Travel to Oxford.
Just received Visa entry confirmation on 26th, I just booked a ticket through Emerald Airways, Chennai. I got fabulous offer of one way to London, via Mumbai Midnight flight. The flight was full. Plan of purchase on the day of Amma verdict(corruption and enormous wealth case was decided at Bangalore) had created me a tough time. Purasawakkam market was tensed and I had to catch an an auto at high price to reach back home.
I tried my best finalize the accommodation at Oxford, before leaving Chennai. To gather some known contacts via friends and social sites. Unfortunately was not successful, many advertisements in sparerooms and gumtree did not event respond. As I was making requests from India. My journey began with no accommodation booked. I was confident, finding atleast a hotel room for 3 days and find a room later.
Bus to Oxford Airline (23 Pounds)
I reached Heathrow airport on 30th Morning. The information centre the airport Terminal 3, service connection to terminal 5 was excellent. Free services between terminals. Outside Terminal 5, Platform 10, I boarded the Oxford Bus, The airline, which I felt like an another airplane, because the wifi connectivity, beautiful & smooth roads did not even feel me the speed. Yup, wearing belt was necessary even in Bus.
The driver made an announcement “ Welcome you on Board, This is xxxxx, we are heading to Oxford, oxford estimated journey time is 1 hours 30 minutes. Please wear your seat belts. There is a toilet in the Bus. Thank you for traveling with Airline. Oxford Bus Company.
I was in different world, the goat and horse farms across the London, Oxford highway was charming to the eyes. Ha ha.. this is called Europe.
University enrollment & certificate verification.
I reached the University bus stop at 10.00 AM, I had to pull the baggage to my School of Law Department. I had made the registration procedures and certificate verification and confirmed that continuing classes from Tomorrow. The department, was so helpful, they agreed me to keep my baggage till I find my room. So a big relax. 40 Kgs, pulling on the roads(good pathways) could be tough.
Later went to search for accommodation with university Accommodation bureau, I was so confident that since it is big university, I would be able to get a temporary accommodation. Unfortunately, there was no vacancy, and they gave a individual owner contacts of Oxford house owners. By then I walked around Headington Road, Cowley road, met atleast 15 agents. But no use, called many owners, no use only the Matrix SIM balance was getting down. I was virtually frustrated and felt like an alien in wrong place.
Atlast, I did get one response in Gumtree, who responded, I have explained the desperate situation, he understood the situation and said, hey man, if you can pay 800 pound a month, I can give you a room. If you are ready, I will arrange for a view.
It all happened in 1 hour, I made 100 pounds service charge to the agent. We spoke sealled the deal. 50 pounds went to 100 pounds, reduction in one month deposit. He was good man, he then dropped at my college, later we fixed 5′ o clock as another meeting. By 5 PM, I called him again, made request. Tim, would it be possible to pick me again up from university with baggage’s, he did help on that part. He came at 5.15 and we reached the, Iffley Road. By 5.30 PM I paid the one month rent 750 Pounds. Can you imagine (75000 Rupees for one month rent). Ha ha ( like renting an house near Poes Garden. Wowh… So rich I am…. Ha ha.. வேற வழி? There was no other way. ( (
He was also insisting for deposit one month. I said.. no going, he said, 350 deposit, I said nop. I cannot do that. Finally, law helped, with no deposit , no advance, said I have no other money to pay. Somehow I have convinced him. Great, the 1st day, in just 1 hour, my cook experiments started to began.
University and Class room
Initial days, I felt like virtually crying, leaving so bonded life at home, family and king like lifestyle. Here, days turned upside down. But, certain things really energized me, the technology of my Oxford Brookes University, School of Law professors, teaching methods. Professor Dr Math Noortman, Dr. Ilona Cheyne and Dr Sedman. Students from international countries, like Stefano from Italy, Vic Ram from Spain, Olga from Russia, Laura from Britain, Agathy from France, Sad from Iraq, Zahid from Palestine and so on.. Around 25 students comprising Trade law, Human Rights Law and International Law.
Some clicks on UK Teaching system
-Professors are not worried about you concentrate or not.
-You can use laptop and Mobile Phone, (No phone calls inside class room), but walk away to attend. Some professors may not like it, but you have liberty to do.
-System emphasizes the student to do critical analysis.
