On your road to a liberal arts bachelor degree, you’ve probably noticed that a solid liberal arts education goes right back to the source—the original great works themselves. But did you know that Shimer students have a chance to literally travel to where these great books originated from? Yes, that’s right, third and fourth year students have the opportunity to study abroad in London, England, in the hallowed halls of Oxford University.
Studying at a liberal arts college in Chicago, you’ve already been surrounded by quite a bit of culture and history – but there’s something especially unique about studying history in the very heart of western academia. Read on to find out more.
Why Study Abroad?
There are many advantages to learning or at least completing part of your studies in another country, or even on another continent. Some of the key advantages include:
- Education Style: In another country, you will undoubtedly experience a different educational style. The differences may be large or small, but you will no doubt learn something new from it.
- Graduate School Admissions: Graduate school admissions boards look very favourably on experience studying abroad, as it demonstrates a strong commitment to education.
- New Experiences: When you travel abroad, you’ll be on new terrain, immersed in a new culture and quite possibly sampling new cuisine. In the case of Oxford, you may not be learning a new language, but there are certainly some significant differences between Britain and America which will keep you interested.
What Shimer’s Oxford Experience Offers
For over four decades, Shimer has been making it possible for students to complete a part of their studies at Oxford. Lately, this has been done as part of the Oxford Study Abroad Programme (OSAP).
You’ll still be continuing your Shimer curriculum, as you’ll be taking at least one core course per semester with the program director who is a Shimer faculty member. The rest of the time, you’ll attend Oxford lectures on English culture and history, learn about the campus itself and receive one-on-one tutorials from respected academics from the Oxford circle.
Tutorial subjects vary depending on your interest. Some recent popular topics have been:
- Middle Eastern Politics
- The Works of JRR Tolkien
- Greek Drama
- The History of Banking
- Post-Colonial Literature
- The Principles of Architecture
In addition to the strictly academic portions of the experience, you are encouraged to go off-campus and explore the community, its culture and history. Plus, one of the perks is that the rest of England and Europe aren’t that far away. Why not catch a play in Stratford-Upon-Avon, visit Stonehenge and try to figure out its mystery or immerse yourself in the huge cultural heritage just outside your door.
Speaking of your door, Shimer students will be in student residences along with fellow American and Oxford students. Each room has a phone and computer with an internet connection, so there will be no worries about staying in touch with Chicago.
What do you think; will you take a trip to Oxford in your 3rd or 4th year?