Everybody knows Oxford University! It's one of the oldest universities in the world. It'the top five universities worldwide. It' 20,000 students who belong to 38 colleges. Among its are 26 and 47 Nobel Prize winners. Famous include Stephen Hawking, Bill Clinton and Margaret Thatcher. One less famous person who spent time there was a young Canadian — me!
It was the 1970s and Iaround England. I'd just arrived in Oxford and was walking into the city. , I fell into conversation with a local guy. "Where are you staying?" he asked. "I have no idea," I replied. "I work for the university," he said. "There's a student in my college named John. He may be able to help you."
We soon arrived at Hertford College, aschool with roots going back to the 13th century. Just then, John. "I just met this Canadian ," the man told him. "He's traveling around the world and needs a place to stay." "What a !" John. "My classmate got sick and just went home. His room's empty. You can stay there!" Of course, this was against college rules. But how could I ? I staying for five weeks!
John introduced me to his classmates — Hugh, David and Tim. We soon became best friends! They showed me around the university, found me a bicycle and got me afor the college . Meals were very formal. The professors sat at a and the students at wooden tables below. Everyone wore academic gowns. It was like a scene from Harry Potter!
John and his friends were, studying Latin, Greek and ancient history. During the day, I joined their . In the evening, we went to pubs to drink beer, play darts and discuss Socrates. At night, we the streets, then climbed the college walls to our rooms after .
My five weeks in Oxford passed quickly. Each day was filled with adventures: watching cricket matches, attending plays,on the river and Oxford during the boat race with our , Cambridge. By the end of my stay, I knew all the pubs, had explored all the colleges and could easily when stopped by foreign tourists on the street.
Just before I left for London, my British friends managed to sneak me in to the official college photo with all the students and. This is still on display in the lobby of Hertford College!
Ito live in Oxford and to experience the life of a British student. Now, when I want to someone, I always say, "I remember when I was at Oxford …"
The Japan Times ST: January 3, 2014