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Labor and Leisure: Oxford Study Abroad Program 2013

Oxford 2013 12013 marks the second year The Institute of World Politics has sent a group of students to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.  

Studying under esteemed Oxford professors, the students focused on topics ranging from British Counterterrorism Operations to Modern Naval Strategy.  The Oxford tutorial program requires discipline and focus as students work one-on-one with an Oxford don, meeting weekly, and writing essays that are then critiqued and discussed. 

Although the month-long program centered around the Oxford tutorials, the students also had the opportunity to attend various academic lectures including one with Keith Jeffery – professor and author of the first Official History of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS).  

Oxford 2013 2Cultural immersion was another key aspect of the program.  Living in the heart of England brought ancient, renaissance, and modern history to our doorstep.  Day trips to the ancient Roman baths in southwest England, Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Churchill War Rooms in London brought the foundations, transformation, and challenges of the Western world to light.  

Despite busy tutorial schedules, we found a few moments of leisure as we strolled along the Thames (or the Isis as the locals call it), discussed philosophy over a pint at the King’s Arms, or picnicked on the grassy knolls of Port Meadow.  For the Oxford experience would be incomplete without both work and rest; as Henry James aptly wrote, “Oxford lends sweetness to labour and dignity to leisure.”

Rebecca Buchheit
Class of 2014

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