Study Abroad for FLI Students- A British Perspective

First Generation and low-income (FLI) students are everywhere. That statement is as obvious as it is simple; yet, it is indicative of the diversity of FLI students and their experiences worldwide. More often than not while at QMUL, I have encountered students who are FLI as well as faculty and staff. Despite the prevalence of those that identify as FLI at QMUL, few wanted to discuss their experiences with me for my blog and many explicitly expressed a discomfort with …

Attending a British University – Acclimating to a New Vocabulary and Class Structure

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Having returned to the United States for winter break, I miss the beautiful architecture of the University of Oxford and the city’s eclectic coffee shops. Much of the Oxford campus dates back to a thousand years ago, and the entire area is decidedly pedestrian-friendly. During my first term at Oxford, I was surprised by the enormous differences in the vocabulary in the United Kingdom, as not even the greetings are the same as in North America: informal salutations feature “hiya,” and “heya.” People in the …

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

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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 …

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

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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 …

Diversity and Culture Shock in the United Kingdom

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While I expected to experience many cultural differences in the United Kingdom, Britain’s distinctive culture has continued to shock me since flying over the Atlantic. During my first night in London, I witnessed several inebriated friends wrestling on the street as well as a group of men gleefully cursing at one another right outside an upscale hotel. While these people might have been non-British tourists, there seems to exist a higher tolerance for drunken behavior and public profanity in the United Kingdom. The enormous …