Studia na Oxfordzie!- Relacja Violi!
Reflections on my undergraduate degree! :)
Having completed a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford in 2020, it feels strange watching millions go back to school or university this September – and for the first time in 15 years, to not be one of them. This is therefore a great time to reflect on the past three years that I spent at Oxford.
At Oxford and Cambridge, every student is a part of a ‘college’. These serve as halls of residence, so you do your laundry and have your bedroom in these buildings, but they are also places of academic study. What the latter means in practice is that you only need to walk 5 minutes to get to your classes!
My home was St Hugh’s College, which has gorgeous, sprawling gardens and not one but two college cats. This was where I made my first friends, where I cooked and attended fancy-dress dinner events, and where my friends and I listened to Bastille’s Pompeii while fireworks exploded overhead during our biannual ball.
Teaching happens through lectures and tutorials; the latter are discussions with 1-2 other students and a professor on a topic you wrote an essay or submitted a problem sheet on. These are intense but very enjoyable conversations, and I have fond memories of discussions about a variety of topics, from the types of utilitarianism to the international political economy of Latin America.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the libraries. Oxford has over a hundred (!) libraries, ranging from the ones in colleges to the subject-specific ones. Personally, I found myself spending a lot of time in the Social Science Library when writing my thesis, but my favourite one is the Radcliffe Camera, or Rad Cam for short, pictured below.
Oxford has hundreds of extracurricular clubs and societies! :)) On the academic side, leading experts in just about every subject regularly visit the city, and I personally got involved in, and eventually led, the International Development and International Relations societies. I also regularly attended ‘wine and cheese’ events organized by the French (of course) society, events by the LGBTQ+ society, and I studied Japanese at the university’s language center. There truly are all sorts of sports, theatre, nationality-based and art-based societies.
With a population of 150,000 people excluding students, Oxford is full of cafes, restaurants, clubs, ice cream parlours, parks, cinemas and much, much more. There’s never a dull moment in the city!
From my home in my college to academics and social life, I enjoyed just about every aspect of my degree. I specialized in the political economy of development and graduated with First Class Honours, and am now gaining work experience in the field for a few years, after which I plan to pursue a master’s degree in international development.
I leave Oxford with over 70 essays saved on my computer, friends who I cherish enormously, and wonderful memories that will stay with me for life! :))))