“The Oxford summer abroad program shines a light on the beautiful possibilities that are bestowed when studying English at CSU.” – Jaden Price
While this year’s Summer in Oxford program has come to a close, the possibilities are sure to persist. Led by Dr. Roze Hentschell, professor of English, this education abroad program allows University Honors Program students and high achieving English majors and minors to earn six credits and take an individualized course with Oxford affiliated faculty for one-on-one tutorials in their field of interest. During the five-week program, students stay in flats associated with Oxford University – the oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of the world’s most prestigious and rigorous centers of higher education.
During her time in the program, Jaden Price (English ‘23) deeply valued the tutorial model’s structure. Not only did it open her eyes to the versatility of an English degree, but the self-guided study also gave her agency to examine perspectives she’s most passionate about.
“I have explored a chronology of literature through the lenses of feminism and misogyny, and especially with the incredible resources here at Oxford have been able to push myself to see the deeper meanings of these works, and the impact they have had on the literary world.”
Shakespeare Takes Center Stage
In addition to their tutorials and exploring Oxford’s historic city center, students get to experience Shakespeare off the written page. This session, they traveled to London to see performances of King Lear at the Globe Theatre and Much Ado About Nothing at the National Theatre. As Dr. Hentschell noted: “There is nothing like seeing a play after spending several hours discussing it.”
Price agreed. “It is quite a special experience to see these plays here, where they have been performed for hundreds of years…by taking a microscope to a few of Shakespeare’s great works, we have been able to consciously examine them, and their reflection on the modern world.”
As the program continued, other field trips included Dover, Bath, and various sites around Oxford. Students also visited Stratford-upon-Avon, to see Shakespeare’s birth and burial place.
Relief on the River
Of course, this year’s program was a little different when it came to the weather. In the middle of the U.K.’s unprecedented heat wave, students understandably flocked to the water and learned new ways to cool off – one of which is a quintessential Oxford activity: punting. Punts, Hentschell explained, are flat bottom boats that you maneuver with a pole from the rear through shallow waters. As you can see in the photo gallery below, after one day on the River Cherwell the students quickly became experts.
From fine-tuning their punting skills to navigating literary theory, Price credits the environment as a primary source for student engagement. “Oxford itself organically pushes you to be better – at studying, at thinking critically, at looking at the world around you, and especially at embracing each experience wholeheartedly.”
Interested in learning more about Summer in Oxford? Visit the program website at https://col.st/FIPko
P.S. If you’d like to catch up on all the studies and adventures of Rams in Oxford, check out our Instagram account at @csu_english!