Testimonials from former Visiting Students

What is it like to be a visiting student at Hertford?     

The short accounts below, written by our former visiting students over the years, will help you to imagine what life can be like here at Hertford College.  Once you have read these,  the sections on academic and social life will make more sense.

Mohima Sanyal - Visiting Student from The College of William and Mary
Tutorials: Human Sciences: Behaviour and its Evolution - Animal and Human,  Language and Cognition. Cultural Anthropology, Lab Project on Fruit Flies

Photo: Mohima at matriculation as a graduate student, in academic year 2014-2015.
She returned to Oxford embarking on her MSc in Cognitive Anthropology

In addition to nurturing my academic growth, my two terms at Hertford College significantly informed my personal evolution. At first, I was an “outsider” in an unfamiliar place – a complex microcosm of academics, artistes, families, and student groups – humbled, as I adjusted to my surroundings. Any initial hesitation, however, washed away as I found myself feeling quite at home in this demanding, but marvelous environment. The Tutor for Visiting Students Josephine Reynell put my academic and personal interests first, and helped me take full advantage of the Oxford experience. The student life, faculty culture, cosmopolitan city atmosphere, and yes, even the language, were fascinatingly new. I debated with tutors, explored the area, found a routine, and at times even broke it.

I learned directly from intellectual pioneers in my fields of interest (neuroscience, anthropology, and linguistics), attended lectures across myriad departments, and was able to engage with top academics about their passions over the course of six amazing months. The tutorial mode of learning was unlike any lecture or seminar course I had studied in the US. Tutors used this time to focus individual attention on strengthening my scrutiny of professional discourse, turning my saplings of critical analysis into well-rooted arguments for further investigation. My courses in animal behavior, language and cognition, and cultural anthropology demonstrated the enhanced rigor that interdisciplinary deliberation brings to understanding dynamic systems. The conversations and meetings I had with faculty helped anchor me in my current studies, and inspired me to pursue my current MSc in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, with an advisor I had once met for coffee over two years ago.

In addition to reading for my tutorials, I was able to coordinate the unique opportunity to pursue functional genomics research under the aegis of the Medical Research Council. My work further elucidated the live kinetic behavior of a novel cellular filament (cytoophidium), with potential implications for understanding biomolecular systems and advancing cancer research. I was able to join the Oxford University United Nations Association for international and local conferences (and team victory!), sing in the Hertford College Chapel Choir, and generally immerse myself in the lively spirit that invigorates this great city. Students with traditions and philosophies unlike my own became my close friends, enriching my perspective with their diverse expertise. I took the opportunity between terms to exercise my freedom to travel for five weeks, backpacking with friends through the storied streets of France, Italy, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

My composite experiences from my time at Hertford College bolstered my resolve to learn from varied social and intellectual cultures. It was through these experiences that I realized I am not a “me”. I am not a “one”. I am a part of a whole. And if my part should do anything, it should work to make the whole better. I further enmeshed my interdisciplinary interests, continued to keep in touch with my Hertford mentors and friends, and have now returned to Oxford, securing its imperative role in my life history. My time at Hertford offered clear vision to me – vision to see my world more completely.


Zachary Lewis - Visiting Student from Michigan University, Academic year 2012-2013.
Tutorials: Philosophy, Physics

My time spent at Hertford, in my opinion, was the most valuable and enjoyable part of my undergraduate studies. I had travelled from Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan, to Oxford, where I studied Physics with the fresher cohort. My experience was perhaps a bit different than a lot of the visiting students in that I studied under the same schedule as the first year students, going to the same tutorials and attending the same lectures. This was not always true, though, as in my my final term when I took the opportunity to study philosophy, a choice that I highly value even today.

The teaching at the college is phenomenal. My tutors were all excellent professors but also good friends, whom I still remain in contact with. The intimate teaching structure of the courses really allows for you to improve your skills with a focus that I did not see in the American system.

