Oberlin Blogs

Hello from London!

November 1, 2023

Ricarda Hill ’24

I hope everyone had a great summer and a good first half of the semester! I certainly did and hope to share more about that soon. This academic year got off to an interesting start, mostly because I got an extra week at home before flying out to start the fall semester in London, England! 

I’m so excited to be studying abroad with the Fall 2023 Oberlin-in-London program. The Oberlin-in-London program is an amazing study abroad opportunity that sends 25 students and 2 professors to London each year. The professors and the courses they teach change every year, and students of any major can apply to the program. This year’s theme is a magical, medical mystery tour led by Professor Peters from the biology department and Professor Wilburn from the Classics department. I am taking an eight-credit History of Medicine course taught jointly by both professors, Biology of Cancer, and History of London. Every student enrolls in that year’s eight-credit class and gets to choose their electives; if I had not chosen to take Biology of Cancer and History of London, I would have taken Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion and The London Stage, respectively. The London-specific classes are taught by British professors, and all of our classes are held in the Florida State University London Study Centre. Being hosted by a larger university is pretty nice and gives the semester more of a campus feel since we are surrounded by other college students, both from FSU and other partner universities. The Study Centre is about a twenty-minute walk away from our flats – I have found that a brisk morning walk to class is one of the best ways to fully wake up! 

Speaking of our flats, which I am happy to discuss more in depth later on, our housing was coordinated by the program, so we did not have to seek out accommodation on our own while still in the United States (whew – just a housing preferences form!). Although there are students from other university exchange programs living in our building, we live with other Oberlin students in flats of two to six people. I am in the largest flat with five other students, which is certainly an interesting experience since I largely managed to inadvertently avoid roommates for my first three years at Oberlin (COVID single to Asia House superquad to North single). We are not on a meal plan and the flats are well-furnished and equipped with all sorts of kitchen appliances and utensils, so we mainly cook at home, interspersed with take-out and meal deals based on our individual budgets and preferences. As someone who enjoys cooking (almost joined a co-op!), it has been a fun experience exploring local grocery stores and trying out new recipes in an attempt to give adulting a go before graduation! 

Coming from the United States, there are also unprecedented opportunities for travel, both within the United Kingdom and to Europe and beyond. Being close to a bunch of different airports with cheap flights to other British and European cities has made it pretty easy to spontaneously decide on a weekend getaway, solo or with friends. The program takes us on both day and overnight trips, which is so much fun! It reminds me of field trips from middle school and high school – all of us packed on a bus or a train with our instructors – but with a greater degree of independence and fascinating destinations and scenery! 

I am super excited to be on this adventure, especially because it was my last opportunity to study abroad as a fourth-year student who is set to graduate this spring. However, I was a bit hesitant to go abroad since I thought it would disrupt the typical senior year experience (and oh boy, it sure has, but in the best way!). Even after my first two weeks living here across the pond, I could already tell that this would be one of, if not the most, transformative semesters in my Oberlin career. Since I am not the best at keeping a real-time daily journal routine, I am excited to share about my study abroad experience through the Oberlin Blogs to reflect on my adventures and cherish all of the memories. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned! 

Similar Blog Entries

Show! Show! Show!*

February 29, 2024

Ricarda Hill

In which the Oberlin-in-London program introduced me to the world of London theatre and fulfilled the "study abroad is life-changing" cliché.
Ricarda Hill