Truly life-changing

Ratings
Overall
10
Academics: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 9
Housing: 10
Safety: 9
Review

My time at Oxford through IFSA truly changed my life for the better. The program is an incredibly unique opportunity to immerse yourself in incredibly rigorous academics, work one-on-one with experts in your respective field, receive the benefits of and be treated as a full-time student at Oxford, and throw yourself into a revered culture. Yet, for all the intimidating focus on a rich history in academia, Oxford (and IFSA's efforts to accommodate you) makes for a very welcoming, supportive environment.

I really enjoyed the way that this program pushed me outside my comfort zone while maintaining a sense of helpful encouragement. I never felt like my hand was being held, but everyone involved in this Visiting Student program really made an effort to check in on you, point you in the right directions, and make sure you were getting the most out of your experience. On top of that, the student community is incredibly welcoming--the university is fairly multicultural, so visiting students are not the only ones coming in from different countries and cultures, and full-time students really make an effort to befriend and include you. This supportive environment was very important to me while being away from home in a foreign place for an extended period of time!

Some of the specifics that you will get out of this program come from the ability to tailor your academic experience and take full advantage of all student benefits. The tutorial system allows you to handpick which areas of study you wish to explore, making for very unique learning that is completely dictated by you and your tutor. The work is, essentially, graduate-level but very rewarding, and your resources within the university are endless. Additionally, students have access to numerous lectures, talks, seminars, and other academic aids that are definitely worth taking full advantage of. Not to mention the extra-curriculars--Oxford has a ton of clubs, sports, trips, formals, dinners, common rooms, famous speakers, shows, museums, parks, and activities to partake in! In this program, you can join any of those even as a visiting student. I rowed for my college and played baseball for the university, which was really fun and a great way to make friends.

Aside from organized events through the program, living alongside the full-time students lets you have a very fun social life. It is really great to be fully immersed with them, and I made a lot of friends just by using our shared kitchen in housing, going to meals in hall together, or hanging out in my college's common room. There is definitely a work-hard, play-hard mentality--students were quick to invite me out clubbing during the week, to grab a pint at some of the local pubs, or to go to formal cocktail hours. While there are definitely a lot more champagne and black tie events mixed in than at my home university, the social scene is not lacking in the slightest!

Overall, IFSA's program at Oxford is an incredible experience. I absolutely loved my time there and am still reaping the benefits today. Not only is it a great talking point on your resume, but the skills I gained have carried into how I conduct myself every day. I am more confident, independent, and willing to throw myself into hard work. Very highly recommend it!

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
2017