Outside of academics, the opportunities to get involved in a number of societies allowed for me to explore Oxford on a level I had not expected. I personally was involved in the Hertford Boat Club and also the Poker Society, both of which allowed me to get to know many of the students around college. Additionally, the amount of social events were astounding, and the various college balls every year are definitely worth the price of entry.

I could not recommend my experience at Hertford more. The learning experience was incomparable, the social life was always welcoming, and Oxford is an absolutely beautiful city.


Matthew Goldman - Visiting Student from Swarthmore College, January – June 2014.
Tutorials:  Urban Geography – The Study of Space, Political Sociology, Anthropology – Cultural Representations and Beliefs, Anthropology of the Body: Gender and Sexuality.


My experience as a Hertford College Visiting Student during the spring of 2014 was unparalleled intellectually and personally. It is difficult to comprehend the degree of opportunity and excitement that Oxford's one-on-one tutorials entail, even coming from an American liberal arts college. In my Hilary term urban geography tutorial, I explored topics that truly fascinated me with a tutor who has written key texts and who guided me to see issues in new ways. An anthropology tutorial  in Trinity term, taught by a scholar-curator at Oxford's esteemed Pitt Rivers Museum, encouraged me to consider museum representations while we held our weekly conversation on the floor of the museum itself.

More than anything, I benefited from the community of visiting students. Living in the Graduate Centre I met some of the most intelligent, interesting, and lovable people anywhere; and I made truly lifelong friends. Living on the Thames bank and walking through Christ Church meadow didn't hurt either. I will always feel fondly about my time at Hertford. 

Cynthia Lam - Visiting Student from Washington Lee University via IFSA Butler, Academic year 2013-2014.
Tutorials: The Victorian Novel: Sex, Crime and Sensation, Creative Writing – Drama and Playwriting, Introduction to Ethics, Shakespeare, The Modern American Novel, Gothic Fiction.

I came to Oxford, expecting to find crumpets, One Direction, and Harry Potter. Instead, I found Digestives, bikes flying in the opposite direction, and lifelong friends to rival Ron and Hermione (sorry, Harry). From the moment I arrived at Hertford, I was welcomed with open arms, ushering me into the friendly, close-knit community of students, tutors, and administrators. Everyone was so kind and approachable that I could sit anywhere in the dining hall and strike up a conversation with a new acquaintance. Having access to both the JCR and MCR allowed me to experience the best of both worlds, offering the opportunity to befriend many undergraduates and graduates.     

Throughout the year, I felt like a “real” Oxford student, getting the full experience of thought-provoking tutorials, college events, and societies. Academically, my tutors challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and explore my intellectual passions in new and fascinating ways.  Having the freedom to pursue the intricacies of gender constructs in Victorian Literature one week, and the moral implications of utilitarian ethics during the next, was utterly exhilarating.   

But that was just the beginning. Hertford had so much more to offer beyond the classroom. Thanks to Freshers’ Week, I was able to dive headfirst into the extracurricular and social scene. From rowing in Summer Eights with the coolest crew (nothing says team bonding like 5 am practices), to relaxing at the college bar (the go-to hangout spot), to learning the proper use of “crisps” and “chips” (a must for day-to-day survival) from my new “mates,” I have come a long way since Michelmas term.
Looking back now, I am so proud to have called Oxford home for a year. More importantly, Hertford will always hold a near and dear (or should I say, “deer?”) place in my heart. Its central location, inviting atmosphere, and incredible people are unrivaled. This has been the best study abroad experience I could have ever dreamt of – and more. Come to Hertford, and I promise you will have the time of your life.

Lydia Shahan - Visting Student from Kenyon College via IFSA Butler, January – June 2014.
Tutorials: Christianity between 1050-1350, General history 1273-1409, Devotional Practices Among Medieval Women, History of Witchcraft between 1500-1700.


Studying abroad at Hertford College afforded me so many wonderful opportunities. Academically, studying in the Oxford tutorial system was a challenge and a thrill. I was placed with a primary tutor with whom I got along well, and who does research very specific to my interests (I study medieval history and church history). My tutor provided weekly rigorous reading lists that were often tailored to my specific interests, and our tutorials were fruitful, productive and fun for us both I think. I was happily able to continue with the same primary tutor for two terms, which was a really excellent experience. By our second term together I strongly felt that my writing had improved, and that my capacity for analysis of medieval texts and ideas was stretched and challenged in each weekly meeting.

