Where should I start? It's only been a week here, but I've really enjoyed my stay at Oxford so far. My first course in medical ethics (they're called tutorials here) was on Friday and was quite interesting since I explored the topic of patient consent in medicine and basically the conflict between the principles of beneficence and patient autonomy. I didn't really know what to expect from my first class since I don't come from a background of philosophy, but the one-on-one discussion with my professor has made it a very rewarding and worthwhile experience so far. Having a research background and serving on the Institutional Review Board at UTD last year (our ethics committee) has also helped me better understand the topics I'm writing essays about.
In addition to the course, getting to meet the other students who are from all over the U.S. has been great. One of the groups here from Michigan is actually taking a C.S. Lewis course (which I'm sure Dr. Towner would approve of). Also, this will sound silly but being at Oxford sometimes feels like we're at Hogwarts. There are quite a few locations on campus that were used to film the Harry Potter movies. The picture that I've provided is actually in front of the tree where Malfoy is turned into a ferret in the fourth movie. Our group also got the chance to visit Cambridge on Saturday which is absolutely gorgeous (a bunch of us went punting which is something I'd definitely do again).
Overall, the change in atmosphere has brought in a nice change of mindset. Being in a new place with new people and being faced with quite a few cultural differences has been a learning experience. It's a mystery what the next few weeks hold in store for me, but I do hope they'll be enjoyable.