Life-Changing June 01, 2022

By (English Literature, Wellesley College) - abroad from 10/10/2021 to 06/18/2022 with

University of Oxford - Visiting Students

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to live independently and overcome obstacles that come with it. I grew to understand myself more by living in a different culture, no matter how similar it looks on the surface. It was academically challenging and I felt lost at times, however I relied on my new friends and was always able to push through it.

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.

I was extremely surprised by the academic rigor that Oxford provided me. Although I was not expecting to be as busy as I was, it was a pleasant surprise and has prepared me for my last year at Wellesley. I feel like I have improved my writing and research skills significantly, along with better time-management.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was not a lot of guidance when it came to my visiting student program. We rarely saw our visiting student advisors (around once per term) and I felt a little lost with the college culture and norms. I relied heavily on my British friends for help when it came to administration and how to navigate it.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I wish that I was located nearer to the college. St Edmund Hall situated all of their visiting students half a mile from the main campus. Even though it was really eye-opening to be able to live independently, it was annoying having to go out of my way to have meals at college. I spent too much money for my own food just because it was more convenient than having a one-hour time slot for the food provided at the main site.

* Food:

I loved the food at St Edmund Hall and it is obvious that they put a lot of effort into preparing fresh ingredients. However, the hall becomes too cramped with students and the queues were always too long, which became annoying.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because I arrived a week later than the rest of the visiting students (outside circumstances regarding my visa), I was forced to be friends with my British classmates. I am very grateful for this as I was able to make genuine, life-long connections with people I probably would have never met before.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I wish the health care at St Edmund was more accessible. I found the college nurse to be critical and she would never respond to my emails. I did not receive my NHS number until spring holiday, which was outrageous.

* Safety:

There was a person living in our accommodation that had been forced to move out due to sexual harassment issues. I was extremely disappointed with the way that St Edmund administration handled the situation. The person was very dangerous and yet, they placed him in on-campus housing instead, living right next to first-year women. I still do not understand how or why he was allowed to study abroad at Oxford or why his home institution was never involved. Several of us who lived in the accommodation and experienced his behavior reported him to the college, yet never heard of a resolution. They were serious reports.

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 felt ill-prepared on coming to Oxford and finding how expensive everything was.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cooking at home and saving leftovers is always, always better than eating out and paying double. Also, be prepared for a large drinking culture (and expensive bills) at Oxford.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
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?
  • local students
  • Oxford city itself
* What could be improved?
  • more guidance during the program
  • living on college main-site
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that my degree could only accept two credits out of the department, otherwise I would have never spent an entire year here. However, that is my own fault.

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!