Oxford Is Breathtaking! Past Review

By (Victorian Literature, Bethel University) - abroad from 09/05/2011 to 11/25/2011 with

BestSemester: Oxford - Scholars' Semester in Oxford

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I can't sum up what I've learned--I got to learn how to use a HUGE university's resources, how to get plugged into local culture and theatre, that Emma Watson is very short, that I identify with the UK and that I am going to miss England for the rest of my life!

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.

I was able to not only be challenged by the academics of Oxford University, but I was able to participate in an opera at the University!! I've never learned so much in my life, and I miss English scenery every single day.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They genuinely cared about us, and our junior dean, Sam Brewitt-Taylor truly befriended us, helping us form supper groups (he was in mine) and organizing events for us to get to know each other and have fun together.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

See above comments

* Food:

I bought my own groceries and cooked my own food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

If I hadn't gone out and auditioned for the opera, I would probably have only one British friend. They kept all the Americans housed together and separated by our different program. I was lucky because of my show, but I think most people wished that they had more British friends from the semester.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My ear drum ruptured one night and the junior dean, Sam BT (mentioned above) drove me to the hospital and sat with me until 5 am, helped me walk (because I was dizzy); he helped me to set up a follow-up appointment and checked in with me every day to see how I was doing.

* Safety:

It's all about being smart. There were a couple stabbings in the city while I was there, however, my experience was fine. I walked all over the city by myself at night because of the different rehearsal locations for my opera. It's a friendly and very international city, and as long as you are on a main road near lights you will be absolutely fine. Be careful of the southeast side of the city at night.

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)

I lived very cheaply but when you translate quid to dollar, it doubles everything. Because of the food group I was in, I only cooked once a week, spending about 30 quid on groceries for the group, and then usually went to a play or museum once a week. About one hundred dollars.

* 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? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Join a food group! It's a great way to meet new people, to bond with friends while taking a break from studying, AND you save money AND you only have to cook once a week and all the other nights other people cook for you. Best deal ever.


* 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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Location
  • Academic Prestige
  • Resources available (The Bodleian Library)
* What could be improved?
  • more involvement with British students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Get a good converter/adapter!!! Maybe two...

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!