Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Allen Page Blogging from England

By Allen Page

Hi everyone! My name is Allen Page, and I’m a junior on the Wildcat Men’s Soccer team. Right now, I’m studying abroad at Oxford in England, and things are awesome here! I’m taking English and Psychology classes here (I’m a psych major back at Davidson). When I found out that the University of Georgia (I’m a Georgia native after all) had a program that spent a term at Oxford, I jumped on the opportunity. Even though I’m going through a different school, Davidson was so great in helping to get me set up with the program. I always knew I wanted to study abroad. I thought for a long time that I might go somewhere to practice foreign language skills, but ultimately, the chance to study at one of the most prestigious schools in the world was too good to pass up.

I’m living in a house with about twenty other students, all on the same program. It’s a little bit of a hike to downtown Oxford where the majority of the colleges are, but the walk is very pleasant. One of the most striking things about being in Oxford, and in England in general is the antiquity of everything. In the states, we consider something to be pretty old if it has been around for fifty or one hundred years. But here, there are very often buildings and institutions dating back five hundred years; some reach back close to one thousand! So, even from walking around town and exploring the old chapels, libraries, or pubs, the sense of history and tradition is palpable.

If you are wondering why this first update is coming so late in the semester, let me explain. Unlike schools in the States, Oxford operates on three eight-week terms. The third and final term of the year begins in May and runs through June. So, we are here about a month before that for some seminars to get us ready for the rigorous Oxford "tutorials." That’s what they call classes here, although “class” doesn’t really fit. Oxford students meet their dons one on one and only once a week to respond to questions, defend their opinions, and often present that week’s paper. The rest of the week is filled with extensive reading and writing to prepare for the next session. It’s very different from what most of us are used to!

Of course, as a Davidson student-athlete, I’m excited for much more than the educational opportunities here. England is a nation crazy about football (soccer); it’s all over the papers and all over the sports stores. In fact, in a brief trip to London, I found a four-story sports store, and the third floor was entirely devoted to jerseys from teams around the world! I’m hoping to catch an Oxford United game this weekend. They are the local club here, and although they are only a League Two team, they draw a lot of support from the city. Here at the house, we have a great backyard for pickup games and the like, so I’m looking forward to playing as much as I can.

That’s all for now, and let’s hope the Wildcats keep winning games!


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