare Hall has this homey atmosphere. I feel very happy when I’m here. When I come back from travelling, I get that sense of coming home, which I didn’t think I was going to find anywhere apart from my actual home. I really enjoy the atmosphere and think it’s very welcoming. I like that it’s very international and you get to be around all kinds of people, see their culture, and hear about their experiences.

Marno, a PhD student in Computer Science and member of the Clare Hall Boat Club, from the Netherlands

My favourite thing about Clare Hall is the people and the close-knit community that we have here. I’m part of the rowing team, and I find that the strong Clare Hall community is replicated in the Boat Club. I think we’re a very team-oriented boat club. We go around the river as one big family, which is kind of cool.

D’Arcy, an MPhil student in Public Policy, from the USA and UK

My favourite person at Clare Hall is definitely Pat from the catering team. That has to go on record. She is the most real person in College and keeps everything running with her crazy work ethic and uplifting humour. She recently told me the only reason she remembers my name is because her grandson has a teddy bear that’s called D’Arcy, and because of that she will never forget who I am. Which is really lovely because she’s met a lot of people over her 40 years at Clare Hall. I feel quite privileged that I share a name with her grandson’s teddy bear!


Meg, an MPhil student in Public Policy, from Canada.

Clare Hall is unique because of the strong and tight knit community. And it is not just the community of students, but the community of staff and students. How well you know the Porters, each and every one of them. How well you know all the staff. And how supportive everyone is to each other. I think that’s a really special, wonderful thing.