Auf Wiederschauen Wien~ Until I See You Again, Vienna

posted in: Kiana in Austria | 0

It has been a whirlwind of an experience living for nearly five months abroad, and I still can’t get it through my head that it is ending so soon. I am busy packing, finishing finals, and reflecting on my experience here. With a few days left in Austria, I have been mentally listing what I’ll miss, what I’m excited about home and trying to predict what I will find the most different when I return home. I’ve been thinking back …

Theatre and Street Performing in the United Kingdom and the United States

posted in: Benjamin in England | 0

At the University of Oxford, I took a course on Modern British drama, which focused on plays written from the 1960s to the 2010s. I learned how straight theatre (which contains no singing or dancing) in the United Kingdom is often thematically darker than in the United States. The 1990s in Britain also witnessed the birth of “in-yer-face” theatre, an intentionally disturbing experimental genre which introduced themes designed to shock the audience. Sarah Kane’s 1995 premiere of Blasted in London caused one of the …

Being a Visiting Student at the University of Oxford

posted in: Benjamin in England | 2

  Being an international student feels very different, and I believe that my United States identity shapes much of my existence in the United Kingdom. Many Oxford students have travelled to the United States and are familiar with at least one North American city. British students typically inquire about United States politics and the country’s university system. Occasionally, I find it difficult to adjust to British culture, where people often speak more directly than in North America. From my experience, visiting students also …

A Day in the Life

posted in: Kiana in Austria | 0

The video captures my daily life in Vienna, as a student commuting to school with IES Abroad and to the internship I work for with the University of Vienna Masters Program in Human Rights. I tried to portray what life is like day to day for a student studying abroad, and show viewers some of the sights of Vienna. A huge part of life here is the public transportation— which so smooth and commonly used by everyone (I will miss …

Lack of Racial Diversity and its Implications at the University of Oxford

posted in: Benjamin in England | 0

Because there is no affirmative action (or the like) at the University of Oxford, and the fact that the majority of the undergraduate students must be British citizens (the United Kingdom is 87.2% white), the student population is overwhelming white and largely comes from privileged backgrounds. In contrast, approximately sixty percent of University of Oxford graduate students are from outside of Britain, and yet this group consists of mostly students of European descent. For instance, within the nearly 10,200 graduate students at Oxford in …

A Different Approach to Learning

posted in: Kiana in Austria | 0

I thought it would be interesting to delve into the school system in Austria, because it differs greatly from its U.S. counterpart. Here there is elementary school from age 6-10, and then at age 10 there comes a big decision that will impact the rest of the child’s life—to go onto the harder middle school and college preparatory high school and then university, or to go to the “easier” tracked middle school which will lead to a vocational high school, …

Studying in the United Kingdom – A Different Approach to Schoolwork

posted in: Benjamin in England | 0

At Oxford, I have enjoyed learning how to conduct better research and write more quickly. I love having less class time because it encourages me to explore more of campus and study in various places, including the magnificent Bodleian Library, which contains several buildings and was used in the first Harry Potter movie and the film The Golden Compass. Like all of the other colleges at Oxford, the Radcliffe Camera (one the buildings of the Bodleian) employs a strict whispering-only policy that allows little room for distraction. While Oxford is filled with …

Redefining Home: It’s Where the Heart Is

posted in: Sophie in Argentina | 1

As I sit outside on the patio on a gorgeous spring day, I am amazed at how fulfilling my three months have been. I look back on how nervous I was as I first met my host family and how slow they spoke as I first arrived. With time, I’ve learned how to make conversation, gained a connection that allows us to joke and laugh, and begun to consider what aspects of Argentinian culture have melded into my own identity …

A Short Guide to Being Polite in Austria

posted in: Kiana in Austria | 0

After spending over two months in Austria and being more than halfway through my study abroad experience, I thought it’d be fitting to describe some of the social norms in Austrian and Viennese society more broadly. The main underlying theme seems to be efficiency—though Austrians claim to be the most “laid-back” of German-speaking countries, and while the stereotype of precise timeliness does not quite hold up (many of my professors are happily late, some trains even don’t run quite on …

My Life in the United Kingdom – A New Perspective on College

posted in: Benjamin in England | 0

While great pressure lies upon most United States college students to join extracurricular activities (and seek leadership roles in these organizations), the expectation for students at Oxford to participate in clubs and societies does not exist to nearly the same extent. Because of this difference, people seem to genuinely enjoy the activities that they pursue outside of academics at Oxford. This detail appears to promote a healthy balance of work and fun. Sports are also much less “serious” at British universities than …

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