Books & Study Life

Going to Oxford University

I’m sure you can imagine how excited I am to write this post, to share that I’m going to Oxford University next month! I will read history! Isn’t that amazing?!

I spent two years searching for the best options for me; that involved going on open days to a few universities, including to three open days in Oxford, learning about both full-time and part-time studies. Now I can say that everything is in place and I can start my studies soon. It was a roller-coaster ride to get to this point though, including the last hurdle of IELTS.

Me, Going to Oxford University

In the beginning I felt that Oxford was the place for me. After doing all this research I knew that my place is at Oxford, based on facts, not feelings. So, I did everything I could to get a place there. For me, the best alternative was to start with a Foundation course held by the Department of Continuing Education. It is taught by two professors from Kellogg College, Oxford University, and it involves reading history part-time for the next two years. At the end I will receive (if I pass the tests, obviously) a certificate that will be equivalent of the first year of study. With that certificate I can go on to full-time study and finish my degree at Oxford or another university, starting with year 2. Thus, on the whole, I will spend four years instead of three, but the first two are part time.

I think studying part-time (that means 20 hours a week, without taking into consideration travelling) is great for transitioning to full-time studies. This way I don’t have to stop working and I can phase-out my work, gradually, over the next two years. My aim is, after these two years, to work only a couple of hours each week and that is achievable without a doubt.

Also, going to study part-time, after a few (as in many) years after graduating from university is really great. I was 18 when I went to university for the first time. I had a different approach, doing a lot of volunteering for almost four years, to complement my studies. The method of teaching at Oxford (and Cambridge) is very different. The focus is placed on individual study, with guidance from the professors. That will be great for me, as it suits my style perfectly.

Going to Oxford University. Me in an University jumper

I mentioned before that I felt Oxford is the best place for me. Maybe because of its amazing history. As someone who will read history, is obvious that I’m attracted to the oldest English university. I remember when I went to high-school, it was (still is) one of oldest in the country and in top 10 based on results. It was a privilege for me to study there and a joy to know I’ve passed the exams with good grades and without any tutoring, just a bit of help from my mother with maths. My father and one of my great-grandfathers studied there; on the first day, the head teacher told us that he is teaching at our high-school, like his father and grandfather before him. How amazing is that? I just loved my time there.
At University it was different because I’ve studied in a newly opened branch of an old university, that expanded into a new city, where I lived. Psychology was banned by the Communists in 1972 from the high-school’s curriculum and from 1977 was banned from university as well. The oppression started in 1946, when eminent professors were incarcerated because they didn’t adhere to the “communist values” (happened to many man of letters, as it is common practice for communists). It was still studied at a couple of universities. In 1982, even the research done by a “Pedagogy and Psychology” department was banned, as they didn’t want to follow the ideology. After the fall of the communists, Psychology was introduced again, but it was, understandably, greatly affected by the banning. So, in a way, I wanted to have the same emotional connection to my 2nd university as I did with the high-school.

I couldn’t be more happier because I’m going to Oxford University to read history. It still seems like a dream just saying that. Also, after getting my place, my mother told me something I didn’t know. Two of my great-grandparents, one from my mother’s side and the other one from my father’s side were history teachers. I was aware they were teachers, but I didn’t know what subject they were teaching though. Someone joked that I have “historical genes” and I might use that phrase because it’s hilarious.

Now that I’m going to Oxford University you might wonder how will this affect my blogs. Well, firstly I will continue to blog because I love it. I will post regularly on my lifestyle blog, I aim for twice a week, maybe there will be a bit more of “pictures only” kind of posts, I don’t know. Anyway, my studies will not take over and I will continue to blog about everyday life, travelling. I might share a few posts about studying at Oxford (like my tips for the interview at Oxford), but I’m not planning to talk too much about it. On my food blog, CookStyle, I will share recipes as before, mostly two times a week. A change will be on my book blog, Coffee and Books, as I will share reviews of the books I’m reading and those will be, obviously, mostly historical non-fiction. At the moment I’m sharing a lot of reviews for historical books, mostly non-fiction, so I can’t say it is a great change though.

P.S. Besides this jumper I also bought a T-shirt. I think I’m going to buy a couple more jumpers even if I don’t think I’ll ever go to lectures in them. Maybe I’ll use them for going to the library.

7 Comment

  1. Anca, this is brilliant news! I’ve seen your interest in history over the past few years of reading your blog and I am thrilled that it will become such an important part of your life now! Oxford is a great place to go- which college?

    1. Thank you Kezzie. The Foundation Course I’m doing is not part of a College, but held by the Department of Continuing Education.

  2. Oh, Anca! Congratulations! I am just thrilled for you. This is so exciting — what a wonderful environment in such to learn. (I loved Oxford when I visited last year) And to study history at one of the finest institutions in the world — wow! Your history studies don’t surprise me a bit. Your blog and travels often have a wonderful historical focus that I really appreciate. I will look forward to learning more about your studies on this blog or one of your others! Three cheers!

  3. This is so exciting, Anca! Congratulations! I’m glad you’ll continue to blog so we can share some of this with you. What specific time period will you be focusing on?

    My younger daughter got her undergraduate college degree in history (as well as psychology), then completed her Master’s Degree in history. Also, many years ago I spent a summer in a study program at Oxford (University College). It was a great experience for me. So, I’m looking forward to this new adventure of yours!

    1. Thank you. What a coincidence. 🙂
      I will learn about British (Tudor and 20th century) and European history (19th century). For the optional subject I will most likely chose the one from the Tudor period.

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