True British learning in the heart of medieval Oxford. Past Review

By (University of South Carolina - Columbia) - abroad from 09/01/2015 to 05/01/2016 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury – CMRS Oxford Humanities Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I studied, in great detail, numerous topics in my field and learned about the British tutorial system. I learned the feel of life in Britain and made important connections with scholars there. I'm now pursuing a PhD and am confident that I wouldn't be where I am without MCMRS.

Review Photos

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury – CMRS Oxford Humanities Program Photo Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury – CMRS Oxford Humanities Program Photo Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury – CMRS Oxford Humanities Program Photo Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury – CMRS Oxford Humanities Program Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Working one on one with Oxford tutors at a number of different colleges was an edifying exposure to the British University system. Tutorials put me in dialog with active scholars within the field and prompted me to consider perspectives on my subject area which I hadn't in the United States.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The professors running the program were friendly and diligent people. I felt immediately at home at Saint Michael's Hall, and I could always count on them whenever I needed anything.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

St. Michael's Hall is a delightful place--between the magnificent library holdings peppered throughout its corridors and its Hogwartsian character (I was still finding new routes from the Common Room to the entrance six months in to the program!) I cannot imagine a better place to stay in Oxford. Located right in the heart of medieval Oxford, I could look out my window in the mornings and watch the sun rise over a panorama from the Camera to Christ Church.

* Food:

The program provided full access to meals at Keble College, which were delightful, complete with a Latin grace in their magnificent dining hall. My only complaint was that it was slightly awkward going for breakfast there in the first month, before the Keble students had all arrived--I often felt unsure of my position dining among the B&B guests, though I was never refused service by their friendly and attentive staff.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

A multitude of opportunities were given to connect with Oxford students and organizations. One of my fondest memories was going for fireworks on the River Isis with the Tolkien society.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not personally have an experience with health care, but I was given thorough instruction on how to use the NHS should it have proven necessary.

* Safety:

On the rare occasion I stayed out late, I felt comfortable on the streets of Oxford at night. I've never felt so safe in a city after dark.

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

The MCMRS is sui generis--I do not know of any other program like it. For my purposes, as a medievalist in training, it was the highlight of my undergraduate education.


* 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 didn't have any difficulty, but I come from relatively good means. Britain is expensive, but affordable once you learn the ropes. St. Michael's having a kitchen and dining at Keble especially could help with expenditures on food.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Fascinating tutorials
  • Location in medieval Oxford
  • Friendly professors
* What could be improved?
  • Kitchen maintenance
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That Indian food is fantastic. Check out Chutney's Indian Brasserie down the road from St. Michael's Hall, best food I had in Oxford.

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:

Cathedrals, Cloisters, and the Medieval Church

Course Department:
Instructor: Karl Kinsella
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was a fascinating exploration of the architecture of the medieval church, with a highly productive balance of textual investigation and field work visiting medieval churches and cathedrals. It was a course one simply could not teach in the United States as it so relied on the medieval surroundings of Oxford.
Credit Transfer Issues: None, just be ready to follow behind your home institution's Study Abroad Office and Registrar to make certain they process your transferred grades.