Studying at Hertford is not for the academically faint of heart. All of my friends worked as hard as I did, and instead of asking "what are you doing today?" we tended to say "where are you working today?" but I absolutely grew as a student during my semester at Hertford, and I have hopes that the work I've done and the ideas I generated while there will prove influential when writing next year's senior honor's thesis, and beyond. And of course, the fact that, after lunch in hall with friends at Hertford I could simply walk across the street and study in the reading room of the Bodleian Library was a great motivator to work hard! In addition to studying of course, many other wonderful moments stand out in my memories of Hertford; going punting with friends, sitting on the lawn during Trinity term and playing with Simpkin the college cat, attending fun, enlightening lectures, cocktail parties and other events in the MCR, and simply eating meals with friends at Hall or in Warnock House, among countless others. I will always, I think, be grateful for my time at Hertford, and the intellectual and personal generosity and camaraderie I found there.

Haruka Naito - Visiting Student from Waseda University, Japan   2012 -  2013
Tutorials: Development Studies, International Relations, Human Rights Law, Theory of Politics


Hertford College, the University of Oxford has everything an international visiting student can ask for: a rigorous and rewarding academic environment, a myriad choices of extracurricular activities and opportunities to take part in Oxford’s long-lasting traditions, a genuinely welcoming college community, and a phenomenal support system. Out of all great things Hertford has to offer, it is impossible to talk about my experience without mentioning the unique tutorial system. The tutor for visiting students, Dr. Josephine Reynell, was extremely helpful in fulfilling my request to study the topic of international development through not only the perspectives of politics and economics, but also from those of sociology, anthropology, and law. Despite being a politics and economics major, I was able to take, for instance, a human rights law tutorial with a tutor from the law department, or a development studies tutorial with an anthropological focus, with a gender studies specialist. It is undeniable that coming from a Japanese university, where I have strict requirements on core classes, most of which are lectures with 200 other students, I initially found it difficult to adapt to the very personalized tutorial system. However, my tutors could not have been more supportive, and they taught and encouraged in me the various skills necessary to develop as a scholar. The discussions I had with my tutors in every tutorial trained me to critically question traditional philosophies and to creatively construct my own theories and arguments. Before coming to Hertford, I had never felt so passionate about the subject of study, and this academic experience made me certain of wanting to dedicate myself to the field of development and poverty alleviation.

Needless to say, Oxford is not only about academic study. Deciding what to do outside the classroom might have been something I found more difficult than choosing what tutorials I wanted to take. I took up college rowing, which was a great way to get involved in the college community and the traditional rowing culture at Oxford. I had the opportunity to row in both in-and-out-of-university races, including the famous collegiate bumps racing of the “Torpids” and the “Summer VIIIs,” and the Head of the River race on the Thames in London. Furthermore, I joined university-level organizations, such as the Oxfam student group and Oxford Microfinance Initiative, where I could further pursue my interest in international development and meet students who shared similar interests outside of Hertford. As an international student, I also found it very exciting and helpful that the university had such an international and diverse environment. There were a countless number of cultural and ethnic groups, and I personally joined the Japan Society, where I had the opportunity to teach Japanese. Finally, after the last term of Trinity ended, I volunteered in Kenya for a month with Oxford’s Travel Aid program, which was a great way to end my year at Oxford. The workload may certainly be demanding, but I highly recommend all visiting students to take advantage of the rich social life at Oxford by being involved in as many extracurricular activities as possible.

Studying for a year at Hertford was definitely one of the best decisions I have made in my life, and I sincerely wish that all of you reading this will also decide to participate in Hertford’s visiting student program and have an experience as incredible mine. 

