Good academic experience, but not fun academics. When not working, solid. December 06, 2017

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/05/2017 to 04/14/2017 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury – CMRS Oxford Humanities Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Definitely learned to be more independent. I learned a lot academically, so that's good because I still have another year of school.

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.

The academic experience was challenging and extremely rich. I wouldn't describe it as fun, but there are several aspect of the experience that make it challenging and therefore rewarding. Since there are only a couple hours of class a week, but so much work to do outside of class, it is a big challenge in time management. I've never had so much time to myself before, with so much to do at the same time. The work itself is challenging because it is really independent too. It really challenges you to develop your own ideas on the subject.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing itself is good. I had a nice, big double. The program's housing situation I did not like because I lived with 40 Americans, hardly the immersive experience I would have liked in my study abroad experience.

* Food:

The Keble dining hall that we could go to was fine. The food was not great but edible. Besides that, Oxford food is aight. There are some cool pubs, where the food is good, not that great that. Don't go to Oxford for the cuisine. If you want that and to go to the UK, I'd suggest London. They have some tasty food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The housing is not immersive, but the program does have association with Keble College, one of Oxford's Colleges, so you can join all of its clubs like an American university. I joined the rowing team, which was fun, not because I like rowing but because that was the only real immersive experience I had. My advice, join a club or five. Don't hold back because of the workload. It will get done.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Don't know, didn't have any.

* Safety:

I felt safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

If I were to go to Oxford, I would directly enroll, which you have to do for a full year. I would do that because it's actually less intense workwise, plus you live in the college and are more immersed.

Finances

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150 dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? No

Language

* 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

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Academics
  • Affiliation with college
  • Being in Oxford and near London
* What could be improved?
  • Housing situation
  • Courseload, seminar was waste of time
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it was more intense than directly enrolling 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:

Research Course

Course Department: History
Instructor: Lucy Kaufman
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Wow, what a rollercoaster. 4 weeks of doing nothing but this, churning out a 25-page research paper. It's pretty rewarding at the end, but if you don't have a topic you like, you're in trouble. When I say have a subject I like, I don't mean I loved working on this, but there were times when I liked working on it...sometimes.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Literature of the English Country House

Course Department: English
Instructor: Emma Salgard-Cunha
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I wasn't a huge fan of the subject, so that's a bit of a problem. It was a good-sized class though of 4 people, which is a nice size for discussion, although challenging for 3 hours. I wanted to take a nap afterwards.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Oratory

Course Department: English
Instructor: Alex Kerr
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Tough class. It's tough to prepare a speech every week, but the professor gives good tips along the way, focusing on what I had problems with.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

17th Cent. British History

Course Department: History
Instructor: Lucy Kaufman
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was challenging, and that can be a good thing. The professor is extremely knowledgable, and while she forced me to do a lot, had reasonable expectations.
Credit Transfer Issues: No