Pushing my limits - a bit too far Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 10/05/2015 to 06/18/2016 with

Hertford College, University of Oxford - Visiting Students Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned A LOT about myself and what I need as a person. I need a community, I need a support system, I need people to share experiences with. Not all the time - as I knew as a self proclaimed independent before departing - but there is a difference between valuing alone time and living off of it. I also became an amazing writer who can work under extreme time pressure.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It was a great location but due to the separation from the other undergraduates, social integration was hard. Also, the hot water almost never worked.

* Food:

You had to pay to be on a meal plan despite having a kitchen. It's hard to be abroad and have to eat food that doesn't support your body in the best way.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was really hard to integrate with other British students, AND other americans due to the lack of programming and orientation provided during the experience. Also everyone is so busy with academics that it doesn't attract people who are interested in also having a social life.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I came to Oxford becuase I knew that I was a dedicated, independent, driven student. I wanted to push myself to become the best student I could be and really use my time that I was paying for an education to do just that - get the BEST education possible. Oxford provided me with that opportunity inside the classroom. However, the combination of the most stressful, demanding academics with little to no support system proved cause more of a challenge to my psychological health than to my academic career in a positive way. I think it was bad luck, but none of my peers were interested in doing ANYTHING other than school. That's no way to live in a foreign place. I wish that I could have known that I could have gotten an academic experience elsewhere and spent time abroad in a place with people who wanted to be part of a community.


* 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 British pound is super expensive. I wish that we were not paying for campus food so that I had extra money to buy my own.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around 200 if you average travel for the whole experience
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Stay in hostels! Don't go to a British pound country!


* 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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • My Professors
  • Running in Oxford
  • Traveling
* What could be improved?
  • Social Integration
  • Social Integration
  • Social Integration
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That my peers were going to be total introverts!

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!