Back to SummaryDiana Peng - Student Advisor Profile
ACADEMIC INTERESTS/RESEARCH: Health Care Economics, International Health Policy, Economic and Organizational Sociology
Call it intuition or a sixth sense, but I have always dreamed of studying at Oxford. I was enticed by the challenge of academic rigor and also the opportunity to be enveloped in the English culture. I knew that the tailored tutorial system unique to the Oxford program would not only allow me to advance the depth of knowledge in any academic interest. In 8 weeks of my one-on-one tutorial, “The Economics of the Health Care and the UK National Health System (NHS)”, I knew more intricacies about the UK and American health care systems I could have learned in any amount of time at the Stanford campus. The opportunity to study with an expert in this specialized field was the greatest coup of all.
The rich academic and cultural experience in Oxford is unparalleled. From the moment you set foot in Oxford, you are walking in the footsteps of greatness.
The libraries and cafes you are studying in are where the likes of Charles Boyle, J.R.R. Tolkein, and Oscar Wilde spent their undergraduate years. These famous names are simply indicators of Oxford’s tradition of excellence and the collection of brilliant minds that resides here. My favorite place at Oxford was the beautiful, domed Radcliffe Science Library, where I was accompanied by newly-acquired Oxford friends who were pursuing their respective studies. The most famous Oxford library is the Bodleian, which dates back to 1602, and is one of the most complete modern collections.
Academics aside, the cultural experience at Stanford in Oxford is incomparable. Before I set off on my flight to Oxford, England, many of my friends and family jealously stated that I was escaping to “Hogwarts”. And though I could go on and on about the similarities between Oxford and Hogwarts, the fact that a classmate saw actress Emma Watson (Hermione) walking down High Street for example, I will highlight instead the grander aspects of Oxford. Whether you spend the afternoon punting down the River Thames, taking an afternoon stroll through the Magdalen College deer park, or meeting a gang of friends at the local pub, there are many adventures awaiting you in Oxford. The main city street, High Street, is
lined with pubs and restaurants of cuisine from across the world. With a turn into the Covered Market, you can shop for fresh vegetables, buy shoes and belts or enjoy the tasty pastries at the café. Walk beyond the Covered Market, and you will find numerous clubs that you are sure to frequent with your classmates. Everyone finds their own little pocket of joy, and rest no two people experience the same Oxford, but each experience is similarly extraordinary.
While I was at Oxford, I also had the opportunity to join the Oxford Women’s Rugby Football Club (OWRFC). Though I did not think it was possible, I became a “Blue”, which is the mascot of the Varsity team (sidenote: I played rugby before at Stanford). As a team member, I was unconditionally accepted into the fold, and even started three official matches. This also meant I joined my teammates at the Blues Pub on the night of the Rugby World Cup Final and swayed, arms clasped with total strangers to the tune of the English national anthem. This meant drinking a pint to the health of the Queen at Men’s Captain’s Cocktails or
attending Ladies’ Night at Vinnie’s. At the end of the term, we traveled together to the famous English Twickenham Stadium to watch the Men’s Varsity Match against Cambridge. This is not unlike Big Game, except their chants are quite different! These Oxford friends are some of my best “mates” and one is even scheduled for a visit to Stanford in the near future.
Though I did not think it possible, Oxford was the best experience in my life. Though the academics were trying at times, the journey has been the most fruitful and rewarding. I look forward to speaking to you about Oxford, and reassuring you that there is something more magical at Oxford than even Harry Potter may have experienced.