The University of Oxford, in England, is widely considered one of the best higher-education institutions in the world. More than 17,000 college hopefuls apply to this prestigious university each year, yet only 3,200 are admitted. Among the elite attending Oxford last spring was Anderson University student Melissa Reginelli.
When Reginelli, a senior Bible and religion major, considered studying abroad during the second semester of her junior year, she wanted to attend a school with a great reputation. She saw Oxford as a challenge, and it was the only school she applied to. [Photo on left: Reginelli walks along Pullens Lane, on her way to the city of Oxford. She had about a 40 minute walk in and out of the city every day.]
A member of the Honors Program at AU, Reginelli chose Oxford because classes there are challenging. “I knew that Oxford would not only help me excel in my studies, but would help me stand out when I applied for graduate school,” she said.
Reginelli applied to Oxford with little hope that she would be accepted. However, to her surprise she was admitted and invited to begin her studies in the spring of 2010. Reginelli was on a Tri-S trip in Greece when she received the news.
“Living on my own in a different country was amazing,” Reginelli said. “I became more independent. I became more comfortable with going off on my own and doing things by myself in Oxford.” Reginelli lived with 30 students, all from other Christian colleges in the U.S. “I remember staying up late with the other students discussing all types of topics. Each person brought an interesting thought to the table, whether it was from philosophy, religion, or literature,” she said.
Reginelli knew going to a different country to study would be a challenge, but she never knew how different the learning style would be. She explained that Oxford students are taught in tutorials, not classes. Instead of being taught in a classroom with 50 other students they are taught one-on-one with a professor.
“The one-on-one time with my professors made me take initiative to learn in my own way,” Reginelli said. “This was more challenging and a completely different learning environment than what I was used to at AU. The topics we discussed were really deep, which caused the students to debate and helped me learn more.”
Dr. David Murphy, a history professor and Reginelli’s honors advisor, believes that studying abroad is a great experience for any student. "Melissa was a great candidate to study abroad; she is smart, has great analytical skills and is a great representative of AU," Murphy said. "Studying abroad gives students a different perspective on the world and allows students to appreciate their own university’s structure."
Reginelli said her experience at Oxford was life changing and believes studying broad is a great choice for students. Her experiences both in and out of the classroom provided her with a unique world perspective that she will always carry with her.
— Matt Dougherty is a junior from Breese, Ill., majoring in communication arts and marketing. Dougherty is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.