I learned a lot and made time for fun and exploration April 18, 2020

By (Smith College) - abroad from 01/09/2020 to 04/16/2020 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury – CMRS Oxford Humanities Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about how to conduct research in the humanities at an advanced level. Pushing myself to my academic limit also highlighted learning habits that work well for me, and where I have room for improvement. I feel significantly better equipped to navigate my way through my senior year, and I have a new skillset to make decisions to inform my future career.

Review Photos

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.

This course is certainly rigorous, but the challenge is met with incredible resources from tutors, the libraries, as well as other students. The environment was key in helping me feel like I could produce my best work.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Communication from the admin was generally clear and helpful. I felt supported and knew that I could get help when I needed it.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Using the kitchen was definitely difficult. While storage space in my room was abundant, it was difficult to manage grocery shopping with a busy work schedule and limited space for storing food!

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Even though we did not live with Keble college students, because I got involved in both rugby and ultimate frisbee, I was able to meet lots of Keble/Oxford university students and form meaningful relationships. I had to seek these opportunities out on my own, but I thought the CMRS program was helpful in pointing me in the right direction.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I saw the CMRS staff respond quickly, effectively, and with care and sympathy for health issues for other students on the program. Personally, I had a difficult experience with the GP, but if I hadn't been able to sort it out, I trust that the CMRS admin would have been helpful.

* Safety:

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

While I really appreciated all this program had to offer and I think I was really able to grow from it, ultimately I don't think this kind of learning works the best for me. One time was amazing but enough!


* 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? Averaged to about $200 USD (lots of upfront costs on transportation -- I purchased a bike)


* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • getting to know other students on the program! their academic/general interests, exploring Oxford with them
  • my involvement in clubs: rugby, frisbee, and also Oxford's Jewish community
  • access to libraries and my tutorials – the work was so difficult, but I feel so lucky to have been held to a such a high standard
* What could be improved?
  • communication about courses before leaving for the program
  • housing
  • more financial support from smith
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had a better handle on how the tutorial system worked. I might have chosen different tutorials (my French tutorial was enjoyable, but not structured in a way to really improve my French).

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.