An Enriching and Rewarding Semester October 18, 2018

By (Saint Michael's College) - abroad from 09/01/2017 to 12/02/2017 with

IFSA: Oxford - Oxford University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the confidence that comes from independence. It's rather forced upon you living in another country, but you get outside your comfort zone quickly and learn to fend for yourself in ways that I've never had to at home.

Review Photos

IFSA: Oxford - Oxford University Photo IFSA: Oxford - Oxford University Photo IFSA: Oxford - Oxford University Photo IFSA: Oxford - Oxford University Photo IFSA: Oxford - Oxford University Photo

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 chose this program for the academic challenge that it provided, and it did not disappoint. The semester pushed me a lot, and I am very proud of the work I did.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IFSA-Butler team did a great job striking the balance between making sure we were taken care of while also encouraging independent exploration of our time there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Being integrated into the full-time student dorms included us very nicely as foreign students, enabling a social atmosphere and comfortable inclusion in the entirety of the student experience.

* Food:

The meal plan in the dining halls was reliable and easy, although the set meal schedule did not always allow for many options. However, the access to a full kitchen was a great addition to let you cook for yourself!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Being included in all aspects of the student life really helped me assimilate to the local culture. I lived with the other students, played sports with them, joined clubs, participated in college traditions, and got to know the city.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The healthcare was a little difficult because so much specific paperwork and registration as required prior to any help being given. I had a minor issue right at the beginning of the term that needed immediate attention but I had not gotten registered with the school's nurse or doctor program yet, so it was a bit of a hassle to get up and running but was very helpful once I did.

* Safety:

Safety is taken seriously and handled well both by the school and the program. All college buildings must be accessed by keys and are left locked 24/7, as well as porters manning every college door to personally get to know who goes in and out.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I loved every aspect of my time in this program and abroad. It served me very well, and I am so happy I chose it!


* 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 on a student's budget fairly easily because living and meals were taken care of in the price of the program, but the travel and extra expenses that went along with a lot of the experiences unique to being abroad added up quickly.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? <$100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? By travel tickets in bulk--ie. multi-trip train passes, student package bus tickets, etc. You will use them and the deals will pay off on your more expensive excursions!


* 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
  • 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?
  • The tutorial system was an incredibly challenging but rewarding way to work academically.
  • I loved the fact that we were fully integrated with the full-time students, letting us participate in all extra-curriculars and events.
  • The supplements that IFSA-Butler provided were just enough to keep us safe, happy, and feeling taken care of without molding our experience into a typified program.
* What could be improved?
  • A more clear itinerary would be helpful earlier on prior to leaving so that you don't have to wait until you arrive to have a clear picture of the your time there.
  • The summer reading was a lot of work in addition to needing to read for our tutorials.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I did not need to be nervous about learning in a different academic style--although it was hard to envision prior to arrival, the program prepares you very well to handle the shift and succeed!

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Arthurian Legend

Course Department: English Literature
Instructor: Helen Appleton
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Victorian Era

Course Department: English Literature
Instructor: Clare Broome-Saunders
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Summer Seminar

Course Department: IFSA-Butler
Instructor: Michael Mayo and Josephine Reynell
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues: