Cognitive Science student Tess Tobin (Class of 2019) attended Hertford College at the University of Oxford in the U.K. from January through June 2018.
Decision and Cognition
While at Oxford, Tess took four courses: Knowledge and Reality, Modern British Dramas, Philosophy of Cognitive Science, and Formal Modeling of Decisions, three of which counted toward her Cognitive Science degree. To make this happen, Tess worked closely with both her Michigan and Oxford advisors when selecting courses so that it would be a seamless transition. As for the structure of the courses, Tess explains, Oxford is unique in that classes are taught through the tutorial system requiring weekly one-on-one meetings with professors as opposed to traditional lectures or seminars.
Inspiration for Study-Abroad Location
It’s not always easy to choose a study-abroad location. For Tess, the choice was less about the geographic location and more about the program: “Oxford just seemed so mythical; I wanted to know what it was like to go there.”
“Living in Oxford is otherworldly,” says Tess. “It's more beautiful than you can possibly imagine. And it was also pretty amazing to experience another pedagogical style—their way of teaching, and their way of life, is completely different from here.”
Yet, Tess admits, she probably had the most fun while traveling, when students had six weeks off between terms. “My two favorite places were Salzburg, Austria and Bergen, Norway," says Tess. "I also enjoyed taking casual day trips around England, particularly in London and the Cotswolds.” Tess was also fortunate to spend time in Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, Genoa, Turin, Venice, and Vienna!
Advice for Fellow Study-Abroad Students
For students considering a study-abroad opportunity, Tess has some practical tips to ensure the best experience:
“One--talk to your department advisors before choosing courses so you know they'll count. And two--buy a portable battery. When you're alone in a country where you don't speak the language, you don't want to worry that your phone will die!”