It’s time for Travel Tuesday with the Bonnie Rose! This week we’re going on a tour of Oxford & Cambridge, England – two beautiful cities filled with a lot of smart people and interesting history!
I mentioned in last week’s post that I had the opportunity to study abroad at Oxford University, the second oldest university in continuous operation in the world (second to the University of Bolgna in Italy). My college (UofA) was part of a program where the students take classes taught by professors both from their own college and others while living at one of Oxford’s colleges. The Oxford University consists of 38 colleges and 6 permanent private halls, each of which controls its membership, internal structure, and activities. We lived/studied at Wadham College, which is gorgeous. I can’t fully express how inspiring it was to actually eat meals in the main hall and take classes in those classrooms.
Oxford itself is a bustling city with something to see around every corner. In addition to the many colleges, you can check out any number of museums and other such attractions. If the weather is particularly fine, I’d recommend punting down the Cherwell past parks, colleges, etc. There are chauffeured boats available if you’re feeling a bit lazy, but it’s certainly a fun experience to try to navigate yourself (especially if you happen to take along a few bottles of wine to keep spirits high).
Studying at Oxford that summer changed my world. I discovered that I could successfully live outside of my comfort zone and I’ve been pushing those boundaries ever since. And I fell in love….with a country and a people that make me feel at home. I’ve been back to Oxford since that summer and the magic is still there. If you ever get the chance, I definitely recommend spending a few days taking in the views.
The University of Cambridge was founded by a group of dissenting scholars from Oxford University. It too is made up of 31 independently governing colleges. I have to admit that I’ve only spent a couple of days in Cambridge itself. Having been at Oxford for those months, I find that I’m a bit biased. That said, Cambridge – both the University and the city – are also beautiful and certainly worth a visit. (I’m going to cheat and let the pictures stand for themselves on this one since I’m less familiar with the location.)