Go all in! Past Review

By (Political Science and Government., Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/13/2013 to 06/15/2013 with

IFSA: Oxford - Oxford University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Fantasic education, some really cool opportunities to participate in activities that are very stereotypical of a very famous university, and a better understanding of how the US is viewed in the world. I also traveled a TON over the 6 week break, so that added a whole other dimension to the experience

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.

Definitely would depend what you are studying, as Oxford's education style is essentially teach-yourself and then discuss it one-on-one with a brilliant tutor for an hour ever week or two weeks. Great for philosophy or political science, but it might not be as good for quantitative stuff

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

huge single; it was the size of a triple at Middlebury!

* Food:

pay-as-you go. it was good, but portions weren't great. I would give it 3 stars except that 'formal' dinners at Worcester College are experiences I don't think one can get anywhere else in the world

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* 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? 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)

Oxford's a pretty expensive place, but with some effort it is possible to live at the same costs as in the United States

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably $100-150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? shop at Tesco, and get their value brand stuff. It's half the price and just as good. Don't eat out, and generally avoid pubs and hard alcohol


* 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

  • Local 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?
  • Formal dinners
  • extracurricular activities
  • quality of education
* What could be improved?
  • we should have a complimentary meal plan. we're paying enough already for god's sake
  • Middlebury could have told us that study abroad at Worcester is a thing...
  • we shouldn't be required to attend IFSA's orientation in london; waste of time
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? honestly I felt pretty well prepared for everything there. But British weather sucks. Just sayin'

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Politics of the Middle East

Course Department: Politics
Instructor: Dorthe Engelcke
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was extremely challenging, as I pretty much read a book every 1-2 days. The essays were reviewed quite critically, though very fairly. The instructor was brilliant and I got a great overview of the history and present situation in the Middle East
Credit Transfer Issues: Haven't tried yet, but I don't anticipate any problems
Course Name/Rating:

Core Macroeconomics

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Simon Cowan
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Econ isn't really supposed to be taught to oneself... there were lectures that could be attended, but even they didn't always help that much. The level of instruction was considerably beyond what Middlebury would teach (it's meant for people who have been studying econ for several years already) but that gave me a great crash-course on higher-level economics
Credit Transfer Issues: Haven't tried yet, but it shouldn't be a problem
Course Name/Rating:

Introductory Arabic

Course Department: Language Centre
Instructor: Yousif Qasmiyeh
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Awesome instructor who did all he could with what he had, but Arabic is not a course that one should teach oneself and then discuss it for an hour each week. That wasn't the instructor's fault and if I had taken it in Michaelmas (first) term, there would have been many more lectures, discussions, etc that I could have attended
Credit Transfer Issues: I don't intend to apply for department credit, just general credit
Course Name/Rating:

Quantitative Economics

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Simon Cowan
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Dr. Cowan let me go at my own pace for this course, which was great. I covered everything that was required anyway, and was able to discuss the concepts with him and get a basic understanding of statistics
Credit Transfer Issues: I only intend to apply for general credit