If someone had asked me to describe my experience at Oxford a month ago, I could have done so with ease: the beautiful architecture, the endearing English culture, the quantities of tea and books and the general elation of walking in the footsteps of some of the greatest thinkers and writers in the world. I could have conveyed the surface details.
Now, as I sit before my book laden-desk, it is indescribable.
Oxford has been the most challenging semester of my academic career, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.
I am part of a dynamic group of intelligent, eager students who have conversations about Victorian novels and Calvinism over dinner, and an even more culturally and philosophically diverse university. Living in the city itself has been incredible, as I’m a short walk away from lectures, libraries, cafes, and the famous Eagle and Child pub that Tolkien and C.S. Lewis frequented.
As a full-fledged student of Oxford University, I get to attend lectures by some of the brightest minds in the field, have access to millions of books through the Bodleian Libraries and can join the countless university clubs and organizations, ranging from Quidditch to rugby, poetry and everything in between.
One the best opportunities that comes with studying at Oxford is taking part in the tutorial system, meeting with a professor one-on-one to discuss and critique your essay. I also must highlight simply the experience of attending a local church; it’s so encouraging to find people of other cultures and nationalities worshiping the same God you do, singing the same songs and reading the same Bible.
I cannot leave out the amazing museums, productions and architecture that come with studying in England. There is history around every corner, and London is only a short bus (or coach, as they say) ride away.
As part of the British Landscapes course, the day after a lecture is devoted to a field trip of historical sites with the professors, who are often more knowledgeable than the tour guides.
But, there are essays to write, tea to drink and biscuits to eat. I bid you a good British farewell of “Cheers!” and that apt encouragement from Lewis’ The Last Battle, “Further up and further in!”