The city of dreaming spires

    And that sweet city with her dreaming spires,
She needs not June for beauty’s heightening,

    Lovely all times she lies, lovely to-night!—

Thus wrote Matthew Arnold in his poem ‘Thyrsis’, and Oxford’s lovelilness was echoed by Gerard Manley Hopkins in ‘Duns Scotus’s Oxford’:

    Towery city and branchy between towers;
Cuckoo-echoing, bell-swarmèd, lark charmèd, rook racked, river-rounded;

Oxford is a lovely place to be. Its spires and towers still shape its skyline, and you understand its ancientness when you realise that its New College was founded in 1379. It’s no wonder that film directors are drawn to it, and you may recognise some parts from Harry Potter films among others. But it’s not a museum: many buildings and institutions are still used for the purpose for which they were founded hundreds of years ago. Ancient libraries are still places for reading and study, ancient churches are still their parish’s place of workship, and in the centre of the city cows continue to graze in their meadows and deer roam in their deer park. And you’ll find that foot and bicycle are still the best ways to get around the city.

As a SCIO student in Oxford you can experience the city as the locals do, not as a tourist who can see the outside only, and you’ll come to understand its mix of old and new. You will, for example, be reading in those ancient libraries and find that, in the midst of all this history, Oxford is a modern city with all the conveniences you are used to back home. You will be exploring Oxford’s world famous museums and realise that those historic buildings are also centres of cutting edge science or the very latest in conservation techniques.

You’ll find too that Oxford is a well connected city, less than an hour by modern trains from London with its museums, galleries, theatres, and concert halls. It also has excellent air and rail links to continental Europe – perhaps you are tempted by the adventure of taking a super high speed train underneath the sea to France, Belgium, or Holland while you are studying at Oxford.

Find out more about how you can study abroad in Oxford with SCIO for a semester or on a summer programme.

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