The best year of my life. September 29, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/28/2018 to 04/12/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury – CMRS Oxford Humanities Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about being independent and managing my own schedule whilst being worthwhile. I also learned that I love the UK because of my experience.

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.

This was by far the most academically challenging but rewarding program I have ever taken part in.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone at CMRS was extremely helpful and understanding throughout my full year of study there! They always were able to give me guidance with every issue I had throughout.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The facilities were always well maintained and comfortable.

* Food:

I learned how to cook and cooked almost every meal I ate at Oxford, and when I did eat at Keble's dining hall the food always good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I did not feel very connected to the Oxford student community but I think that the nature of being a non-matriculated student at the University was the reason for this.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The NHS is the best thing ever.

* Safety:

Oxford is a pretty safe environment although I did take caution to not walk around by myself at certain hours of the night.

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

I think the program was the most challenging yet most rewarding academic experience I have ever had.

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)

At points it was difficult because the UK is quite expensive but I always found money for the necessities.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100 pounds
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Keep a weekly budget and do not exceed it.

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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Challenging academics
  • Beautiful City
* What could be improved?
  • the facilities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I knew more about the Oxford dynamic before going on this program.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Vikings, Saxons, and Heroic Culture

Course Department: LITS
Instructor: Antje Frotscher
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was frustrating and at times it was very difficult to understand what the instructors expectations were. I feel like I was advised poorly on the final paper given at the end and that contributed to a poor grade of B+ in the class.
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Independent Research Project

Course Department: HARC
Instructor: Mary Louise Lillywhite
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I was once again advised by Mary Louise Lillywhite on a research project on the intersections of indigenous and catholic imagery in the Arequipa Cathedral in Peru.
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Gothic Art

Course Department: HARC
Instructor: Sarah Griffin
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was at times challenging because I had never taken a course on medieval art at that point and sometimes there was a learning curve.
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British Modern Art

Course Department: HARC
Instructor: Lynda Dennison
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was the most fruitful course I took at Oxford. I learned a wealth of information about British Modern art and I can say I feel very comfortable in my knowledge of the period after taking this course.
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Classical Philosophy

Course Department: Philosophy
Instructor: Ian Logan
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was very challenging at times because it was the first philosophy course I had ever taken. Professor Logan taught me so much about the way the discipline functions and I came away with a lot.
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Portuguese

Course Department: Portuguese Language
Instructor: Thomas Clark
Instruction Language: Portuguese/English
Comments: This course refreshed me on Portuguese grammar and even helped me explore literature in the language.
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Independent Research Project

Course Department: HARC
Instructor: Mary-Louise Lillywhite
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Mary-Louise advised me on a lengthy research project concerning the conceptualization of blackness in Renaissance European paintings.
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Art and Censorship

Course Department: HARC
Instructor: Mary-Louise Lillywhite
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was deeply enriching. I learned a lot throughout about how art has historically been censored and other tangential issues related to this.
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