Friday, January 22, 2016
By: Emma Pisarik
While going to Oxford, I learned that this city may be known for its college but there is so much more to this historical town. After a week of my trip, our group traveled to Oxford for an afternoon tour of the college and what surrounded it. What really intrigued me during this tour was the roads we were walking on were made of cobblestones. I realized that these stones were placed there many years ago and that history still remains with the city to this day.
I knew England as a country values their history and Oxford doesn’t disappoint in that department. The University of Oxford is the oldest English-speaking College in the world our tour guide told us. The college is built up of many small colleges within it each having a preferred area of study. As our tour guide was explaining the system of Oxford, I found it very confusing because there are 38 colleges that make up the University of Oxford like Christ Church College or Trinity College.
Their classes run on a trimester term schedule so their breaks are about six weeks long. During those breaks though they have to move out of their rooms and they also have to do homework and studying during the break. When they get back to classes, they start off with testing. They also only take classes within their field of study unlike our class where it was a literature class with a bunch of different majors.
When the tour guide explained the admissions part was even more confusing. A student has to apply to one of the colleges within Oxford. They cannot apply to Oxford in Cambridge within the same year. To get into Oxford, our guide said we have to have a test equivalence to a 32 score on the ACT test. But the crazy thing is once you graduate with a degree you don’t have to start paying back tuition until you are making a certain income annually. And if you don’t use your degree at all for your job, then you don’t have to pay back what you owe (but it’s only for British students). That’s crazy though! I’m sitting over here with debt up to my ears and I have to pay it all back and then some while they don’t really have to!
This experience traveling to the UK was amazing! I have been abroad before but it was when I was very shy and no so sure of what to expect. This trip was different because I came out of my shell and tried so many new things! I faced my deathly fear of heights climbing to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral. I tried new food like fish and chips (I’m not a huge fan of fish) but I told myself when was the next time I was going to be in this beautiful country and if so would I physically be able to do the stuff that I could be doing right now?! I would totally recommend travelling whether it be in the country you live in or anywhere in the world. It is a total eye opener to see what life is like outside of your home. I am definitely going to keep travelling the world because once you have a taste of it, you can’t stop!