Very rewarding study abroad experience September 26, 2018

By (Harvey Mudd College) - abroad from 01/08/2018 to 06/16/2018 with

IFSA: Oxford - Oxford University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Academically - I learned a lot. It was a rigorous program. I made a lot of friends, range of students from undergraduates to PhDs. The city itself is stunningly beautiful. It was an eye-opening experience in general.

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.

For traditional discipline like Chemistry, Oxford offers a great academic experience with its long-standing excellence in the field.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Onsite support was great! Our program advisor was very kind and would check in with us at least every other week, and organize walks and visits around town.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Lived in college accommodation about 15 minutes walk from main college site. The room has great view and is very spacious and clean. The location was great and staff and deans were very nice people.

* Food:

It wasn't liberal arts college buffet style, but college meal provides sufficient food and is quite healthy, and very cheap. Regular dinner was 5.25 pounds, and fancy 3-course black-tie formal dinner was around 13 pounds. Teddy hall is also known for the good food (with a Michelin star chief). There are also a lot of options to eat out in town (but a bit pricey).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Trying to integrate completely with the local undergraduate students was a little hard, because I was only there for the last two terms and people were in groups and also were very busy. But Oxford was a very international city and I made many great friends that were both local and from other countries.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Generally pretty good- the college has nurse and doctor that take care of us. But I also didn't get into serious health issue.

* Safety:

Very safe. Maybe those double-decker buses are slightly more aggressive than suburban traffic in the US.

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)

Really depends on what you want to do - you can live on quite low budge, going to meals in the college or cooking yourself. But things are expensive in general since Oxford is quite a touristy place.


* 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
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?
  • Oxford the city
  • Friends that I made there
  • Academic
* What could be improved?
  • Weather... (or winter)
  • Better integration with local students? (but that's really up to the individual)
  • Expense...
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Expectation about the academic program - it's very differently structured, and knowing it earlier would clear up a lot of confusion.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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!