A fun and academically rigorous semester in an amazing city July 05, 2022

By (English, Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/05/2022 to 04/16/2022 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury – CMRS Oxford Humanities Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience was extremely worthwhile. While I learned a lot academically, I also grew personally and had the chance to essentially live on my own in a new country. I didn't have a language barrier to overcome, but I learned a lot about British culture and customs, and had the chance to travel within the UK and meet people from different walks of life.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Rigorous but not unmanageable course load, with lots of support from Oxford tutors and CRMS staff. Plenty of access to libraries and study spaces, and ample time to complete work.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very friendly, knowledgeable staff. They kept things running smoothly and the Fenley Library was amazing!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in Commonwealth house, a separate accommodation on Pembroke Street, which was a special case to prevent against the spread of Covid. Much less nice than St. Michael's hall but I enjoyed having my own room and I'm glad that CMRS students were housed near one another in Commonwealth.

* Food:

Formal dinners were one of the highlights of the semester!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I wish there was a way for us to live in closer proximity to full-time Oxford students and participate more in student life.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

While my coursework was challenging, it was never overwhelming and I felt like I grew significantly as a thinker and a writer this semester. Oxford is a beautiful city and M-CMRS gave us access to the grounds of Keble college as well as the Bodleian Libraries, which gave allowed us to take full advantage of the study spaces and research materials that the University has to offer. I made great friends in this program and was able to participate in several traditional Oxford traditions (my favorite of which was the formal dinners!). This semester was definitely one of the best experiences I've had in college.


* 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? 150.00
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to go to the dining hall when you can; even though it's a long walk, it'll be much cheaper than eating out. Buying groceries and cooking your own meals also helps!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • Other
* 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?
  • Classes with Oxford tutors
  • Access to libraries and Oxford grounds
  • Support from CMRS staff
* What could be improved?
  • Housing (closer proximity to campus)
  • Allowing students to travel outside of the UK during the semester
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I had thought more about budgeting for this trip. Even though I wasn't paying for a meal plan, my food expenses added up quickly, and in addition to travel costs and other purchases--all on top of the exchange rate of dollars to pounds--things got expensive.

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:

Independent Research Paper

Course Department: English
Instructor: Jemima Hubberstey
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The research course was an excellent opportunity for us to practice independent research on a larger scale than undergraduate coursework typically requires. Writing a 6,000 word essay based on our own research felt like good thesis preparation, and I really appreciated Jemima's willingness to help guide me through every step of the process and work with me to find relevant research materials.
Credit Transfer Issues:
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Gothic Nature and the Sublime

Course Department: English
Instructor: Lillian Hingley
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I loved the reading list for this course and appreciated Lillian's incorporation of film, poetry, and short stories into our study of Gothic novels. In some cases I would've appreciated more detailed and specific comments on my essays, but overall Lillian did a great job of balancing interesting material and productive tutorial sessions with an easygoing attitude that made this course fun.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

The English Country House

Course Department: English
Instructor: Jemima Hubberstey
Instruction Language: English
Comments: While I really enjoyed the novels that I read for this tutorial, the course was more focused on the historical evolution of the country house and the role it has played in the British imagination than it was on literary study. Jemima was an excellent tutor--she provided helpful essay feedback and led interesting conversations each week.
Credit Transfer Issues:
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Vikings, Saxons and Heroic Culture

Course Department: History
Instructor: Antje Frotscher
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class didn't work well for me because it didn't have a clear structure. Most of my classmates and I were somewhat unfamiliar with Viking or Saxon history, so a more defined period of lecturing followed by class discussion (rather than a vague series of comments and open-ended questions about the readings) each week would have been more effective. We also read a lot of tricky primary texts in this class, and some supplementary background readings would have helped me to better understand the material.
Credit Transfer Issues: