Study Abroad: Oxford



By Tiffany Schlarman

What does the word Oxford conjure up?

The illustrious students and dons (professors) who talked, walked and argued in its historic streets and classrooms, such as Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, Aung San Suu Kyi and 46 other Nobel prizewinners, Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien? Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein? The glorious, intact Medieval buildings, incredible museums, iconic Christ Church quad?

Can you picture yourself there?

Psychology major and senior Toni Heflin did. Heflin took a class very similar to Higgs’ upcoming class in England last year.

“It was amazing!” she said. “Not only was it a unique learning environment, it was very interactive. Dr. Higgs (professor of psychology) took us to many different sites in the history of science like Darwin’s home, the Darwin Center and Freud’s home.

“In Oxford, the learning you gain from being there is more than what you can find in books — it sticks with you, a lot more than just reading or talking about it.”

Heflin and her friend also took the time to see Tower Bridge, the Millennium Wheel, The Tower of London and Abbey Road.

Join longtime Columbia College educator Dr. Graham Higgs on a once-in-a lifetime study abroad tour of Oxford and Greater London July 8-30. Higgs is a passionate world citizen and dedicated educator. Last year, he conducted research on facial expressions in London, and he recently returned from a trip to Costa Rica. A native of what is now Zimbabwe, Higgs also lived in London and won the Missouri Governor's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2004.

“I love taking students to new places,” said Higgs. “I love when students, like Toni, experience a new place and it helps inform their worldview. I love helping students to explore new places and ideas.”

You won’t sit around talking about these things, though – you’ll learn by going on “walking lectures,” with Higgs.

For-credit classes to choose from include:

  • Philosophical Foundations of Western Science (taught by Higgs), a psychology-philosophy hybrid that begins with the birth of Western science circa 1530 with the Renaissance and Copernicus and extends to the contemporary age.
  • English Literature and Culture in the Middle Ages
  • From Wonderland to Hogwarts: British Children’s Fantasy and the People Behind It
  • British Museums and Galleries
  • International Business
  • The Passionate Explorer in Oxford and London – Digital Photography

Columbia College is part of an eight-institution consortium called MOSAIC (Missouri Study-Abroad Inter-Collegiate Consortium) that provides a range of summer programs taught by faculty from member institutions.

The deadline to enroll is March 23. Total cost for the trip and 6 hours tuition is $5,095, plus airfare. Financial aid is available; the scholarship deadline is March 19.

For more information contact Higgs at or visit