Study abroad is an incredible way to broaden world views, make meaningful connections with communities all over the world, and forge friendships for life. At Oglethorpe, students have the opportunity to study abroad through Oglethorpe’s 16 International Exchange Partners around the globe — including a premier academic partnership with the University of Oxford in England. This semester, Oglethorpe sent nine Stormy Petrels to study at Oxford. Here, three of those scholars share their experiences, in their own words:
“I have always had a fascination with English culture. My family and I had travelled to London once, and in that experience alone, I learned so much by being immersed in a culture that relied upon literature and theatre. Due to my major and minor, it was only natural for me to want to come again to learn even more than I already had.
The classes I have been taking here at Oxford are Women in Shakespeare and Intro to Fictional Writing. It’s been amazing to be able to study in the same school as C.S Lewis and Tolkien. I am a bit of a fantasy nerd and have dreams of becoming an author. Being in the same places as these beloved authors and seeing what inspired their greatest works have impacted me in ways I cannot describe.
I also have been granted the opportunity to learn what it is like to live away from home. Being so far from my home for such a long time has helped me learn a new type of independence that I have never had before. I can now say that I have confidence in my abilities and know that I am able to live successfully in an independent environment.
The experience that has impacted me the most has been my class in Intro to Fictional Writing. Dr. John Ballam took a passion project of mine (one which I have been procrastinating on) and pushed me forward. He saw my obsession of making everything perfect in my writing and taught me to have confidence in the story itself without worrying about the small details. It has taught me skills in writing that I hope to carry on into my future prospects.”
“I wanted to study abroad to expand my understanding of life. I wanted to see just how grand life is and can be, and I was in for a surprise. Because life is grander and more tremendous than I could imagine. But I would not truly understand what this meant unless I traveled abroad.
What better place to travel, than the City of Oxford? …I wanted to study abroad so that I could learn acting from a different worldly perspective. At Oxford University, I studied Activism Through Black Theatre and Shakespeare and Race.
This experience has been invaluable and irreplaceable for any other experience. From the social shock you experience here, to the one-on-one tutors you meet weekly, and to the people you connect your abroad experience with, Oxford is sensational. The highlight of this trip for me was traveling with friends while I was here and sharing an experience with them. There is an emphasis of camaraderie and intentionally choosing to spend time with others when traveling abroad that is beautiful.
This experience has helped me find more of myself and has allowed me to find ways to approach life differently to grow my lifestyle and grow towards my dreams. I cannot wait to carry this experience over into my acting career and into my intercommunication with my peers back home.”
“I have always wished to study abroad and experience life in a completely altered environment. Growing up, traveling and studying in a different country was always a goal of mine. Oxford was the perfect choice for me as the tutorial system is very unique and works well with my Individually Planned Major, Archaeology, at Oglethorpe.
During my two terms at Oxford, I have studied Analytic Philosophy, Aegean Bronze Age: Minoan and Mycenean Archaeology, Ancient Roman Archeology, as well as Ancient Egyptian Archaeology.
Oxford has been an incredible experience. My favorite part about the study abroad program was the tutorial system. This consists of meetings once a week to have a discussion on what one learned through the readings completed. Another aspect of Oxford that I loved was the libraries. They are absolutely wonderful to study in and beautiful as well.
This experience has further moved me to return to Oxford for a possible master’s or doctorate program.”