Jonathan Epstein - Visiting Student from Brandeis University via IFSA Butler,  2012 -  2013
Tutorials: History and Economics  


Oxford is an academic cornucopia—however, what most prospective visiting students do not initially realise is that Oxford offers an array of opportunities outside of pure academics that are as rich and varied as the Bodleian’s offerings. Student societies are surprisingly open, even if you are only around for a term. During my year at Hertford some of the most fulfilling experiences came from writing for the Cherwell newspaper, rowing for and playing for a handful of other Hertford teams, serving as Treasurer of the Hertford Business & Economics Society, and frequenting events held by the Oxford Union, Jewish Society and Finance Society.

I was able to both engage in my passions at a high level, and to meet an eclectic bunch of Oxonians outside of Hertford. Other visiting students sang in the Hertford choir, wrote for a literary journal, and joined a multitude of other societies. Perhaps the best opportunity is to do research for a don over the summer. I had the great fortune to split my summer between Johannesburg, London and Oxford, doing research for Hertford Fellow Professor Tomo Suzuki on the modernisation of retail banking structures in Africa. Don't limit your eight week term to just tute work—explore the rest of Oxford!

Talene Bilazarian - Visiting Student from John Hopkins University via IFSA Butler,  2012 -  2013
Tutorials: Political Science    

I found choosing an Oxford college quite confusing. I have been so glad to study at Hertford College. During my three terms there, I received individualized support from the Visiting Student’s Tutor, Josephine Reynell. She dedicated herself to providing me with the richest academic experience possible when I first articulated my interest in Middle Eastern politics at the start of term.I started my year abroad taking the Middle East Politics course offered to 3rd year PPEists.

At the end of the term, I wanted to take my study farther. Dr. Reynell organized a tutorial on 20th Century Iranian politics with a brilliant tutor. Those meetings totally changed the way I've read and thought about Iran moving forward. By spring term, I narrowed my interests again further, and Josephine pursued the ideal tutors for me, allowing me to study the politics of Islamic Integration in Europe which had been one of my ongoing interests. My tutor was incredibly generous and helpful as a mentor, advising me in a course of further study.Through the help of Dr. Reynell and Hertford College, I was able to delve deeply into subfields few undergraduates—even Oxford ones—are privileged to study. Under their guidance, I was able to seize the freedom and flexibility of the Oxford curriculum to help me reach my academic goals. I leave my study abroad with memories and new friends, but also a much richer sense of my own passions and future work. I would urge any curious undergraduate to explore the Hertford Visiting program

Kate Drakeley - Visiting Student from The College of William and Mary, October 2011 - June 2012
Tutorials: English Literature

My experience at Oxford was one of the most challenging and fulfilling of my life. In short, it is the best thing I have done so far. I learned so much both in terms of personal and academic growth. The tutorial system has a flexibility unknown to the American lecture system that allowed me to focus on exactly what I wanted to study and the areas where I needed the most help. Such a personalized education was especially helpful for my interdisciplinary major. The challenge of tutorials is made all the more rewarding by the wonderfully strong community at Hertford College.

Over the year I increasingly felt cared for and supported by both the students and staff at Herford which allowed me to create bonds and friendships I will cherish for the rest of my life. Oxford changed my life profoundly for the better, I strongly encourage anyone with the chance to size the opportunity to study at Hertford College.


Danielle Pingue - Visiting Student from Princeton University, Sept - Dec 2011
Tutorials: Social Policy and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa 

