Computer Science major at Oxford April 23, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 10/01/2018 to 03/08/2019 with

Worcester College, Oxford University - Visiting Students Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I loved Oxford, the city and the school. It's an amazing and unique place and Worcester College is a great place to be a student. You will meet many interesting people, even if they are not British students, and you will have a lot of fun. They're a lot better at having a work-life balance at Oxford than they are at Wellesley and I was noticeably happier there.

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.

I am a CS major and was expecting my courses at Oxford to be quite rigorous, but in reality they were not very challenging and I didn't learn as much as I would've at my home institution. It was easy to get As with the bare minimum and the tutorial system is not great for CS. Really consider this before choosing the year-long program if you're CS

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Program was very organized, we had many special events for just visiting students that were a lot of fun (high tea, formal dinners, Cotswolds tour, plays, etc.)

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was great, everyone gets a single en-suite room on the college grounds. This is an anomaly for Oxford visiting students; most at other colleges were housed somewhere far from their college and had roommates. Also our rooms were cleaned once a week by "scouts"

* Food:

You don't have to eat in the dining hall, but the food there is pretty mediocre. I went to formal halls mostly for the experience

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Integrating with the Oxford students is difficult and requires a lot of effort. I was only friends with other visiting students during my time there

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

You will be on NHS healthcare which I've heard is great, but don't have any experience with. My only experience with healthcare was with the on-site college nurse. She was helpful and it was easy to meet with her

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I wish I had only done the fall term. It ended up being too difficult trying to work out leaving early for my summer internship and I wasn't allowed to come back for the third term, causing many financial aid-related issues for me. I had been told by some students that it would be possible to negotiate an early departure with Worcester but it really isn't. I also felt like an entire year was too long to go without challenging academics

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)

If you eat out, you're going to spend a lot of money. If you cook, probably a lot less, so it really depends. Something I didn't think about before coming to Oxford was how much going out costs there, and then of course you need formal clothing for the balls, parties, and dinners.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat out often, and beware of the costs of going out and drinking.

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? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • formal dinners
  • the city
  • social life
* What could be improved?
  • academics
  • cost of living
  • integration w/ locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How difficult it would be to negotiate an early departure for summer internships, how expensive a UK year-long visa is, how expensive participating in the social life would be