Having spent months enjoying the sunshine east Australian coast in Brisbane and the humid but cozy university village in Seattle, I can’t wait one more minute to embrace my new adventure in the old town of Oxford, which has a world-renowned reputation for its glorious academic history.
My flight from Shanghai (including a connection in Abu Dhabi) was severely delayed so that it was only five minutes before the pick-up bus departed as scheduled when I immediately recognized the group in the arrival hall. However, my almost being late didn’t impair the atmosphere of a warm welcome and we got to know each other soon since we had the same ambition to explore as much as we could in the coming two weeks!
After enjoying the picturesque scenery on the shuttle bus along the M40, we were guided into the check-in hall in Oriel College where we received a delicate name tag and some further materials describing the planned activities for the first week. Since I really suffered from the jet lag of 14 sleepless hours, I headed directly for the apartment, without even taking a second glance at the grandeur (and allegedly one of the largest) portrait of Her Majesty.
The first day of class passed quickly. There was no doubt that the introduction and first glimpses at the course in the morning were well-organized and worthy of profound discussions when I complete the first week several days later. And in the afternoon, the impressive stories imbedded into everything tangible around us couldn’t fascinate me more as a fan of history. I will definitely retell some of them from my perspective in the coming days!
Eventually the welcome reception took place as the setting sun shed its lingering light on the steeples of the medieval buildings. Old and new friends gathered by the squared meadow talking about everything and the program officer approached to greet everyone. I had sincerely wished this fortnight to be a most fulfilling one in my life before I stepped into another good dream…