Wednesday 27 August 2008

A Visit to Oxford

Last weekend I went to Oxford, taking advantage of the long weekend (Monday was a Bank Holiday here). I had long wanted to visit this city, curious to walk the cobblestones streets that J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis must had walked on as these two beloved writers spent most of their lives in Oxford. I was not disappointed. I enjoyed every bit walking around the city, breathing its aura, sipping a cup of coffee with the backdrop of amazing historical architectures around me and just basking under the sun – yes surprise, it was sunny! Lucky me.

I booked a walking tour and it was a good decision because not only I was able to visit every college, it was a fun learning experience. I guess a walking tour is all you need to try in Oxford. After that you can just explore the whole city at your own pace, without worrying of getting lost. It's interesting to learn the colleges' histories, the notable people that studied there and absolutely a blast visiting the places that were featured in films (i.e. Harry Potter and the Golden Compass). I have simply fallen in love with Oxford. It’s truly breathtaking. I will definitely go back!

It's also fascinating to learn some facts about Oxford. The University is believed to exist as early as 1096. It has 39 colleges. The richest college, the one with the most income is St. John's College - Tony Blair studied there. J.R.R Tolkien studied in Exeter College. Lewis Carroll was a professor in Christ Church College, the second richest college. Bill Clinton, as well as his daughter Chelsea, studied in the University College. C.S. Lewis was a fellow in Magdalen College. Hugh Grant studied in New College and Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) studied in The Queen’s College.

The University has 17,000 populations. Usually out of 4 applications that the colleges receive from all over the world, only 1 is given entry... that tough! So imagine the honour of being accepted! Average annual tuition for English and EU students is £2,000 per year (multiply that with 80 to convert to peso), excluding accommodation fee. Average annual tuition for non-English, outside EU students (like from the Philippines) is a whopping £15,000 - £20,000, still excluding accommodation fee... That’s roughly 1.2M PHP - 1.6M PHP! So if you’re planning to study in Oxford, try to get through by passing the Rhodes scholarship, like what Bill did, so you can have it lowered to £5,000...

View my pics.

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