Upon first arriving at Hertford College in Oxford, I was greeted by my exuberant college 'Mother'. Part of a longstanding tradition at the College, second year 'mums' and 'dads' were provided to help Freshers get acquainted with the University. As I was a study-abroad student and not a Fresher, I felt a bit out of place when I first landed at Oxford. My fears of not being able to fit in with my new community were quickly wiped away once I met my  surrogate mother and the host of individuals sent by the Visiting Students' Department at Hertford. With planned events such as the Visiting Students' Brunch, I was able to make a circle of new friends who shared their interests with me and inspired me to try out the many unique activities Hertford had to offer. Within the short span of the Michaelmas term I became an official 'Oxford Blue' and member of the Oxford University Athletics Club (OUAC), went 'punting' along the River Thames with my College mum and members of my study abroad program, played basketball, tried my hand at archery and even went horseback riding with the Oxford University Riding Club.This was all while attending numerous formal halls throughout the different colleges of course! Having a challenging class load that included at times two tutorials, a seminar, a lecture and multiple essays each week while still having the freedom to try new activities made Oxford a truly well-rounded experience for me. While at Princeton it is easy to get caught up in the 'Orange Bubble' and lose sight of the range of opportunities available to us, I found that my term at Hertford College afforded me an opportunity for introspection and growth. I enjoyed my experience at Oxford immensely and felt it prepared me to come back to a successful spring semester at Princeton.


Maggie Sulc - Visiting Student from Rice University via Arcadia College of Global Studies, Oct - Dec 2011
Tutorials: Victorian Literature and Literature of WWI

I am sure all of the Oxford colleges work hard to make visiting students feel welcome, but from my experience, Hertford college has to be one of the most open and friendly colleges. They do everything possible to make visiting students part of the college; they included us in all the Freshers’ Week activities, placed us in college families, and invited us to be members of both the junior common room and the middle common room. As a visiting student, I felt completely welcome in every part of the college. Even though I only studied at Oxford for the Michaelmas Term, I made many friends and was able to participate in many Hertford activities such as the Hertford College Boat Club and the Hertford College Chapel Choir. I never would have been able to row in a race at Cambridge or sing in the Brussels Cathedral if it weren’t for the friendly people and new opportunities I discovered at Hertford College. And I do not want to downplay the academics and academic support. Though my Oxford tutorials challenged me, I never felt alone. The Tutor for Visiting Students chose fantastic tutors who pushed me to do my best work, but still understood that I was adjusting to the Oxbridge system. With the Bodleian and the Radcliffe Camera literally across the street, I was always in the best position for studying. I learned and grew so much after my term at Oxford and I highly recommend Hertford to anyone else looking to study at Oxford.


Korey Williams - Visiting Student from Illionis Wesleyan University via IFSA-Butler, Oct - Dec 2010

There is no place like Hertford College, University of Oxford. I personally dare anyone to search, but I firmly stand by my conviction. I studied abroad there for Michaelmas Term 2010 and my experience was nothing short of MARVELLOUS! The rigor and independence of the Oxford academic system are what drew me to Oxford in the first place. But I ultimately chose Hertford College because of its history of academic excellence, friendly atmosphere, and central location. And even after such careful consideration, Hertford College exceeded my expectations. I studied Victorian Literature and Twentieth Century Poetry under two incredible tutors who were true experts and scholars in their respective fields. Moreover, they both genuinely cared about my development and progress as a writer, critic and future scholar. With their help and encouragement, I have become much more confident in my critical, analytical, writing and research skills—tools I will use for the rest of my life. Outside of academic life, I was fortunate enough to join the Failed Novelists' Society, which is a creative writing group that meets once a week for several hours to discuss and workshop members’ writings. I was always pleased with the extensive feedback and criticism I received for my poetry. I also joined the Oxford Singers—a choir that sings everything from pop and Disney classics to gospel and Broadway! I can’t even begin to express how much fun I had singing in this choir. But to put it simply, the Oxford Singers is a group of amazing people who come together each week to sing, dance, laugh and enjoy the power of song. I honestly could go on and on about my Hertford experience, but I’ll end by expressing my great appreciation for everyone at Hertford College for making me feel welcome and included in the community. My time at Hertford College was truthfully the best time of my life thus far.


