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That special Oxford experience

Nidhi Singh  

Making it to the oldest and one of the best universities in the English-speaking world is a dream come true for any student across the world. What makes Oxford distinct from other universities is the variety of institutions — 38 colleges that are a part of the university. It does not have a main campus and is scattered throughout the heart of the city. When I reached Oxford, it took me sometime to understand its institutional structure, given its complexities.

I was admitted to the Lincoln College, which is the ninth oldest college in Oxford University.

The course I was admitted to was MSc in Law and Finance with an intake of only 45 students from across the world. As it had maths and economics, being a lawyer, I initially found it difficult adjusting to the standard of education, which is rigorous. It challenges the intellectual acumen of an individual. A typical day of a student here comprises tutorials, seminars, lectures and guest speakers. The tutorial system is one of the most interesting, and has a distinct pedagogy of teaching wherein students are expected to write an essay or solve a problem before coming to class. The standard of these write-ups are expected to be quite high as the professors usually evaluate them. Coming from a different system of education, it took me some time to meet the demand here. The course makes you think, which is the best part of studying here.

Last year, I was awarded three full scholarships including Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarship, British Chevening Scholarship and University of Oxford (MLF) Scholarship. The scholarship programme that I chose — Weidenfeld-Hoffmann — enriched my experience as it is a leadership scholarship. Apart from my regular studies, the Weidenfeld team trained select scholars from various parts of the world, throughout the year, to become leaders in their home country.

Oxford is a beautiful city. You would want to wake up everyday to the soothing sound of church bells in an English country. With diverse people, the English way of dining and their rich culture is a fulfilling experience. Though Oxford is expensive, the faculty and the staff are supportive and encouraging. The number of museums, parks, chapels and different colleges add to the city’s charm.

Oxford taught me a number of things. I saw students not being hooked to their books all the time. People are social. Time management is one of the best skills that I could develop while studying here. It is a place where people lay a lot of emphasis on fitness. You can see people running even at 11 at night! They take steps to de-stress themselves from the heavy workload.

I found myself both challenged and motivated at Oxford, as one is expected to be creative in thought process and perform under immense pressure.

Oxford has helped me appreciate the beauty of diversity, socialise, work hard and be creative.

The writer is a graduate in MSc in Law and Finance (2015-2016) as a Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholar from University of Oxford.


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Printable version | Oct 13, 2021 1:18:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/That-special-Oxford-experience/article16668314.ece

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