We recently heard from a Santa Clara Law study abroad alum who did our Oxford program not once but TWICE!
Here is his story:
I was in the Oxford study abroad program back in 2006 and 2007 (I did back-to-back summers). I know the program is starting up again and I was hoping you would share my experience with the incoming students. You see, the Oxford program had a resounding impact on my life, so much so that I never really left it behind. It was the greatest experience of my life and I knew I wanted to do a full degree there. I ultimately returned to Oxford in 2012 with a Berkeley program at Merton College, and I had dinner at Magdalen with the Santa Clara students that summer. The following year I was offered a place, not at Oxford, but, rather, at Cambridge, which I love dearly. Last November, a little over ten years after it all began, I graduated with a Master’s Degree (my fourth degree overall). Believe that I am fiercely partisan in favor of all things Cambridge, but as I kneeled to take my degree in the Cambridge Senate House, I remembered my time at Magdalen and the profound impact it had. Truly, I am a Cambridge man who, like Cambridge itself, was born from Oxford.
To the students I say this: I always recognized that being at Oxford was an opportunity, and they should treat it as such. Having three summer terms at Oxford under my belt gave me all the confidence to say to Cambridge that I was good enough, and they certainly agreed. Moreover, my Oxford background was always impressive to employers and was always a fun discussion during interviews. Indeed, it was Oxford that got me into big law because the hiring partner had done the FSU program (next door to Magdalen at St. Edmund Hall). Really, I cannot overstate the impact the Santa Clara Oxford program had, and, more importantly, my experience shows the importance of programs like these to both Oxford and Cambridge (far beyond the income we represent). The road may have been long for me but I never doubted it would happen, even though I had to accomplish it while balancing the stresses of my first decade of law practice. Nonetheless, I hope what I am saying here will inspire others who, like everyone who studies in the city of dreaming spires, falls in love with it.
The photo is from graduation day at Cambridge. I’m the short guy in the front. We were at King’s College on our way to the Senate House.