Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The City of Dreaming Spires

I love the title; that's the real sub-name for Oxford. It sounds so dreamy and romantic; I feel like I'm twelve years old again, and convinced I'm Anne of Green Gables, where everything has a romantic name.

I've started looking at information about Oxford and college life in the UK. I've found some different sorts of things about living in England.

1.One must buy a TV license for a TV. It costs 131 pounds sterling - about 262 American Dollars. If one gets caught without a license, there is a 1000 pound sterling fine! Good thing Avram and I don't even own a TV in America, because a TV is definitely not worth that much to me.

2. In reading a guide for saving money for college students, they tell you to only take 20 pounds out for drinking, and to leave the cards at home, to avoid a drunken visit to the ATM for more money. Although I'm sure this wouldn't be that weird of advice to most Americans, to me it's funny. It's nice how much money Avram and I save by being LDS.

3. We can go on day tours from Oxford to Stratford-upon-Avon (where Shakespeare's from), Bath, Stonehenge, the Welsh Border, London (of course; it's only an hour away), and just about anywhere else in England. Day tours from Provo could just mainly take one to the desert.

4. I don't personally care about this one, but some scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed in Oxford, and I can even take a tour of them. For example, the outside of one of the colleges that Avram applied to (one has to apply to college inside the university, after admittance to the univesity of Oxford), Christchurch is the outside of some building at Hogwarts.

5. In looking at Hotels to find the cost of accomodations in Britain, I came across a room description which included a colour telivision (do some places still offer black and white?) and a trouser press (I don't even use my normal iron). Also, this hotel was in the cheapest set of hotels; it only cost up to 60 pounds - 120 dollars. Ouch!

6. There are speciality used clothing stores that only sell used Graduation gowns, because at Oxford the students not only wear them for Graduation, but also for Matriculation (starting school), formal dinners in their college, and taking tests. There are many different kinds for each person, with formal regulations dictating what one wears; Avram's has lace on it!

7. In America Banks are notorious for their holidays in remembrance of everything. In Britain that is so much so, that Holidays are referred to as Bank Holidays.

That's everything odd I can think of right now. Except that everything is twice as expensive as in America. At least their minimum wage is twice as much; it's 5.35 pounds/hour, or $10.70/hour (Avram's planning on obtaining a part time job to help decrease the cost).


  1. Wow a tv licence.. how weird! never knew anything like that excisted! A tv is not worth that much to me either!! what does the licence money pay for??

    i thought the advise for drinking was funny too... us LDs do save loads of money from no alcohol/smoking/or gambling!

    I want to go on all those day tours!! you must take lots of pictures so I can be like anne of green gables and through my imagination be there experiencing it with you.

    okay now that you shared hotel prices I am most positive I will never afford to come visit! maybe someone in your ward will have a spare room for visitors.. hmmmm

    You MUST post a link to this lace gown he will be wearing!! and how weird they wear them all the time! Its like an old movie or something!

    Ahhhhhh i will live my life of adventures through you thora. So interesting your life is.

  2. Don't worry, Camilla. We'll get to pay for its interestingness in Student Loans later. I'll definitely take tons of pictures, and post them to stallicks and my blog (once you show me how). I don't know if I can get a link of the lace gown; the picture I've seen of it came from an actual book that Avram got from the library. It's black lace, if that makes it more manly.

  3. Camilla,

    Here is the gown I will wear when I am a student (I wear the advanced studeny gown at the very bottom of the page):

    And this is the gown I get when I get my degree (the Master of Studies, again at the bottom of the page):

  4. I thought you said students wouldn't be able to work there. Would Avram have time to work?

    I tried to go to the links Avram posted and couldn't get them to work. It said they wouldn't work on this server. Any help available.

  5. Avram can work, but it's not very common for students to work, so we were worried that he wouldn't find any jobs (we're used to him working on campus, like at BYU). It turns out that there are jobs, they just are things like working at a pub, or the local Toys R Us.

  6. You have a very engaging style, Thora, I like it alot. You should write for the board!
    (This is Sarah, btw)

    They have a tv license and a radio license in Germany, which I didn't know about until after I had broken the radio rule quite often. It seems abit totalitarian to have to register your radio and tv, but I think the money pays for the public programming.

    Looking forward to more posts.