Oxford Abroad Spotlight: Emma C. Savoie

Emma overlooking the city of Oxford, England.

Headmaster of Hogwarts Albus Dumbledore once said, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” Going to Oxford University has been one of my dreams since I was little, and I cannot believe I am actually here, no longer just dwelling on, but actually living my dream. From the spires of Christ Church College, to the Great Hall, to the rigorous one-on-one tutorials and the nuanced history of the school, Oxford has met and exceeded all my expectations.

My favorite experience so far has been travelling. The OSAP program organizes several trips, and we were able to explore the Medieval Warwick Castle and Westminster at London. One of my tutorials is English Architecture, and I especially love seeing how the designs I have been studying and reconstructing fit into the buildings around England. In addition, the resources at Oxford for each of my tutorials have been incredible. I love reading in the Bodleian Libraries, especially my college library, Trinity College. All the Architecture styles I am studying, Classical, Gothic, and Norman, are present right around Oxford, and so I can go and actually see these styles and draw them on location.

The tutorials have been incredible. It is such a unique experience to get to discuss, ask questions of, and learn from an expert in your field in a setting where you get their undivided attention. I’ve written essays, constructed drawings and plans, researched, and engaged in discussion on so many topics I am interested in, and I am so grateful to the UT honors program for giving me this opportunity!

Oxford – Nicole Rothmeyer

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Things are going great over here in Oxford. The tutorials I am taking are Community Ecology and Marine Vertebrate Zoology and I love both of them. With my Community Ecology tutorial, my tutor is having me do research to study the distribution of two butterflies that are native to the UK. We are using mathematical models to determine if distance affects the competition between the species. In my marine vertebrate zoology tutorial, some of the topics I have explored are life in the deep sea and how the vertebrates have evolved to live in the sea. My tutors push me to think outside the box or in my case, think outside the submarine, to make connections that I had never even begun to think about.

In addition to school, I have been able to do a few extracurricular activities as well. I took a trip to London to visit Westminister. I was able to see the Abbey, Trafalgar Square, and the beautiful Buckingham Palace. I also have taken a trip to visit Cambridge, which is also known as “the other place” to see how it differs from the bustling city of Oxford. While there is a competition between which University is better, I think both have qualities that make them equally great.

One thing that is great about Oxford (and many of the cities in the UK) is that most of the museums are free, so when I need to take a quick break from studying I can pop into a museum without having to spend the whole day there. My favorite museum I have visited so far is the History of Science museum. They have a wide variety of different tools they used to study Science, Mathematics, and Physics in prior times and they show how the tools developed into the ones we use today.

My favorite extracurricular I have done so far while here in Oxford is joining the rowing team at Christ Church. I should inform you that I have never done rowing before coming here, so it was a very tough few practices (and many sore days after) as I had to learn how to row from scratch and my body had to adjust to using different muscles. However, I have loved the challenge of learning this new skill and it has been a great way to meet the people in my college and get away from my studies.

This experience so far has been unbelievable and I have to keep reminding myself that this is in fact real life.

Oxford – Nicholas Rivera

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While at Oxford, I have studied Anglo-Saxon military and religious history, covering overlordship in the early Middle Ages, kings such as Alfred and Athelstan, saints such as Bede and Hilda of Whitby, and (my favorite) the changes in swords over the course of the six-hundred-year period. I also took the time to make as many friends as I could, whether they be fellow Americans with the WISC program (who dubbed me “Sword Nick” to differentiate me from the other three Nicks) or other Oxford students. I soon joined the pistol club, generally using air pistols but I also learned to use rifles as well. I even managed to get into a Victorian ball! Being here has been an unforgettable experience with some of the best days of my college career.