Oxford: A Rewarding Challenge Past Review

By (English and American Literature, Middlebury College) for

Arcadia: Oxford - University of Oxford

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, I learned a lot about my subject and my own academic needs. I know now that I don't want to attend graduate school for literature, because the solitary nature of that work does not suit me. However, I will carry the things I learned about England and lit in general with me for the rest of my life.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was heavy -- we were expected to work eight hours every day, mostly by ourselves. There were a few lectures every week that weren't mandatory or referred back to in any way. I had a one-hour tutorial every week and a half-hour tutorial every week, for which I would write an essay that we would discuss during our meeting. The grading system is different, since a 75% is the equivalent of an A. There was much less contact time at Oxford - for me only an hour and a half each week. So, most of the time is spent reading and writing on your own, which can be difficult to adjust to but that comes with its own benefits.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Arcadia did a good job with orientation, giving us all the information and support we needed to start at Oxford.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The dining hall served good food, but didn't have very many options.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The orientation was well-arranged and some of the people I met on my program were my very good friends throughout the experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I did have to visit a doctor during my stay, and it was extremely easy and helpful.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I liked the people.
* What could be improved?
  • The pre-departure information about the academics.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think someone who likes to delve deeply into one subject would appreciate this program. There is a lot of work, and it is almost all solitary, so it can sometimes be a challenge because it is so different from the educational program in the U.S. However, the one-on-one tutorial system allows for very personalized course plans and great conversations.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Creative Writing

Course Department: English
Instructor: Sian Hughes
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was a really fun and fruitful course. The tutor and I would discuss my current work and she would give me helpful edits, book suggestions, and writing drills.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.
Course Name/Rating:

Victorian Literature

Course Department: English
Instructor: Rosalyn Gregory
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was a great tutorial that allowed me to pick my own books to read and the areas I liked to explore within Victorian Lit. The professor brought up interesting points and facilitated discussion well.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.