A wonderful academic experience!! So good to try something new. January 07, 2019

By (Economics, Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/01/2018 to 11/30/2018 with

Worcester College, Oxford University - Visiting Students Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Definitely worthwhile! I think it's really important to push yourself and try something new while at university. Oxford provides that international experience without having to give anything up on academics. It was also really freeing not being at Wellesley for a semester and just taking in different things and life experiences.

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 loved the tutorial system, but your experience will depend on who your tutors are. I loved both of mine, and loved having the chance to research topics deeply each week. It's definitely very different from the American system, so it's nice to get a chance and experience other educational systems.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

As with the academic system, we were mostly left alone in terms of administrative things. It all worked out fine in the end, as the British students were helpful in showing us what to do and reaching out for social events. However, it was a bit grating that, for instance, there was no tour of the campus (college campus or university town) when we arrived. There was no real orientation for us Americans who arrived in September. There was little information (at the beginning) provided about the dining hall and how to use it. Also, compared to other programs where students are taken on day trips (or even overnight trips) frequently, it was sad that there was only one such event for us. Two if you count a trip to London to see a Shakespeare play.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

All the American students got private rooms with bathroom attached, which was nice! The visiting students are also almost entirely housed in the modern dormitories, which was a bit disappointing for experiencing historic Oxford but worked out pretty well in terms of facilities!

* Food:

The dining hall was well priced, and the dorms had nice kitchens if you want to do your own cooking.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Level of integration definitely depends on how much initiative you are willing to take. I found that I spent the vast majority of my time with other Americans, but I was okay with that.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never went to the doctor/nurse so I can't comment on this. Friends who did said that it was fine.

* Safety:

I felt very safe both at Worcester and in Oxford in general. There is a real problem with homelessness in the city, but that was never (for me) a safety issue.

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

Finances

* 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)

Food is pretty cheap -- both if you cook it yourself and using the college dining hall. Unfortunately, a lot of student clubs and events cost money to join, so budget wisely.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* 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?
  • Wonderful academics and academic support (my tutors were so brilliant and nice)
  • Fun social atmosphere of Oxford
  • All of the events, speakers, networking opportunities, etc. that Oxford provides
* What could be improved?
  • Have the option to do two terms (instead of either one or three)
  • Better administration: orientation/tour, more activities/trips
  • More understanding of expectations for Oxford tutorials
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it would be hard to make local friends unless you pushed yourself to make it happen.

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!