Cambridge >>> Oxford & Other Things We Learned This Weekend.

Hi hello! So we just finished up week four, which is sad because I’m just not ready to leave Cambridge, or the U.K. However, last weekend we were invited to Hertford College at Oxford University for a tea, info session, and a gala dinner. All of which were extremely fun. So shoutout to Oxford for being hospitable.

Apparently you’re either an Oxford person or a Cambridge person. Seeing as I’m studying at Cambridge, I went to Oxford with a slight bias. But after careful consideration, consultation of classmates, and attempts to be open minded, I’ve concluded that I am, in fact, a Cambridge person.

Oxford is bigger than Cambridge, but too small to be a proper city (see London) and too big to be an exciting town (see Cambridge). It’s a weird medium that I’m just not on board with. Although I do understand why Oxford can be appealing, it’s not my cup of tea (I’m in England, I can make this joke).

Onto war!!!! Last week was filled with questions about Clausewitz’s absolute war. Absolute war is war in its purest form. So pure that it is devoid of politics and is only sheer violence, something that could only ever happen in theory. Think Garden of Eden, but for war. A little dense, but how cool?!

We turned in our term papers on Friday. My topics were geography exploits war strategy, and social media revolutionizes terrorism. Basically if you are an island state you should get a navy and air force, and if you are a terrorist group you use social media (to be clear I’m not trying to advise the terrorists).

On Monday we will begin discussing terrorism, rather than conventional warfare and 20th century insurgencies. Studying terrorism is an exercise in being adaptable and flexible. It’s constantly making order out of chaos. It’s always a challenge. I love it.

In case its not abundantly clear, I’m not ready for this program to be over. I love Cambridge. I love the availability of tea. I love the city. I love my classes.

“If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.” -Sun Tzu, The Art of War


  1. It’s always interesting to hear about how people judge between Cambridge and Oxford. First, when comparing the sizes of the cities where these two universities stand, we need to notice that cities themselves in Europe have a smaller size, which is also reflected on the size of their continent. The smaller size in general comparing to American cities makes people feel very different about these cities, and a reduced amount of industry and working pressure make the cities more of a leisure place instead of the working zone. Second, the locations of these two universities, to me, seem not to differ that much. What’s more different is their atmosphere. Oxford has a stricter academic environment comparing to Cambridge, but not that Cambridge students don’t work hard, just Oxford people are nerdier. So as a W&M student, Oxford is more of my cup of tea. (I’m not in England now but I’m from China so I guess I am qualified, too)

  2. Thanks for finally talking about >Cambridge >>> Oxford & Other Things We
    Learned This Weekend. – Charles Center Summer Research Blog
    <Loved it!