U.K Study Tour - A day in Oxford
It was a very early morning for the students. The alarms sounded at 6:30 ready for a 7:30am departure from the Budget Ibis foyer to Oxford. Unable to see yet whether we would be offered another sunny day in London, we readied ourselves and met down in the lobby. A tube, a train, a lovely Golden Retriever and a healthy nap later, we landed ourselves at Oxford.
At the station, we were warmly greeted by everyone’s beloved first-year lecturer-come Oxford great, Adam Webster. Still familiarly clad in one of his charming bow ties, Adam walked us to the impressive, Guggenheim Museum-like, Blavatnik School of Government, which we learnt had only recently opened in 2015 and won the Stirling prize for excellence in architecture.
Having hung up our coats in the foyer, we traversed down the impressive staircase and were met with some morning tea. Following this, we entered a nearby lecture theatre and began a lengthy discussion regarding two readings that we had been set by Adam in the previous week. The first reading was in relation to District Attorney Bahara Preet’s dilemma over whether to answer a phone call from then President-elect Donald Trump. The second reading related to Uber’s presence in the UK. It was incredibly interesting to observe the split of opinions amongst the students for both of the readings. It was also enjoyable (as law students of course) to work our way through the spinier questions that Adam posed. Moreover, it definitely provided an opportunity for those students who have an interest in public policy to observe how complex issues are discussed in an elite institution like Oxford.
After a delicious lunch of sandwiches and crisps, we had the pleasure of hearing from two Adelaide alumni, Steph and Will, about completing their Master of Laws (BCL) at Oxford. We were given the unique opportunity to ask the alumni questions about how to further our studies, moving abroad for work and the relevant pathways for doing so. Although most of us experienced a small quarter-life crisis after hearing their long list of accomplishments, they were able to be open and honest about their experience and gave us ideas on how to fulfil our own educational goals. Most of the group had never thought about further education after their bachelor’s degree, so it was a great platform to explore that option further.
When all the set academic activities were done for the day, we were treated to a walking tour of Oxford with Adam, who took us through and across the beautiful campus, as well as the town itself. It was great to hear the significance of all the buildings and their long histories. A highlight was seeing the pub where Bob Hawke broke the world record for drinking a yard glass (he did it in eleven seconds by the way!). This reaffirmed the strong Australian presence at Oxford for us. As the sun was setting, we warmed our bellies with a delicious pub feed which definitely put us to sleep on the train ride home. The whole day was a once in a lifetime experience, which not every student is lucky enough to partake in, so of course we were all extremely grateful for the opportunity.
Annabel Bramley, Olivia De Stefano