Rebecca Dial studies abroad in Oxford, England

by   |  07.19.11  |  Honors Student Achievements

My trip to England has been a different and exciting experience so far. On our first full day in Oxford, we went to the weekly market in the morning and bought fresh fruit and vegetables and explored some of the city. Thursday was our first class and in the afternoon, went to the Natural History Museum of Oxford. There were many skeletons and casts of dinosaurs, mammals, and other animals. I also went into the Anthropology and Archaeology room in the museum, which was full of various cultural artifacts from all over the world. I particularly enjoyed it because it displayed the different cultures’ work right next to each other, which allowed me to more easily compare them. We also walked around the park in Oxford and saw the massive trees and plants that are much greener and more beautiful than the foliage in Texas. That night we saw the premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two” at midnight. It was very cool seeing the movie at midnight in England with a bunch of British Harry Potter friends.

We had a free weekend this past weekend and all went together to Cardiff in Wales. On Friday, we went to Cardiff Castle and took a tour as well as walked around the grounds. The castle planning was incredibly intricate. The Bute family owned the castle and the rooms had different themes. Some were based on the languages they learned—Hebrew, Greek, and Latin were a few. One room was based on the gods behind the names of the days of the week. We also got to see the falconry at the castle. We got to see a baby barn owl being fed, which was an interesting experience since it eats day old chicks. Saturday we went to Caerphilly, a short while away from Cardiff, and saw the Caerphilly Castle, the second largest castle in England. It was rainy when we were there, but it made it a great English experience. Later in the day, we returned to Cardiff and went to Cardiff Bay, which was a pretty walk. For church on Sunday morning, we went to Llandaff Cathedral for worship service. The cathedral and surrounding area was gorgeous. There was also a World War I and II monument to those who had served. The train rides to and from Cardiff were the first I had been on, and were enjoyable.

This trip is different than others I have taken for a couple reasons. First, I am taking class with science related majors while usually I am with others of the same major. It is good to get new perspectives from people and I like hanging out with them. I have also had to take a lot more responsibility for planning my weekend and day trips, which is sometimes a little overwhelming but helpful in getting used to being on my own. The last part of the trip that has been different is the money conversion, which I have not had to do when traveling around the States.

Though I have not yet been here for a week, I am quite pleased to be here and am experiencing a great deal.