Expensive, but absolutely worth it. Past Review

By (Austin College) - abroad from 01/04/2012 to 06/15/2012 with

IFSA: Oxford - Oxford University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was absolutely worthwhile. I learned a great a deal about my field of study. I also learned a great deal about English culture and how they view the world from interacting with the local students.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academic program at Oxford was extremely rigorous. The academic resources were numerous and extensive - i.e. books (over 9 million!), libraries (over 100), etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was nice. It was a bit old; though, this should be expected as it's Oxford. It was nice having a single dorm room with my own bathroom - most students (including study abroad students) live in single dorm rooms. Dorm roommates are not very common.

* Food:

Food at Worcester College, Oxford is among the best of all the Oxford colleges! There are a number of weekly formal halls at which the food is particularly delicious. Formal dinners consist of a three course meals for students. I hardly ever ate off campus. The on-campus food was outstanding!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt fairly integrated. with the social culture at Worcester, Oxford. I did rowing and other sports during my time there. This really helped me meet other students, etc. I also frequented the college pub every once and awhile which is where many students of the college gathered after hours. It is important to note that the work load and nature of the Oxford education system can pull away from one's ability to socially interact and engage others as students are constantly working/studying.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt that Oxford was tremendously safe. Nearly all of the colleges at Oxford are accessible only to enrolled students of that respective college. The city itself was also fairly safe as there were nearly always a fair amount of people out and about, lot's of lights, and police, etc.

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 pound-to-dollar exchange rate made studying at Oxford expensive - 500 us dollars (about 300 or so pounds) per month.

* 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? 125-150 us dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat on campus when/if you can or cook for yourself in one of the floor kitchens. Cooking for yourself is cheaper than eating on or off-campus. Eating on campus is also fairly cheap as it is heavily subsidized by the state. Both of these options helped me save quite a bit of money on food, at least.


* 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
* 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?
  • The academic rigor
  • The one-on-one tutorial system
  • The city and university itself - very old, amazing architecture. Also, lots of odd, but amazing traditions and customs.
* What could be improved?
  • Timeliness of the director of visiting students program
  • It would ahve been nice to know more specifically which tutorials we were taking further in advance!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Just how it expensive it was. And the weather. I thought it snowed quite a bit in England; however,...it does not.