Never having spent the entirety of summer away from home, I figured I would write about some of my thoughts. Since it’s the holiday season, I’d be talking more about living in Oxford than just studying at Oxford.


I seem to have underestimated the seasonal changes in places far from the equator. The long days let me push my walks to the late evening after dinner and still have enough sunlight to make sense of the scenery around me.

I particularly liked cycling to Port Meadow to catch the sunset after dinner. Hong Kong would never have endless fields of grass for you to watch the sunset and even if it did, the sun would’ve set long before you’ve had dinner.

Heat waves

It seems to me that buildings in the UK are built for insulation and not for heat waves. Surprisingly, the worst part of the day seems not to be at noon but instead in the evening when the heat accumulated throughout the day turns my room into an oven.

As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking of ways to improve circulation: opening/closing windows, shutting blinds … Things that I’ve never bothered doing in Hong Kong due to air conditioning.


Originally I imagined Oxford over the summer to be a rather deserted place. I could not be more wrong. Students from all sorts of summer school programmes flocked to Balliol and often times the crowds here are unmatched by any I’ve seen during term time.

I’m not sure what to make of it. The summer schools affect me / prospective applicants/colleges / the university as a whole / the companies behind the summer schools … forming all sorts of feedback loops that it’d be difficult to make a judgement on the phenomenon. It certainly does make Oxford more lively though.


It was nice being able to truly explore the libraries without fear of disturbing everyone furiously working away at their essays/sheets.


It was really nice spending my summer here. Having free rein over my time largely alone in a foreign place has been an introspective and soul-searching experience.

As per the title, I expect this not to be the last summer spent at Oxford. If it really is the last, then it only makes the past few months more the special.