Jolly Old England

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Well, I arrived in Oxford on Monday. The bus dropped the Worchester College kids off first, and their tour guide wanted them to look around and get their luggage later, so the bus had to wait a while. We walked to St. Edmund Hall to get our keys, then the bus met us and dropped us at our various residences.

It took forever to get to my place. It's a 20 minute walk from the college. I've been told it's about a mile. The other places are a 10 minute walk from the college in the other direction. Since many of the streets in the center of Oxford have been "pedestrianized" (closed to vehicles), it's a 10 mile journey around the city to get from the other places to here. A couple of the girls were freaking out about it, as they thought we were going to have to travel that far to get the college.

Despite being twice as far from the college as the others, this place is really nice. Granted, some of them apparently have really sweet suites at the Isis Hotel (which is used as a hotel in the summer). Others at the William Miller building have full bathrooms en suite (meaning in their room). We're close to the big University park, so that's pretty cool.

There was nobody to meet us here when the bus dropped us off and there was supposed to be, so the same two girls started freaking out again. The one called the Butler office and they called a guy who came over here. He was the same guy we met with back in London. It was nice he came, as he showed us an alternate route to the college that goes through the park, but we could've figured that out on our own too.

The biggest differences between here and U.S. universities are:

1) They treat you like a complete adult here. I've said that US universities treat you like an adult, but during orientation, they really babysit you. You have group leaders, mixers, etc. Here, you're really just dropped in and off you go.

2) The Universities here are not service-oriented. They are more selective about who gets in and since the cost of attendence is almost entirely* government subsidized, student here treat it as a privilege, not a product/service they're paying for.

* Until recently, University was completely free to UK students. Now it's £1000 a year, and there's talk of raising that (or maybe they have for students that start next year or something) to £3000. Still, that'd only be a little over $5,000 a year. That's less than US public schools, and when you consider the level of education you get at a place like Oxford, you'd really have to compare it to an Ivy League school, or AT LEAST a private school.

On the negative side, the JCR (think student association) members aren't as organized here as they are in the U.S. And yes, there is a difference between structured (which is a different point of view) and organized (which really reflects effort, etc.).

Overall, of course, it's been great so far. This is an interesting and beautiful city, as well, so who could complain. Next to our college is the oldest coffee shop in Oxford, and probably in Europe (which probably means the world). It's like 351 years old.

One of the oldest churches in the city is our library. Walking to it from the college, at least the entrance we end up using all the time, involves walking through a small graveyard. It's really interesting.

The college here is a LOT bigger than you'd think from the outside. It's all walled in, and blends into the city as well. Even when you walk in, you only see the Front Quad (with the forbidden grass). You have to pass through another doorway in the stone buildings to get to the major portion of the college. We apparently have the largest hall in Oxford University, which we use as a dining hall and for parties.

I have been really busy and haven't taken any pictures of Oxford since I got here. On the plus side, I'm keeping up with the Fresher's Week activities, the blogging, e-mail, phone calls, etc. and still managed to find time to fully unpack and setup my room. I'll take some pictures when I get a moment.


  • hi nrichey it kenny again and i know who said richard it was jared to let u know

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:55 PM  

  • lol its fun just talking to u i hope it all goes good over there :) and take back phots all of them make any friends yet oh nvm u had lol so well this so far took a wile to write lol well have u played runescape it fun trust me try it or habbo thats fun too well if u get time try to play those :) byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee man u letus have a lot to write sorry for putting it all in one sentence lol well gess not bye go to miniclip to mortherload thats fun

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:00 PM  

  • I like your pics.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:55 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home