Thursday, May 31, 2007

Oxford Life –I

This is the first part of series of posts on the experiences of Oxford Life.

Recounting on the past eight months of ‘new life’ in Oxford, both ‘town’ and ‘gown’, I feel this experience has been quite meaningful and challenging in many ways. You can understand this if I tell you my engagements on a bit busy day of Oxford life. On the last Friday morning, I was demonstrator for ITLP courses at the Oxford University Computing Services (OUCS). Being the International Student Officer (ISO), I carved out plans in the weekly executive council meeting of the Oxford University Students Union (OUSU) for setting up International Students Committee and organising a meet with presidents of all national societies during the noon time. After that I ran to the department to submit the form for second year electives selection at last minute of deadline. Then I went to SSL (Social Science Library), which is situated at a distant location, to return books on short loan as I had no courage to imagine myself paying fine of one pound per day per book (isn’t this too much £$$££££…). But afternoon was fantastic, I watched the ‘Summer Eights’-annual rowing competition among Oxford colleges in Isis river. The day did not end up with this.

During 4 to 6pm, I had to attend the academic writing course at the Oxford University Language Centre (OULC). There was a ‘Student for Development’ committee meeting later in the evening to discuss issues in relation to the upcoming student conference at the Queen Elizabeth House. Can you believe that this meeting was held in one of the best pubs -‘The Rose and Crown’ in North Oxford area. There were few more things after that as well; anyway I will leave here only. I could have never imagined about spending a day like this a year before.

The sense of diversity in terms of experiences I got here is far greater than you can think. The level of independence, opportunity and support is simply incredible. You can visualize how much I am getting exposed academically as well as culturally by the eclectic range of ideas and perspectives when 30 young scholars of almost 10 different academic backgrounds from more than 15 countries (i.e. my MPhill class profile) discuss and debate the international development issues ranging from conflict in Somalia to poverty traps in Bangladesh, all under one roof. I will talk more about these experiences and much more in next part.

1 comment:

Sandeep Menon said...

Hi Kaushal, am happy to catch you here in the blogosphere. Keep blogging, it is a pleasure to read about your experiences.