Study abroad at Oxford and grades

<p>I am considering studying abroad at Oxford but I'm not sure I can handle the academic pressure. If it goes well, I'll have a sufficiently challenging (and hence rewarding) study abroad experience. But it's too difficult and I find I never have time off to explore England, I'll regret it. My two questions are: For anyone who's studied abroad or knows someone who has, can you speak to the rigor and time commitment required of the program? (I'm considering studying some area of social psychology.) Secondly, is is even possible to maintain a good American GPA considering the British grading scale? Does the conversion work against you? I am a student at a top-tier college and ought to be prepared to take on a tough course load, but all the same, I have no idea what Oxford is like and if my GPA might tank due to two spring semesters there. Any input would be much appreciated!</p>

<p>You think you will have time to travel if you study abroad at Oxford? If you're talking about a proper Oxford study abroad programme where you take real classes with Oxford students then no, you won't have time. If you want to travel don't go to Oxford.</p>

<p>Um, Dionysus. OP refers to "two spring semesters" which must mean Hilary and Trinity terms. There's something like a 6 week break between those, allowing plenty of travel time. But OP doesn't want to hear from us. We may know what study at Oxford is like but NOT what a US Oxford programme entails. Eg, the GPA question: how does that even work?? We have no idea! OP, can't you ask students at your college who have done this what their experience was
like? Then post here again, please. I'm curious!</p>

<p>No that's rubbish, firstly it's a 4 week break not 6 and secondly you know as well as I that most of your time as an Oxford student is spent studying and reading outside of classes anyway. Even in between terms you're expected to work, you're not just given 4 weeks off for a jolly ramble around Europe.</p>

<p>Oh, my! You and I hung out in different circles, Dionysus. Granted, my time at Oxford was ages ago but my daughter has been out only a few years and I can assure you that she and her friends (none of whom ended up with less than a 2:1) had a lot of time for non-academic pursuits. In fact, one of the main reasons D went to Oxford was for the theatre scene there. Term dates: end of term Hilary 2012- Saturday, 10 March. Start of term Trinity 2012: Sunday, 22 April. Dates</a> of Term - University of Oxford</p>

<p>There's quite a difference between having non-academic pursuits and gallivanting around Europe.</p>

<p>I agree. Definitely no gallivanting during term time but it's possible in the break. D and friends used to travel together in the spring, exception being the year they were finalists. And that year they did a quick trip to a German Christmas market in December instead.</p>

<p>Re term dates, students are actually back in College the week before start of term (nought week) and meet with tutors/get work set - so they're hitting the books then - but also the pubs, clubs.....</p>

<p>Rubbish Dionysus. There is a lot of time in the vacs to do whatever. Stop spreading paranoia.</p>

<p>The OP clearly wants to do that American thing of 'studying' abroad but traveling through most of it. I don't care what you say, there won't be time for this at Oxford. You're only doing the OP a disservice by spinning this fabrication that they can have their cake and eat it.</p>

<p>I think I agree with both of you. Dionysus58 is exaggerating the amount of work the students do, especially during the vacations. There's plenty of time to go for a week's holiday to somewhere on the continent.</p>

<p>However, if they really are following the Oxford system then the study abroad students will have to work far far harder than they do at their American colleges. No travelling every weekend and for most of the vacations.</p>