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An Encomium of Oxford

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An Encomium of Oxford

Postby vinobrien » Tue Aug 12, 2003 10:30 am

Following on from Why Latin?, Episcopus and Keesa both asked about Oxford. Raya may have heard all this before but here goes.<br /><br />I studied English Language and Literature at Keble College Oxford and enjoyed every moment. Oxford is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and one of the best resourced places to study. Keble is a large, Victorian, coloured-brick edifice to the north of the centre. It was an all-male, drinking-and-rowing college when I was there. I didn't row, but the beer was cheap. Almost all the colleges accept both boys and girls now.<br /><br />Oxford is unlike other universities in that teaching is tutorial rather than lecture based and you have to apply to a college not to the Universtiy. You should do some detective work before applying, find out about the different colleges, who teaches there and what their interests are because your college tutors, the Dons, are the ones you will be taught by for most of your time at Oxford. Dons are often nearly human and will respond positively to, sometimes even welcome, contact from candidates before they apply or come for interview as it shows interest.<br /><br />As I understand it, Classics at Oxford has changed over the years as a result of changes in the UK education system - it now has a lot more options in history and philosophy, and consequently less focus on Latin and Greek language, than in the past. However, they do not take real beginners and insist that the embryonic Classicist should have passed basic courses in both languages and be advanced in one at least. There are a number of summer schools that can prepare undergrads to the proper level before they start if their Latin or Greek is not up to scratch.<br /><br />I still go to Oxford regularly as I live about 40 minutes away and have Greek tutorials there. <br />
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby Keesa » Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:36 am

It sounds so wonderful! I've been looking over their website (www.ox.ac.uk/) and learning about all their various colleges-the tutorial system I was already a little bit familiar with, and it's one of my biggest reasons for wanting to go there! (Other than the setting, the scenery, the fact that it's in England, etc., of course. ;D) <br /><br />For an American student with American test scores and almost no money whatsoever, would you say that it's better to apply to Oxford as an undergraduate, or to start college here in the States and transfer (which I'd really rather not do, even if it is feasible) or get my first four years of college here and later apply as a graduate student? <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby vinobrien » Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:58 am

It's a difficult one and honestly I would suggest that you get in touch with the Tutor for Admissions at one of the colleges. Generally switching is not a good idea as course credits between countries are rarely possible. <br /><br />I can only say that I remember there being very few American undergraduates but a lot of American graduates which suggests that both entrance and the availability of funds are geared towards graduate entry.<br /><br />I do think that finding a Don at one of the colleges and harrying him until he coughs up the necessary information is a good idea and will break the ice for any interviews you may have.
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby Keesa » Tue Aug 12, 2003 12:07 pm

Thanks so much! I've wondered about that for a long time now-since I was about seven, I think. ;D And thanks to Textkit, I should be fluent in at least one of the classical languages before too long...<br /><br />Keesa
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby Episcopus » Tue Aug 12, 2003 4:03 pm

Is it just that you wish to go to Oxford for its name? <br />Indeed there are many excellent establishments elsewhere.<br /><br /><br />Myself I am going to the Vatican for some hands on experience ;D <br />
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby Raya » Tue Aug 12, 2003 9:55 pm

Look into the individual colleges, Keesa - I don't think any of them offer scholarships to first-years (although Magdalen says something about having "a history of students who create their own scholarships" - hmm), but many of them do mention having financial support available. I do wonder how far that would apply to us international students, though...<br /><br />There is, by the way, a Classics course for those who have never had the chance to study classical languages before - Literae Humaniores II (as opposed to Lit Hum I). However, even if you're accepted on that they will insist that you get yourself up to a certain level in the language before the course begind - I was recommended a certain 2-week summer school in Bryanston, which is apparently taught by J. Morwood (who is in charge of the classical language teaching at Oxford)...
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby klewlis » Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:18 pm

hey Keesa,<br /><br />all but two of my best college profs did their phd's at Oxford, so I imagine that says something about the quality of education (or at least the quality of the students!). However, it may be advisable to wait... do your undergrad in the US somewhere (I hear Kentucky has a fantastic Latin program) and then go to Oxford for graduate or doctoral studies. There are plenty of great universities in the US which will be a lot less expensive than Oxford will, and you can then be sure to have all of the language requirements to move on to higher studies.
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby Keesa » Wed Aug 13, 2003 12:29 am

[quote author=Episcopus link=board=6;threadid=451;start=0#3690 date=1060704217]<br />Is it just that you wish to go to Oxford for its name? <br />Indeed there are many excellent establishments elsewhere.<br /><br /><br />Myself I am going to the Vatican for some hands on experience ;D <br /><br />[/quote]<br /><br />Nope. It's not just the name, but the graduates and the tutorial system. C. S. Lewis, for example, studied there, and he is one of my favorite writers. <br /><br />However, C.S. Lewis isn't the only reason I want to attend. I love the idea of the tutorial system they use there, and I love the English culture. I also happen to love England, and I regard it as one of the most beautiful places on earth. I'm sure many people would disagree with me, of course; that's just my opinion. <br /><br />As far as the Vatican goes, I've heard that it's beautiful, too, and I hope you enjoy it! <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby bingley » Wed Aug 13, 2003 2:14 am

Keesa, something you might want to consider. When I was at university (Lancaster), there were quite a few students from the US on a Junior Year Abroad scheme. If I remember rightly that was their 3rd year of university study, but they were finding our first-year courses a real struggle.
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby Keesa » Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:14 am

[quote author=bingley link=board=6;threadid=451;start=0#3751 date=1060740885]<br />Keesa, something you might want to consider. When I was at university (Lancaster), there were quite a few students from the US on a Junior Year Abroad scheme. If I remember rightly that was their 3rd year of university study, but they were finding our first-year courses a real struggle.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />To tell you the truth, I am not surprised. I do not think much of the education system here in America (another good reason to go to England!) and if the university students studied in a public school before going on to university, they may have picked up a mindset that seems to be prevalent among high school students, at least in my area, and which is very anti-learning. <br /><br />I am not saying that your courses would be a snap to me because I'm homeschooled, but their difficulty is not going to slow me in any way. I am better prepared, I think, for courses that are many yards over my head, than public school students would be. <br /><br />If the courses are as difficult as you suggest, I look forward to it! <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby Episcopus » Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:18 am

[quote author=Keesa link=board=6;threadid=451;start=0#3740 date=1060734545]<br /><br />Nope. It's not just the name, but the graduates and the tutorial system. C. S. Lewis, for example, studied there, and he is one of my favorite writers. <br /><br />However, C.S. Lewis isn't the only reason I want to attend. I love the idea of the tutorial system they use there, and I love the English culture. I also happen to love England, and I regard it as one of the most beautiful places on earth. I'm sure many people would disagree with me, of course; that's just my opinion. <br /><br /><br />Keesa<br />[/quote]<br /><br />The England beautiful thing is a unique comment ;) I have been to all parts of England and the nicest place for me is The Wye river: Hay-On-Wye, Ross-On-Wye; I was coming back from Alton Towers ;D and it was late evening: misty, mysterious dark quiet yet green and beautiful. Only a few farm houses scattered about. Oxford isn't really beautiful though. And the whole of England generally compared to somewhere like France is not too nice.<br />If Tolkien were still at Oxford I would go there also!<br /><br />For my two A-Level years I'll be doing 4 A Levels (not allowed 5) and also hopefully doing Latin on my own. There is nothing for Latin round here! :'( It's all Welsh :'( :'( :'(<br /><br />
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby Keesa » Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:31 am

Are you a fan of Tolkien, too? I love his work! I am perhaps the only person I know (so far!) who read, understood and enjoyed the Silmarillion at age eleven. His knack for languages inspired me, and I even made my own language at one point-a language that now, several years later, seems hopelessly childish and inane. Perhaps I'll try again sometimes soon, now that I have a better idea of what goes into a language! <br /><br />I still think England is beautiful. Even the cities hold a sort of fascination for me, although I'm not quite sure I would go so far as to call them beautiful. <br /><br />Also, I like Welsh... ;D<br /><br />Keesa
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby Episcopus » Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:50 am

[quote author=Keesa link=board=6;threadid=451;start=0#3786 date=1060774270]<br />Also, I like Welsh... ;D<br /><br />Keesa<br />[/quote]<br /><br />No you don't. Really you don't.
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Re:An Encomium of Oxford

Postby Keesa » Wed Aug 13, 2003 12:03 pm

Don't worry. It will be easier for you to accept the fact that I like Welsh once you've learned that my mind is completely strange. I like it-I really do! I like to listen to it being spoken (I can't speak it myself) and I like to listen to Welshmen speak English. I like it! <br /><br />Keesa
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