From Waterville to Worcester

I’ve been spending my Christmas break watching period dramas—Downton Abbey, the Bleak House series, etc.—and researching life at Oxford. Why? Well, I think it finally hit me yesterday—yes, on Christmas—that I’ll be flying to England to study abroad in about a week. As I probably mentioned in earlier blogs, I’ll be spending the equivalent of a semester at Colby (which is two trimesters in England) studying English at Oxford University.

I’m going to be traveling with the Butler study abroad group while in England. I received an email a few days ago summarizing some of the things that I should expect academically while there. I’m to take two tutorials per semester. This was not a surprise to me because part of Oxford’s application process required that I create my own tutorials (aka classes). I was asked to design 8 tutorials, and I’ll be assigned four on the basis of what the tutors have experience teaching. These are one-on-one classes on the subject of my choice, and they meet once each week. Students are to prepare a research paper on the assigned reading for each class meeting. I’m still waiting to here back regarding which tutorials I’ll be taking, but since I designed them myself, I’m not too worried! I’m hoping some of them will allow me to do intense work in the Special Collections at Oxford’s famous Bodleian Library. While I’m a little nervous about the intensity of the classes, I’m mostly excited. I expect to learn tons about the subject I love—literature—given that I’ll be the only student in the class!

I received a travel guide to the country in my stocking for Christmas, and I’ve been going through it ever since. I’m a huge fan of coffee, but since England is a country full of tea enthusiasts, I’m excited to learn more about tea by going to some of the tea houses. I’m also excited to tour London (which is surprisingly two hours away from Oxford) and other cities in England like Bath (which apparently has some awesome spas!), and to learn more about Victorian culture at the museums. My Spring break at Oxford is actually about a month long, so I’m hoping to travel to other countries like Spain and France during that time, as well.

Here are some pictures of the college within Oxford (Worcester College) where I’ll be studying next semester that I’ve found online:

A shot of Worcester College:

A Photo of the Lake at Worcester:

Another Cool Shot of the College:

I’ll be sure to post more photos once I actually arrive in England!

~Kristen

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