Tanya Hakim Visiting Student from Smith College, Jan - Jun 2011
Tutorials: Economics of OECD Countires, Economics of Industry, International Economics, Philosophy-ethics

Studying abroad at Oxford undoubtedly was one of the most important and incredible experiences I have had, where I was pushed to new academic limits and learned more about myself than I ever imagined I would. I studied Philosophy and Economics at Oxford for two terms, where I took International Economics and Mill: Utilitarianism in Hilary Term and then Economies of OECD Countries and Economics of Industry in Trinity Term. The main reason I chose Oxford as my study abroad destination over other schools is the unique tutorial system, where you generally meet with your tutor one-on-one to discuss an essay you have written on an assigned topic. The essay relies entirely on your own independent study and analysis, and I know that I have benefited enormously from this system intellectually. For example, in my Economics of OECD Countries tutorial, I would be assigned a very broad topic, where I would have to sift through an enormous amount of literature to identify patterns and to pull together a thesis. By the end of this process, I found myself incredibly knowledgeable about a huge amount of material in one week, I found that I had learned the dynamics of the top export sectors of all the OECD countries over the past decade and had come up with an explanation for these changes in exports (the OECD has 34 countries in it)! Another asset of this system is you learn to think critically and write convincing arguments in a tight timeframe. In the United States, you might have the course of a semester to write a six-page double-spaced paper, but after writing papers of a similar length here within a week, you become much more efficient at tackling these assignments, which is a critical skill for future academic and professional success.

Another tremendous advantage of studying at Oxford is the chance to experience British culture at its best. Oxford still maintains many traditions, including the chance to go punting on the river, have formal hall dinners, explore the plethora of places serving tea and scones and go out to historical pubs. Also, being a top university, there are loads of extracurricular activities to join, which help you integrate into the social life here. During my time here, I’ve attended a conference on the Role of Economics and Business on Peacemaking at the Business School, which included panels with prominent Palestinians and Israelis, participated in the Oxford Literary Festival (I even got a book signed by Kazuo Ishiguro, who has won the Booker prize!) and attended a networking event put on by the Oxford Investment and Finance Society. I also became a member of Oxford University Wine Society, where I tasted some incredible wines and met some amazing people –I even had the opportunity to take on some General Committee duties my last few weeks here, where I was able to see how tastings are run and to develop an finer appreciation of the enormous amount of time and engagement it takes to keep this Society running. Ultimately, I would encourage anyone studying here to join clubs and to be fearless in volunteering to help out in organizing events. It is the best way to meet Oxford students and to also contribute to the University.

Finally, the support at Hertford College is incredible, and there is an entire team of people at the College dedicated to ensuring your time abroad is going well. I always felt confident that if I had any problems with logistics or with my academic work, I knew where to go and how to have any issues sorted out right away. Studying abroad at Oxford has been an experience I will never forget and has shaped some of the goals I am now planning to pursue. I would highly recommend it to students wishing to delve deeply into their major areas of study and to have the quintessential British culture experience.


Caroline Hodge- Visiting Student from Princeton University, Jan – Jun 2011 
Tutorials: Literature, Theology: Dostoevsky. History: Ideas behind Reformation, Medieval Mystics  

Hertford is great.  There is really no simpler way to say that.  The people are really friendly, from the choir to the boat club, and the academics are, of course, phenomenal.  One of the best things, in my opinion, about the Oxford academic system is that you are expected to conform to the conventions of your given discipline completely; if you are studying history, for those eight weeks of term at least, you are a historian.  This depth of engagement with your field, in addition to the one-on-one attention that the tutorial provides, makes for an academic experience unlike anything available in the States.  Oxford extends beyond the walls of the Bodleian, though, and my favourite bits of the six months I was at Hertford were not spent in the library.  One of my favourite routines was Magdalen College Evensong (which my British friends call, perhaps more than a little irreverently, Evensnog) followed by a trip to the pub.  The beauty and serenity of such a service may seem at odds with a friendly pint in a crowded pub, but that’s really what’s best about this place, I think.  For in Oxford the old and the new, the academic and the athletic, the reflective and the rowdy, all meld seamlessly into one really wonderful and dynamic experience.


