Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Kristen S. - Oxford, England - Spring 2008

So, only two weeks left in England here. I just traveled to Germany. It was my first trip to a country that did not speak English. It was so odd be on a train and not be able to understand what anyone around me was saying. It was also interesting to see how much English was in
the country. We stopped in one restaurant and the server apologized for not having an English menu so he translated the whole thing for us. And all the other restaruants we went to in Cologne and Frankfurt had menus in English. And when we were coming back to the airport we met a man from Atlanta who had been in Germany for 20 years who didn't begin to learn German until he had been in the country for 11 years. It is crazy to think that he couldn't understand what people were saying on TV or what most of the public was saying. Germany looked so different than England. It was quite interesting to see different kinds of towns. In Germany the towns were much more spread out, while in Oxford all the shops and restarunts are concentrated in one area. Germany was lovely and different and it was nice to see another European country while I was abroad. So this last trip was a good one.

Now all that is left is one paper and an essay exam. It is hard to get back into the groove of studying again when we have had a couple weeks where all we had to do was listen to lecturers.

That is it folks, if you have any questions, shoot me a comment.


Blogger Jessica C said...

You are welcome to send me photos to post on your blog!
-Jessica Chavez (

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Dianne Heller said...

I will be studying at Royal Holloway in the fall. I have a friend who lives in Karlshure Germany and I would really like to visit her at some point. Since you just traveled to Germany, I was wondering what form of transportation you used to get there and how long it took.

10:26 PM  
Blogger stwinb said...

I took Ryan Air to Franfurt Hahn Airport it took an hour to get there by plane. Ryan Air has cheaper flights to a lot of the more well known places and then we took the bus from the airport to wherever we wanted to go. And the train to travel throughout Germany! I hope that helps!

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kristen. I know you are coming back this weekend, I'm sure you are very excited. A concern of mine right now for studying in the fall is packing. Do you have any useful tips for packing for London,and is there anything you didn't bring that you wish you had? Thanks.Have a safe trip home!

Anna Cramer

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the same packing concerns, since I am a notorious over-packer! Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated!

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Holly Golcher said...

It sounds like your really learning a lot being overseas and I bet it's a trip you will take with you for the rest of your life. What was it that made you want to study in a different country for an entire semester? Was it just a need for change, or a desire to leave the U.S.? Anyways have a safe trip back!

-Holly Golcher

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Lidija said...

It is interesting see how Oxford and Germany are so different. I traveled to most of the cities in Germany for leisure earlier this year. I have never visited England before, but I am sure it is great. I am studying abroad in Germany this fall and your blog makes me excited to see more of it.

4:01 PM  
Blogger stwinb said...

Packing was challenging I will not lie to you. And by the end of my stay here i was and am quite tired of the nine shirts I brought with me. I guess I would say first off leave the blowdryer and straightener at home they won't work here just by a british one. Umm I would say pack plenty of comfy clothes. The students here defienlty wear hooded sweatshirts, I have seen them in sweatpants, although that is more rare, so wear what you like. It is a little more dressy then you pjs for an 8am class but it is not dress clothes everyday or anything. Umm I would say keep plenty of clothes and things you like with you. Bring comfy shoes, dress ones and casual ones. Make sure to have a waterproof pair of shoes, it doesn't rain constantly but in cobblestone and old things you should always be prepared, and if you waterproof shoes are comfy even better. Bring a backpack they really are convient, umm don't leave money in the front pocket but I don't know anyone who has had anything stolen. Umm I think that is all the wisdom I have but if I think of anything else as I pack to go home I will let you know.
Wait don't be afraid to pay a little if your suitcase is a little heavy, I know I paid and it was worth it to have another sweater with me.

11:02 AM  
Blogger stwinb said...

What made me want to go for the whole semester, it's not a very pretty story. Unlike many of my classmates here, I did not really want to travel abroad. Umm when looking at grad school stuff it looked better if i had a study abroad experience. And I know no other languages but english and I had always said if I went anywhere I would want to go to Oxford. Also I wanted to study under the tutorial system and unfortunely the shorter programs don't have the same study mentality. So umm this opportunity came up to apply, I would be able to go abroad, be able to speak the language, and study under the tutorial system and I applied thinking I wouldn't make it but surprise. So that is why I am here. I really have enjoyed it and it was a really good experience for me that I must have been ready for or I never would have applied

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jessice,
I'm working on my first study abroad program and I would like to ask for two comments on how to select classes for the abroad school.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I am supposed to ask for 2 tips on selecting classes in another country. If you could provide some tips that would be great.

7:31 PM  
Blogger stwinb said...

Hey I had a program where I had to select classes when I applied. So I suggest just making sure that you balance your class schdule so that you don't stress yourself out.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Aimee Dujua said...

I will be going to Oxford in the spring and I have been wondering what the environment is like in terms of shops and where I could get my stuff. You mentioned that it was all centered in one area. Is it close to St. Michael's Hall? How are the prices? Affordable or is it crazy expensive? Budgeting is always difficult when I travel so any help/advice would be great! Thank you!!

6:16 PM  
Blogger Leona said...

Hi Kristen,

what are you studying in Germany? Was there a lot of culture shock when you arrived? How did it feel that English was not everywhere? What do Germans think of Americans?

2:27 PM  
Blogger stwinb said...

I chose classes based on a selective schedule that Oxford provided. I also am graduating a year early so my classes were picked on finishing my theatre minor and also a gen ed requirement and then the integral course you must take and counts as a history credit.

I did not study in Germany I studied in Oxford, England But I visited Germany. Culture shock happened a little bit but it was relatively minor for me. In traveling to England it was very awkward to not hear english there was so much we did not know what was going on, and finding buses and the like was challenging.

8:14 PM  
Blogger kwiley said...

Hi Kristen! I'm going to be studying in Oxford this spring and I have a few questions for you about registering for classes. When you arrived at your school, were you given a schedule like we get at EC? Was it difficult to get into the classes that you wanted?

3:51 PM  
Blogger stwinb said...

It's a little different than at EC. Umm you picked your classes after the first week on the board Dr. Philpott putts up a schedule or emails you with your tutor and then your class if there a TBD it means they are still looking for a tutor I did not have any class changes but few of my classmates like two had to change tutorials then you meet with your tutors the first week altogether and pick tutor times based on their schedules. So kinda of the same but different. So hopefully that helped!!

10:13 PM  
Blogger stwinb said...

Shops are everywhere there is no walmart Kmart type deal but here is a grocery store within walking distance, a covered market with produce and specialty shops, two stationary places. A Bosewells which is the closest you will get to a walmart. There is boots which is a walgreens type place. And then there are what do they call them, Varsity shops which have touristy at times, and college wear. Primark is like a kohls and all of these are within walking distance, close walking distance of St. Michael's Hall. Umm prices are decent in some places expenseive in others, None of the shops scalped you but things are more expensive in England just as is not including the exchange rate. Umm if you want to exchange money Marks and Spencer's more pricey clothes and stuff has a free exchange service so we all went there. Let me know if you have any more questions. I'd be happy to answer.

10:19 PM  

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