The Catholic University of America

Study Abroad banner 


About English             |             Degree Programs             |             Faculty             |             Student Life

Student Stories from Abroad

Name / Class Year: Tess Pfeifle, 2016

Where and when did you study abroad?

Studied abroad in Oxford, Fall 2014.

What (if any) classes did you take while abroad that counted towards the English major?

Perceiving Shakespeare: How characters in Shakespeare perceive and how we, as readers, perceive. Focus on the plays As You Like It, Richard III, and The Winter’s Tale

Thomas Hardy Novels (focus on Victorian Age conventions and convention breaking, the trope of the fallen woman, and the fin de siècle)

Shakespeare Adaptions: Counted as a “media” credit, but dealt directly with seven of Shakespeare’s plays, including Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, The Taming of the Shrew, Henry V, and Macbeth.

Why is your experience abroad important to you as an English major?

The one-on-one tutorial style was an invaluable way to improve my close reading skills, improve my writing, and channel my creativity into essay writing in a completely new way. Being able to study at such an amazing university that bursts with intellectual creativity was also inspiring, in and of itself. Also, the ability to interact and spend time with students from other universities who are jut as passionate about English as myself was amazing. The English major at CUA is a bit small, so being able to have so many different conversations with so many different students, with different concentrations really helped me and inspired me.

Any advice/insights you'd offer to prospective or current English majors regarding study abroad?

You have to love writing and reading if you go to Oxford. It is as rigorous as it is exhilarating. Without passion, you won’t last long so pick and craft a tutorial you care about, don’t just pick a broad topic because you think it sounds good. Put the time, effort, and research in and you will be rewarded with a passionate tutor and a passion to learn.

Back to English Study Abroad page