Tess Perrin - Visiting Student from The College of William and Mary, Oct 2008 - Jun 2009.
Tutorials: Fine Art: drawing, Maths: analysis, differential equations, algebra, statistics 

To study at Oxford University is to participate in a tradition that transcends cultures, centuries, and academic disciplines. It is an experience of a lifetime. To study abroad, especially for a year, seems daunting but the Hertford community is a perfect match for any student willing to throw themselves into the mix of traditions. Each person has the opportunity to be themselves in a nurturing environment full of support and stimulation in both scholarly and social settings. The friends you make become friends for life. I will always remember Hertford as a place that allowed me to grow and discover myself amidst an environment of unconditional support. After a shortcut through Christ Church Meadows, the walk down Catte Street past the Radclifffe Camera and the Bridge of Sighs has become a routine which I daily enjoy. Especially after weeks of travelling to Italy, Greece, and France, to come back to Oxford is to come home. The academic atmosphere at Hertford is always a challenge because part of the beauty that lies within the tutorial system is the ability to design one's own course structure. Once the requirements have been met, one then has the opportunity to go even further in one's studies than planned. To constantly challenge oneself and to have the guidance of a tutor with whom to engage in discussions are unique to the tutorial system and gifts which cannot be found elsewhere. Hertford gave me the opportunity to pursue both fine art and art history at the Ruskin School under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Simblet where I focused on drawing and anatomy as well as the study of varies topics in mathematics under the direction of several graduate students. All of my tutors have been more than willing to meet with me outside of planned tutorials as well as further exploring topics of my particular interest.

To balance out the academic portion of Oxford, the social environment provides a different outlet for "education". Between formal dinners, exchange dinners with other colleges, afternoon tea and scones, evenings devoted to Evelyn Waugh, boat races on the Thames, and just sitting in front of the Octagon's fire, one develops close friendships in the blink of an eye. With the variety of backgrounds, the social atmosphere is an education unto itself. By being willing to try new things, such as life drawing classes at the Ruskin, yoga at the community centre, exploring the weekly markets, attending speeches and concerts at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford is always bustling with possibilities. I strongly encourage a year abroad because there is nothing like being able to walk through the covered market or into the Bodleian Library to smiles of recognition. Study abroad at Hertford - it is a once in a lifetime opportunity which will open many doors of possibility.


Istvan Nadas–Visiting Student from Duke University via IFSA Butler, Oct 2006 - Jun 2007
Tutorials: English literature: Dickens, Finance, History: Rise of the 3rd Reich, Industry of Britain and France, Sociology of Industrial Societies.  

Studying at Oxford University is a once in a lifetime opportunity that really should not be passed up.  I shall forever remember Hertford College for its friendly atmosphere and sincere hospitality.  Hertford offers premier academic advising to its visiting students, and also encourages students to actively engage in British culture.  I had the opportunity to play along side British students on one of Hertford's soccer teams, as well as spar with varsity athletes in Oxford's Amateur Boxing club.  Studying at Oxford is very rewarding, as visiting students are paired up with an academic tutor, who is an expert in the subject of your studies.  As an economics major, I was able to study in Oxford's highly unique and distinguished Philosophy, Politics, and

Economics program (PPE).  Through this program I studied transition economies such as those for Russia, Poland, and Hungary, which is a topic that extends beyond the scope of most American Universities.  Hertford allowed me to be very flexible in my studies, as I also studied the literature of Charles Dickens as well as German and British history.  The magical part of the Hertford experience is that visiting students can virtually become British students themselves by eating with British students in the dining halls, attending lectures from distinguished speakers throughout the world, studying original texts from Oxford's Bodleian library, engaging in student activities, and taking part in the traditions of one of the world's most renowned Universities.


Michael Stark - Visiting Student from Brandeis University via IFSA Butler, Jan - Jun 2009.
Tutorials: European History, Comparative Religion, Economics of Industry, Game Theory 

The vast amount of societies, clubs, bars and events provided a social scene to match the intellectual one.

The best advice I can give is to really jump into as much of what the university has to offer as one can. At times the number of emails for various events of all kinds became so overwhelming to me that I found it near impossible to read them all. And, with the amount of study necessary, everyone must make hard choices concerning one option over the next. Just trying not to get overwhelmed and staying active, at least for me, proved the best way to maximize my time abroad.