Dr. Lynn Robson gives presentation on studying at Oxford

As of this past week, Mercer University has signed on with another college for the study abroad program. The agreement with Regent’s Park, a college in the Oxford system, was signed Tuesday, Sept. 24, with Dr. Lynn Robson as a representative. In a meeting on Thursday, Sept. 26, for those interested in this opportunity, Dr. Eric Spears confirmed that Mercer could be ready to send students over as early as next fall.

Oxford is ranked as the second best university in the world, behind the California Institute of Technology, says Robson. It is classified as a collegiate university that consists of 37 different colleges which act as a republic.

Racking up a full 800 years old, Oxford is home to the Regent’s Park College. It specializes in humanities and the social sciences, and is home to 200 students. Lying in the heart of campus, Regent’s Park has a welcome reputation as the friendliest of all the colleges at Oxford.

Some of the perks that it has to offer its students is the ability to lounge on the college quad. As Mercer students, we may find the fact that some of the other colleges don’t allow this shocking, which makes Regent’s Park all the more appealing.

They have a campus turtle that races annually in the Inter-College Tortoise Race. For those who are intrigued by authors such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, the Eagle and Child pub is only a short distance away from the campus. This pub is the infamous meeting place of the Inklings, the informal literary discussion group associated with Oxford.

On a more serious note, the academic rigor was also a key factor in the presentation. Where here at Mercer, students go through two seventeen week semesters, at Regent’s Park there are three eight-week trimesters. It is ideal for interested students to go in their junior year, Robson says, as Oxford students only go to school for three years.

Each term consists of a major and a minor “tutorial”, the school’s style of teaching, which adds up to roughly 12 hours a trimester. The tutorial format is a more one-on-one format that features a one hour meeting every week with your “tutor” (translate as professor) to discuss the paper that you wrote for the week.

Once that’s done, the tutor gives you assigned readings to work on for your next paper, due the following week. There is a heavy emphasis on independent study, so it’s not for the weak of will.

A GPA of 3.7 or above is required for those interested in studying at Regent’s Park. In Robson’s words, this shows that “students are self-motivated” and proves that they belong there at Oxford.

“If the question ‘why?’ is your favorite question, your place is at Oxford,” she says. Their motto, “Test everything, hold onto what is good,” symbolizes the inherent reason why all students should travel abroad and should feel free to check out this opportunity. Interested students should get in contact with Dr. Eric Spears for more word on this study abroad trip.