Dartmouth Oxford-Exchange Student: Anwita Mahajan '17

Through the Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Program, undergraduate students are able to spend a term living and studying at the University of Oxford’s Keble College. As a fully integrated member of the Oxford community, these students take courses in the British tutorial system that relate to their major and course of study at Dartmouth. Anwita Mahajan ’17, an Economics major, participated in this exchange term during the winter of 2017.

As one of the few off-campus exchange programs offered by the Economics department, Anwita was immediately drawn to the exchange opportunity at Oxford. Not only was studying abroad one of Anwita’s goals for her undergraduate career, she found this exchange program as the perfect way to balance the chance to travel with the chance to experience student life at such a prestigious university as Oxford.

Anwita decided to take a Public Economics course to expose herself to a topic in economics that she has never before explored in depth. She is currently concentrating her Economics major on development economics and advanced economic theory and has always been interested in broadening her scope of education in economics. Her studies in public economics has also provided her with a foundation in this domain in order to pursue future research opportunities.

One of Anwita’s expressed goals for her time at Oxford was to involve herself in as many cultural and academic activities as possible to experience Oxford to the fullest. Keble College, with a small student body, presented her with the opportunity and time to interact and form relationships with other students. Anwita remarks that the student life is more informal, and she enjoyed how the smaller community made her feel at home. The town of Oxford also presents a lively cultural scene, where Anwita attended a variety of seminars and lectures outside of the classroom, such as the Oxford Union Debates, which are formalized debates amongst well-known speakers on different topics.

Both economics courses that Anwita took at Oxford count towards her major and have supplemented her knowledge in the field. She developed a more holistic perspective on economics by researching and studying British economic theory.

For Anwita, the tutorial system was the real highlight of studying at Keble College. More interactive and specific than a book or a lecture, the tutorial system expects students to orally defend and critique ideas beyond the text. The tutorial experience at Oxford is about questioning the textbook and going beyond the text to research and examine more nuanced sources. Professors constantly pushed her to question why and to support statements with evidence.

“I was able to enhance my sense of self-discipline to research and write on my own as well as improve quickly because of the tutorial system at Keble,” says Anwita. Anwita plans on applying this way of thinking and analysis to her future studies. 

- Written by Bethany Malzman '19, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications