Cheers, Oxford! Hello, New York.

teaI start too many posts by saying it’s been too long since I last wrote. In this case, it really has been much too long. Since my previous post, I finished my year at Oxford, and though I wasn’t doing a lot more than I had done in other terms, Trinity was very hectic, mostly for personal reasons. Since I’m still processing the experience, as it’s a big one, I intend to write one or two post-mortems about studying abroad once I’ve settled in a bit more. There’s a lot I want to say–I just have to find the time to say (write) it. For now, I’ll focus on my adjustment from Oxford to NYC. Continue reading

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Swiss Road Trip

IMG_0969After Spain, the last leg of my grand spring break began. From Nimes, France, Sonja, her mom, and I began our road trip through Switzerland earlier than anticipated because of an unforeseen circumstance: Sonja rolled her ankle thanks to the high sidewalks in Nimes, and was prescribed crutches and some weird-looking compression socks. So after one stressful day in France and another for recovery, we piled into her mom’s blue stick-shift for a few days of driving through the Alps. Continue reading

From Austria to Czechia

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Church of St. Barbara in Kutna Hora (and me!)

Greetings from Barcelona! It’s now been over two weeks since I left Oxford for my epic European spring break extravaganza. That means I’m halfway home! Having seen five countries and seven cities in just 15 days, I’m glad I didn’t choose to continue traveling for the entire five/six week break. It’s incredible to see parts of the world that are new to me, but fatigue is setting in, and I’m looking forward to slowing down for a bit back in the US. First, though, a recap on the second half of the first leg of my journey–confusing, I know. From Budapest, we went to Vienna and Prague. Did you know that the Czech Republic changed its English name to Czechia? Apparently, a lot of the people who live there didn’t know either, so you’re not alone. Continue reading

Halfway Point

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The British Museum in London

Despite my impressive productivity at the beginning of the term, I let half of Hilary go by before writing another post. Though the initial burst of energy has waned, it hasn’t disappeared completely. I have, though my infrequent social media updates might suggest otherwise, still been getting out and doing fun things here in Oxford. As we are entering week six of term two, I’ve now completed over half of my abroad year! Oh, how the time flies. Here’s what I’ve been up to in the last few weeks. Continue reading

The Beginning of Hilary (and the Beginning of Trump)

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Of the many pictures I’ve taken of the Radcliffe Camera, this one is undoubtedly my favorite yet.

For anyone who thought I made a confusing reference and/or careless typo in the title, let me clear this up: I am now in my second term at Oxford, which is called Hilary Term. The second title, however, needs no explanation. Read on to see what I’ve been doing since I returned to Oxford, and of course, since Trump has been inaugurated. Continue reading

Flying Solo

 

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Bergen fjord cruise

Instead of going straight home from Oxford at the end of term, I decided to take a jaunt through Norway and Iceland. When I first mentioned the idea, my dad thought I should hold off on making firm plans just in case I found some friends in England who might want to accompany me, but I’ve always wanted to try traveling by myself and I finally had the chance to do it. So I took a trip for myself and myself alone, and I had an incredible time. In fact, it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken. Now with it all behind me, I write my experiences for all to read.

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Term One: Term Done

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Me and two visiting student friends at the Merton Ball!

The last few weeks of Michaelmas term were like a whirlwind–the days go slow, but the weeks go fast. In the interest of pure honesty, I have had plenty of time in the last few weeks to write a post. Besides reading and writing, I’ve also done a lot of TV-watching. But again, there’s that trap of “I’m doing something more interesting this weekend, I’ll hold off on a post.” Yet now that the term is over and I’m sitting on a train from Oslo to Bergen for four more hours, there are no excuses. Thus, my last post of my first term in Oxford commences! Continue reading

Election Blues (and Other, Happier Things)

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High tea at The Grand Cafe on High St., Oxford!

For a few weeks now, I’ve been delaying my next post for a variety of reasons. First, I thought, I’m going to a ball and London next weekend, I’ll write about that. Having been distracted by my stolen wallet (more on that), I then thought, I’ll wait until the election is over and I’ll write about that. Now, here I am, with far too much to say for one post, yet I don’t have much choice. So here’s a monster post with, predictably, my reaction to the election, and a big catch-up on Oxford life. I’ve written the parts separately, so feel free to skip around depending on what you’re actually interested in hearing me talk about (reading me write about?). Continue reading

All By Myself: Tutorials

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Duke Humfrey’s Library in the Old Bodleian. Used in Harry Potter!

One of the major draws for me when I was considering applying to Oxford was the tutorial system. It’s not a British or English thing: it’s pretty much just an Oxbridge (Oxford + Cambridge) thing. My typical week here is drastically different than a typical week at Cornell, and though both are challenging in their own ways, I’m finding myself constantly pushed to be better every day here — and a lot of the time, I’m the one doing the pushing. Continue reading

Oxford Comma England

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Mom and Dad dropping me off in Oxford!

I’ve been in Oxford for about a week now, yet it feels like it’s been way, way longer. This may have something to do with the fact that I can get to pretty much anywhere I need to go with minimal consulting of Google Maps, which usually takes me weeks if not months. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to relive freshman year orientation week two years after the fact, read on! Continue reading