-What is your idea, concept, answer it from your perspective, not from books. Define your new idea from it. Be clear to the point.
-Module Management is an interesting thing, Module leader manages the modules and module team, the chapters, lectures and seminars.
-Lecture means anyone from other department who has the module will attend. Mostly student strength is combined.
-All module chapters are uploaded before the semester begins, presentations are prepared and uploaded. Mostly teaching is pre-planned. Lectures are really interesting.
-Most current news/subjects comes into the Lecture.
– Seminar means group of 12 people, interactive session, mostly discussed about earlier class chapter and case study discussions, opinions from students.
– In law Advanced Legal Research Methods, keeps you busy in analyzing the Case studies and Legal referencing.( I have done assessment 1, is the Declaration of Independence of Kosovo, is it in accordance with the Law?) Had to read, 500 pages documents to complete the assessment also use OSCOLA, Oxford Standard For Case Law referencing.
Horn, Cars & Roads
The cars and road rules, attitude of giving way to other, (May by, I need to reach what is the real meaning of giving way to another, is it supremacy or fear of blocking the roads, fear of law or the real human values we give to other). Any case, they are the best and it’s a culture, I will be taking from here, if not preaching atleast for self practice. Can I?
Most importantly, in 3 weeks of Oxford life, seen atleast 1 lakhs of cars driving on the read near my house, none of them used their horn.. not even once in 21days. Just the tyre noise keeps buzzing.
This is not easy thing, we Indian’s honk atleast 100 times in single trip. This is not fair…I just have one question in mind..Can this no horn system can be practiced in India, like Clean India. If so how it can be done?
The Wi-fi system called “eduroam” free for every student in the UK. Can access it from any university(Student Central registration required), like when I walk to the City Centre of Oxford, University of Oxford gives free eduroam to Oxford Brookes Students, I think its regular system here, free wifi on every bus and shop establishments.
University provides 21” computers in the main lobby, any student can login and work for 24 hours. Library Check in Check out system is at best, RFID implemented in real time, real use.
The business community here in Oxford are using knowledgeable students for their projects using the term”Volunteership”. I am sure, they would be saving 1000 of pounds using the Volunteership system, but eventually, the student community also would benefit by creating network and gain practical experience.
I made a mistake, why I missed to use the 60 kg baggage allowance given by Jet Airways on student quota. I carried only 40 Kgs. May If had a car hire, additional 20 Kg, could have been a vice to carry some food stuff and utensils we normally to make south Indian food.
I bought few things from India, the pressure cooker, home made mirchi and masala powders, tea powder & electric plug converters are made my daily routines easier.
I had to visit to London to buy a Ponni Boiled rice at Hounslow area, which actually making my home food not missed. 10 Kg at 12 Pounds. (BlazeDream technologies, UK partner Mr. Nattu G offered me a nice lunch at his home, a drive in his Benz car & shopping)
Well, when it comes to food…Ha ha.. You know what, cook a curry, store and use it for 4~5 days, this is the mantra. Hot boiled rice everyday, doesn’t make me feel, a miss of home food.
What is next
University activities kept my energy up, Skype kept away the home sickness, the only problem is spending pounds and conversion calculation in mind. To save pounds, an average walking 8~10 kilometers a day, from home to university to and fro.
The mornings walks to the university, watching British children going to school in cycle, push scooters , their energy and enthusiasm makes me smile, Whenever I see a Britain child on the road, they touch my heart. I don’t know why, because they look cute, they are fresh. Feel liberty inside. But really good.
There are many other good factors like, effective administrative and corrupt free system, which I feel the Britain are proud about and that would be the strong reason they have rule the world attitude.
For me, it is just third Sunday here, the life here in Oxford can be energetic and youthful, if you have good bank balance in pounds, attitude to spend and you want to enjoy the current moment.
Had an opportunity to visit Oxford Tamilians event organized by Tamils here, just relaxed my brain and heart to a large extent, new Tamil friends, living here for 10+ years like Raji, Baskar, Abdul, Karthik, Kris, Bhuvana, Arakonam boy Bharani all are really soul hearted. I am confident, I can spend remaining months of education more academically, meaningfully and livingly.
That’s all for now… every hour here seems to be valuable. (
Note: There are many things to write, finding an home, finding a part time job, spending every penny and pound..will continue… thanks for reading