My name is Will Higginbotham and I am from Melbourne, Victoria. I am studying the Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications + International Studies) at the University of Melbourne. This past July 2013, I had an amazing opportunity to take part in the Oxford History, Politics and Society Program and received one subject worth of credit (12.5 – MU model) upon return to my home university.

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Where do I start? The Oxford summer program was full of highlights. There was the stunning beauty of the college and the city. For a history and English buff it was just the most memorable place — every part of Oxford has centuries worth of stories to tell. The highlight was not only the beauty and the quality of the education received, but also the people I met there.  Everyone clicked so easily and it may sound cheesy but we all became so close and a lot of us remain so.

The overseas study experience has significantly changed me.  Academically, the program has made me more ambitious and helped me see where I want to be in the future. One of the programs invaluable assets — no matter where you go with AIM Overseas— is that it encourages a more global perspective. It is inevitable that studying alongside people of different ages and ethnicity will open you up to different ways of thinking. Alongside this, studying overseas makes you more open to forging friendships and connections round the world. Speaking from experience, the most immediate change will be your appetite to travel and visit them all, encouraging a very costly travel addiction.

I would definitely go back and do it again… in a heartbeat !!! I did not expect it to be such a fun, social and rewarding experience. I expected an academic challenge and I got that, but I also had a fantastic college experience that came with all the usual socializing and partying. The combination of the two made for the most memorable of times in one of the most magnificent places. It was the best three weeks of any recent years.

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The UK doesn’t deal with heat very well. If you’re lucky enough to experience a ‘hot’ (25-32 degree) British summer then be prepared for lots of complaining and don’t expect any air-conditioning in any Oxford shops — even the ice cream ones. More likely though you will get a wet British summer in which case I’m told not to travel without a raincoat.

The college does a very good job of keeping you well fed, especially at Breakfast and Lunch! Be prepared for lots of berries around breakfast time. However, if you’re a fan of vegetables come dinner time, don’t expect anything but potato.

The UK is very convenient to travel in! Day trips to London from Oxford are so easy! Also, make the time to spend a week or two just traveling the UK. Ireland is close and Scotland is even closer.

Take an Oxford guidebook with you. Every corner of the place has historical, literary or movie significance!

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I’m fortunate that quite a few people I met at Oxford actually live in Melbourne. So we regularly catch and will remember our time at Oxford. I do miss the other friends I made though, but I’m sure I will see them all again. It’s also impossible not to miss Oxford as a place. The cobbled streets, the yellow stone colleges and the boats that punt down the rivers! If you’re a fan of books, history and old-school England then it’s simply the place to be and I look forward to going back one day.

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I have always enjoyed the idea of journalism or international affairs/politics/diplomacy. This experience solidified my areas of interest career wise but also has made me consider higher academic pursuits. I am sure that having the AIM overseas experience on my resume will be a talking point in future employment opportunities.

Do it !!! The programs are all fantastic and you can’t go wrong. It’s great that AIM Overseas allows students to do short-term courses because semester or yearlong courses sometimes aren’t an option. In any case you will get to travel, make friends, have a global academic experience and give yourself an edge in future pursuits. What’s not to like?!

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