Oxford: The Good and the Bad It's All Up to You January 08, 2022

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/05/2021 to 12/04/2021 with

Worcester College, University of Oxford - Visiting Students Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I didn't realize that you really have to figure out what you want from your experience and go for it. There really is no guidance when you get there, and you have to navigate on your own. I wish I had stuck to a few things I liked and made the right friends, but I still made some cool memories. I am still unsure if it was worthwhile, but I know that if I could go back and change a few things, it would be.

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 was quite low as we had almost half the course load as most matriculated students, and we didn't need to take exams at the end. The grade was determined by your tutor (or there was a method the tutor used). For example, one of my courses was graded by a project + overall performance and the other by a take home exam + overall performance. The learning part is all up to how much you want to invest time and effort in it, but at the same time, there isn't a lot of information for visiting students when it comes to learning unless your tutor or lecturer makes it available. It really is an abroad feeling, so take the time to explore.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The accommodations were wonderful (private bath and room along with shared kitchen). They even provided utensils and cooking supplies!

* Food:

Worcester's dining hall had good food and options for dietary restrictions, but the hours were terrible. Dinner ended at 6:45 pm.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There is no push to integrate. It is all up to you (as is common with everything at Oxford). But, most students are much more academic only compared to US institutions. There is more need to be involved in other things for them. So, it can be strange when you first show up. You have to go on FB and find things that interest you, figure out how to signup, and go. It can be frustrating as many events are known by word of mouth and can be full by the time you get there as students have registered way in advance. But, if you find one or two things you really like, stick with it and make friends to help you out!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The program director often mentioned the welfare office and was available as well to talk.

* Safety:

Felt super safe walking around at night, going out, etc. But, there was a few weeks with reports of spiking in clubs.

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

I would want a second shot because I feel that I didn't use the experience in a way that was best for me.


* 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)

Groceries aren't bad and are close. You just have to make time to cook which is annoying as it takes forever if you are doing all three meals a day. Dining out is expensive, and the dining halls have strange hours.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Have a schedule, so that everyday you aren't trying to figure out where to eat/what to eat, etc.


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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • History/museums/architecture
  • Basketball
  • My tutors
* What could be improved?
  • Information about student life
  • Dining hall
  • Campus life
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known about Facebook events earlier. This is where all the information is. I wish I had stuck to making one or two friends rather than try to get along with everybody.

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!