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September 27, 2007

First visit to Oxford

As a family, we made our first visit to Oxford last week. While there we had opportunities to walk the city, meet up with the staff of OSAP (Oxford Study Abroad Programme) and some faculty and students of Azusa Pacific University, and have conversations with several Oxford tutors. We found the city to be as glorious as Durham, though Durham’s glory is more understated (with a sandstone cathedral embodying that subdued glory in a most embracing fashion). One of the biggest differences was the pace of life in Oxford. Perhaps it seemed so rushed simply because we were so rushed. We had many meetings to walk to and many people to meet. It seemed that leisure is a luxury in Oxford. Our conversations with OSAP staff were fruitful and encouraging. It is clear that they are capable folk with a competent program. Our meetings with tutors reinforced my suspicion that a term or two at Oxford (if not an entire degree) could contribute significantly to the foundation and content and culture of one’s education. While speaking with some Azusa students I was surprised to find one who had participated in a homeschool program in Colorado at which I lectured back in the early summer of 2001. She also had been through one of Summit Ministries’ summer seminars in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The world suddenly felt so much smaller to meet up with her again, though this time in Oxford, England. We looked at some sample student housing, as well as some potential residences for us. We were quite shocked at the rental prices in Oxford. They are at least double what we have faced here in Durham. We’ve been told that real estate prices (including rent) in Oxford rival London. I imagine that may be so.


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