The Semester of a Lifetime! Past Review

By (The Catholic University of America) - abroad from 01/05/2012 to 08/03/2012 with

OPUS - The Oxford Programme for Undergraduate Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a much better understanding of what it means to live in a different country and culture. Also, having a different academic structure gave me the opportunity to really hone my writing skills. I only wish I could go back for another semester!

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.

The expectations of my tutors, combined with the incredible resources available to me, both challenged me and stimulated me to work to my fullest potential.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I felt that Deepak and Carol were very organized and I was able to go to them with any questions I had. Sometimes emails were very last minute.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My housing was excellent, and the landlord very responsive to any needs we had.

* Food:

The food at Christ Church was, for the most part, delicious. Also, because I had a kitchen in the flat and grocery stores were readily accessible, I never went hungry.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I spent a lot of time in the Catholic Chaplaincy, and made many friends there, most of them international students from all over the world, but some English students. However, I also was able to meet many Christ Church students by eating in hall and through the rowing team.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no issues with health care.

* Safety:

Oxford was a very safe place, in the areas in which I spent most of my time. I had no safety issues, even walking home very late at night. However, I did not venture into the areas designated as less-safe by the program directors.

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


* 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 took out 100 pounds a week and usually used it all. The exchange rate was sometimes tough to deal with. However, I had enough in my pre-planned budget so that I still had some money left over when I returned from studying abroad.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $160 (100 pounds)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I suggest that future participants take out a measured amount each week in cash. It is much easier to see what you have when you can literally count it in your hand, and provides much less incentive to splurge more than once in a while. It also gives you allowance to splurge when you really "need" to!


* 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

  • 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?
  • Academic challenge
  • Meeting other students from around the world
  • Experiencing a different culture
* What could be improved?
  • More planned opportunities to meet local students or opportunities to house in-college
  • More trips to other locations outside of Oxford
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that, though the English can be rather shy, they are truly great people once you get to know them. I think I would have made friends more quickly than I did!