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How I Got Accepted to Study Abroad in Oxford, England

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

I grew up in a border city in Texas where dirt and cacti’ were the norm on every block. I love my city and it will always be my home but there are no castles… and it’s not exactly an hour’s drive from London, not even close! So when I learned about UT’s program’s opportunity to study abroad summer in Oxford I might have gone a bit feral. Well at first, and then I thought it was impossible. I bet you clicked on this because you’re thinking it’s also impossible and are letting all these other thoughts get in the way but let me tell you, it’s possible!

Look for Opportunites everywhere

I paid attention to my specific school’s (College of Liberal Arts) emails, newsletters, and even socials are good to look at! More than likely, your school, professors, and advisors are sending you emails or posting on socials like Instagram or Tik Tok about events or program opportunities. I found out about mine from an Instagram story from UT’s main Instagram and then asked my advisor about it. I also saw some posters in my main building. If you don’t have these types of things go to your study abroad center and ask about programs that line up with your degree and ask your advisor about it! They can always connect you to someone who might know a little more like the study abroad coordinators.

Standing out during the application process

With every monumental journey or opportunity in college, you’ll be granted these chances when you stand out. That being said there will probably be one or two essays and more if you plan to apply for scholarships. However, people will always write about their excitement to be somewhere new or how it would impact their career and you should mention this but this shouldn’t be the only reason. Ask yourself, “What else is there?” My program focuses on my English major and one of the classes being offered is about the Bronte sisters. Amazingly enough, the trip allows an excursion to Yorkshire where their Parsonage Museum is, so I wrote about what it meant to visit somewhere where writers I admired wrote and made a legacy, what that would mean to me, and how it would impact me as a writer. I also got personal and mentioned my culture. I am a proud Latina and talked about how this would allow me to inspire others in my community. My family was skeptical about me being away from home and my career. This opportunity is establishing how I deserve their respect and the amazing things I could get out of being at university abroad. Who knew I’d be going to England in three months?!

Apply for scholarships

I think there’s this skepticism about scholarships because people always think ” Why would they choose me for a scholarship” or ” They won’t give me enough”. I had the same thought but the program will introduce smaller scholarships for the program that gives you a better chance of being selected. When writing an essay for a scholarship be as specific as possible about your financial situation and don’t be afraid to get personal! The board of representatives and people reading these essays don’t know you. You need to explain to them your financial issues and where it would help you and how. Be sure to include the current financial aid you receive at school, this will not affect you! It helps to see where the money could be applied and if you will be able to afford the trip.

REACH OUT to your financial aid office

After being accepted into a study abroad program, the next action is wondering if you’ll even be able to go on the trip because of the money. I cried on the phone with my grandma about the fees until I realized I could ask people who would have an idea about how much FASFA would support me. Yes, of course, you still get FASFA for studying abroad even for a summer like I am. I consulted my financial aid office about my worries and they were super helpful! They look at your financial aid package from previous semesters and tell you what to expect based on loans and grants you are eligible for and estimate the amount. They teach you how to defer your payments and program bill that are usually due a week or so after you get accepted, but no worries! This is just to give you an idea of how much you will owe and you can pay it off later when FASFA releases. You can also schedule a meeting or contact your program coordinator to get a sheet about expenses so you can see what you may or may not have to start accounting for, they can put you in touch with financial aid officers to help you create a financial plan.

Form connections for references

I think it’s important to consider that you’re representing your university abroad so they will want someone who demonstrates responsibility and good standing, prioritizes academics, and loves their campus. Make sure you build connections with professors, TAs, advisors, and mentors. This will ensure you have a faculty member that will write you a letter based on your character and academic status. I have a great relationship with my mentor and a TA from a previous semester so I wrote them emails and visited them in person to ask for their help. Approach them with good intentions and make sure they know how much you want this trip, their words could change everything!


If you’re still unsure about this process, and its benefits, or need to know about other experiences to feel comfortable- talk to the program coordinator of the program you hold the most interest in. I met with my coordinator during their office hours and got to hear about their time abroad, the exposure and interest other students had during their trip, moreover, tips on what would help me stand out amongst other candidates.

Attend info sessions

Lastly, if you’re not ready to commit yet or are scared about what to tell your parents, it’s okay. You are allowed to be unsure and get more information! I attended my first info session three months before my application was due but they had two prior meetings before that so always try and be aware if you’re interested. Attending info sessions gives you an idea about what school you will be attending abroad, what classes are being offered, where you will be staying, the dates and expenses, and the best part- excursions.

I am so incredibly excited to share my experience abroad in a few months, but till then I hope you consider the opportunity to travel and get the best out of college! I never thought I would get this chance, but here I am!

You can do it bestie!

Abygail Pulido is a 2nd year at the University of Texas at Austin honing her craft for writing and pursuing her love for reading with a double major in English and Rhetorical Writing, she is also pursuing a certificate in Creative Writing. She is currently interning at the Harry Ransom Center in Visual Materials where she is learning about the curation process of exhibits and helping select class material. Abby's goal for her articles is to make academic and political topics digestable and fun to read. She loves Her Campus at Texas because its helped her to develop a voice and gain a connection with wonderful and diverse writers.