Worcester College, University of Oxford.

I’m headed to Worcester College in Oxford, England!

The day is finally here! I am headed to Worcester College in Oxford, England with the UA @ Oxford program today! I have been looking forward to this day for a very long time, and the preparation has been exhausting yet exhilarating. I’ve traveled abroad once before, so this will not be my first overnight plane ride. However, I am a little nervous about flying today given the recent craziness at airports (crazy TSA lines, delays, cancellations, etc.). With only an hour layover in Atlanta before taking off towards Heathrow in London, I am definitely a little worried about a potential delay for my first flight (Huntsville to Atlanta). I am sure everything will be fine, regardless. I had no issues with packing, which is surprising, considering that I am a chronic over-packer (but aren’t we all?). 

So, why did I choose the UA @ Oxford program? How did I know it was the right study abroad program for me? Those are a few questions that I’ve received since committing to UA @ Oxford. As a German minor, I had always imagined that, if I got the chance to study abroad, I would choose a German-speaking country. For two years, I looked for programs in those few countries, attended study abroad fairs, emailed professors who had led the trips, and talked to students who had experienced them. I was lucky enough to travel to Germany after my senior year in high school, and I absolutely fell in love with the scenic country. However, I knew that I wanted to broaden my horizons on my study abroad, and I began to realize that a program in Germany might not feel new to me. When COVID hit in 2020, I felt so discouraged and had basically given up on my dream of studying abroad. But as the vaccines rolled out and cases began to drop, I discovered the UA @ Oxford program last year. It felt like perfect timing. University of Alabama faculty-led, interesting classes in English, History, and Fine Arts, AND at one of the most beautiful and historical universities in the world? Sign me up! Everything clicked into place, especially as I heard testimonies from students who went and LOVED the program. I couldn’t imagine experiencing my study abroad anywhere else, and I am extremely excited to get to know everyone who made the same decision as me.

I am taking two classes this month: UH 229: The Arts of Oxford and EN 311: Black Sails and the Real Pirates of the Caribbean. The Honors class (Arts of Oxford) will consist of walking tours, seeing plays, exploring museums, and experiencing the beautiful town of Oxford. To prepare for this class, we were assigned ten short readings to annotate before the trip. The readings centered around the history of Oxford, and I am SO glad to have learned more about the different colleges and influential figures that stood in the very halls that I will visit! The English class (Pirates) sounds absolutely intriguing. We will study the connections between the modern-day pirates seen in popular media (such as Black Sails and The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) and the real Caribbean pirates during the 17th and 18th centuries. Both of these classes sound amazing, and I am so excited to learn more about the subjects!

I can’t wait to update this blog and document my time at the University of Oxford. The fact that the trip is actually happening is kind of blowing my mind, considering the study abroad cancellations last year due to COVID. But, here I am! Follow along on my journey to the historic city of Oxford!