Rebecca Leppert, George Washington University, Academic Year 2019-2020

There is something inexplicably magical about studying in Oxford. I grew to love the city and the University’s inspiring spirit of academic curiosity during my time at CMRS –– so much, in fact, that I decided to return to the program for a second term.

I was humbled and excited to learn in a city with some of the world’s brightest minds. The tutorial system offered an unparalleled learning experience with expert instruction from Oxford tutors and CMRS staff. My courses were intellectually stimulating, pushing me to think critically and mature as a writer. Yet scholastic pursuit often continued outside the classroom in Oxford. I appreciated the unique opportunities to attend my tutor’s film screening on the mystical-theologian Hadewijch and to visit St. Frideswide’s shrine at Christ Church with my medieval monasticism tutor.

While I spent many hours befriending books inside the stunning RadCam or rummaging for sources in the Bodleian underbelly (aka the Gladstone Links), I explored the city beyond the Radcliffe Square hub. Sunny days were best spent with friends punting along the River Cherwell, picnicking in University Parks, and trekking through Port Meadows to enjoy the cozy Trout Inn Pub. Oxmas dinner, touring the Oxford University Press, and watching Prince William open Keble’s new H B Allen Centre were a few highlights of my unforgettable Oxford experience. I collected train ticket stubs from trips around the UK to Edinburgh, Bath, Norwich, Highclere Castle, and, of course, London! CMRS also organized field trips to places like Stonehenge and Stratford-upon-Avon.

At the end of the day, I was happy to return to the comfort of the JCR community where we made meals and shared game nights together. I cherished my year in dear Oxford and am grateful to have called this city and St. Michael’s Hall my home abroad.