Through the Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Program, up to four Dartmouth undergraduates can attend University of Oxford’s Keble College each term. As a fully integrated member of the Oxford community, students take courses in the British tutorial system that can count towards their major. David Tramonte ’18, a Government major and Public Policy minor, participated in this program in the fall of 2016.
David has been involved with the Rockefeller Center as a First-Year Fellow and as both a participant and Student Program Assistant for the Management and Leadership Development Program. This is where he first became aware of the Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Program. It specifically interested him because of the dynamic history and scholarly atmosphere Oxford affords its students. The exchange provided David his first study abroad experience.
David intended on taking classes that would challenge him to think in a sophisticated way and thus decided to take a course on Classical Political Thought and on British Government and History. Both courses will apply to his Government major and have led David to take more classes on campus in the realm of political theory. This term, David is enrolled in a political theory seminar, which he would not have been as interested in taking had it not been for his experience at Oxford.
The British tutorial system of education contributed to enhancing David’s ability to synthesize an argument from a variety of sources. Every week, David’s tutor gave him a writing assignment based on a specific question, which served as the foundation for his one-on-one discussion with his tutor. Although this system was initially difficult to get accustomed to, David credits it for allowing him to learn a completely new way of thinking. “I learned to take more risks in my writing.” This “out-of-the-box thinking” characterized students' style of writing at Oxford.
A specific meeting with his tutor stands out as a moment of personal reflection for David. His tutor advised him that being an A student at Dartmouth did not necessarily mean he would be an A student at Oxford. This counsel allowed David to realize the merits of the tutorial system, where he continued to prosper in his writing.
Overall, David reflects that before going to Keble, answering the prompt was more of a chore. "After Keble, I learned how to attack the prompt, think about it creatively, and think outside of the box when answering an essay. I am excited to bring that to my classes at Dartmouth."
During his time at Oxford, David had the opportunity to compete with Keble College’s rowing team and was part of a winning crew while there. This positive experience led him to join the Dartmouth crew upon his return to campus as a lightweight rower. David also spent time traveling in Europe and exploring Oxford.
- Submitted by Bethany Malzman '19, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications