Updates from Oxford

One Student. One Semester. One major life experience.

Joy's Story

Joy Copple studied in Oxford, Great Britain through the Best Semester Program- Oxford Summer Programme.


Entry #2

After a lovely mid-term break, I have now completed my first week of full term.  The end of last week, naught week, I met my tutors, scheduled my tutorials, and received my essay assignments.  This week, I decided what lecture series I will be attending; I went to one lecture on Wednesday and three on Thursday. The series I will be going to are: History of Israel; Doctrine before Nicaea; Theological Themes in the Old Testament; God, Christ, and Salvation: Thinking About God; and the History of Philosophy: Descartes. History of Israel and Theological Themes in the OT are both four weeks long and meet the first half and the second half of the term respectively. All the other series last the entire 8 weeks. Each one meets once a week for an hour.

I am taking two tutorials which are also on Thursdays. I have my primary tutorial, God and Israel in the Old Testament, once a week. My secondary tutorial, Philosophical Theology, is every other week. My tutor assigns a question and provides me with a reading list. Before I meet with my tutor each time, I write an essay addressing the question. Then, my tutor and I meet to go over my essay and discuss the topic. This discussion is immediately followed by the assignment of a new question for next time.

During break, I went to the Lake District as part of a trip organized by SCIO. There were twelve people along and we had great fun! We got to go visit Wordsworth’s Dove cottage while we were there. The lakes and mountains were beautiful! I was happy to be able to explore the little town of Coniston where we were staying and get to go hiking up Old Man Coniston as well as Helveyn.

I have found a church to call home while I am here. Emmanuel Church Oxford is a Newfrontiers church. They meet in at Magdalen College School on Sundays. This week I was invited to join a home group which meets every other Wednesday within cycling distance from the Vines.

A big part of English culture and also important here at Wycliffe Hall and with SCIO is tea. Tuesday afternoons there is tea at the SCIO offices on Norman Gardens. Every Wednesday for the rest of term, there is a mandatory lecture for SCIO students about Scholarship and Vocation. The lecture is followed by tea in the dinning hall at Wycliffe.

I am keeping busy but still enjoying being in Oxford. I hope the semester is going equally well at LeTourneau. Hello to all my friends!



Entry #1

I have just finished my first two weeks here at Oxford.  I am enjoying the opportunity to study in such a great place. I want to give you a bit of an idea of what my time at Oxford has been like so far.

I flew out of Houston and the temperature was in the 100s. Here I am enjoying weather that has mostly been in the 60s or 70s. We have had a few cooler mornings or evenings in the 50s and a few warmer days were it felt like it was in the 80s. Most days are cloudy. However, since I have been here it hasn’t been uncommon to see the sun in the morning or the afternoon but not usually both. Everything is very green right now which is quite pleasant. Oxford is a town where it is very easy to walk places. I do have a bike I can use to ride to class or go shopping with. However, walking is a very do-able option. There are at least three nice sized parks nearby. One has lovely big trees and another has a section of well kept flower beds. Walking through town you see all sorts of beautiful buildings everywhere, libraries, churches, colleges, museums, etc. I am continuing to get more familiar with the town and being better able to find my way around. It is lots of fun to explore Oxford.

Oxford University is made up of 38 colleges and 6 Permanent Private Halls (PPH). The colleges and halls are all individually run and governed and each has its own library. For the duration of my time here I am a member of Wycliffe Hall. Wycliffe is a PPH which means it was founded in connection with a religious group and maintains that connection.

Studies here at Oxford are primarily focused on writing and research. The first 4 weeks of my stay consists of a history course called British Landscapes. It is an overview of British History. I also meet once a week for group discussion led by an instructor for my Integrative Seminar. I will have written a long essay for this course by the end of the semester. Every Thursday for part of British Landscapes the class goes on a field trip. The first week, the field trip was to Stonehenge, Old Sarum, and the cathedral at Salisbury. The second trip was to Hampton Court. Both days were lots of fun and I had a great time exploring.

I am staying with other exchange students at the Vines which is a house just outside of Headington. There are 41 students living at the Vines and about 15 exchange students living at North Wing in Wycliffe Hall. I like it here. There is a nice garden in the back and a nice sized kitchen. I have two roommates and we have beautiful windows looking out the front of the house. It is about a 35 minute walk to Wycliffe Hall or I can take my bike. Until term starts after the completion of the British Landscapes course, I eat lunch at the Cafeteria in Wycliffe Hall. For dinner I take turns cooking with 4 other students here at the Vines as part of a food group. Initially, it was a bit overwhelming meeting so many new people all at the same time. However, I am having a good time and have made quite a few new friends. I am looking forward to many more fun adventures during the rest of my stay in Oxford.