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UGA at Oxford - SPIA Spring Semester : Testimonials (Oxford)

The following program testimonial responses have been selected for publication by Education Abroad
Final Reflection Questions
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
I learned how to convey my thoughts more clearly in my writing, and how to argue my opinions one-on-one with my professors. Learning at Oxford takes a great deal of outside work and preparation, and my work ethic has certainly improved. I think my most valuable takeaway, however, has been the appreciation of a different culture and feeling at home in another nation. Learning so much about the opinions, politics, and customs of another people has made me a more cultured and cognizant person, and also much more appreciative of Smiths lyrics.
— Harper Bridges, Spring 2017
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
I think the new relationships formed with my tutorials were the most impactful thing from this trip. Being able to actually open to them and take my work to the next level was very important to me.
— Louis Conde, Spring 2017
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
The most significant take-away from my experience studying through UGA at Oxford was that there really is no limit to what we as individuals can achieve when we partner alongside others. Professors' willingness to essentially serve as my support team in reaching my fullest potential academically has significantly impacted how I go about research, communicate with professionals in my field, and work to make a difference in my area of influence. Faculty and staff with the UGA at Oxford program have made it possible for me to connect with those professors and experts in the field and gain extensive knowledge only available at Oxford thus making their partnership a pivotal aspect of my academic career. Ultimately, studying through UGA at Oxford taught me that absolutely nothing is impossible when we really work together.
— Anna Davidson, Spring 2017
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
It's a course that will push you, and potentially launch you into the wide open fields of whatever you choose to study. It's a lot of work, but it's manageable, and most importantly, it makes the learning a challenge and a resource, rather than a burden.
— Josiah Johnson, Spring 2017
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
My Oxford experience taught me a lot, and more than in an academic sense. Along with being one of the most challenging mental experiences in school, it was also a stretch to fully dive into the new culture which we were placed into. Not that England gave me a culture shock in the same scale as China or South Africa would, but in the sense that England was a new place outside of my zone of familiarity. Making Oxford a home took intentionality, boldness, and a willingness to leave the comfort which is easy to cling to- but it was so rewarding. Knowing the city as a home rather than a place I visited for a few months took effort, but I learned that what is hard is often what is best. It was extremely rewarding to make myself go out and explore when tired, meet new people when feeling introverted, and to really grow roots in the experience I was placed.
— Adriana Portal, Spring 2017
What are your words of advice to students considering this program?
If I could offer advice to future UGA at Oxford students, it would be that this is the chance of a lifetime to learn (not to party) and develop incredible relationships at one of the world's finest universities- one that you only have access to for a finite period of time. So make the most of every moment by actively seeking out opportunities to expand your knowledge in your area of interest (its entirely possible that the authors of the books you study are right here on Oxford's campus and readily available to share their knowledge with you- mine were and did!). Scarcely a day goes by in Oxford when someone who is a world-renowned expert is not speaking at an event which only Oxford students and professors can attend- go! Take every advantage of your time here because it is an incredible gift of which numerous others can only dream.
— Anna Davidson, Spring 2017
What are your words of advice to students considering this program?
Go! This study abroad was one of the best experiences of my life. The program is directed by wonderful individuals who carry a next-level care for their students and their experience. The city of Oxford is magical. And the courses are equally challenging and mind-blowing. You'll experience growth in probably all areas of your life and make some life-long friends all the while!
— Adriana Portal, Spring 2017
How did the experience impact you and your future educational/career/personal goals?
I want to move to England after my time in Oxford; having a more global perspective has encouraged me to look beyond America's borders at the careers open to me. I have never felt more changed by any experience - I am more efficient and motivated in my studies and more aware of what goes on outside of my country. I learned how to assimilate into a different culture and wish to do that again in my life.
— Harper Bridges, Spring 2017
How did the experience impact you and your future educational/career/personal goals?
I think taking this away, I am now even more prepared to take on my Masters and possibly DPhil somewhere in Oxford. I have grown as a person tremendously over my 2 study abroad trips, and I cannot thank the programs enough for everything they do for us.
— Louis Conde, Spring 2017
How did the experience impact you and your future educational/career/personal goals?
The UGA at Oxford experience significantly impacted my idea of the process between realizing what needs to happen and achieving it. When your strengths compliment my weaknesses and vice versa, our individual efforts to achieve certain goals completely re-characterize into something greater and make the impossible a reality. This realization revolutionized my thinking in international relations (my area of study) because too often we attempt to impose our ideas of what should happen upon others when their partnership could prove to be the missing ingredient in achieving what is best for both of us. This new way of thinking that I learned at Oxford has impacted every aspect of my life; I constantly look to meet and learn from others who can turn my weaknesses into strengths while seeking out ways my skills and experiences can be valuable assets for them, too. When my classmates or coworkers share an idea that I have never heard or disagree with but that may help all of us, I take time to consider their idea, ask questions, and figure out a solution together that we all consider a win-win. Therefore, my goal of working with an organization to strengthen and enhance its partnerships both locally and abroad was positively transformed when I witnessed everyone at Oxford working together on even the most difficult endeavors; international relations professors convening weekly to share research and ideas, students discussing aspects of certain topics and their solutions, the authors of books and articles for my classes referencing eachother's works and bouncing off others' ideas, even the Oxford colleges are a series of essential teammates in making Oxford the best university in the world. After studying through UGA at Oxford and discovering the true meaning of partnerships, I believe this concept is not being adequately applied to the majority of international relations efforts; therefore, I have dedicated my life's work to helping those within my areas of influence reach their fullest potentials by initiating, strengthening, and taking full advantage of every opportunity to partner with others in achieving the impossible together.
— Anna Davidson, Spring 2017
How did the experience impact you and your future educational/career/personal goals?
It definitely broadened how I think about governmental development policy. Taking in so much information and sources helps you understand perspectives that have pushed me to function futuristically with a broad mindset. I definitely want to come back a few terms from now, perhaps even do grad school at Oxford.
— Josiah Johnson, Spring 2017
How did the experience impact you and your future educational/career/personal goals?
This experience empowered me to truly believe that I'm capable of following any dreams I may have, including personal desires to travel and see the world and career goals to make an impact in it.
Oxford was the perfect experience to encourage a new enthusiasm in me to work harder, dream more, and appreciate the present.
— Adriana Portal, Spring 2017
How did the experience impact you and your future educational/career/personal goals?
Traveling by myself and with the program gave me more confidence in the little day to day things I do now. You'll hate coming back to suburbia when its over, but it is still so worth it.
— Caitlin Rueden, Spring 2017