Oxford Summer Study Abroad Program
Fourth-year, Public Policy Major
Paris, Munich, Rome, Florence, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Brugge, and more. Was this really happening? Was I actually going to get to visit all of these cities, cities that I had only dreamed about, and get Georgia Tech course credit for it?
It took just two minutes of a friend telling me about her experiences on the Oxford summer study abroad program to convince me of the merits of study abroad. The program, which includes four weeks of traveling with a group to eight or more different cities throughout Western Europe and six weeks studying at Oxford University, sounded like the perfect combination. Additionally, for non-resident students, participating in the summer program is less expensive than attending a semester at Techâs Atlanta campus!
During the travel segment, students take two classes, one focusing on the history of art and architecture and the other on European composers. This is a great chance to experience class outside of the classroom. Whereas traditional classes are conducted in lecture halls, Oxford travel courses take place mostly in renowned museums, concert halls, and opera houses throughout Europe.
Upon arrival in Oxford, classes switch to more major-specific courses taught by Georgia Tech professors, and weekends offer the perfect opportunity for free travel. Weekend trips, which are booked anywhere from three months to one day in advance, provide incredible opportunities to grow in independence. During my trip, we were challenged to figure out foreign train and metro stations, maneuver cities using maps (yes, paper mapsâ¦not iphones), and plan ahead, as most of us did not have cell phones.
All these challenges have proved to be some of my favorite memories of the trip. Arriving in a city, knowing I had successfully maneuvered my way by plane, train, bus, and taxi through a country where neither myself nor my travel buddies spoke the language, was a feeling of accomplishment I had never encountered before. I would be lying if I said everything went completely according to plan; however, I would also be lying if I said I didnât grow and learn from, and even enjoy, the adventure.
Through the Oxford Study Abroad Program, I was able to gather invaluable life experiences. Rafting a crystal clear river in Switzerland, cheering on Andy Roddick at the Wimbledon finals, seeing âLa Traviataâ performed in Pragueâs opera house, observing the Mona Lisa at the Lourve, and bicycling through Vienna are just a few highlights of my trip with the Oxford Program. I would recommend the program to anyone interested in getting ahead in school while, at the same time, experiencing a summer so full of excitement and adventure that it will never be forgotten.