kenz1995
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I recently got accepted to SOAS's MA Art History and Archaeology of East Asia and Oxford's Korean Studies Mst, but I am 100% at a loss for deciding which one to go to. I am an American student, but I studied at the Sotheby's Institute of Art in London and LOVED London so, so much. I have never loved a place more in my life other than maybe Korea. My professors there recommended that I apply to an MA program at SOAS because of my interest in Korean art history, but my professors at my American Uni recommended I apply to Oxford. I am near fluent in Korean already, so learning the language is not an issue for me. Mostly, I just need to choose a program that will set me up best to do a PhD in Korean art history. Does anyone have an experience with Master's programs at either University? Does the brand name of Oxford really outweigh SOAS? Is Oxford relatively social? I'd consider myself a big city girl, so I'm afraid I'll be lonely out in Oxford. I have tons of friends in London from when I studied there last year and I love the city's liveliness, so that is definitely a draw to SOAS. However, I hear that the brand name of Oxford carried over to America better. Any opinions??
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LuigiMario
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you have a really nice dilemma!
Haven't been to SOAS at all, just accompanied a friend to a week of interviews related to the Oxford Oriental Institute (for their Japanese studies) Oxford was very pleasant, the town IS the University, nearly all the buildings are Colleges. It's a bit of a time-warp, admittedly. You might enjoy the historical aspect of staying in an ancient college residence, it does have clout, is probably value for money.

Their unique selling point at ox.ac.uk was the claim that they are the only centre in UK to teach just in the foreign language, from original sources. I felt that it wasn't that big an institute, I felt that they were pushing Chinese/Arabic/Iranian/Japanese/Others in that sort of order - Korean being in "others"
When I tried a bit of metadata searching online for you, Korean+SOAS had >8 million hits, whilst Oxford+Korean had > 60 million, that was a surprise, I thought it would be the other way around - I hope that's not just counting restaurants!

I lived/taught in & near London, only liked it on Sundays when I could bike around without being gassed, but that's an important fact that you love the place, I agree that it's not really British, it's a "world city" , unique place when you're in the middle, there's always something to do. Oxford has nice bookshops & tea-shops, the odd ball.

So, I'm not helping you very much - but just giving you some wider ideas as it's your great choice to make. At Oxford Oriental Institute, the staff were really nice, you probably would work with a particular college staff (Oxford does have MANY north American profs, in the list below both Linda & Jennifer were amazing); so should you be comparing your potential 'cloud' of tutors at the two institutions? I think at your level - you can dig into the details and see how well you match, look at their interests & publications, due diligence, online degree-dating not stalking! Phone/mail some of them?

I found this link for Oxford Korean/Japanese (you'll see it seems a bit biased?)
https://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/article/...er4682491=5821
Last edited by LuigiMario; 1 year ago
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MaturiTee
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(Original post by kenz1995)
I recently got accepted to SOAS's MA Art History and Archaeology of East Asia and Oxford's Korean Studies Mst, but I am 100% at a loss for deciding which one to go to. I am an American student, but I studied at the Sotheby's Institute of Art in London and LOVED London so, so much. I have never loved a place more in my life other than maybe Korea. My professors there recommended that I apply to an MA program at SOAS because of my interest in Korean art history, but my professors at my American Uni recommended I apply to Oxford. I am near fluent in Korean already, so learning the language is not an issue for me. Mostly, I just need to choose a program that will set me up best to do a PhD in Korean art history. Does anyone have an experience with Master's programs at either University? Does the brand name of Oxford really outweigh SOAS? Is Oxford relatively social? I'd consider myself a big city girl, so I'm afraid I'll be lonely out in Oxford. I have tons of friends in London from when I studied there last year and I love the city's liveliness, so that is definitely a draw to SOAS. However, I hear that the brand name of Oxford carried over to America better. Any opinions??
99% of people would jump at the chance to study at Oxford. Oxford and Cambridge are in a completely different league of their own academically with reputations (or as you say “brands”) to match. Having said that, by being so specialist SOAS does stand out in a way that not many non-Oxbridge universities do.

The student population at Oxford is also extremely cosmopolitan. You certainly won’t be lonely, indeed it’s a lot easier to feel lonely in a big city than a small town which is dominated by the university. If anything, Oxford might be too intense as you keep bumping into people the whole time.

I write this as a mature student applying to SOAS for a second degree having done my first degree at Cambridge and having quite a few friends who went to Oxford.

Personally, I would go for Oxford unless there are genuine reasons for preferring the course at SOAS.

You are very lucky to have such a great choice.
Last edited by MaturiTee; 1 year ago
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kenz1995
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(Original post by LuigiMario)
you have a really nice dilemma!
Haven't been to SOAS at all, just accompanied a friend to a week of interviews related to the Oxford Oriental Institute (for their Japanese studies) Oxford was very pleasant, the town IS the University, nearly all the buildings are Colleges. It's a bit of a time-warp, admittedly. You might enjoy the historical aspect of staying in an ancient college residence, it does have clout, is probably value for money.

Their unique selling point at ox.ac.uk was the claim that they are the only centre in UK to teach just in the foreign language, from original sources. I felt that it wasn't that big an institute, I felt that they were pushing Chinese/Arabic/Iranian/Japanese/Others in that sort of order - Korean being in "others"
When I tried a bit of metadata searching online for you, Korean+SOAS had >8 million hits, whilst Oxford+Korean had > 60 million, that was a surprise, I thought it would be the other way around - I hope that's not just counting restaurants!

I lived/taught in & near London, only liked it on Sundays when I could bike around without being gassed, but that's an important fact that you love the place, I agree that it's not really British, it's a "world city" , unique place when you're in the middle, there's always something to do. Oxford has nice bookshops & tea-shops, the odd ball.

So, I'm not helping you very much - but just giving you some wider ideas as it's your great choice to make. At Oxford Oriental Institute, the staff were really nice, you probably would work with a particular college staff (Oxford does have MANY north American profs, in the list below both Linda & Jennifer were amazing); so should you be comparing your potential 'cloud' of tutors at the two institutions? I think at your level - you can dig into the details and see how well you match, look at their interests & publications, due diligence, online degree-dating not stalking! Phone/mail some of them?

I found this link for Oxford Korean/Japanese (you'll see it seems a bit biased?)
https://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/article/...er4682491=5821
Thank you so much!! This decision is going to be impossible to make, but you are right! It’s a good dilemma to have! Thank you again! Have a lovely day!!
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MaturiTee
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[QUOTE=LuigiMario;81989172]you have a really nice dilemma!
Haven't been to SOAS at all, just accompanied a friend to a week of interviews related to the Oxford Oriental Institute (for their Japanese studies) Oxford was very pleasant, the town IS the University, nearly all the buildings are Colleges. It's a bit of a time-warp, admittedly. You might enjoy the historical aspect of staying in an ancient college residence, it does have clout, is probably value for money.

Their unique selling point at ox.ac.uk was the claim that they are the only centre in UK to teach just in the foreign language, from original sources. I felt that it wasn't that big an institute, I felt that they were pushing Chinese/Arabic/Iranian/Japanese/Others in that sort of order - Korean being in "others"
When I tried a bit of metadata searching online for you, Korean SOAS had >8 million hits, whilst Oxford Korean had > 60 million, that was a surprise, I thought it would be the other way around - I hope that's not just counting restaurants!

I lived/taught in
Last edited by MaturiTee; 1 year ago
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