jeevanr21
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I am a student living in the UK. I started at Oxford University in October on a 4 year degree in French & Spanish (including a year abroad). I've since discovered that I don't like it that much as the focus is mainly on literature and everything (yes, everything) is done in English - the lectures, tutorials and essays. I could study the language further outside my degree.

I've always been really drawn to the US liberal arts education - I love to focus on a variety of subjects and at Harvard I'd have the opportunity to study Arabic and American literature alongside French and Spanish which I'd love, plus I think they focus more on language learning. I have the grades and extracurriculars to apply to Harvard. Would this be a good idea?

One option is to keep the door open at Oxford and leave if I get a place at Harvard. In terms of international prestige, which would be better? I've sometimes heard that a languages degree from Oxford is viewed very favourably internationally.

I plan to enter the field of international journalism.
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by jeevanr21)
I am a student living in the UK. I started at Oxford University in October on a 4 year degree in French & Spanish (including a year abroad). I've since discovered that I don't like it that much as the focus is mainly on literature and everything (yes, everything) is done in English - the lectures, tutorials and essays.

I've always been really drawn to the US liberal arts education - I love to focus on a variety of subjects and at Harvard I'd have the opportunity to study Arabic and American literature alongside French and Spanish which I'd love, plus I think they focus more on language learning. I have the grades and extracurriculars to apply to Harvard, but I don't know whether it's a good idea.

One option is to keep the door open at Oxford and leave if I get a place at Harvard. In terms of international prestige, which would be better? I've sometimes heard that a languages degree from Oxford is viewed very favourably internationally.

I plan to enter the field of international journalism.
Both are extremely prestigious like on the same level

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Trevish
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Harvard is actually slighy better than Oxford

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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by Trevish)
Harvard is actually slighy better than Oxford

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Not in terms of Prestige (why Oxford is no. 1 in Times Higher Education Rankings)

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Snufkin
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It sounds like you did zero research when you applied to Oxford. If you had looked at the MML department website you would have known that the course focuses heavily on literature. You could in theory apply to US colleges, but you're going to have to step up your planning and research skills if you want to stand a chance.

(Original post by Trevish)
Harvard is actually slighy better than Oxford

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What tosh.
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by Snufkin)
It sounds like you did zero research when you applied to Oxford. If you had looked at the MML department website you would have known that the course focuses heavily on literature. You could in theory apply to US colleges, but you're going to have to step up your planning and research skills if you want to stand a chance.



What tosh.
Probably was like I have the grades, I'm gonna try for the best. Lol

Just like many of my friends who applied by choosing their unis off the world rankings...

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Trevish
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(Original post by Snufkin)
It sounds like you did zero research when you applied to Oxford. If you had looked at the MML department website you would have known that the course focuses heavily on literature. You could in theory apply to US colleges, but you're going to have to step up your planning and research skills if you want to stand a chance.



What tosh.
Harvard got a higher rank than Oxford most of times.

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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by Trevish)
Harvard got a higher rank than Oxford most of times.

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Most Rankings are American centric

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Snufkin
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(Original post by Trevish)
Harvard got a higher rank than Oxford most of times.

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THE puts Oxford as no. 1 whereas Shanghai Jiao Tong has Harvard as no. 1. They're the only two rankings which mean anything. Harvard is probably better at postgrad, but in terms of undergraduate education, no American university can really compete with Oxbridge.
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by Snufkin)
THE puts Oxford as no. 1 whereas Shanghai Jiao Tong has Harvard as no. 1. They're the only two rankings which mean anything. Harvard is probably better at postgrad, but in terms of undergraduate education, no American university can really compete with Oxbridge.
In terms of undergraduate education, it depends on which side of the spectrum you stand on in regards to the American Liberal Arts system. Wouldn't necessarily say Harvard is worst than Oxford in undergraduate as well.

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Trevish
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That's why I said slightly better
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Snufkin
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(Original post by wolfmoon88)
In terms of undergraduate education, it depends on which side of the spectrum you stand on in regards to the American Liberal Arts system. Wouldn't necessarily say Harvard is worst than Oxford in undergraduate as well.

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There is the breadth vs depth debate but that's a slightly separate issue. That aside, there is a difference in the way students are taught and examined in the UK (and especially at Oxbridge) compared with the States.

From what I've read and been told, students at Harvard are spoon fed a lot of the time, it is a very school-like environment. Nobody is going to hold your hand at Oxford, you read the books and you do the work or you fail - it's a sink or swim environment. I think the OP would gain more transferable, analytical, time management and research skills at Oxford than they would at Harvard, and if they want a career in journalism, those skills are incredibly important.
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by Snufkin)
There is the breadth vs depth debate but that's a slightly separate issue. That aside, there is a difference in the way students are taught and examined in the UK (and especially at Oxbridge) compared with the States.

From what I've read and been told, students at Harvard are spoon fed a lot of the time, it is a very school-like environment. Nobody is going to hold your hand at Oxford, you read the books and you do the work or you fail - it's a sink or swim environment. I think the OP would gain more transferable, analytical, time management and research skills at Oxford than they would at Harvard, and if they want a career in journalism, those skills are incredibly important.
That's fair, I've been told that about Harvard as well. But I think that might be more in the first year rather than in the third and fourth years when students become more specialised?

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NatZ7051NB1T
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This thread is idiocy. How are you going to prove one is better than the other when you haven't defined what "better" is? And, for the politically correct answer that they are both equally good, that is very unlikely. It's likely that one is distinctly better than the other in whichever manner you define "better". Most importantly, why would you ask this question here? It's full of college students. How would they know which college is better than the other for this or that reason? For example, if you defined "better" as the college with the most prestige (aka impact) when applying for a job in the US in a specific field, shouldn't you visit a website with people who actually work.

Sorry for the rant. I know this is a 3-year-old post. I don't even know how I got here. This link popped up in my search results and I started reading. But, when I read some of the responses...I just can't believe...I know they probably are but I can't believe the respondents here are actual Oxford or Harvard students. The analyses are so unsophisticated.
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