Anjali Kapoor '24


Hi, my name’s Anjali and I just came back from studying abroad for Hilary and Trinity terms at St. Anne’s College, one of Oxford’s 44 colleges! I wanted to share some of the non-academic highlights of my time abroad!

Major: Computer Science (AB)
College: New College West
International Experience: University of Oxford, St. Anne's College
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Formal Meals

Oxford Dining Hall
Dining Hall at Mansfield College in Oxford

One large tradition at Oxford is Formal Hall, a fancy 3-course meal, where people generally dress up and wear a “commoner’s gown” vest. Every college at Oxford has formals, though it can vary in frequency, from every day to once a month depending on the college. You can get tickets to formals at your own college or go to a formal at a different college if invited by a friend or through a ticket exchange in the “Oxford Formal Dinners Marketplace” Facebook group. In my time at Oxford, I went to Formal Hall at 6 different colleges, and the ones at St. Anne’s were honestly my favorite - though I may be a bit biased! The most interesting one I attended was a Burns Night (a Scottish holiday) themed formal at Worcester, where someone played the bagpipes and recited an “Address to the Haggis”, and then we were served haggis!

The Harry Potter Ball

Anjali at the Harry Potter Ball
Anjali holding an owl at the Harry Potter Ball

In addition to formal dinners, there are also many balls at Oxford. Generally, every college and every society hosts a ball. There is no shortage of events to get dressed up for at Oxford! My friends and I attended a ball thrown by the Harry Potter Society, because how fitting is that for Oxford, since many Harry Potter scenes were filmed around campus! The ball was thrown at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History which was a beautiful venue. There was live music, Harry Potter themed decor, and even a live owl we could take photos with!













Anjali and her friend punting

One popular tradition in Trinity term is punting! Any day the weather was nice my friends and I would get together and go “hire a punt,” and punt through the scenic canals. Some colleges, including St Anne’s, provided punting access to students for free! While you can pay extra to have someone punt for you, most students like doing it themselves. It has a bit of a learning curve, but we quickly got the hang of it!



Society Events

Anjali celebrating Holi at Oxford
Fashion Show

Instead of clubs, Oxford has “societies.” Many societies host events that are open for anyone to attend. For example, I attended a Holi event hosted by the Oxford Union, a fashion show hosted by the Oxford Fashion Gala, and a board game night hosted by the Board Game Society.




















Sintra, Portugal

Sintra, Portugal

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Bologna, Italy

Bologna, Italy

Oxford has an extremely long 6-week spring break between Hilary and Trinity terms, so I decided to make the most of it and travel the entire time. I poured hours into planning a web of flights, trains, buses, Airbnbs, and hostels. Amazingly, everything worked out! My boyfriend and I started in Marbella, Spain, to meet up with his family, and spent a week soaking in the sunshine and enjoying the tapas and churros. Then, we took a flight to Lisbon, where we saw historic sights, tried numerous pastries, and of course, had to take a day trip to the famous Sintra! Next, we took a bus to Porto, where we were mesmerized by the tiled architecture, tried the francesinha sandwich, and took a wine tour to learn about Porto’s famous port wine. After, we flew to Paris, where we tried numerous French foods like escargot and crepes, were stunned by the stained glass in Sainte-Chapelle and had a picturesque picnic by the Eiffel tower. From there, we took a high-speed train to Amsterdam, where we learned about the history of the city through a canal tour, tried herring and poffertjes at a street market, and biked through Vondelpark. Subsequently, we flew to Slovenia, where we explored Ljubljana, rowed in Lake Bled, and took a tour of the Postojna Cave. Following Slovenia, we took a bus to Budapest, where we relaxed at the Széchenyi baths, ate numerous chimney cakes, and were in awe of the city views at the Fisherman’s Bastion. Afterwards, we flew into Milan, where we met up with my family, and then road-tripped to Florence, Rome, and Bologna, where we saw beautiful art, took a cooking class, and ate incredible Italian food. For our last stop, we took a bus to Cinque Terre, where we hiked through the five villages and ended the trip with a sunset at Riomaggiore. Finally, we flew back to Oxford. I felt like I’d lived so many lives in just 6 weeks, and it was truly a life-changing experience. Aside from spring break, we also took a few weekend trips to London, Cyprus, and Ireland. All in all, I got to travel to 10 different countries while studying abroad!


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