Oxford So Far...

Oxford Travel Blog

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The main quad. The grass is scared. No, really- it is.
So I guess it's about time that I write a little bit about Oxford, which is my home until August 5th!

We are staying at Worcester College, one of the 30-something colleges that compose Oxford University. The whole town is strikingly beautiful, but the college campus is absolutely gorgeous. There are gardens everwhere and perfectly green grass. A pond wraps around the back of the campus with huge fish. Large, old trees canopy the lawns and walkways. I really can't do it justice with words, but it is lush and wonderful. And of course, the buildings are charmingly old- some even date back to the 13th century!

I admit, I was a little disappointed with my dorm at first- it is a more 'modern' one from the 60s era (we would call that old in America!) but it is spacious and has the modern convienences, especially because it has a shower- most people only have bathes in their dorms!

The food is amazing, as we get a full English breakfast and a 3 course dinner served to us during the week.
More of the quad.
I can honestly say that I don't know when I'll ever eat this well again, and I feel that I am pretty good and skilled at cooking. For lunch, I buy small groceries and make my own food. The grocery store here is very nice, and pretty much what you'd find in America.

I have two classes in the morning that run from 8-11. They aren't bad at all, but they also aren't incredibly interesting. For most people, even including me a little bit, the classes are basically something we must do everyday so that we can be here enjoying Europe! But I'm learning ethics, which will definitely be useful to my career.

It is so strange because after class is over, I literally have nothing else that I have to do all day! I am not used to this after the travel portion of running around everwhere and it is certainly different from my schedule in Atlanta, where I would have class, work, meetings, a workout, and homework all in one day! So for the first week, I spent most of the day in my room and that was too depressing- so I'm making more use of my time.
This building was the original, dating back to the 13th century.
For one thing, the weather was really horrible when we first got here. It was so bad that even the locals commented on it- cold and rainy. Not what I would want for the middle of summer. But it has warmed up now, so I usually try to venture out into town, read by the gardens, or go for a run. I'm really enjoying this relaxing schedule as I know I will be running around with my head cut off until my next break as soon as my plane lands in Atlanta. But I still have enough to keep me busy between classwork here and stuff to do for what's going on back in Atlanta and at Tech.

I definitely look forward to checking out Oxford and trying to do random things in the afternoon! Today I walked over to a bookstore called Blackwell's. Let me preface this by saying that I love bookstores- they are my favorite places to go in and wander, and I have done that in every city that I've been in.
The main walkway and entrance to the college.
Blackwell's is a very old company that started here in Oxford and the store has grown to be the largest bookstore in Europe (I think- though my source may be incorrect). It was so amazing! I easily spent a few hours there between all their levels that strechted multiple levels and underneath a college lawn. It was literally everything I dreamed of when for the "perfect bookstore." (Like I said, I've always liked bookstores- especially as a kid. Nerdy I know) What's more is that a friend recommended a book to me that is fairly rare and he was almost certain no one in Europe would have it- but I walked into Blackwell's and there is was! Amazing.

So Oxford is beautiful and I'm going to get myself out during the week to enjoy it while I can, but yet I don't feel like I have to run around and see everything like I did during the travel portion.
Gardens along the buildings
Some random things I've noticed about the being here:

1. The whole left side of the road still kills me! Or it has come close to, I suppose... I get soooo confused when crossing the street and it is really bad when I'm running. I've gotten to the point now that I don't even try to figure it out so I just look everywhere several times. My head is turning frantically in both directions that I look so ridiculous that it must be very obvious that I'm not from here. In the streets in London though, they have it marked "Look Left" or "Look Right". Ha, I love it.

2. I really enjoy listening to the British accents. I think it's so charming. But the only problem is, often times the person will have a really thick accent, and I can't understand them! So here's someone speaking English to me, and I literally have no idea what they are saying.
Oh man, I feel so bad that I stop asking "excuse me, what?" and just start saying "yeah".

3. The UK just imposed this smoking ban on cigarettes so people basically can't smoke anywhere. Not sure exactly what the stipulations are, but I know they're strict and make it very hard and rare to smoke in public. It's interesting because the people are really struggling with it. I've overheard several people talking about it and their complaints and you see people sneaking them (or not trying to hide it at all) everywhere.

4. They are fairly welcoming of Americans here. For one thing, a lot of other American universities have study abroad programs here at the various colleges, including UGA, which kind of ruins the effect. But we hardly see them. But it is really fun when they ask you where you're fun and when I respond "Atlanta, United States" (which just sounds odd without the "Georgia") they usually know where it is!
diisha392 says:
Thanks for this post; I enjoyed reading it and remembering the week I spent at Oxford while in school.
Posted on: Jul 16, 2007
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The main quad. The grass is scared…
The main quad. The grass is scare…
More of the quad.
More of the quad.
This building was the original, da…
This building was the original, d…
The main walkway and entrance to t…
The main walkway and entrance to …
Gardens along the buildings
Gardens along the buildings
Beautiful grassy lawn
Beautiful grassy lawn
View of the pond.
View of the pond.
Another view of the pond.
Another view of the pond.
The ducks! They are often outside …
The ducks! They are often outside…
My dorm!
My dorm!
My room- excuse the mess!
My room- excuse the mess!
Oxford
photo by: petit_gooroo