An Invigorating and Thought-provoking year! September 12, 2017

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 10/02/2016 to 06/17/2017 with

WISC: Oxford - Visiting Student program at Oxford University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained an appreciation of my own motivation and writing skills as well as learned how to spend more time alone and managing my own time. Traveling was excellent- an awesome way to gain independence and see the world. I think it was worthwhile, because I am proud of the questions I began asking while going abroad, though I certainly wouldn't say it was always easy.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The intensity is high, although there are way fewer courses per semester. Some of the professors were more challenging and put together than others.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Visiting Student program at Teddy Hall was not particularly organized. I heard that some colleges ran consistent meetings, tea, and halls for visiting students, but TH was much more hands-off.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The Isis Guesthouse was comfortable.

* Food:

My hall was unable to accommodate for my kosher needs on a regular basis, however they were able to bring in kosher food and kosher wine for special formal halls. Other than that, they were helpful in chipping in for my kitchen supplies and reimbursing my meal plan, so I could buy my own food and cook myself.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt relatively integrated with the JSoc. Lots of visiting students mostly hung out with other visiting students, so I was happy to have a way to get close with British students. I felt much less integrated into my college, probably because I couldn't participate in meals, many parties were on Shabbat, and classes are one-on-one, so you don't meet people through your coursework.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was very impressed with the nurse and doctor in my college- both were kind and helpful.

* Safety:

In general safety was fine, however I wish that my college had checked in after the attack in London and Manchester. The college and university are so big, that they don't have a similar safety net as Brandeis- like CAs, OLs, STAR, BEMCO etc...

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

I definitely fall in the "I don't know section," however that's not an option. I think the year was exceptionally challenging, mostly socially and emotionally, although I feel like I grew as an intellectual as well. I feel really blessed to have learned in such an institution, however I feel like much of what I learned I taught myself, rather than through excellent professorship (a couple of my professors consistently were unprepared and did not give me appropriate essay prompts).


* 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)

It completely depending on the week! Going out is remarkably expensive in England as our luxurious parties and balls (100 pounds a ticket for one night). Flights were cheap, but traveling was of course a bit expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Tesco is much cheaper than going out and there are a lot of Happy Hour places that I only discovered towards the end. If you don't think you will eat often in hall, definitely ask if they can reimburse your meal plan.


* 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

  • Other
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?
  • Dr. Anne Lee's courses
  • Opportunity to be the Interfaith Officer for JSoc
* What could be improved?
  • Integrating Visiting Students
  • Professors better understanding religion
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much time I would be spending alone and what kind of impact that would have on me

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!