Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kaitlin R. - Oxford - Spring 2010

After all the time spent preparing, I finally made it to Oxford, and what a cool city. There is so much history here, and it is probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. And being in Oxford, the academic environment is pretty intense. The classes have just started up, but they are tough, there’s a lot of reading and writing to do every week, it’s all very interesting though and I’m enjoying it a lot.

It has been really cool to see Oxford in the winter with snow everywhere. Apparently they never get snow that lasts very long here, and it is really rare to have as much snow as we’ve seen here this winter, but that has made it really pretty here as well (although I had thought I would be escaping winter not being in Chicago).

I know that being in England in an English speaking country, it can sometimes seem like it’s not as much of an international cultural experience, but there have definitely been instances where I was reminded that I am no longer in the United States. The interactions between people are similar, but there are differences. One that I have liked the best is the way that people introduce themselves here. If you meet a person somewhere, like a pub or in the dining hall, everyone always makes eye contact with you, shakes your hand, and introduces themselves. I really liked that, it was something that I don’t see a lot of back in the States, but would like to.

Also, in terms of outside travel, the CMRS schedule is pretty intense, but when there is time on the weekends for additional travel, the bus system here in the UK is fairly inexpensive, and easy to use. It is really pretty easy to get around if you use, or a similar site. So, I’m looking forward to getting some good weekend trips in to see some more of England.


Blogger Mylinkay Asdara said...

I have heard a few things from students (and professors) who have been there about keeping quiet for the first few weeks and observing so that you can fit in - they say that once people realize you are from America they can clam up, have you found that to be the case?

I am fairly outgoing, but also sometimes shy. I don't want to be too forward or too distant - can you offer any advice on that?

-- Katherine Ciesla

3:13 PM  

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