Oxford had the academic challenge I was looking for! July 27, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/02/2019 to 06/21/2019 with

University of Oxford - Visiting Students

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Oxford raised my academic abilities in many different ways, and made me realize more about what area of study I wanted to continue in. I would definitely recommend Oxford to anyone looking to challenge themselves further in academia (if this isn't their goal I would not recommend) because each course required many readings (at least 150 pages each week) and it improves your ability to synthesize information.

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.

The academic rigor is definitely beyond what I've ever experienced. The courses were very challenging, but a lot of self learning was done.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The director and other admins were very helpful in answering questions but I felt that we were given proper information about what we needed to know around the school (including traditions and culture that were vastly different from the US).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Food was readily accessible, but would have liked more information on how the dining hall works before we ran into so many problems and had to solve it ourselves.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because of the nature of UK education system, you definitely have to TRY yourself to find social and cultural clubs/events. But, once you get used to it, it's fun.

* 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


* 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)

Oxford was a really expensive place to live (food, transportation, personal items, etc). And, since food was not paid for by Wellesley it cost a lot more than expected. A typical lunch (if not eaten in dining which is not too convenient because of the limited hours) was 10 pounds and dinner was 20 pounds. Also, exchanging from dollar to pounds made it more expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $250


* 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

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Academic rigor provided by the Oxford curriculum
  • Ability to meet professors who are experts in their fields, and often well known
  • Exposure to other students who are truly interested in academia
* What could be improved?
  • Information that we were given about how the university runs
  • Information about how the tutorial systems work and information about individual courses before applying to the program (we do get them once we are enrolled)
  • Information about how much it would cost to live there
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish we were given more details and information about how the college runs, because we ran into a lot of trouble in the simple areas, including dining hours and culture, where to buy certain things, etc.

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:

Linear Algebra

Course Department: Math
Instructor: Joe Brown
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was definitely challenging because it was my first abstract math course but my tutor was very knowledgeable and he prepared each tutorial very well! He picked out all the points in my problem sheet that I could have answered better and answered my questions very well.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

September Seminar in the Humanities

Course Department: N/A
Instructor: N/A
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was fun because I was exposed to many different literature from different times but it did feel a bit rushed since we addressed a different topic (and several books) every week.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Economics of Developing Countries

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Emma Riley
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was a great class because it covered a lot of material and subjects within the realm of economics of developing countries. It was a lot of reading (10ish papers per week if I remember correctly) but the tutorials were very fun and interesting.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Economics of Industry

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Simon Cowan
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was challenging but the course material and the tutor was very organized! I was able to do the problem sets each week without feeling like I lacked resources because the tutor notes were very helpful. Also, he explains concepts and answers very well! One of my favorite tutors at Oxford!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Environmental Economics and Climate Change

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Elizabeth Baldwin
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was very challenging because I had to read many (~10) papers each week and produce an essay, but it was very interesting because I was exposed to many mathematical models and theories surrounding environmental economics.
Credit Transfer Issues:
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Development of the World Economies Since 1800

Course Department: Economic History/ Economics
Instructor: Benjamin Schneider
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was very challenging because it required a lot of readings and a comprehensive understanding of all the material to produce essays. But, it increased my abilities to review literature and think critically.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Game Theory

Course Department: Economics/ Mathematics
Instructor: Jean-Chrisophe Spiliotis
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Game theory was very challenging because the course material provided to do each work's problem sheets were lacking in my opinion (textbooks and lecture notes were not enough to answer the questions) but the tutor explained the concepts to me very well and were able to point me in the right direction so that I could answer those questions afterwards.
Credit Transfer Issues: