I've had a large number of people ask me "why England?" or "why Oxford?" I do indeed speak French (okay, rather, I "try badly") so it would seem right down my alley to seek study in France. However, there are many reasons that I chose England, some more serious than others!
So, in no particular order:
- I have an obsession with rolling landscapes, history and old architecture.
- Sure, this is basically anywhere in Europe, but I particularly love the countryside, rolling hills and old castles of Great Britain. I think that England has an incredible history. I am a self-proclaimed 'museum/history nut' and therefore I look forward to Oxford's Bodleian library, Camera and London's many museums and historical places. The Bryn Mawr Club of Great Britain's president lives in one of the most famous historical residences in London (The Albany), right in Piccadilly square -- it fits perfectly!
- Brits drink as much tea as I do.
- Little known fact: I love tea. Probably too much. I try to drink at least two cups a day, mostly green or mint tea, though I enjoy many flavors. I also love the concept of 'afternoon tea,' which I believe Americans should adopt. Although, we'd probably eat too much anyway, just like we do at every other meal.
- I don't like really hot weather.
- This seems to fit nicely with England's climate, although I'm going to have to get used to this 'rain all the time' thing. As long as it doesn't downpour everyday, it'll be jolly good.
- They speak English.
- I think I'll stick to my native language when learning about neuropsychology, brain anatomy and the like. I can only imagine trying to learn what is already quite complex in another language.
- I have an accent obsession.
- Particularly with British accents. Literally, I think I may fall in love just by listening to my fellow students/professors/townfolk talk. My greatest hope in life is to come back to the US with a passable British accent.
- Oxford's education system rocks.
- Oxford teaches in mini-class sizes. By mini, I mean one or two students per professor per lesson. They call it a 'tutorial.' Basically, it is a one-hour intensive study of a paper that you've written on the topic of the tutorial, where you debate and learn about the topic in-depth with your professor. Not only do I love writing papers, I also don't enjoy spitting back information via test. While Oxford students ordinarily do take large examinations at the end of each trimester or year, visiting students do not have to. Even better!
- Six week breaks between trimesters.. YES.
- Oxford's system is the shortest in the world. They have three terms: Michaelmas (Oct 10-Dec 4), Hilary (Jan 16-Mar 12) and Trinity (May 1-June 25). So, note the LARGE amount of time between each term! Perfect for traveling Europe.
- IT'S OXFORD.
- I mean, seriously.
Time to pack!