A Spring in Oxford Past Review

By (Villanova University) - abroad from 01/08/2012 to 05/24/2012 with

Arcadia: Oxford - University of Oxford

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Surprisingly for a study abroad program, what I gained the most from my time in the UK was academic. My tutor was a wonderful, helpful man, but he definitely pushed me. I learned a lot and became friends with him by the end. I also loved Oxford's 6-week-long Spring break, which gave me a TON of time to travel around the continent.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I have mixed feelings about Arcadia. On one hand, the staff was awesome. They were so helpful and so nice. On the other, most students at Oxford come through IFSA, so I always felt out of the loop on their group activities. I know they're competitors, but I would like the two to work together.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Nothing fancy, just a single dorm room. Perfectly adequate.

* Food:

Cafeteria food, but as good as that can get. You'll get tired of potatoes quickly in the UK, though.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Socially, I felt like one of the normal students. However, I didn't share any classes with non-Americans.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The college nurse was really sweet and gave me my monthly allergy shots.

* Safety:

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)

The exchange rate in the UK is killer, but Oxford's subsidized food and cheap college bar made life pretty cheap.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Ignore study abroad adviser's advice that "leave at home what you can buy over there". You can buy it, just at double the cost due to the awful exchange rate and high VAT tax.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • One on one tutoring with an Oxford fellow
  • Amazing college town atmosphere
  • Wonderful friends, albeit Americans
* What could be improved?
  • Awful, cold weather - can't be improved but by far the worst part
  • Not enough effort to include you in student life
  • Class work can be overwhelming
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had been prepared for the academic difficulty more. I was given a rude awakening with how hard it was, which definitely cost me a few weeks where I could've had more fun if I had managed time better. I also wish I had received a better orientation. Running around trying to figure out stupid things like connecting to the wifi and buying a bike cost me valuable time.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

St. Anne's Engineering

Course Department: Engineering
Instructor: David Murray
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Professor Murray was great. He took time to sit down with me one on one and really make sure I understood the material. I'm going to miss having class with him next year back at home.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.